Future SD took my earrings

jess3April 29, 2009

I had a pair of earrings missing out of my night stand. They had been there for a couple of weeks. When I looked in the drawer for them, they were missing. I looked in other places but I knew they were in there. So I mentioned it to my BF to see if he had seen them. He said he would ask his DD becuse she was the only one in our room that weekend that he had them. He asked , she said she had not seen them. He gave her one more chance to do the right thing and she went to her room and got the earrings. Her ears are not periced and these earrings are emerald and diamonds not something that a kid would wear any way.

She took them becuse she is angry and simply does not want me around. Okay, i understand that. My problem here is that he did not punish her in any way. I expected him to do something. Anything, take something away, ect. I beleive there should be consequences for that sort of behavior. I don't have any kids so maybe I am wrong about this. We got into it becuse I expressed my feeling about her not being punished and he thinks he handled it well. To me it is stealing. If she had taken something from the mall and he found out he would have punished her for sure. I am glad she decided to give them back and do the right thing. I know she is acting out her anger. But I think my BF feels so guilty about the divorce that he has a hard time with the disipline.

Am I being a mean person by thinking she should of had consequences?

Has anybody else experience somthing like this that has some advice?

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Oh that sounds so familiar to me!!!!

My SO's DD has been consistently taking my things for as long as I know her. Nothing as precious as earings, but body products, hair brushes, make up, books etc. By taking I don't mean using and returning, i mean taking so i never see them again. Her excuse was always the same: "It looked like mine, I took it by mistake". Huh?

My SO told her to stop several times, she stopped finally, but last time i went to visit my DD, I came back and couldn't find my facial creams. After a day of looking I found them in a spare bathroom that nobody ever uses.

Now she is an adult, she does not live wiht her father and not wiht her mother, she rents a house wiht housemates. She only visits once in awhile. She visited for one single day and during that one day she managed to relocate my creams. Why?

At first i thought that she does it to chase me away or because she dislikes me, but then i found out she did it to her mother when SO was still married. It was apparently ongoing issue in their house. Her mother didn't like it and was always upset about it.

She also takes SO's possessions wihout asking. She doesn't care what it is, she just takes it.

SO's DD is an adult, i don't think there could be consequences.

I am always very upset when my things dissapear (on occassions those were gifts or items that i borrowed like books-she doesn't ever read books, i don't know why she takes my books)

I would be very upset about earings. She needs to know that it is unacceptable and is stealing. how old is she?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 5:23PM
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It could be that your SD just have no respect for other people and their stuff. My SO's DD takes EVERYBODY's stuff. her sister's, dad's, mom's, and now mine. No difference. She took dad's items that he got as gifts from his other daughter. Stuff like that. Just no respect. maybe your SD is the same way.

My DD21 is not an angel but she would never pack up and take mine or her dad's stuff. she would ask if she needs something. so your expectations of your SD are normal. Taking without asking is not OK.

Your post hit the nerve, I have been struggling wiht my stuff dissapearing for awhile.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 5:28PM
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sounds like she issued a dare...
& your guy let her get away with it.

She got away with snooping, with stealing (*your* things), & with lying...
& she knows that you know that she can do it again.

Your guy will have to have a heart-to-heart with her & let her know that he dropped the ball this time, but that she can't do it again.

Let him know that you won't put up with anybody stealing your stuff, & that if he doesn't fix this, you will.

& then do it.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 5:38PM
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Why is she angry about you? A little history, please.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 6:04PM
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She is 11YO. Now they are not allowed in our room. He told them exactly why and they just said fine. They would just use our room and bathroom like it was theirs. In fact they don't use their bathroom at all.
I have been thinking that they had been snooping for a while. We even cought them sniffing the bed once. lol I'm not sure where they got that idea. The only thing they had done prior to this incident would be throwing my jacket or my robe in the floor.

As far as respect, they have none. they treat their dad like crap. They dont even take care of their own stuff much less anyone else's.

I hate that others have gone thru this.
Thanks for the advice

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 6:14PM
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They? More kids? How long as dad been divorced? How often do they come over?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 6:21PM
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jess, i would commend your SD on her honesty for returning the earrings but stress the fact that it can not happen again. it sounds like your future step kids have some issues that they want to express. maybe you should all sit down and ask them why they are angry and maybe figure out some alternative ways to express it? kids don't choose to be put into these new situation/lifestyles and aren't usually too happy about it. yes, they do weird things like sniff the sheets...don't you remember wondering what your parents did in bed? nonetheless, they need to learn that taking other's stuff isn't right and will not be tolerated. definitely work these things out before getting married. maybe you can ask your future SD if she'd like you to take her to get her ears pierced? you should start trying to do things with her now while she's young because once she becomes a teenager...well, just read the other posts.
my oldest daughter used to take my stuff too. she didn't take care of her own things, always lost her tweezers, creams, pens, didn't wash her underwear, etc. and she always knew that i kept my things neat and in place. she would always give everything back and say she was just using it because she couldn't find hers. it drove me crazy. at first i didn't get mad but after awhile i became very firm and consistent that this couldn't happen anymore. eventually she stopped.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 6:39PM
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it is possible that SKs are angry because of the divorce or whatever but it would help to find out if SKs treat other people the same way, if they steal from others etc.

SO's DD said she is embarassed that I might think she steals from me. I don't necessarilly think in these terms. But if she takes my stuff to her place and I never see it again how am I suppose to call it?

Now I have no problem with people using my stuff and then putting back. I use my mom's stuff and DD using mine but we do not take stuff wiht us to our places. I don't see an issue wiht someone using my tweezers etc. I have a problem when it is taken somewhere else permanently and people never see it again. I find it disrespectful towards whoever that item belongs to.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 9:18PM
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Koritsia, that's good balanced advice. Yes, SD needs to be called out on what she did and made aware in no uncertain terms that it's wrong to take others' things. But, I agree, it's also a great opportunity to encourage her to be honest and open up some dialogue. (Hey, if nothing else, sheer guilt over a gracious reaction from her Dad and SM might deter from doing it in the future...)

Speaking of honesty, I have to admit that when I was younger there were a couple of things I stole from my SM (then Dad's GF). It was never anything valuable like earrings (one time it was a pair of socks, once a lipstick and once a hair barrette) and even at the time I myself didn't fully understand why I was doing it. I did feel vaguely guilty about it but was still compelled to do it. I've never shoplifted in my life or otherwise stolen anything.

But I've since come to learn that this is an incredibly common phenomenon, in all families but also it seems even more prevalent in stepfamilies. Eleven is about the median age that many kids explore certain taboos, lying and stealing among them. If you think back, you'll probably remember that you were tempted to take something from somebody ---even a friend--- or you knew someone who had. That's just kids, and yes it definitely needs to be corrected, but it's not generally malicious per se.

Where the stepfamily situation plays into it has to do, in my opinion, with different facets of the feeling of LOSS, especially the loss of some control over their lives and even to some extent a loss of identity or a feeling of importance. The stealing is subconsciously an attempt to "take back" what is perceived to have been taken from the stepchild. That's the short version, and there are other components to it, too, such as the competition over resources that both stepchildren and step-parents often feel with one another, which is in fact ofte a very material thing in the first place. In some kids, too, it can be a call for attention, or the same kind of filling-the-emotional-void-with-material-stuff phenomenon that creates adult kleptomaniacs or shopaholics. What I've realized about why I felt driven to steal certain items from my SM is that for me it was kind of a combination of all those factors I mentioned. I really wasn't a "problem child" in any serious way, I promise! But I was guilty of doing that, so I've tried in hindsight to understand it. Yes, my SM was very crappy to me in many ways, more so than probably most average step-parents, but it doesn't make what I did "right". She or my Dad would have had every right to be upset or issue some kind of 'punishment' or strongly-worded lecture about it. But I actually don't think either of them ever knew about it. Anyway, I'm just saying, I'm a pretty well-adjusted, decent person, and in my stepfamily situation, I was compelled to do some of the stealing thing, so while I do think it has to be nipped in the bud, you should be aware that it's pretty common and not necessarily an indication of a "bad kid" all around... just a maladaptive way of expressing frustrations that they don't feel they have any power to express otherwise and they probably don't fully understand why they do it. If you can perceive all that behind the cruddy behavior, it might make it easier to forgive the kid even as you rightfully chastise the behavior.

Bear in mind, too, another possible explanation is that some kids are used to households where everything is everyone's and "up for grabs" and might not fuly understand that not every household is like that... still, they should learn that it shouldn't be just assumed.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 10:22PM
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serenity even in a house where everything is up for grabs (like in my parents house anyone can take anything or use anything) earings are clearly personal possession and could not possibly be for everyone to use.

I would agree that taking stuff could be somewhat typical in this age, but I wonder about particularly taking stuff from stepparents or similar situation. I remember somebody posted here awhile ago that she and her DH had to lock stuff when SKs visited because they would pack bags of stuff to take to mom's house. I never thought of what is behind these actions..

I grew up in intact family and never did anything of the sort. DD grew up in broken family yet she would not do anything like that. she misplaced lost or broke my things while using them but she never took anything from mine or dad's house unless it is offered to her or she asked for it. DD took SMs' jacket wiht her by mistake once because it did look like hers. As soon as she saw it unpacking her bag, she showed it to me and called dad. She just shoved it in without thinking. That's what SO says his DD does just grabs stuff not thinking it is not hers. But she is 20, how is it possible?

did you ever figure out why you took SM's stuff? Anger? did you use what you took or just hid it? don't mean to interogate just want to figure it out why poeple take stuff from SPs (or partners of their parents).

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 10:54PM
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As a kid I used to borrow my moms things without asking. She had a sweater that I just loved! I would get up early and sneak it into my backpack. I would wear a t-shirt under my sweater and switch sweaters on the bus!

My sister used to borrow my clothes and make-up without permission.

I think it is a stage. I think that for a first time offense a discussion needs to take place and apologies made from her to you.

If it happens again then I would say a punishment is in order.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 11:35PM
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Somebody recommended that you to this:

*maybe you can ask your future SD if she'd like you to take her to get her ears pierced?*
Bad advice because you are not her parent and you would really be stepping on toes, even if your BF gives you his permission. Aside from that major fact, I kind of think it would be an approval and reward for stealing your earrings. Hey kid, since you couldn't wear the earrings you stole from me because your ears weren't pierced, I'll make it possible for you to wear them.

Stealing is stealing and it's not cool.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 11:53PM
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Of course I wasn't there but the fact dad got her to fess up and bring the earrings back to me in a sense is enough, since it would have been pretty humiliating.

I think harping on the punishment side is to ignore the reasons why she did it, which are myriad.

If she does something like that again, of course punishment should happen, but she'll realise if she doesn't confess and isn't caught in the act, you won't be able to prove it.

I think family therapy would be an urgent order of business, she obviously has some issues going on and it's best they don't fester.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 4:21AM
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gerina: I agree. The ear piercing probably would not go over well with BM. And it would be some what of a reward.

Serenity: I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that the stealing is taking back something that they feel was taken from them. They have told the councelor that if I was not in the picture that dad would have tried harder to make things work. They dont know the real reasons why the marriage didn't work they are just kids. They totally want me gone and they dont really even know the real person that I am. I understand why she did it. But now I have this feeling of distrust. I am afraid to leave anything out and yes I have started locking valuable things in the safe. We have a long bumby road ahead of us and the GAL is just not helping very much.

Finedreams: I am staring to think that SK's take from the SP becuse they are just that SP's. I talked to my aunt about it last night and she admitted that when her step dad moved in she started taking his stuff. She said she did it becuse she wanted him gone and felt like he was invading their house. I am slowly trying to bond with all 3 kids (i even got a book). When this happend I have to admit I got a bad attitude. The 11Yo is the most vocal about her feelings and out of all of then I thought she woule be the one taht I would be closer too. Now that their dad told them they are not welcome in our room, i am sure that I am really the evil step monster now.

Now I am waiting for her to take someting and destroy it that way she wont get caught and wont be humilited by giving it back.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 1:17PM
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My sd hasn't taken anything because i always locked valuble stuff away and also she does like me...just angry at both her parents.
I still think your bf should have reprimanded her but i understand why he didn't do it becuase a. he sees them eow , b. if he punishes her at your place it probably wont really stick cause its less time at your house, plus if they disrespect him then its a waste of time.
I'm glad to hear he truly believed that his daughter did take them and he called her on it. It was enough to show her that he took your side about the situation and he forbade them from entering that room. Which i'm sure is pissin' her off.
So keep close with your dh , keep close communications and let him discipline. If he doesn't, then anything that belongs to you, she or them willnot touch.
You see my dh got disrespected recently by his daughter. SHe used foul language at him , at which point he immediately hung up on her. He always does when she goes into her fits. He also tends to leave her home for a while until she learns....but i think he wants her coming this weekend. I dotn agree but its his daughter and if he wants to bring her..then so be it...but i'm locking down my computer. She will have no access on it. i told him already that her behaviour has warranted this and he should tell her she will have no computer this weekend when she arrives.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 2:06PM
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I have mixed emotions about this one. She did finally admit what she did and gave them back. If she is punished she will never tell the truth again. I think she should be talked to and let off. A second time she should be punished.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 9:36PM
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When did you and Dad get married? Move in together? Introduced to the kids? I have a feeling there is much more to this than stealing. Did you get involved very quick with their father? If so, they may have very valid feelings that they lost something. Not only did they lose their home life, but they lost the chance to mourn peacefully for it. Regardless of what adults think, kids do deserve that respect. I don't understand why adults think their happiness comes before a childs needs and this whole rash off getting involved with someone so quickly after a divorce with kids just boggles my mind. And the fact that the adults in the situation expect the kids to react like an adult, when the are in fact a kid and the adults aren't acting like adults by taking in consideration how the kids may feel.

LOL, sorry stepping off my soapbox now and it may not even apply to you. But if it does, I think you have lots more to worry about than some earrings. Earrings do not compare to what children in divorced families lose.

I agree with Stargazzer, she was already talked to. If it happens again, then DH probably needs to get to the root of it all.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 10:02PM
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Nivea, I agree. As I said before, children don't choose to have a stepparent around and aren't usually happy about it. Parents and stepparent need to have empathy for the kids. I think along with every discipline we should also validate their feelings, for example, "I know you are angry with the living situation, but taking someone's stuff isn't the right way to express it." Then try to offer other ways to express the angy. Not only do you validate the child's feeling but your discipline will be much more effective. When I apply a consequence to my 16 yr old, I might say, "I know you love to chat with your friends on the internet, it's great that you have so many friends, but unfortunately you have a lot of missing assignments and therefore you may not use the internet today." As a stepparent you might say, "I know you really hate it when I tell you what to do, but..." How could they argue with that?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 12:08PM
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Why is there a GAL invovled? What is he/she workign on?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 12:11PM
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