Shoplifting

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Weedguru Higher
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Shoplifting

Post by Weedguru Higher » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:03 am

I need some advice.

My 15 year old teenage daughter just recently became friends with the 17 year old daughter of a family friend that we have known for quite some time. Until yesterday, the two girls had never actually met, though they have been chatting on facebook and texting each other for a few months. Yesterday my daughter was invited to their house for a sleepover. I spoke with the family friends last evening and apparently the two girls really hit it off big time....they were having a blast together, and all was fine. Their plans for today were to go to the mall together. I picked my daughter up after the shopping spree, and all appeared to be fine. She showed me 2 shirts that she had purchased, saying that she used the remaining balance on the gift card she had received as a christmas gift. To me, everything was fine and dandy as usual...nothing out of the ordinary whatsoever.

A couple hours later the phone rings and it's our family friend, the mother of my daughters new friend. She starts of saying how happy she was that the two girls got along so amazingly well and so forth. However, next she says there's something serious she's got to talk to me about. Goes on to explain that after her daughter came back home from the shopping spree, she noticed that she was acting odd. She questionned her daughter and asked if something was wrong. Her daughter was reluctant to talk, and locked herself in her room. A little while later she came out of her room and asked her mother if a friend who shoplifts in a store, could be capable of stealing from their own friends. Her mother knew immediately that there was more , something else she wasn't saying. She badgered her daughter a bit more until she confessed. She told her mother that she witnessed my daughter shoplifting, and that my daughter told her she had done it before, on atleast one more occassion. She said she was reluctant to tell her own mother about it, fearing that it would ruin the new friendship. She didn't want to be the rat, but she couldn't hide it and have a clear conscience either. She is against stealing and was afraid of the consequences for both her at the time, and for my daughter after the fact and decided that she had no choice but to tell.

So as uncomfortable as it was her mother took it upon her self to call me and explain the situation. Not to bitch and complain about the issue, but to warn me. She said she would never have been able to sleep if she hadn't. As a mother of a teenager herself, she would have wanted to know and felt that I needed to know. But she emphasized the fact that I must not confront my daughter in a way that will let her know she was ratted on.

I appreciate this information greatly. I had no idea. No clue. Never would have guessed if I hadn't been told.

I checked the bag my daughter chucked in the garbage when she got home and lo and behold, there was a store receipt in the bag. There was one purchased billed, yet she has 2 shirts claiming she bought both. Though I am struggling to accept the fact that my daughter shoplifted, I do without a doubt believe everything her friend claims. I am extremely grateful that such information has come to my attention. But I am also extremely upset, worried, and unsure how to proceed.

How do I let my daughter know what I know without putting her friend on the spot? How can I put a stop to this before it's to late, before she gets caught? How do I go about approaching her about the matter? I haven't had any major problems with her up until now..she's a good kid. But she's made a bad decision. And I need to stop it before it's to late. But how? What the fuck do I do? What do I say?

I need some advice please
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Re: Shoplifting

Post by sugarstalker » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:37 am

well, I guess you could say you found the receipt and noticed that there was only one item purchased. But then you'd have to have a good explanation for how you found it.

Good luck with that, friend. Teenagers are quite bothersome I hear
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Re: Shoplifting

Post by WeedGuru_Flow » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:48 am

That's a tough one Higher, and so far nobody that responded (to my knowledge) actually has any experience raising children.

But here's my take on it :

You said she just chucked the bag in the garage, so all you did was clean up her mess, the receipt fell out and you happened to notice she made just one purchase.

Other than that I'm afraid there is no easy way to confront her about this.
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Re: Shoplifting

Post by Grrrl » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:32 pm

WeedGuru_Flow wrote:That's a tough one Higher, and so far nobody that responded (to my knowledge) actually has any experience raising children.

But here's my take on it :

You said she just chucked the bag in the garage, so all you did was clean up her mess, the receipt fell out and you happened to notice she made just one purchase.

Other than that I'm afraid there is no easy way to confront her about this.
He said garbage not garage flow so not sure that'd work :)

Couldnt you say a family friend mentioned they thought they saw her shoplifting when they were at the mall? Maybe a work collegue or neighbour or summat? You dont have to specify who to her, just subtly steer her suspicions away from her friend, that way she will know you know, and her friendship should remain relatively undamaged. If she denies it, you can threaten to check the reciept (I wouldnt reveal to her you had already done that) which should pressure her into confessing of her own accord.
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Re: Shoplifting

Post by sugarstalker » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:52 pm

or just say you needed a bag for something and it fell out. I use bags I get from shops all the time.
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Re: Shoplifting

Post by leprechaun » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:03 am

There is the other option of just letting it slide, for now.

A once off to look cool in front of an older peer?

A phase?

Yes stealing's wrong, but we've all done something stupid, bad or what we shouldn't have and got away with it, possibly even knowing that parents knew but just haven't said.

For now just see how things turn out, wait until the next time she comes back with clothes and check again, maybe for a while.
Privacy and feeling like parents are big brother etc etc are all probably a big deal for her at that age.

If this is not typically her behaviour then maybe her own moral compass will sort it out in time.

This is just really another alternative, truthfully i wouldn't know what to do, but i guess it all depends on circumstances. Like would this seem like a complete change in character, or if there's other reasons that need to be taken into account.
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Re: Shoplifting

Post by sugarstalker » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:04 am

That's actually a fair point. You could ask your daughter's friend to tell her what she thinks about shoplifting - of course, I guess that has the risk of straining their friendship. This is hard. Parenting is hard.
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Re: Shoplifting

Post by cutthecashflow » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:32 am

Higher, I do not condone of stealing in any fashion whether it be from a major corporation or from someone you know. That being said, I've done it before. I actually stole something for the first time when I was around your daughters age and continued to do so for some years. It took a while for me to develop what I call a "moral compass" and the problem is I never did get in trouble for the things I did. I imagine if I had to pay for my consequences after I had committed the crime things may have been different. At the time I didn't think much about it, but today I still feel wretched in my soul for stealing from other people. I mean, people work hard for their things and for me to have taken them willingly did not say a lot about my character.

I am in no way placing any judgment on your daughter whatsoever, I've never met her and from the things you've posted on here I can tell that she is a wonderful young lady. I did far worse than petty shoplifting so I am in no position to pass judgment, something I don't do to begin with. I think you just need to be straight up honest with your daughter and tell her you know what she did and that these things are not socially acceptable. I mean I didn't even think about it after I did it, but now I know it's wrong. It takes the prefrontal cortex about 20 some odd years to fully develop and this is the area of the brain responsible for decision making, goal directed behavior, inhibiting unwanted responses, and it also acts as a major player in impulse control. I would just sit down with her and be honest. Tell her you know what was done and that you have proof. She may or may not deny it, but if she does just show her that you know. Make it known to her that this behavior is not only socially wrong, but that it also upsets you as a parent. The guilt trip thing works both ways ;).

She's a teenager, remember when you were a teenager? We have all done things we regret in the past, but parental advision and learning from our mistakes as well as being able to sympathize and empathize with others are all things that turn us into well adjusted adults. I wish you the best in this man, the one thing I wouldn't do is yell or become overly aggressive with her. This often leads to more non-compliant behavior in an individual. The best method is to be calm, cool, and collective while informing her that you do not approve of this behavior. Let her know you love her, but that these things hurt you as a father.

Just my two cents. If you want to talk more about this feel free to PM me.
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Re: Shoplifting

Post by WeedGuru_Flow » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:09 am

To be honest I had a clepto-phase when I was about six or seven.

And I mean clepto as in stealing toy cars and other small toys from stores, a couple of packs of cigarettes (not to smoke them, they just fascinated me) to stealing money from my parents.

Until my mom found out I stole €25 from her wallet, her reaction basically snapped me the fuck out of it (she was so disappointed in me and started crying, it really got to me).

So perhaps it is just a phase, I know it's been forever since I last stole anything.
Computer games don't affect kids. I mean, if Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we would all be running around darkened rooms, munching magic pills, and listening to repetitive electronic music.

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Re: Shoplifting

Post by Weedguru Higher » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:40 pm

Thanks for the advice guys! I did take bits and pieces of everyone's advice and went with my gut feeling as well.

Two days after the fact I took the receipt and went to her room to talk with her. I asked her again about her shopping spree, specifically asking if she went to the store in question only once, or if she went twice in the same day. She said she went once. So then I pulled out the receipt. I pointed out the fact that there was one shirt billed, not two. I told her that I had once been her age and that I was once confronted with the issue of shoplifting. I asked her if that was the case with her. She said yes. She admitted to everything. I went on explaining my personal experiences and the outcome. She said she had done it on several occasions recently, but only small items. I explained how small things soon turn to big things, and how the consequences can be the same no matter the amount. I told her what it means and what it's like to get arrested, to be incarcerated, and to be involved in the whole judicial system. Explained the consequences of having a record, like not being able to get a good job, not being able to cross the border etc. She seemed to understand and gave me a pinky swear that she;ll never do it again. She said she didn't view it as being such a big deal, but now she sees where it will lead. Seemed to appreciate my personal story..I think it really helped make things sink in. We'll see what happens, but I am confident that my speech will help her make the right choice. She's a good kid...but she's a teenager! Tough time, tough years. Just hope she'll make it through easier than I did though!
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Re: Shoplifting

Post by Grrrl » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:12 am

glad it went well higher, sounds like she has absorbed your advice and will hopefully take it on board :)
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Re: Shoplifting

Post by WeedGuru_Flow » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:15 am

Good job Higher, let's hope it sticks.
Computer games don't affect kids. I mean, if Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we would all be running around darkened rooms, munching magic pills, and listening to repetitive electronic music.

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