Monday, January 31, 2011

Don't Want to Go Through this Again

Most of you know that we had A LOT of problems with Jeff and Adam stealing while they were growing up. No one could leave a treat out or it would be gone. Then they started sneaking out at night and taking food from the cupboard. Whole boxes of it. We'd also find all kinds of wrappers hidden in their room for food we didn't have around the house, so people were missing a lot of things from their lunches. I always wondered if the kids knew someone took their chips or desserts or if they just thought the parents didn't pack them any.

It progressed to money, iPods, gameboys etc. It's been a long battle.

So when the twins came home and didn't steal, I was very relieved. I could offer them treats since they didn't steal them. That way I got to be the good guy.

But that has all changed very quickly. Kayla would take little trinkets of the girls and mess with them and we'd find them in her bed, but food wasn't an issue. Then last week--the day after Kayla got student of the month, she took her teacher's bag of M&Ms and hid in the bathroom eating them. The following Monday she went into the school during recess, went to a different kindergarten class and hid in there chewing gum from that teacher's desk. She must have just gone scrounging for something because she wouldn't have known there was gum.

We talked about taking other people's things. We talked about how that hurts their feelings and how it feels to have someone else eat your treat. We talked about how stealing makes your heart ugly etc. The next day Kayla took Jessica's M&Ms.


Last night most of us were at church, but the twins were home with Rick. He left the room for a couple of minutes and the twins went straight to the kitchen. Kaleb took two muffins that were set aside for Tyler for later. Kayla ate all the candy off of the gingerbread house. She had already had her share. She ate everyone else's share.

The thing that concerns me most is that they don't feel bad about taking the food. At all. They have lost all privileges for three days but that happened to Kayla last week and obviously it didn't phase her enough to keep from taking things again.

They also will have to play in their rooms for now since they can't be trusted to play in the play area which is right next to the kitchen. There is normally people all over the house, but no one actually sits and supervises them unless we are playing a game, reading books or working on their homework.

I asked Adam and Jeff separately how it felt to watch the twins start a stealing habit. Neither gave me an answer. I am hoping that they as they see the twins make these wrong decisions that they will realize how we felt when they were doing this. The twins haven't taken anything from Jeff and Adam yet though. Well, actually, I think Kaleb has taken Adam's gum before because Adam leaves it laying right on their dresser.

I hope we can get the twin's stealing habit stopped right now before it progresses to the point the boy's did.

We have tried talking to them.
We made Kayla use her money to replace the candy at school.
I will probably have them use their money to replace the gumdrops from the gingerbread house and buy a package of muffin mix. That's how it works in the real world.
They have their own treats. They have their own special stuff.

Anyone have anything that worked for them?

12 comments:

Lisa said...

Oh I feel for you! That is so hard! Have no advice. :(

Tisha said...

I have no advice and that is something that we, thankfully, haven't dealt with often, but it has happened. I will be interested to hear if others have advice. My first guess is what you did. Make them pay for it. Hugs to you... you are an amazing mom!

kayder1996 said...

I'm wondering about an opposite approach. Something connected to the idea of if she steals, giving her more. I know that sounds counterproductive but a lot of the theraputic parenting stuff sounds that way. I'm not exactly sure how you might do it in a way that didn't seem to reward the bad behavior but instead sent out the message "I will love you even if you steal from me." Maybe ask Cate Johnson if she has any good ideas; she often seems to have a good take on theraputic parenting. Or the Home from Haiti Yahoo board. Or even the Welcome to my Brain.net blog. If her stealing things is coming from her belief that she isn't worthy, that her actions don't really matter because no matter what she does people don't love her/care about her, that I have to get others before they get me then maybe what seems like normal consequences to us, like loss of priveleges, etc. are just reinforcing thoes beliefs? (Obviously, I haven't dealt with what you are describing so take everything I say with a grain of salt. I may be completely off my rocker!) I'm sure it's very frustrating.

Felicia said...

I sure can't offer any help. We are currently dealing with a missing IPod and I have tow suspects.....very frustrating. I do wonder why it is just now starting. Has it been since Jeff came home?

Kathy C. said...

Felicia--been there and we always know who it is but he will deny it practically with it in his hand. I called my missing phone once and it range in his room and he tried to act like he had no idea how it got there.....

It actually started right after Kayla got student of the month and we had the pizza & games for their one year anniversary. It almost seemed like, "Ha, you give me attention and I'll be a total brat."

Hevel said...

The only thing that seems to work with our "problem child" is BCLC approach in our parenting. His previous family was all about rules, consequences and believing that what worked for their bio children will work for their adoptive children. Our approach is different and most of the behaviors that led to the dissolution of the adoption have all but disappeared in the 13 months he has been with us.

Karen said...

I'm so sorry to hear that this is an issue again. Will pray that the Lord will give you wisdom and/or someone who has good advice.

Kathy C. said...

H-do you recommend it for non RAD children as well as RAD? I don't think ours our RAD. I'm not seeing the major signs and I've always heard of it in conjunction with RAD.

Sarah said...

Maybe attention is what she is striving for. She liked all the attention from Student of the Month, and the pizza party so now she is doing things to get that same "euphoric" feeling. So what if you tried the opposite approach, don't give her the attention she is craving. Maybe just a simple "no we dont do that" and then quickly move on. Instead of a long punishment process, or something that puts the focus on her. Just a suggestion!!

Julie said...

I know the struggle has to grow weary. Keep pressing on and praying that God makes the way clear!

Kathy C. said...

We all made it a point to clap for Kayla for counting to 20 today. She had good pride over that. Unfortunately Kaleb was in to everything at school and when he wanted a girl's umbrella, he shoved her into a wall and took it.

Hevel said...

Kathy, I recommend it for all children. BCLC works best when it's consistent. Our sweetheart doesn't have RAD (the only person in our family with RAD is me), but he is a hurting child, like many many adoptees. Even those who are adopted at birth often carry trauma. So yeah, BCLC is the primary parenting with all our children, biological and adopted alike. It works for us.