Stunned-My Honors Student Shoplifted

Pamelad1January 22, 2007

I can't believe that I have to even wrtie this post, but here it goes.

My 15 year old daughter, honor student, all around good kid, usually stays at home, plays on her computer, and texts was caught shoplifting a tank top from JCPenney's. She and a friend (one who I know both the child and the mother) were dropped off at the mall by the girl's mother (against my rules-we do not hang out in the mall because of the trouble makers that hang out there) for an hour while the mother took care of some other things before meeting them to get her nails done. Anyway, the girls decided that taking a bra and a tank top (which my daughter already owns-so I don't understand why she took that) into the fitting room and slipping it into their bag was a good idea.

Needless to say, they got caught. The other girl texted her mom who was at the mall by then and she went to pick them up. Security decided not to press charges and released them to the mom. Then they called us and told us what had happened. Our daughter called us after they released them and told us what had happened. I almost died!

Anyway, our daughter admitted to the whole thing, did not place blame on her friend, and has accepted our punishment without argument.

Our punishment was loss of the computer, her cell phone, and the house phone. She is not allowed out except for school or if we are with her. She is not allowed to have contact with her friend (who told her mother on the way home that she had shoplifted once before). We have also told her she must write an apology/confession letter to JCPenney, the other girl's mother, and to us. She has one week to get all three done. She has agreed to all of our punishments. My question is have we done enough? Or is there something else we need to add? Her grades are great. She is a respectful kid and this is the first real trouble she has gotten into. I know she is remorseful. When we told her grandmothers, she was a mess. So, have we done enough?

Thank you for all of you feedback and suggestions.

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I think the punishments are good. Sometimes kids just do dumb things. I know my sister lifted nail polish once and got into trouble but no charges were pressed. I would make sure she knows she is on the short leash for a while though. And keep an eye out for other signs of trouble. And ask about her relationships with other kids at her school. Maybe she was acting out to try and be cool or something dumb like that.
No trips to the mall unless attended by you for a long time though! She must understand that by doing this she has given you a very big reason to not trust her by herself. And stand by it.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 3:26PM
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Klmkm has given you good advise. Don't go overboard (you didn't..IMHO), and it is a fine line, or she'll rebel more. Why did she do see if she could. Why did she do it...because she wanted to. WHy did she do it...who knows, maybe not even her. But ask her sometime when life is quiet and on an even keel, you may get an answer, and it may surprise you, who knows. You may not. SHe may not know.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 8:11PM
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My little brother once stole a mouse from the petstore. He was 15 also at the time. I think kids do this just because they want something and maybe dont the money at the time,it's a rush,and to see if they can(like vickey said).
It's a good sign she is remorseful. Also,she is probably embarrassed enough to not want to do it again.
Dont be too shocked,it is the good ones who can be the most bad!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 11:21PM
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I think it is an age thing. I was with some friends, at that age, who stole a watch. I was SO SHOCKED.. and even more, I was annoyed because I was with them and could have been implicated as well. Fortunately, for me, they didnt get caught but gave me a huge fright and it really taught me a lesson about who I hang out with.

What lessons do you think your daughter has learnt ?

You said she was remorseful, and took her punishments, I think she has acted like a real lady. I am sure it was impulsive, as someone else said.

There has been a lot of talk in the press about how young people's brains dont fully mature until they are about 25. Which means their emotional section of the brain is often very separate from their logic section.

How long are these punishments to last for ?

I think you should keep in mind that its the behaviour of your daughter (shoplifting) that you are upset with, and that you still love your daughter, and she is treasured.

If she is anything like my children, I am sure she is just heartbroken and feels aweful. Give her a hug and tell her you love her.

I am sure she has learnt a valuable lesson over this.

It is quite common, I think. My neices did the same thing, and they where actually taken to the local police station, and they police phoned my brother ! They only did it once !


    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 1:43AM
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Just a side note, do not send the JC Penny letter to them. You do not know where it ends up and how this would be used. In fact I would not give letter to the friend's mom either. Verbal apology is enough.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 10:56AM
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My delightful and very successful daughter was arrested at 14 for putting on an extra pair of jeans, along with her girlfriend, who did the same, and trying to walk out of the department store.
I had to go to the police station and pick her up and, like you, was horrified, mortified, scared to death, and certain all our lives were to be forever ruined.
She went to see a counselor for a few weeks, we made some friends changes, and punishments at home. It never happened again, and she grew up to be one of the smartest and sweetest people I know. So, take heart. All will no doubt be well.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 8:21PM
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I loved popi's response. I also agree with vickey...I wouldn't send the letters. If this is the most horrible thing your daughter has done, consider yourself lucky. Don't forget to tell her you forgive her and love her no matter what. We all make mistakes. Lesson learned.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 11:36PM
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I think it is time to re evaluate the friend. You have handled the punishment wisely, and so has she. You might still get the letters, but don't mail them.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 1:51PM
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This is practically a rite of passage with teenage girls, not that I am condoning it one bit. She is lucky it was dismissed. Most stores where we live prosecute and it's a $300 ticket, parent and child have to attend a series of education classes, get a tour of the the local jail "Tank", appear in a public court and privately before a judge and have their names in the paper. And that is just for a first offense. How do I know? Yep. Just once.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 2:31PM
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