Stealing from home.


New Member
My daughter is twenty now but doesn't make enough to be on her own yet.
Over the past eight years we have repeatedly caught her stealing from me. Each time we discussed it. We set firm cosequences, and made her make restitution.
But today I came to realize she's been stealing my credit cards to use for things like trips to starbucks, gas and other things. She used two different cards and put almost a dozen charges on them over the past few months. I'm hurt, angry and feel betrayed.
I told her that on top of paying off my credit cards I need her to start seeing a counselor of her choice every pay period out of her own money for the next six months or she will not be allowed to stay here. I told her she'll have to turn in the counseling reciept to me.
She's been through a lot, (we fled abuse when she was 11) there was trauma she/we experienced at the hands of her dad that she's never been willing to work through. But I'm at my whitts end not knowing what to do.


Staff member
Welcome @wearyone

I am so sorry your daughter is stealing from you. Under these circumstances you have every reason to feel hurt, angry and betrayed.

Your family history sounds difficult and complicated. Remember you can only do what you can do at this point. Your daughter is an adult responsible for her own outcome. Your intentions are good.

I'm going to move your thread into our Parent Emeritus forum where parents discuss issues with their children that are over 18. There is a lot of wisdom shared there. Hopefully others will come along and offer you their support.

Hang in there. You are not alone.

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Hi wearyone, welcome to the forum, I just discovered your post. It brings a lot of memories back for me, we have had the same issue.
I am sorry for your reason to be here, it is hard when our adult d cs create this kind of hurt and drama.
You are not alone, you have landed at a good place.
I do not have time to write more, got to go to my sons practice, but I will write later on.
Others will come along and post.
I am sorry for your hurting heart.



one day at a time
Hi Wearyone and welcome.

I can only imagine how difficult it would be to try to deal with your daughter, knowing there is a painful history and all of the feelings that come with that.

For a long, long time with my son, my divorce was my obstacle in dealing more effectively with him. My ex-husband and I separated when my son was going into his senior year of high school. I know it was very hard on him. He was already anxious and at least mildly depressed, I believe, and I am sure our separation shook him to his very foundations. He was able to graduate and continue playing high school soccer, and the really bad things didn't start happening until after he graduated from h.s., but I felt guilty about his dad moving out for a long time.

I told her that on top of paying off my credit cards I need her to start seeing a counselor of her choice every pay period out of her own money for the next six months or she will not be allowed to stay here. I told her she'll have to turn in the counseling reciept to me.

I remember when my son started stealing from me. It was a huge shock to me and shook me to my own very foundations. I couldn't figure out what to do at first, because he was living here, and all of a sudden, everything he said and did was suspect. The first time I discovered it, he had taken my debit card and gotten $60 out of the ATM. I confronted him, he denied it, and I was so upset that I went to the bank and asked them for a videotape of the ATM (oh my!!!) because I was going nuts trying to figure out whether he had really done it or not. I was very very naive for a long time when it came to him. I truly could not get my mind around many things I later found out were commonplace for him.

It took me a long time to get strong enough to start setting clear boundaries and then following through with them. I might set a boundary (yelling and crying and very upset) but then I couldn't go through with it. I would go to extremes---let him get away with everything...and then clamp down on virtually everything. Neither position is sustainable. I didn't know how to set boundaries at all.

Most often, Wearyone, we are the last to know what is really going on with our DCs. What we see is the tip of the iceberg. We really don't need to know it all...except to know more would help us strengthen our resolve to start the work of change in ourselves.

Your daughter needs boundaries just like my son did and still does. Figuring out where those boundaries need to be isn't easy and determining consequences and then sticking to them is very hard to do, when we love someone and then we get confused because of circumstances.

Can you live with the boundary you have set and follow through with it? You may be ready to do it. I know it took me a long time to get to the point to say: Either this or else you are out of this house. The first time I kicked him out I sat down with him to go over yet another contract I had written up for him to sign. He tore it up in my face. That was actually good for me, because I was able to let him walk out the door.

He came back later, a few times, and we did the same cycle all over again until the last time was the last time.

Our DCs will test us over and over again until we get strong enough to set firm, clear boundaries and stick to them. I learned to try not to set a boundary when I was very upset because I had a scorched earth, take-no-prisoners, all-or-nothing attitude during those times and I would wildly set a boundary that I would never be able to maintain. I was desperate.

As I worked on me, I was able to learn about boundaries and be calmer and more kind when I set them, although it was still surreal for a long long time, to say the things I ended up saying to my own son. It is very painful to do, and I was a very slow learner when it came to him. I gave a million chances. None of them worked.

Please keep sharing here. It's okay to try something and it not to work out. We understand that here. We love our kids so very much. We can't believe we are in the position we are in. It doesn't feel right at all. We have to learn, over time, to separate our feelings from our actions, and for people like me (totally feelings driven) it is very hard and a one-step-forward, ten-steps-backward thing.

But over time, if we work hard, we can move forward and set boundaries...and that is exactly what I believe they our DCs. As long as we are holding tight to the safety net, catching them when they fall, making life okay even when they are not making their own lives okay, working harder than they are...enabling bad behavior...they will continue. They will not stop.

We have to be the change, first, not them.

We're here for you. Warm hugs this morning.