Why is my 15 year old stealing all of the time

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by fabfive, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. fabfive

    fabfive New Member

    I posted this past summer due to issues with my 15 year old daughter. She has had issues with making threats at school (she's beyond obsessed with school shootings), severe depression, cutting, and suicidal thoughts. She also lies.all.of.the.time. About everything. She has been in an inpatient facility twice and all they did was adjust her medications and send us back to counseling. Her current diagnoses are ADHD and severe depression. We see a therapist every week.

    This past September I caught her trying to steal from Target. She had her purse and pockets FILLED with stuff. First she tried to tell me, you know because I was born last night :rolleyes:, that my sister gave her the stuff. We got to the front of the store so I could checkout and she was like, "Sorry mom, I am trying to steal. I will go put everything back." Part of me actually HOPED she would get caught so maybe it would straighten her out but no one stopped us as we were leaving. I found out later that day that she had successfully stolen from the Dollar Tree earlier that day and from the gas station and grocery when she was out with husband a few nights prior to that. We actually had an appointment already scheduled the next day for her psychiatric evaluation but the Dr. didn't really say too much about her stealing. Just two weeks ago she got send to in-school suspension for taking $220 out of a student's backpack (she gave it back before getting caught but the student was still short $10). She claims all that was was a "joke" and it wouldn't happen again.

    I get a call from her at 7:15 this morning. She had already started the tears, the awful whining voice she does when she's been caught doing something, and she was informing me that the school would be calling me in a bit because she has been suspended. WTF. Yup, you guessed it- theft. She has been buying her breakfast at school and taking extras ALL YEAR LONG. She admitted this to me and the school. And then the texts started. She is going to hang herself, she's such an embarrassment to us, etc, etc, etc. I have not let her out of my sight in the 4 hours she has been home.

    The school will be pressing charges. They told husband she won't be going to JD, it's just probation. She doesn't seem to care at all.

  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Most likely to sell items to pay for drugs. That's the #1 reason teens steal.

    Has she stolen from you too?

    I would think she is using drugs and selling to pay for her stash. It is extremely common. Also drug use kills your moral compass
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The only other common reason I'm aware of for stealing is some form of mental illness. Given what you have already posted about her, it might make sense.

    Has she ever had a comprehensive evaluation?
  4. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    For me it kind of sounds different from stealing to finance addiction. It seems to lack certain... stealth, so to say. Pockets full of stuff while in shop with mom, just doesn't sound a well-thought strategy to finance addiction.

    Some teens do steal because they want the things they steal. Or for the rush. But it doesn't sound like either of those neither. It of course can be drugs, but do not forget the possibility of some mental health issue. Stealing is quite common with bipolar for example.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    After reading some older posts of yours, I think your daughter needs a lot of help. Has she stopped threatening violence at school? Sounds like, drugs or no drugs, she has a lot of issues that need addressing. Hugs, and good luck, whatever you decide to do. Unfortunately, she will learn how stealing is from natural consequences. Stores DO call the police. My son stole potato chips at maybe age eleven and they called the cops on him. They won't let stealing just go by the wayside. Some kids get scared and learn; some don't. Your child has many serious issues that need addressing.
    Now while dealing with her, be SURE to take care of YOURSELF too. It will do her or anyone no good if you don't take time out for yourself and make sure your health and outlook stay good, in spite of your daughter's problems. I assume she is seeing a psychiatrist?