When your adult child steals from you.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Jam, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. Jam

    Jam New Member

    I am 60 years old and still work. My daughter, I love her. She is 29 yrs old, has two small children. She and her husband live about 30 minutes drive from daycare and town. I live about 7 minutes from town in the opposite direction. While her oldest child attends day care, she brings the youngest and comes to my house. I am at work, but have given my permission for them to be here. Recently she has removed some items from my house without telling me. She thinks I won't notice the dresser she took. When I ask her about it she got defensive and said it was hers. I said yes it was hers, but that it would be nice if she told me she was going to take it or ask me if it was ok to take it. This dresser has been at my house for the last 10 yrs. I'm frustrated because we argued about the idea of asking me or telling me she was going to take the dresser, but to take it and never mentioning it. I told her a couple of times that it makes me feel violated when things disappear from my house without some explanation, a note on the table would probably have worked. So we argued this point, then things got nasty and she began berating me and of course that worked and hurt. I ended getting so angry I hung up on her. We won't talk for days and I worry about how it will affect my relationship with my grandchildren.

    Usually when I get angry I get really upset and the stress of it makes me ill at least a week later. I don't want to be angry with her. I would dearly love for her to be more forth right and ask me about taking items that are mine and from my house. Being polite and respectful goes a long way. I was a single mom, I worked hard to make her life nice. She married a nice man who works hard, loves her and their two children. I'm am really hurt by our words. I need some advice about my situation and am open to suggestions how to handle this.
  2. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Moderator Staff Member

    Hi Jam and welcome to the CD community. Tell us more about your relationship with your daughter. Has stealing been an ongoing problem with your daughter?

    ~Kathy
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I cannot imagine taking something from my mother's house w/o asking her first. Heck, if we go by when she is out of the house and we have a cup of coffee we leave a note, even if she was expecting us. If it is the last cup, we make a fresh pot and put it in the thermal carafe. I can't imagine what she was thinking. HOw was it "hers' if you had it for ten years? I think yo need to get the key back from her or change the lock, and talk to her. Draw a firm boundary with her AND her dh that if she wants to take something she MUST let you know ahead of time or it is stealing. Period. Heck, my mil, who I haven't seen in 14 yrs b/c she chooses to not see us (my kids saw her at my fil and stepmil's last xmas and did not know who she was - and after that have said they don't want to see her again b/c she is just not a great person, too much alcoholism has taken its toll), has a dresser that "is" my dh's, but there is no way that we would go and get it from her. Yes, a relative left it to dh in her will, but mil asked to use it and when we got our first house asked to keep it there b/c she wasn't up to emptying it, so we think it is now hers, not ours. I can't see why your dau thought it was "hers". If she had her own home, why didn't she get it before this, and why could she not ask you about it before just taking it? What would she have done if you filed a theft report with the police?

    You need to let her AND her dh know the rules, that she is NOT welcome to spend time there in the am if she cannot be respectful and not remove things w/o asking. Let the dh know so that your dau cannot tell him lies about you and if she brings something home she has to either lie and say you knew or else he will know she stole it from you. Hopefully that would keep her from stealing, and if something did disappear then you could ask her dh if he knew where it was. If she told him you said she could have it, why would you ask him? It is a way to keep her from triangulating him against you, and to keep everyone on the same page.

    You can't control what the kids are told. All you can do is to tell them that whatever happens between the adults, Gma will ALWAYS love them no matter what.
  4. MidwestMom

    MidwestMom Well-Known Member

    Can you tell us more about your daughter? Does she normally help herself? Was she a problem as a child? Does she have a sense of entitlement toward you?
  5. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Member

    I would never dream on going into my parents home and taking anything. IMO if she didn't ask or tell you she felt like it wasn't hers or that you would not give it to her. BUT only she can really tell you the reason. Obviously it upset you enough to post here, so welcome. It's a great forum.

    I have one sister that is very underhanded and for the life of me I do not know why!! She is very active in her church, doesn't drink or do drugs. Sometimes they just think differently than us.

    My daughter has a key and they would drop by and borrow movies when we were out of town. Sadly,I don't think my son will ever be trusted in my home alone, much less ever have my trust to give him a key.
    (((blessings for us all)))
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Moderator Staff Member

    Hello Jam, welcome. I'm sorry you are going through this with your daughter. The first thought I had was that in my experience, when someone is defensive and feels the need to justify their bad behavior, it usually means they know they did something wrong. No matter how you look at this, what your daughter did was inappropriate. Your feelings are completely justified, I would feel violated too. To top it off by her berating you is not acceptable behavior either.

    My advice would be to wait until the anger subsides and then explain your position and how this makes you feel without any blame, simply stating your feelings. If she cannot hear you, then there may be a deeper issue which this incident is uncovering. If you continue to allow her to be at your home, then boundaries need to be in place, whereby any violation of those boundaries will be met with action which would likely be that she is not welcome in your home when you are not present, until she can respect your boundaries. This sounds like a trust issue. You cannot trust someone who blatantly steals from you without permission.

    The good news is, that if you both are willing to address the issue head on, you may be able to find a new ability to communicate which doesn't leave you fearful that an issue with your daughter will impact your relationship with your grandchildren. Sometimes a third party is appropriate, a therapist, a mediator, someone not invested in the situation who can help both parties be able to listen to each other and speak their truth. I tend to look at these kinds of issues as an opportunity for growth, which if you are both willing to be honest with each other and really hear the other person, they are. The relationship between mother and daughter is fraught with deep issues which sometimes surface in odd ways offering an opening to address something which has lain dormant until now. I wish you a quick, compassionate and peaceful resolution.
  7. GRITSNak

    GRITSNak New Member

    My son has stolen $600 from my purse, my medications that he thought he could make a buck off of, a 46 inch television, 2 iphones, an itouch and several pieces of jewelry. He says that we gave him these items and they were his to do whatever with. He says that if its in his room then he owns it and can do whatever he chooses with it. When the meds are mentioned, he just laughs. I have called police and they basically do nothing. I feel so victimized!
    I hate knowing others have had this happen to them too. Is this a bad generation of children or parents? What happened to this generation?
  8. lettinggo4now

    lettinggo4now New Member

    I am new here today. I found the site by "when your child steals from you". I don't have advice I am glad to not feel alone any more. I just can't talk to others about this, they just don't understand.. I love her deeply, don't know who she is anymore. She was very outgoing in show choir, marching band, winter guard etc..then she met this guy who introduced her to spice and she has never been the same. It made her a liar, and good at it. She graduated, 1 yr of college good, next flunked out. She stole pain med. from us and "sold it" says she? when confronted. Went on long term overnights with friends who apparently support her as she can not keep a job.Goes from one place to the next..only home 10% of year. She pierced up her face;-( , ran away with a kid who was 17. Returned..says she is drug free..??? but she is not the daughter I raised for sure. Stole one of our cars, by climbing in window to get keys in a locked room (returned it) in her eyes she borrowed it. We changed the locks, we lock up everything in our room just in case she comes to visit...this week found she climbed in a window (we thought was locked), looked for car keys, found 400 dollars we had just won in a raffle and took it. I went to her confronting her, she denied it. I finally said if what is left is not returned I am going to the police..while we were gone she returned 150 of it.In a place I designated outside our home. All that was left...at least she did??.. I am so sad, but hopeful one day..But, we do not support her, we do not give her money and she is not allowed home to live until she truly turns her life around..still waiting. We bought her a car stipulating when she graduated from college we would change the title to her name..caught her driving high..took her car..that was 6 months ago. So everything she does is on foot or via someone else. We finally said ok, if you get a job hold it and can pay for insurance etc. you can have the car..3 months ago..still ..We are now considering getting rid of it and getting our son a car instead..is that wrong?? It is hard to feel you have to lock up tight, not for strangers, but because of family. She makes plans with us but never shows..it is like she is detached..she says drug free.. I say only drugs could make my daughter act this way..maybe I am wrong, but I don't want to believe the alternative. I read a book , The Prodigal Daughter a true story written by mother and daughter. It helped me to let go and give her to god no matter what happens, I have to. She is an adult, she does know better..she is making these choices..and I do not have to wear it. She has the book, I only pray she reads it..it's her story, it took the girl in the story 4 years and almost losing her life before she got it. So I wait...with tough love and broken heart I wait
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    HELLO lettinggo4now! I caught your post at the end of this thread and wanted to let you know that someone saw it. Most of us find this group and think just what you thought.... FINALLY someone who gets it! We are all just parents who really need each other and love to be there for others too. So, welcome ....

    If you can... go to the SA (substance abuse) forum and click on "new thread"... and introduce yourself. More people will see your post then and we can get to know you, and you us....

    If you click on the settings button at the top of your page too, you will see on the left side a list including signature...you can create a signature describing who you are (as much or little detail as you want, though there is a character limit) so people can remember your situation when posting replies to you!

    Again, welcome...hope we hear from you again.
  10. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Hi Lettinggo4now,

    Yes go to the SA site, most of us there have similar stories. You are most definitely not alone. If you haven't already I suggest finding a good parents alanon group or some support group for parents. It definitely sounds like your daughter is using drugs, probably regularly and that is a big reason she is doing the things she is doing.

    TL
  11. Chasing Happiness

    Chasing Happiness New Member

    My daughter who is now 20 used to steal from us when she lived with us. first it was money, then it was my pain meds when i had surgery, and anything else she felt she could just take. she has shoplifted from stores many times stealing things worth quite alot of money when added up over time. we got so nervous we put a lock on our bedroom door made of a steel bar with a combination lock on each end. i hide my purse when she visits and other family members do the same cause they do not trust her. you are not alone with this.