Lying Stealing Adult Child

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by paraeducator, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. paraeducator

    paraeducator New Member

    I am new to this forum, so bear with me. I have a 26 year old daughter, who I have recently found out used my credit card to purchase online video games. She lies as easily as she breathes. She is still living at home, working part-time. She pays her cell phone, car payment and car insurance. I recently went to see a therapist,(since she refuses to see one) I figured if she won't get help. I need someone to talk to.The therapist suggested she should start paying $25.00 a week to me, and increase it to $ 50.00 in Jan. 2014. She agreed, her first payment is due today, no money. She has many financial problems, credit card debt, etc. She isn't looking for full-time employment. I told her many people work 2 jobs. She has no interest in finding one. She is very immature for her age. No social life to speak of. I have 3 other adult children, none of them have these problems. I'm only posting some of her problems for now, it would take a whole page to list everything. Anyone else having this problem or any suggestions ? Thanks for listening.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome paraeducator, I'm sorry you are in the situation you're in with your adult daughter. You've arrived at a place where many of us face the same issues as you are facing. Does your daughter have any diagnosis or disabilities? It's helpful for us to get a well rounded picture, that's why i'm asking, many of our kids have substance abuse issues, mental issues, emotional issues, all kinds of issues...........

    Using your credit card without your permission is stealing in the eyes of the law. This is serious. She is 26, she is an adult and yet she is living like a teenager, a young teenager. Why are you allowing that? She is living in your home, you pay the bills and it appears as if she has very little responsibility. If she doesn't come up with the $25, what is the consequence? In the real world when you don't pay your bills there is a clear consequence. She has to face the results of her bad choices. You are the captain of this ship, not her, you get to make boundaries which she must adhere to. If you are in therapy, perhaps your therapist can help you draw up a plan of action for your daughter to not only pay $25 or $50 but begin to be an adult with some real responsibilities.

    I would ask myself what it is that I want and need to happen here. What do I want. Not what your daughter can do or what she wants, but what you want. Once I figured that out, I would make those things the boundaries by which your daughter gets to live with you, if that is even an option in your eyes. She should be paying a substantial rent, helping with chores, paying ALL her bills and working full time. She should be out looking for her own place to live. Only you can change this unhealthy dynamic, she has a pretty easy life so there isn't any impetus for her to change. If she has credit card debt, that is her problem, not yours, she needs to work full time or have two jobs to pay her bills. You are making it so easy for her to remain a child, you are enabling her. You may want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here. Detachment is the process it sounds like you need to begin to have both you and your daughter begin a more healthy relationship.

    You may want to set a date for her to move out. Do some research to find out what the legal eviction process is in your state. In some states you have to go to court and formally evict someone even if that someone is your child. There is no reason why you have to support your daughter and make excuses for her bad behavior. Next time she steals from you, you could call the police.

    There may be extenuating circumstances you didn't mention, however with the information you've offered, it appears as if you need to start detaching and insisting your daughter grow up and start a real life, one she pays for and is responsible for. In the absence of that, you may have a forever roommate whom you will be taking care of for the rest of your life. I wish you peace............keep posting, it really does help..........
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Any drug abuse? Did you sense she was different when she was growing up?
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    That was my first thought, too.

    There's several possibilities here...
    1) She may have un-diagnosed challenges, which have stunted her development and held her back.
    2) She may have challenges that you DO know about, but hasn't received appropriate support for (not unusual and not your fault)
    3) She may have a substance abuse problem
    4) She may just be an "entitled" kid who needs a real-life shock

    It really helps to know what you are dealing with, before you decide how to deal with it.
    Serious mental health or developmental issues change the definition of "right approach" really fast.
  5. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I would think if she doesn't have a mental illness, it's time for you to end this. She really doesn't have any reason to work more than part time. She's quite cozy with hardly working, as my difficult child used to say, "Why should I?" when told to get a job. All her needs are met, a place to live, food, right? She works to pay for her phone and car, that's all she needs. You need to make it tougher on her for real. The deadline thing didn't work to motivate her. Try something else.
    You may have to do something difficult and painful for you in order to help her. You may have to kick her out, since she stole from you it's can call the police. If she has to scramble for a place to live, food and all the comforts of home, good, that's a good motivator. She will have to learn the hard way. This is how many of our difficult child's learn, just by seeing what they don't want to live like. Honestly, do you really want a 30 year-old sitting in your house all day, or a 35-year-old? Something has to change this pattern she is stuck in. You may have to do a hard thing, it will get ugly between you two. It may stay that way for a few years, but one day, in a few years she will come back to you. She'll thank you. Things are getting worse now because she is stealing. Sending many hugs and support.
  6. paraeducator

    paraeducator New Member

    Thank you for your responses and support. In response to some of your questions, I did sense she was different while growing up, not very social. I'm sure their is no substance abuse.I started to notice a change about 4 years ago. It took her 6 years to get an associate's degree. After paying for school for 2 years, I stopped and she had to get loans for school-no I did not co-sign for them. Because of her lying, I did not attend her graduation in May, I had asked her for proof she was graduating, she could not provide it, so I told her I would not attend. She had lied before about graduating. I'm so sick of everything, we hardly speak to each other, I wish she would just leave. I hate to feel that way. She does have a boyfriend, he is hardly an example for her, he is 30 and still lives at home.
    Today I told her she has until the end of August to find a full-time job or I will put her belongings out of the house and change the locks. I gave her the want ads with full-time jobs circled. Again thank you for your responses. I feel that I'm not alone.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Any known trigger for that change?
    If not... I'd definitely be looking for a referral for a comprehensive evaluation of some sort.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    At 26, nobody can make her go for help. Sadly, most of the adult kids refuse to go for evaluations. At this point, I think it should be paid for by adult child anyway. She does not seem to really want to change. That's often the biggest problem of all.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I had a young adult child...younger than yours...steal checks from me and I called the cops and had him arrested. It actually did him good because I think he was on a really bad path and who knows where he would have ended up back then.

    Now on the other hand I have a 32 year old son who I am betting will never move out of our home. Not unless gets married or something. We dont mind him being here because he works and gives us no problems.
  10. rush

    rush New Member

    Hello, I am new here. I, too, have a troublesome adult child. She was diagnosed as bi-polar and was getting counseling and medications while at home. About 6 months ago, my 18 year old decided she was going to move 600 miles away to live with a friend at his grandma's house. We tried to talk her out of it with no luck. She stayed there for 5 months, never could find a job, and granny got tired of her and put her out. She then started sleeping in missions and shelters. She called and said she was ready to come home. I sent the money out there. She kept the money and didn't come back. Then she had her car keys stolen, and eventually, her car. She ended up calling at 1 am saying she couldn't find anywhere to stay. I booked her into a hotel for 3 days, and my husband and I drove out there and brought her home. She left with a car, clothes, laptop, TV, and video games. Came back with the clothes on her back.
    She was difficult to live with before she left. Since she has been back home, she doesn't help much around the house, is very belligerent to me, and we just found out she got into our bedroom, took a credit card statement, and proceeded to charge things to our account. The credit card company called us because the account had a large amount of activity on it lately and we don't use it that much. I know she has stolen from me before, right before she moved away. She lied about it of course, but I know she did it.

    I don't know what to do. I want her to get out, but she has no car, no job, nothing. There are no shelters in this part of the country for her to stay in. She could stay with her sister, but my older daughter wouldn't put up with it for long.
    I have made her a dr appointment. with her psychiatrist for this week so at least she gets her medications.
    Any advice? I honestly don't know what to do and this is putting an incredible strain on my marriage.
    Thanks for listening!
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.

    It would be a good idea to start your own thread or else others may not see this here at the bottom of somebody else's older thread.

    My very quick assessment is that, shelter or not, she either has to get a job, get into therapy and comply with medications while helping you in the house and being polite or leave. I'm guessing drugs are a part of this...that's where the stealing usually comes in. You aren't helping her by letting her live with you without imposing restrictions on her. It isn't fair to ask her silbing to take her even for one night. It is HARD to stop enabling...most of us know that...but it's for their sake as well as our own. Your daughter needs to learn to either take care of her bipolar and other bad habits and she can't do it while she is living in comfort and safety without consequences and knowing you will pay her way out of every bad choice she makes.

    Again, it would help you get more responses if you started your own thread, and gave us more information on your daughter's history and home life until now.

    Welcome to the board :)
  12. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Rush. I am sorry you are going through this ordeal with your daughter. Your story is not unlike my story or many others on this site. We are all on a strange landscape which has mine fields everywhere..........

    It's a good idea to get your daughter on medications, however, her staying on them is up to her. I don't know if you've already exhausted resources, but a good place for us parents to do some research is NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They have excellent courses for parents to help us cope and to learn tools to make OUR lives better. If you haven't already, I would find a therapist for YOU. So you can get comfort, understanding and the strength and resolve to begin to learn about detachment. You may want to read the article at the bottom of my post here on detachment, it is very helpful. Sometimes the best thing we can do for our kids is to get help for US.

    Our kids can do remarkable damage to our relationships and our own well being and health, so it really becomes imperative for you to take care of you. Once you start that, the solutions to how to deal with your daughter will present themselves.

    For me, the process was about setting very strong boundaries. Which to begin with means, what can you live with, what can you NOT live with, what do you want, what do you NOT want............get very clear on all of that so you can then present a united front with your husband as to what the rules of the house are. In addition and equally as important are the direct and unbreakable consequences if your rules are not followed. That is very important, regardless of her diagnoses. You might want to look into the rules of eviction in your state and if you need to get a court order. Once you know that information, present it to her. She doesn't follow the rules, the next step is eviction. Or as some parents have done, you can place her in one of those low cost hotels that are cheaper because they essentially deal with transients. But that is entirely your choice. Sometimes YMCA's have options as well. If there are no shelters, then she has limited options.

    The bottom line is that you DO NOT have to deal with your daughter's choices for the rest of your life. That is always your choice. Once you've established strict boundaries and consequences, if she does not abide by them, then you need to follow through on whatever your choices for consequences are. If that is eviction, then you have to learn detachment because it is not easy to evict your own child. Mostly we parents get to the point of exasperation and depletion before we make that choice, but most of us do get there. Our kids are masters at manipulation, drama, lying, stealing and often really, it is up to you to change because it is very likely she won't. That's where professional support comes in, most of us need help to make these difficult choices.

    Hang in there, you're not alone, we understand how you feel. Keep posting, it helps. And, get yourself some real support for YOU.
  13. rush

    rush New Member

    Thanks for listening and for the advice everyone! It was very helpful!
  14. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Rush, if you start another post, you will receive more input.

    paraeducator, how are you doing, today?


  15. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    You are sick and tired, ACE. That is a good day. Because you are now willing to really address the situation.

    Enough is enough.

    I find that when I reach this point, it is good for me to have a very short and very clear conversation with difficult child. Not about the whole ball of wax---because the need I have gets lost in the millions of words and emotions---but about the current situation.

    I would write down what I want to say to her---what I want to happen. Keep it short and simple. don't go for the "big win" just for dealing with the immediate problem.

    For example:

    We need to talk. The living arrangement we have here isn't working anymore. So, here is our new arrangement, starting ____. You will need to start paying ___ per week to live here. You will need to start doing _____________ around the house. You will not use my charge accounts for anything anymore. If I find out you have, I will prosecute you. And, I want you to make plans to move out and get your own place by ________. Please know that I am not kidding, and I mean every single word that I say. If you don't start paying and do the things I've asked you to do, you will have to move out immediately. And I will not figure out for you when, and where and how. You will just need to leave and figure it out for yourself. I love you, and our relationship will be a lot better if we can make these changes.

    Then walk out of the room. Don't listen to the excuses and the whining and the complaints and the crying. Just walk out.

    So...what happens next? I doubt very much that she will do the above. After all, we have taught our difficult children that we will talk and talk and take and take and we will not back up what we say.

    We listen to their lies and excuses and reasons and sad sob stories and we don't do what we said. They are great manipulators, and we have taught them well.

    So, don't say anything you are truly not ready to back up. If you aren't sure you can do it, don't say it.

    Starting today, you have to rebuild your own credibility and your own position as the owner of your house.

    Keep it simple. Say what you mean, but don't say it mean.

    We get it here. We care. Please keep sharing and let us know your thoughts and what you are planning to do. We respect your decisions.
  16. Cant take anymore

    Cant take anymore New Member

    I am in the same situation with my adult son who is 24. I can't take it anymore. Has anyone had any luck with any of the above situations? My son, lies, has stolen from us, sold our electronics and is always asking for money! Can someone help me. :-(
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You happened to answer an old, old thread. For a better response and for giving us more info, you may want to start a new thread. Just click on "New Post" and start typing :)
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As you figure out how to post a new message, is your son on drugs? He is acting like it.
  19. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    You really should start a new thread. It's quite simple and more people will read it and respond just to you.

    As you might see from my signature, we put our son out of our home at 18 for stealing. I understand how horrible this is for you. Welcome to this forum....I'm so very sorry you have to be here.
  20. moomin

    moomin New Member

    My sisters son is 20 and lies about everything to everyone, she has given him several chances and given him a fresh page.. and is a strong woman on the outside and a broken woman inside, he has seen her tears and still is good for a few weeks then lies, to the point where she doesnt know what he is saying to people he meets about the family (lies),He lives at home. He has told his friends he was dying told his girlfriend that all these girls are stalking him, told his mum that he girlfriend is really horrible but continues to be with her... goodness knows what he is saying to people about my sister. I have heard several lies he has told his cousins and my sister thinks they are close and then the police come to the door and she is broken again as he has been doing something he shouldnt... advice about do i tell my sister when i hear the lies and break her heart more and what should she do
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015