So Angry at All the Lying, Stealing and Sneaking

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, May 2, 2009.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I know that this is not really a new topic....

    But here I was, going along, thinking things were improving in my household
    (stupid me!!)....only to discover today that all of my silver change is gone....AND food (mostly sugars) is missing from my pantry again....AND I received a phone bill showing that difficult child has been making rapid-fire long-distance calls to some boy. (What do I mean by rapid-fire? She called at 7:30, 7:31, 7:32, 7:33, 7:34, 7:35 etc etc etc etc. And because the answering machine picked up each time, we were charged for the long-distance call!) We don't even have long-distance on our home phone--she used some dial-around service.

    I am LIVID!!!

    And difficult child's response...? O, I don't know anything about it.

    Did anyone ever figure out a way to get this under control? Or do I really have to keep all of my nickels under lock and key and hide the cooking spices under my bed?


  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Unless someone has a better idea.....sorry hun. Time to bring out the locks. We had quite the collection of the state quarters.

    At one time.

    Then difficult child decided he needed them.

    I used to be able to keep anything in the house that I wanted. Not anymore. Any and all sweets/snacks and sometimes even other ingredients are kept locked in my room. Which, by the way, has a deadbolt on the door. My purse is kept in there, husband's wallet, anything of value be it monetary or's all locked in my room. I even keep my toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, etc.) in there as difficult child will use it or play with it. (THAT really irks me....for carps sake! The boy is GROWN!!!)

    Once they decide that they "need" something, there's no telling them to stop. It just doesn't happen. You need to lock things up. Period. I wouldn't even make an issue of it. Just install the lock and remove the "tempting" items from around the house and don't say a word. If difficult child asks? Well, it's funny...things just keep disappearing around here and no one seems to know how it happens. So, since I would like to keep my things, I'm locking it all up.

    Also, make sure that your bedroom windows are locked. If you are like me, and like to have the windows open, I use the little bracket things on the windows that prevent them from being opened beyond a certain point. Mine came with the windows but I'm sure there would be something you could get at a hardware store.

    As for the key? It stays on you and/or husband. (And I lock the bathroom door when I'm in the shower just in case difficult child decides to get ideas of getting the key when I can't chase him down.)

    We keep our door locked even when we are home. If we're not going to be in there, if we're working in the yard or even if we step out for just a minute....the door is locked. It's a pain yes, but worth it if you want to keep things.

    I'm sorry you are at this point, it hoovers, I know. But, sometimes that is the reality of a difficult child in the house.

  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    I agree this is really the point when owning a difficult child becomes a nightmare. The sense of being violated just seems to go right through you.

    Because I have always lived in a mobile home since this became a real issue putting locks on my door was a moot point. Locks dont work well on flimsy mobile home doors. Its like putting locks on toilet Instead I ended up getting a safe but it took me years of knocking my head against a wall of trying to outwit him and I should have just done it sooner.

    As far as the phone....Oh I have so been there! When I first came here that was one of my first complaints and I had to have a phone or I probably would have cut the darn thing off.

    Cory met a girl on the internet and he started calling her in Month A. I got the bill for Month A and saw charges for about $750. I hit the fan. I called the phone company and got rid of long distance service and put a password on my account and worked with the phone company to try to figure out how to stop him. We thought we had him licked.

    Month 2 comes. More charges. He bypassed the no long distance service by using a 1-800 long distance service. Ok....we put blocks on my phone so that I couldnt call even 1800 numbers from my phone and I started taking my phone from the house everytime I left the house and my phone account was notated that a severely mentally ill person lived at that number. the way...the charges that month were in the neighborhood of another $700.

    Month 3 comes. I am just sure that we have it licked. Oh no! He has just learned to borrow an old phone from a neighbor and hide it from me and now he calls the operator and dials calls using operator assistance! This is war now. Now the phone company completely blocks my phone number down. I cant call anything but local numbers. I cant call the operator, I cant call 1800, I cant call anything. I cant even call 411. I cant get collect calls either. That has been in effect for 10 years now and they dont charge me for it because he was mentally ill.

    All told....his little phone escapade costs us nearly 2K.
  4. compassion

    compassion Member

    (((( Daisyface)))) I have had to sadly accept that difficult child (first home visit this weekend from Residential Treatment Center (RTC)) cannot use cell phone, at least for now. She has to use home phone and I must approve all calls, they must be before 6 PM and limited to wo minutes. We made up contract with her hopital family therapist and if she can adhere for 3 months, then we will look at cell phone. It is impulsie conteol. With that, I would track all numbers.
    Sadly, we have safes. I locked up my credit cards,cash. Hopefully her self contol will get to a point this is no longer necessary but we are not there yet.
    I am working with her on stayng within a budget:impulsivity is huge issue. So far, so good:she has been to superwalmart and is now getting nails and eyebrows done:birthday money and allowance. She had some extra money and bought earrings and body spray. I think reinfrocing the sills to live within their allowance is important.
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It is frustrating. We have had to lock things up and hide things. I hate having to do it but unfortunately no other choice. Sending empathetic hugs your way.
  6. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    We have a lock on our master bedroom closet. It has a keypad and we enter a combination so we don't have to keep track of a key.
  7. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    We also have everything locked up. I am fortunate to have one of those cable bundles so our phone is 1 flat fee and includes long distance. But before that we have had phone bills ranging up to $800! I have to hide my makeup, jewelry, change, candy, clothes, (used towels!!) and anything that means anything to me. It's like living with a cat burglar!! I really thought it was just me, so I'm glad to find out it's not (but am sorry for anyone dealing with this!) All I know is that when I catch difficult child with something of mine I feel completely violated.

    I have to laugh - as I am writing this boyfriend is asking me where all his towels are!!!!!!!!!!!:2dissapointed:

  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    ONe point, probably obvious - don't think you can get around this by installing a padlock or similar - don't instal anything which can be easily removed with judicious use of screwdriver. It is easy to remove the whole assembly and if the kid is cunning, to then put it all back in place.

    husband & I don't have a lock on our bedroom, it would be really awkward to try to do it, we'd need an entire new lock assembly. We do have a lock, but it's the kind that any long thin nail could open. We keep a long nail hidden in the top of the door frame, we did go through a time when we had to lock our bedroom door and also remove the long nail; it wasn't too easy for the kids to find an alternative 'key' at short notice. The same 'key' will open the bathroom door, we used to use it if the kids locked themselves in the bathroom inappropriately.

    If you lock your bedroom (or wherever you put your valuables) then keep the key permanently on a string round your neck. I suggest string, because it weighs less, it's less likely to cause problems with anything else you might wear round your neck, it's easier to lift off if you need to, to pass to another person who needs access.

    If you don't keep the key round your neck you risk leaving the key in the wrong pocket, or putting it down somewhere where you could lose it or your difficult child find it.

  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Thanks, everyone--

    You know that this is all really my fault....

    As you probably remember, I have the DVD Camera Security System in the common areas of my home. I have locks on certain doors. I try to keep a close eye on things....

    And then, because it seems like there have been no incidents, and difficult child seems very cooperative and seems to be showing respect for household rules and other people...I will let down my a little more lax in my vigilance....and then


    I don't know why I keep letting myself believe that things in my home will finally be "normal" and that I can put a handful of change down somewhere, or buy snack food, or purchase something useful (like a hose nozzle)--and it will still be where I put it the next day.

    When will I learn...?


  10. AnnMarieTN

    AnnMarieTN New Member

    We had everything hidden or locked in our bedroom. We even had to hide 2 liters of pop in our closet.

    Our difficult child went to a residential place last Tuesday. When we got home from grocery shopping on Wednesday, my husband headed straight for the bedroom to hide the pop and to hide his wallet. He stopped dead in his tracks and remembered he didn't have to do that anymore.

    It was then that we realized how much we had changed in our own lives because of difficult child.

    I think that's one of the hidden stresses with living with a difficult child - that feeling that you can never relax. You have to always be on your guard. It's almost like living in a prison - some days your the guard and some days your the prisoner being held captive by their illness.
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911

    WE locked up everything - and followed DUde around like GLUE for three months. It was awful - and it didn't cure him 100% but at least we all knew when he said "I'm going to the bathroom now" we knew he was becuase we were standing outside the door. IT was a test of wills that nearly completely put me in the cracker bin.

    I think we get complacent too soon with our childrens ability to continually tell the truth. We're worn out, tired, frustrated and when they finally do say something truthful we're just SO relieved and we want to believe that they told ONE truth they must surely will tell two - that we let it go. ANd this process repeats itself over and over and over. UNTIL - we say "When is enough enough? " and do take steps to safeguard nearly everything we own. THus FINALLY(we hope) rendering the situation a no brainer.

    If everything is locked up? NOthing can be stolen. Not always necessarily true. When Dude couldn't steal things at home and OMG he took my diamond rings and luckily I found my 2.5 carat platinum marquis in his closet in MY gift box - to give to a 7th grade girl....or he'd go to friends houses and take their toys or whatever. Then it escalated into being the lookout for home breakins - and that's what finally got him. The law arrested him because the law doesn't tolerate children who steal. The law didn't get frustrated and po'd about him taking cookies or change - the law locked him up just for standing at the corner of the yard and yelling "SOmeone is coming." and sharing in the "loot". The law said you are going to jail for 17 years when he was 16 years old.

    I don't know why our kids do not get this lesson at home.....BUT I can tell you that the locks didn't stop him from stealing - they just stopped him from stealing from his family - which stopped ME from having the feelings of wanting to lock this kid up myself and the frustration that comes with being violated and having your stuff touched and your space invaded. FOr me that's all it did.....I KNEW when I left a box of cookies locked in the bedroom closet that they would be there when I got home -

    But be warned that even though I locked stuff up (we used keys) the first time that the door was left open (i went to the bathroom for 2 seconds) DUde snuck into my bedroom and took things. The first time I forgot to hide the 2nd set of keys? Dude snooped until he found them and then did what he did before. IT was almost (to me) like a game for him. When we'd call him on it - he'd say "Well you have everything locked up - how Did I get that then?" and the frustration began at a whole new level for me. When I figured it out? I thought - "What a clever little bugger you are...but here I am even MORE clever." and hid the spare set of incorrect keys and put ink all over the top of them - and literally caught Dude red handed.....with bad spare keys - to which he replied - THEY DON"T work anyway." grinning with red ink on his fingertips.

    The following him around and making him accountable for everything BUT breathing was the best thing we did - but it wasn't the easiest thing -

    And the oddest thing - they will look right at you and SWEAR to you on their very lives they didn't steal or take or lie - and you look at those innocent eyes begging for a chance - and you start all over again. You have to find a way to talk to them so that you can get the information you need - get yourself a book called How to talk to your kids so they listen and how to listen so they will talk. IT's the best book gift I ever got.

  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Sigh. I am right there with you. We had to remove the locks from the bathroom doors as difficult child 1 kept locking herself in. Computer room, spare bedroom and our bedroom got keyed locks (possible to open, but difficult child 1 was trying to do it quickly and quietly - got caught a lot). Most of the stuff we got upset about doesn't get stolen any more. However we do a sweep of her room every week or so and usually come up with really dumb stuff. Pliers and channel locks. husband's lighter - not mine, she knows I know what it looks like & where it's left - husband loses his more often than he changes clothes. My razor, that I never got replacement blades for, so it didn't have a blade (?!) Ziploc bags full of dry Ovaltine. Stapler and hole punch. Although I have to add a caveat. Thursday night I was in my room reading. She left hers, got a glass of water, came back. Then I heard her bedroom door open and close, but no creaking floorboards... Till I heard the garage door open and close... Then again about a minute later, and floorboards and she was back in her room. Next morning, MY lighter was gone. I mentioned it in passing and it magically reappeared in my jeans pocket when doing the laundry.

    And then there's the sugary stuff. We got a tube of purple decorating icing for husband's birthday brownies. I didn't use much, put it away since she'd been good. Went in the cabinet a few days ago - tube there, but empty.

    I can't lock up everything. Just not enough room in my bedroom. I look at it this way... At least she quit stealing my jewelry, husband's checkbook, camera, razor blades, etc. I don't buy junk food often either. Neither of the kids like my favorite snack - whole grain crackers with spinach dip - so I can do that.

    I wish you lots of luck. I had thought I was the only person dealing with this, but I'm not... There have been some great suggestions here, too.
  13. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    Having a hopeful heart is not a bad thing and makes all of this not your fault. difficult child put you in this predicament - not you. I can tell that you "learned your lesson" just when you think it's safe - IT'S NOT! Certain rewards and privelages can be doled out when they do a good thing. But that locked up foundation needs to always stay in place - they'll never stop being who they are. (sigh!)
  14. cyncan

    cyncan Guest

    Wow - I can relate to this on so many levels. The stealing/lying/sneaking - and then the hope that maybe things have changed - just to have it all come crashing down on you!

    GFGSD came for a weekend visit over Easter - We no longer had things locked up (food included) as she has been out of the house almost 1 year. Well - reality returned as she ate all the lunch meat (about 2 lbs) all the sweets we had left over from Easter breakfast and all the sweets we had made for Easter. Seriously - I can't understand how she ate it all and I am a big woman. She was only here for three days!

    The sneakiness makes me so uncomfortable - didn't notice it so much until she moved out. It is like she always has an agenda going on in that head of hers.

    She had some inappropriate things on her face book regarding the flu - and I called her on it - and she told me some ex-friend hacked her myspace and facebook...this seems to happen A LOT - which I don't believe at all....


  15. WSM

    WSM New Member

    OMG, I could have cried reading this. I so identify, our lives are perverted and distorted by having to protect ourselves. We have everything locked up and on camera and watched too. If you take your eyes off a second, just a second something is missing. Every weekend my husband (my DuH?) my husband wants to try to trust him again. And every weekend there's an incident. Last weekend we were on the patio for less than 90 second (we timed it). My husband's wallet disappeared. husband looked in his room and couldn't find it. I told him: "You have to pick everything up, look in ever pocket, move every piece of furniture, touch everything." husband looked in his room twice and didn't find it. I went in, lifted the stuff ontop of his dresser, then opened the top drawer, lift out the clothes, and there it was.

    Six days later husband is lecturing difficult child again, "I'm going to trust you." and sure enough difficult child gets his hands on some money. He's been borrowing odd amounts from the instructors at his military school to buy things at the next door 7 11. He's been told not to, but he lies about it.

    Why do they lend it to him? I swear to dog the school is as much a problem as the kid. THEY are the ones with impulse control problems. How hard is it: do not give him money, do not let him leave campus. DO NOT.


    (Are we the only house where syrup and cooking oil are contraband?)
  16. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    And this really is the key, isn't it. We want so badly to believe in them, that we keep letting down our guard, only to get burned over and over again.

    To this day, we have key locks on just about every room of the house. husband's and my bedroom, my home office, the basement, Little easy child's bedroom. And we have a safe. And we have a double deadbolt on the garage.

    difficult child hasn't lived in our home for nearly 2 years now, but the locks are all still in place. When he visits overnight, or even for a few hours, the whole house goes back into lockdown, and I carry the keys on a lanyard around my neck. It's horrible, but it's the reality. And when we visit him at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), we STILL find things in his room that he's stolen from the house when he comes over.

    A few years ago, I got to the point where I realized that I simply could not believe anything difficult child said. Unless I have independent proof to the contrary, I assume difficult child is either lying or mistaken, and then work from there. If he happens to be telling the truth and gets angry with me for not believing him, I calmly remind him that when 999 out of 1000 things are a lie, I can be forgiven for expecting the 1000th to be a lie as well.

    Not ideal by any means, but it's part of my detachment and helps to keep me sane.

    It really hoovers.

  17. Desdamona

    Desdamona New Member

    THANK GOD!!!!! There's others who know what I'm going through! I thought I was going crazy!! My step son does this! What is it? All the lying, stealing, sneaking food! WHAT IS IT?? Sorry, but what is difficult child? I am new to all of this. I'm actually in tears that I found others.
    His Dad doesn't think there's a problem. He steals from everybody else in the family, but dad excuses it. I've started locking things up. He takes everything - stupid things he can't even use - other people's pajamas, slippers, my make-up, toys, movies, on & on. But dad just gives him another chance. He uses or dumps our shampoo if we don't hide it, even.
    WHAT IS THIS??? And HOW DO WE GET HELP??? How do I make Dad see what he's doing? I feel so violated. My daughters and son are fed up, too.
    HELP US!!!!
  18. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    Daisy (and others),

    We have been through the stealing problem too, so I feel your pain! difficult child has repeatedly taken cash from easy child and me. He also got hold of my ATM card number and used it to buy several expensive things on line before I caught him. It was a mess to try and straighten out. I never did get all my money back. The worst part: He asked in all seriousness if he could keep the items. It made me want to cry -- again. :mad::brokenheart::wornout:
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Desdemona, welcome. YOu will do better if you can begin a thread in your own right, tell us more about you and your problems. Otherwise, using Daisy's thread could leave your issues overlooked. And that would be a pity.

    difficult child = Gift From God, the child that brings us to this site. easy child = Perfect Child, although we acknowledge that no child really is perfect. There is a link to tell you what the abbreviations mean.

    If/when you can, do a sig for yourself too. That way when you post, you don't have to keep telling us all your background info every time, it will justbe there and we can refresh our understanding of you.

    I do see this sort of stealing as a control issue - the kid wants to feel in control of his/her environment and at the same time is resentful of everyone else who they perceive as having what they want, even if it's not what they need.

    We got a very mild version of this with easy child - she would be out to dinner with friends and at that dinner would have some of her favourite foods. In her absence we would have something else she liked, such as ravioli. But when she got home after a very big dinner with friends, she would be VERY upset if we hadn't saved a portion of ravioli for her as well. If we hadn't, she would feel that we hadn't played fair.

    Totally out of control sense of personal entitlement. It carried over into other things but mostly revolved around food. The fact that she had enjoyed a lovely dinner with friends (and food which she hadn't shared with us) never came into it.

    As for always stealing totally senseless things from others - sometimes it's not merely "I want it", so much as "I don't want them to have it, if I can't have it/use it myself." Or "I can't use X, but I feel if THEY want to use X, I should be supplied with Y. And because I am not getting enough of what I want, then I will make sure they can't have X, because I will take it/destroy it/throw it away."

    It's also a desperate attempt to grab as much attention as possible, the attention being replaced with things. Not stealing in order to get attention, but stealing to replace the attention the child feels they are entitled to.

    THis is not to say that the child is entitled to all the attention they crave - generally it's massively unrealistic. But if you can find some help in focussing on why the child seems to want every possible scrap of attention in existence (sort of like a black hole absorbing every possible scrap of matter and light and thereby becoming even bigger and more demanding) then maybe you can begin to get help that is focussed more directly on the main problem.

  20. WSM

    WSM New Member

    Same here, just a minute ago daughter 9 handed me her DS, "Can you guard this?" she asked before she went outside to play. It's so wrong it makes me want to scream. It's so unfair to everyone else who has to guard their things all the time and to have this extra worry.

    And the ostrich dads who don't know what to do and don't want to deal with it and pretend it's not a pattern or an issue and ALLOW the rest of the family to be victimized are so much a part of the problem. And the stepmoms are powerless. It's not your kid, let husband handle him. But husband doesn't handle him.

    It's very frustrating and hard to live like this. I'm so, so sorry you have the same problem.