The Continuing Story...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    So let's see....

    We left off with difficult child really furious because she had gotten herself into trouble for having a suspicious stash of candy in her bedroom....and she swore up and down that that was it and there wasn't any more.

    That was Sunday.

    On Monday, I searched her bedroom and found (yes, you guessed it) more candy wrappers, food wrappers and whole new packs of gum. I removed it...

    On Tuesday, I discovered her with new makeup....and no good explanation as to where it came from. So I sent her to her bedroom. After a minute or two, I went in to her room to calmly discuss the situation with her and discovered MORE GUM. Where did this come from? She says it's her brothers....

    So DS gets called in--he says the gum is difficult child's. She asked him to hide it for her so Mom wouldn't find it during a bedroom search. difficult child denies it and says HE must have taken the gum and is just blaming her...

    My calm demeanor is now fading fast, so I clench my teeth and I tell him that if he has anything else in his bedroom he'd better get it now. He disappears into his room and returns with make-up and hair clips. difficult child is still screaming "That's not mine! That's not mine!!"--but since I have yet to catch DS wearing eyeshadow and barrettes, her story is not washing with me.

    So I have the two of them wait in their bedrooms until husband gets home. He and I discussed what to do about all this stuff that difficult child has--we suspect that she has been stealing it from her volunteer job....but of course, difficult child swears that some of the stuff belongs to DS and some of the stuff was a gift from her boss. We decide to contact her boss and verify the story...

    difficult child, obviously eavesdropping on our conversation, loses it in her back bedroom and begins slamming her head into her closet door. I guess that she figured she would teach us a lesson by giving herself a concussion...

    husband calmly informed difficult child that if she continued to hurt herself, he will take her to the emergency room...who will transfer her to psychiatric hospital. After some growling, screaming and threatening....difficult child did indeed stop slamming her head. We fed her dinner and sent her to bed.

    This morning, difficult child reported to her volunteer job as usual...

    No word yet on whether the boss has read our email.

    So, I guess I am just waiting to hear what happens next...

  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    We just received word back that difficult child's boss does not think that anything is missing....she says that while she was recently out on vacation, difficult child got a few things from the asst manager--but doesn't know any details.

    So, difficult child is feeling very cocky right now....and is kind of strutting around.

    I guess it could be worse...

    But I always hate that I am the subject of this constant attitude and disrespect. And frankly, just because the boss does not accuse her of stealing does not mean that it is OK with me to come home with all kinds of sweets to stash in the bedroom and/or makeup and other goodies.

  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Absoflippinlutely! You GO mom! Methinks she dost protest too loudly...

    We draw those lines for our kids and difficult child's for a REASON and if we expect them to be HONORED we have to dole out a fast and final CONSEQUENCE when they are IGNORED. Otherwise, our parental butts are toast in their minds and we are forever doomed to drawing lines in quicksand... in my humble opinion.

    :sword::warrior: You are WARRIOR MOM! Hear your ROAR! :bigsmile:
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Does a loud groan count as a "roar" ?
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Yes, the loud groan counts.

    I've been groaning a lot lately - but it's batcave making me do it!
  6. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I have a male version of your difficult child. My question is, Why not throw out the wrappers??? Are they asking to be caught? I think mine just doesn't care enough to go to the bother, generally keeps the same hiding spots as well. I'm groaning with you.
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Soda pop cans under the bed. Empty 2-liter in the bottom, back of the fridge. Like I'm not going to find that?

    I sympathize... I'm with ya!
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I don't know about your difficult children, but I think that mine just has so little regard for household rules or consideration for other people that it does not even occur to her to hide her tracks. She wants--she takes....and when she is caught she is angry....especially if she feels like we are being unreasonable, as in "Hey, that's from last week--not fair!"

  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Daisy-I'm sorry you are dealing with this. When difficult child was little he used to do a lot of this. The time he woke up covered in peanut butter from head to toe was really fun-NOT! Hugs.
  10. Charmedpea

    Charmedpea New Member

    the last item i found missing now this is really werid. yes i love to use coupons and will buy backups when its really cheap but dish soap and of course no one knows where they heck it went..

    yes you read that right DISH SOAP!! I sleep with money on me or under my pillow because that is the number one thing that disappears from my bag..
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    "Dish soap" - do you mean dishwashing liquid? or is it something else?

    As for her boss and/or the assistant manager - I think you would need to talk to them in person, find out what story she is telling them. They could be covering for her because you may have been painted to them as controlling, as vindictive, as not allowing her to have any of this stuff at all in any way, ever.

    She sounds like she's hoarding, big-time. A need to possess, even without necessarily needing it. In which case - she would be very beleivable about convincing others that she doesn't get what she needs, that she is deprived and doesn't know what candy tastes like...

    Or she may be begging the boss to not give her away (maybe something small could be missing, or maybe something from customer bags or other staff bags) because if he tells you, she will get beaten, or similar.

    Does the boss know you personally? Does he know what she's like?

  12. ML

    ML Guest

    Just adding my support. Boy I can related to the candy wrappings. I feel like I've come a long way in terms of what is in the home any more but when he spends time with his dad where there are no limits, things do still find their way in.

    I think you're handlng things as best as you can. It's not an easy situation. Bigtime hugs. ML
  13. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I think you are absolutely correct. I think that the boss has indeed been allowing her to take a bit of candy here and there. I also think that difficult child has painted us as completely unreasonable, overly-strict and controlling. My relationship with the boss only extrends to the "hello wave"....while husband has had a few conversations with her.

    We firmly believe that the boss has no idea the actual amount of stuff that has been coming home. husband knows that the boss has NO tolerance for thieves....and one of their first conversations had been when the boss found difficult child taking something without permission, and difficult child explained that she thought she was allowed to help herself to anything she wanted. After that incident, we think that difficult child has been a lot more careful not to get caught.

    Trouble is, we cannot prove what was taken WITH permission and what was taken WITHOUT permission. (and so much of it has already been consumed that we cannot simply go in with a big box of assorted candies--it would just be wrappers).

    Additionally, difficult child was hoping this volunteer opportunity would earn her a letter of recommendation in order to get a paying job. The boss has been really pleased with her. The boss has also spoken to husband about offering HIM a job. So we didn't want to create trouble un-necessarily.

    We decided that our goal was not to get difficult child fired and/or charged with theft based solely upon OUR suspicians. husband simply sent a carefully worded email to the boss, which mentioned that we are finding an awful lot of candy, gum, makeup and other items coming home and we just want to ensure that our daughter is following the boss's policy. With that, we felt that if the boss decided to fire her--it was the boss's decision.

    Instead, we received an email in reply which sounds like the boss is giving her the benefit of the doubt. husband and I decided that if the boss does not want to pursue it any farther....that is her decision....we will not be pushing the issue. We notified her of our findings, and that's it.

    As for me, I have begun checking her pockets each day when I pick her up. If difficult child wants to sneak anything else home, she will have to hide it somewhere else. Hopefully, I will not have to escalate to strip searching...

  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It sounds like you've done the right thing re the boss. Would it do any good to talk to difficult child about how she needs to value the good chance she has and not blow it; if she so desperately wants the candy, can she think of a more appropriate way to get it without risking her good name with the boss?

    It must be so demeaning to her to have you search her like this. Such a pity you have to - the desire to hoard must be so very strong if it has allowed her to get to this stage.

    Where is this coming from? Is your concern related to weight problem? In which case, this may not be the best way to handle it. Or is it the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) side of things that is worrying you?

    Something my sister used to do when her kids were younger and at Christmas time, you might be able to adapt this - she had a bowl of candy for each family member and it was theirs to eat whenever and however they wanted. SO if they wanted to eat it all in one go and thennot eat their dinner, that was their choice. Once it was gone, it was gone and it would only be one dinner that was affected.

    Obviously in your daughter's case, this would almost certianly have her raiding other people's bowls, but what about having a bowl of candy out in the open, just for her? Iit could be refilled once a week and she can help herself at any time with no repercussions. But not in the bedroom - we have a strict rule on that here because ANY food left in bedrooms is found by ants. We live too close to the Aussie bush and wildlife is everywhere, most of it invertebrate. easy child 2/difficult child 2 bought herself a bag of candy (huge bag of Jelly Bellies) and kept them in a tin in her room. The ants found them, she was not happy (they are expensive). I was not happy - when ants come looking in one bedroom, they can set up house in the next door one and will then feast on ANYTHING, including the occasional dead cockroach (and we all have those). Our aim in our household is to starve out the ants (and other denizens) and hoarded food works against that.

    An alternative (if the ant issue is one you can push) is to keep her candy ration public but in a sealed glass jar. There are rules - stock must be rotated, so if she doens't like the black jelly beans she needs to give them to her brother rather than let them build up or risk getting dropped on the floor. Hygiene rules MUST apply but if she knows her access to candy will not be cut off, she may reduce the desperate desire to hoard.

    It's only a suggestion - you know the situation better than I do, obviously. Maybe my idea is something you've already tried and discarded, but maybe even if you can't use it, it could suggest something else to you.

    If it's her weight that is the issue (even partly) then this hoarding is the worst thing. The more she is pestered about it, the more she will hoard. Catch 22, it will get worse. I have talked about this one with my best friend who had huge weight issues from early childhood plus a father who tried to bully her into being slim like her beautiful sister. She now sees her sister's daughter with even bigger issues (no pun intended) and yes, hoarding is/has been involved.

    Example - every teenager goes to the fridge and stands there window shopping, eventually to pull out something to eat or drink. Slim ones do it, fat ones do it. But my friend would ALWAYS have her father yell, "That's right, go stuff your face again!" when all she wanted sometimes was a glass of chilled water. So when he said that, she would go eat something as comfort food. When we had this problem with easy child, we handled it NOT by nagging, but by making sure we only had healthy food in the fridge. So if she wanted something, there was plenty of good stuff there - carrot sticks, celery sticks, lots of healthy dips (and tasty ones, ones she loves) as well as cooked meat earmarked for dinner so it didn't matter if she ate that and spoiled her appetite - it just meant she had eaten dinner early! The rest of us had to give up access to junk food but we felt it was a healthy family decision and the skinny kids didn't NEED junk food any more than easy child did. That way we ALL lived by the new rule. No ice cream, only fresh fruit. I would freeze fresh fruit, pureed, into icy poles. Puree in banana or mango and you have enough natural sugar as well as a creamy texture. Frozen orange juice in summer is a delight. Put some in a cup, put it in the freezer then a couple of hours later, eat it with a spon and it's orange granita!

    Anyway, just ideas. I agree with you about the boss. And she will be keeping her eyes a bit wider open now, maybe. No longer your problem, there. Anything goes wrong now, it's entirely on difficult child. She's warned, so is the boss.

  15. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I appreciate your thoughtful suggestions....but I think it is hoarding more for the sake of hoarding than for hunger. One of the items that came home was computer memory cards--she doesn't even own anything that takes the kind of card she brought home! She also brought home decorative hair clips--even though she already has all kinds of hair accessories and never does anything with her hair but pull it into a ponytail.

    The insect problem around here is cockroaches. UUUGGHHH! So yes, we are very strict about food in the bedrooms (but evidently not strict enough?) and we have a NO GUM policy. The no gum probably sounds pretty harsh, but I was very clear with both children--I told them as soon as I find gum anywhere it does not belong--there will be NO GUM allowed in this house. difficult child began discarding her used gum by just sticking it wherever she happened to be--under the kitchen table, on the side of the mouldings....and then one day I found the DOG chewing her used gum!!! That was it--no more gum in this house. So naturally, difficult child has been bringing it home by the handful.

    I am not sure what the solution is to this problem....but hopefully, it is something she will get under control before it gets her in trouble with the law.

  16. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Could you ask the boss to email you if she rewards your daughter with candy etc?

    I think you're handling this all EXTREMELY well......hang in there Mom. Loved the part about how nonchalant you were in discovering that your husband could have the potential to wear makeup and hair barettes. LOL ROFL...OMG - I'm still laughing thinking about the look on your face...nice one.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    There seems to be a link between something being forbidden and her wanting to hoard it. I'm thinking you may need to change your strategy from forbidding something, to making her clean up (standing over her if necessary). She needs to understand WHY the rules are there, not just for her to kick against by hoarding.

    We have similar problems here. difficult child 3 collects stuff. Right now it's our twice annual council clea up, when people put stuff out on the kerb for collection by the large garbage trucks. The stuff can range from furniture to broken toys etc, and difficult child 3 brings home loads of stuff if we let him. He's getting more discerning. I also can sometimes bring home stuff - husband wanted a small terracotta pot and a cracked one was being thrown out as I walked home yesterday so I asked if I could have it, and they gave it to me.

    But difficult child 3 will collect other stuff too. PLus he eats food and leaves the wrappers anywhere. He collects the paddlepop sticks from ice creams he's eaten. Or leaves them wherever. I go to the fridge to get a slice of cheese and find the packet is empty. The cheese comes in a clear plastic case with sealed plastic bags inside. There are two packs per each case, but I often find four or five empty plastic bags in the case, often underneath another pack of cheese! Empty boxes in the freezer... it goes on. Sticks, stones, electronic parts. At the moment it's computers. He found a couple in the clean-up pile, brought them home. To his credit he didn't take much convincing that those computers, although working, were too slow and old to work proplery on the Internet and his computers (he currently has two working computers!) are both faster than the dinosaurs he had liberated. So he agreed to put at least one of them out in the rubbish (it then disappeared less than half an hour later - it was not difficult child 3).

    With difficult child 3, when I find his trash and his empty packets, I call him to clean it up. Even if I'm standing next to the recycling bin and difficult child 3 is at the other end of the house - I call him to deal with his rubbish.

    Ages ago I tried banning stuff. It didn't work. Instead we had to find a location. So sticks & stones brought home - they must be kept outside. If the stone is an interesting geological specimen (as agreed by the family) then it can go in the display cabinet. Toys (the freebies you get in packets of stuff) have to be collected together in an old ice cream bucket or similar.

    Our house is still messy, but it's a work in progress. So is difficult child 3. At least his hoarding is right where we can see it and try to help HIM learn some control. Judging by the lack of stuff (comparatively) thta he brought home thisclean-up, I think we're finally winning.

    With your difficult child - if you find wrappers, you find gum - make her come and clean it up. Better still, do random inspections with her, and hand her the cleaning rags and the rubbish bag. If she doesn't want to throw something out, ask her what it is about that thing that she wants to keep. Why is it? She needs to know the answers herself, not just tell you what she thinks you want to hear.

    The aim of the exercise is longer-term than just you having a rtidy house. The ultimate aim is for her to be functional later in life. She needs to begin preparing for this now, by her finding out and understanding in herself why she does this, so she can learn to manage her own hoarding tendencies.

    otherwiseshe will end up as one of those sad cases we see on TV, where they bring in the TV cameras at the same time as the pest control people and the health inspectors.

    It's very hard to hoard when you're a bag lady on the streets, you can tell her. Best to learn how to manage herself now, while she has a roof over her head under which to hoard.