What to do

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Enablenomore, Sep 3, 2019.

  1. Enablenomore

    Enablenomore New Member

    I have an adult daughter living at home still. Only part time job with apparent refusal to look for something more. I just left my local grocery store and her picture is on the door with a Huge sign that “shoplifters NOT welcome.” I feel so completely embarrassed!!! It’s the small type store where they recognize you and your family. I don’t even know what to do. My husband is at work which is I would normally be, that’s for another time. Do I talk to the store director? Do I call the police? I feel so lost right now. I am literally sitting in my car to avoid going in. She’s in there.
    Any suggestions anyone has to offer will be much appreciated!
  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I have a 33 year old daughter who can no longer ever live with us. Ever. We had in the past bought her places to live. I do not recommend what we did!

    How embarrassing for you. Obviously your daughter shoplifted. Mine stole but mostly from relatives, at least that I heard of. Does your daughter abuse any substances? Have any kids? How old is she?

    If she uses drugs, including alcohol and daily pot like my Kay, I recommend you go to Al Anon AND a private therapist to learn how to cope with the stress. We were horrible enablers but one thing we would not do was allow Kay to live with us. She was impossible to live with and would not follow our house rules and was very abusive. Still is.

    Maybe share a bit more. None of us are here to judge you. Promise.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  3. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what I would do, so don't take this as what you should do.

    Hopefully, I would contact the store manager/owner and explain that you saw the photo, that you feel awful, that it is your daughter. Tell him her name and address, and that he should do what he needs to do with the info, or, give the info to the police.

    If it's a small town, someone will be telling them soon anyway. This way, maybe you won't feel bad going in to the store.

    Maybe if there are consequences she will be less likely to continue down this path. Does she have substance abuse issues?

    I'm sorry you are going thru this. Ksm
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  4. Enablenomore

    Enablenomore New Member

    In response to both of you, she has had issues with pot in the past, as far as I am aware. At least she hasn’t been doing it here, like she’s done before. She is 20.
    Not a really small town but some of my distant relatives also shop there.
    More feelings of embarrassment.
    We have explained, consoled, asked questions, exploded unfortunately and Nothing seems to help.

    She lost State ID card and SS card almost a year ago and barely got the SS card replacement (with my help). Probably would not be done with out my help.
    And the whole time has acted like it’s no big deal that someone could have possibly stolen her identity.

    There are so many things, I could go on forever.
    The only thing that has been a possibility for mental health is high functioning autism which she only tries to use as a crutch or excuse.
    So beyond frustrating, makes me feel like an awful parent because I think I have already “detached” maybe a little too much.
    Thankfully no kids at this point
  5. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    I'm sorry. That would be incredibly embarrassing.

    My daughter has stole from relatives as well. I WISH they'd put a poster of her up on the door saying she's not welcome there. Kidding not kidding. Kind of making light, obviously.

    Do you feel comfortable telling her how you feel? That you saw the poster and it's embarrassing to you?
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  6. Enablenomore

    Enablenomore New Member

    I did actually. It simply doesn’t seem to even bother her. She put on a show of emotions with a few tears running down. She is one that has lied so much, it’s a perfect example of “the boy that cried wolf”
  7. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Welcome, ENM.

    How awful. I am so sorry that happened. One of those parenting moments that make us wonder what the £*[] happened, because obviously they weren’t raised that way...

    No one here will judge. I know I won’t! When my son was about 21, he was living in our home because he was “between” jobs ( not working and refusing to look ). There was an opening at the health food store where I worked on an occasional basis. I got an application for Son and let my boss know he would be applying. I was also forcing Son to drop applications off at other employers in town, most of whom said they drug-tested before hiring.

    A few days later, I arrived at work. Taped to the front door was a blurry surveillance photo of a man who stole a “clean your pee” kit to pass urine drug screening. The face wasn’t visible in the photo, but the figure was thin with light brown hair (like Son) and was wearing a striped shirt like the one Son was wearing that day. It seemed too odd to have been a coincidence.

    Of course Son denied it was him, and I didn’t have any proof it was, so I couldn’t and didn’t pursue it...but I sure didn’t follow up on Son applying where I worked!

    This is on your daughter, not on you.
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  8. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    I agree with the others. Do you have any other family living in your home? Does your daughter go to school? I would set some firm boundaries with her. I think she needs them and so do you.

    Give her a timeline to get a full time job or she must leave. If you don't get tough, she may never do anything.

    I know with our son I constantly remind him that he is a "man". He is an "adult". He is back home after a lot of stuff - some of which is in my signature.

    We want to just ignore the behaviors but in reality we do have to deal with it or it gets worse. At least that has been my experience.

    It sounds like you are ready for a big change and good for you!

    Do what you feel is right with the theft. It would be hard for me to let that go to be honest.
  9. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    I know how embarrassing this is. People in my family have had their names in the newspaper for shoplifting. The sign on the window at the store listed the names of people who had written bad checks. I share their last name. The person in my family who did this is in his late thirties, and only recently has he had steady employment. Before now, I think he had worked a total of five months in his whole life. I remember when he got suspended for smoking pot in high school. Instead of enforcing a real punishment, his parents thought putting him in a Christian school would straighten him out. It didn't. His name was in the newspaper because he got caught smoking crack. No interest in work until his inheritance was all spent. $400 phones, satellite radio, etc.

    People in my husband's extended family have also been in trouble for shoplifting. One of them was 14 when all this started. The kid's parents should have laid down the law, but chose to let it go. From that point, his behavior became worse. The police were showing up at his house an average of every two weeks because he was getting into fights with his father and brother. He was suspended several times from school. His GPA was as low as it can get. Eventually, his behavior escalated to worse things. He was shot at during a drug deal, but the bullet didn't but him. He was selling and smoking pot. He got his girlfriend pregnant. He knew his grandparents didn't approve of abortion, so he offered to do yard work because he "wanted some extra money". When his grandma found out she had unknowingly paid for an abortion, she was furious. Then the kid went on trial for a very serious, violent crime which I won't go into detail about. His car was almost repossessed.

    Bottom line: When you let this behavior go unpunished, it escalates into more serious behavior. Shoplifting is a misdemeanor, but what happens down the road are charges much worse than a misdemeanor.
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    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  10. Nandina

    Nandina Member

    When my son was in about 5th grade, we were shopping and he stole a small plastic animal figurine and put it in his pocket. I found it later. This was our first experience with any shoplifting and we wanted to teach him a lesson. So I called the store, talked to the manager and he was so understanding with my need to teach son a lesson. He agreed to let us bring him back to the store with the toy, apologize, pay for it and he would also speak to our son. Being “in on it,” first he spoke to us, with son waiting outside the door, then he spoke to son alone. (We were outside the door and could hear everything). Afterward, he and son walked back out, and he told us he warned son that next time the police might have to be called and that he would let it go “this time.” We were grateful for the manager’s extra effort to help teach our son this much needed lesson.

    Son was white as a ghost and shakin’ like a leaf! He said on the way home he was never going to let that happen again. All was well and good for about a month, then I started to hear that son was stealing things from classmates, teacher’s desk, teacher’s lounge, and here and there I would find evidence that he had shoplifted small items from stores when he was with me. The boy was sneaky and could put something into his pocket when you blinked! And he would wait for that moment when you were distracted to do so. The teachers were aware of this as well and watched him like a hawk. He was already in a school for kids with behavioral issues.

    Fast forward to middle school, high school...he stole cellphones, Chromebooks—he stole one from a teacher and downloaded porn on it—could have gotten the teacher fired...and clothes and shoes that he hid in his locker at school...cds and dvds...not expensive items but nonetheless, he was committing a crime. He stole from Walmart and we begged them to at least talk to him but their policy with juveniles is unless the item is worth at least $500 (I think it was) they don’t bother! We still made him return the item, tell them he stole it and apologize. But what good did that do? It certainly didn’t seem to embarrass him, because he kept it up until he was caught and put in juvenile detention. And it even continued after that. He got banned from Walmart but would sneak over there anyway, just walking distance from his school. We tried counseling, residential treatment, a boot camp type program, intensive outpatient. Nothing worked.

    It never ended, no matter what consequence we gave or how much trouble he got into at school or wherever. His impulsive need to take things always trumped any punishment or consequence. He is 18 now, no longer living in the home, but I feel if he really wanted something and thought he could get away with it, he would take it in a heartbeat, damn the consequences even though he’s now an adult and could get into serious trouble.

    Not that this is an excuse, but he is adopted, drug/alcohol exposed in utero and is mildly impaired from it. I often wondered if the impulsiveness and that constant urge to sneak/steal with no regard for consequence was related. I have learned a lot about the brain since having him. His mother used crack and probably meth and drank during her first trimester, apparently when his brain was developing.

    I totally agree with what the others in this thread have said about never letting misbehaviors go without a consequence. We were firmly committed to that with all our kids (3). Unfortunately, it seems some kids are just incapable of learning a lesson, no matter how hard you try. I am hoping for maturity to kick in, the two sides of the brain to come together or something—I don’t know what else we could have done or can do at this point other than continue to be a positive role model and hope it may someday rub off.
  11. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Sometimes you have to scare kids into behaving well. My parents will tell you I was a difficult child, even though I was a very well behaved child. When I was four years old, I threatened to steal a book from the grocery store. My dad scared me so badly, that the thought never entered my mind again. We were a very strict, religious family. My dad opened the Bible and showed me the ten commandments. He had me convinced I was going to hell. He described what hell would be like. Whenever I made any grade below a B, my mom would drive me through the projects and tell me that was the life I was destined for. My parents told me if I didn't go to college that I would ruin my life and live in poverty. I wouldn't be able to afford to go to the dentist and all my teeth would turn black, I would have to wear clothes with holes, drive a beat up car, etc. Fear tactics worked for me. Money was a good motivator. My dad controlled my behavior with money. I always behaved, but the better I behaved, the more money he gave me. Naturally, I wanted all the money I could get, so I was a little angel! The scare tactics worked when it came to other things. My parents would open the Bible and show me scripture. It was frightening because I truly thought I was going to hell for the slightest little thing. When I was in high school, teen pregnancy was at an all-time high. My parents and teachers told me if I got pregnant that it would ruin my life, be economically devastating, and that it was a grave sin. It was also the time of the AIDS epidemic, which scared me to death. MTV showed commercials and public service announcements about AIDS nonstop. The commercials were very graphic, showing what people with AIDS looked like--purple lesions on their skin, unimaginable agony, and suffering on their death beds. The insurance agent came to school one day and explained to all the students that if we drove drunk, we would end up homeless because our parents would lose the house and everything else because the family of the person we killed would file a civil suit for $10 million. Our parents' wages would be garnished, and we wouldn't even have enough money for groceries. Those things were enough to scare me into behaving well. The guidance counselors told all the students during a big meeting one day that if we used drugs that we would end up like other students in the school who were prostituting themselves. During that time, there were several murders of prostitutes in our area. I was told that would happen to me if I used drugs. The evening news can scare a teenage girl. My parents wouldn't let me go to clubs because they said I would get raped and murdered. No rock concerts because I would get raped and murdered. My dad was paying my tuition, so he had total control over me. I needed him to pay my tuition because if I wanted to make good grades, I couldn't work. I was also having migraines during that time and couldn't have kept my grades up if I had worked. If I disobeyed, my tuition wouldn't get paid, and I would have to live in a roach infested apartment in a rough part of town where I could be raped and murdered. Fear and money work, folks.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  12. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I think a lot of our adopted kids had birth mothers who drank while pregnant and alcohol to a developing fetus, I was told, is worse than cocaine, although nothing is helpful. For any of us who gave birth, we took Prenatal vitamins. We ate well. We saw the doctor. We did not dare drink. I never took anything, not even a headache medication.

    Where Kay comes from drinking is a big deal. Im pretty sure her birthmother drank during her pregnancy. Bless her, she was not well educated and knew no better I suppose. She did not see doctors during her pregnancy. She kind of just showed up at the orphanage saying she can't raise the baby then left. That is all we were told. What illnesses ran in her family? We don't know. Many birthparents are mentally ill and pass it to offsprings. Moms who give up parental rights tend to be less stable or drug addicts or alcoholics. This doesn't go away because we love them and give them good lives.

    I do think fetal alcohol kids have brain damage and I was told that these kids can't learn by consequences, not even jail. What I was told by experts scared me. Kay never learned. I don't know what to do with an adult child with brain damage. I don't know if Kay has any. She wont go to find out. I know SHE drank while pregnant. And smoked pot.

    Jaden is not a normal toddler. He is hyper and cries over everything and is delayed.

    My main issue is that Kay will not go find out what is wrong with her so we are clueless about her and why she is how she is. Ignorance is not bliss here. She guarantees she will get no help at all. We cant help what we cant define. Maybe not even then. Her pediatricians told us she would mature out of her behavior but she did not.

    If she is this way due to brain damage we still can't live with it, but maybe she could get community's services. It is hard to handle and we are older now.

    We are done. There is nothing more we can do.
  13. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    I agree. There is only so much that can be done for adopted kids who suffer from Reactive Attachment Disorder, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, etc. When it comes to other kids, they can usually learn from consequences if their parents enforce harsh punishments.