Saturday, February 05, 2011

My little klepto...

When I was 8 years old one of my parents took me along with them to Neil's Fine Foods in the thriving metropolis of downtown Vale, Oregon.  As we wandered along getting what we needed I saw a pack of butterrum lifesavers that I dearly and desperately wanted.

So I took them.

Yup, I was a little thief at the tender age of 8. 

I wasn't a very smart thief, though.  As soon as we got home I was munching on those delicious butterrum lifesavers when one of my siblings...asked for one.  Of course I refused.  These were MY treat.  I'd been the one to go to all the trouble of sneaking them out of the store...

Well, what do kids do when their sister won't share?  "MOM!  Anna won't let me have any of her lifesavers!"

Oops.  Mom wanted to know where I got them from.  It didn't take much.  A stern look and I already knew I was toast.  I fessed up and apologized, but that wasn't enough.

My dad marched me back to Neil's fine foods with money from my piggybank.  We marched in the store and right up the big tall staircase to Neil's office.

I was terrified.

And Neil was probably pretty kind about the whole thing, but I'd built up the situation so much in my 8 year old mind that in my recollection he roughed me up some, threatened to break my barbie if I ever did it again and gave me a death glare that I'll never forget.

And I never did.  Stealing is a BIG no-no in my house.  Period. 

So what do I do with my little 8 year old klepto?  I can only "be" Neil so many times before the death glare gets old.  She knows the consequences and still does it.  Right now its treats...candy, fruit snacks, etc.  I've decided I'm going to have to put a lock on a cupboard to keep her out.

Unless someone out there has a different brilliant suggestion?


TheMuffinMom said...

Doesn't sound like she's stealing; she's just sneaking treats from her own home. I did it all the time! If I stole from the store, sure mom and dad marched me down there to make formal apologies, etc. But if I snuck treats out of the *family* cabinets, my mom never punished me. Ditto for me and my children--it is all our home, our food, and as long as Mamma continues to snack in between meals, I can't very well expect my kids to never munch anything in-between, either.

One time, however, my DD broke into my chocolate chip stash, so the next time I baked cookies, I made some cookies without any chips in them and said, "These are for you, since you already snuck some of the chocolate chips." That ended the chip robberies, lol!

TheMuffinMom said...

PS--I like the lock on the cupboards idea, but alas, *I* (chubby mama) steal more goodies from said cupboards on a daily basis than my (skinny) children do. What I really need is a cabinet lock that admits children and keeps out mom!!! :P

The Hannant Family said...

I need to put a lock on my pantry too. Noah does that. He will sneak candy. The fact that he sneaks it tells me he knows it's wrong. I don't know what to tell you to do. My kids know they are supposed to ask for treats. If it's a healthy snack or crackers, that kind of thing they are free to get it but if it's chips or candy they are supposed to ask. I would prefer if they always just ask because it's polite. Good luck!! Know you are an awesome mom and you'll figure it out.

The Days of your Life said...

Oh, that's a hard one! With her history, why is she doing this? It could be anything, from pure defiance to an underlying issue that needs to be addressed! Hang in there!
Maybe have her write a story about a child who steals and gets into trouble. she's a great writer. You might find something interesting in it. Maybe keep a journal about how she feels when she gets in trouble.
Anyway, there are as many ideas out there as people, but sometimes writing helps - I know it does for you and me! Love you!