12-18-2017 01:41 PM
For some time now we have been concerned that our daughter seems to have more money than she should have. We've been imagining all sorts of dreadful scenarios as you can imagine. She is 17. It started about 30 November, when the school holidays started. We have found out today that she has been accessing our bank accounts and transferring money to her account. We didn't pick up on it as she was using a different account each time. I realise now she must have accessed our passwords etc. I think she was using the banking app on my phone as that only has a 4 digit pin on it which is well known in the family (lesson learnt....we have been too trusting). So...how to deal with this? We have changed all the pin codes and passwords this morning. My husband is furious but I don't want him having a knee-jerk reaction and making matters worse. I think she has been taking the money to buy alcohol and cigarettes for her friends as she is desperate to fit in, be cool, be needed, looked up to, feel important etc. She has had a serious mental health issue for 2-3 years and is quite naïve and I think her friends are also using her, taking advantage of her and asking her to buy alcohol and cigarettes as she looks a lot older than 17. We are unsure how much of this is her mental health issue, or whether it is just naughty teenage behaviour. It is very dishonest....straight out stealing really and although we are glad there is no third party involved, it is still hurtful that she feels she can steal money from us. I know this is not the first time a teenager has done this but we are a very loving and trusting family with no problems....so it has taken us by surprise. Does anyone have any advice on possible consequences? Discipline? She has fragile mental health so we need to be firm but careful. Thanks so much. The amount of money adds up to about $1300 over the last 3 weeks.
12-18-2017 02:44 PM
I'm so sorry you're going through this. I would agree with you about concern for your husband's knee jerk reaction. While he has every reason to be angry, I think you need to approach your daughter from a viewpoint of concern and not anger. See what she has been using the money for, I'm a little concerned for her being with that group of friends if your suspicions are correct. They sound as if they are taking advantage of your daughters mental health state. Perhaps you can get some family counseling if she's not already in therapy and have her come up with suggestions on how she can repay the money she has taken. Best of luck to you.
12-19-2017 08:05 AM
I would be angry too. Once you have calmed down a little I'd tell her how angry that makes you. $1300 is a lot. I don't know what punishment fits in your family. If my kids did that they would loose internet access, probably for a couple of weeks. I would make a fuss, because she needs to know that is wrong.
At the same time I wonder if you have found something to motivate her (money). Obviously you don't want her buying drinks and ciggies for her friends (that's another issue), but maybe she spends it on other stuff too. I guess we all understand the need to fit in with a crowd, and a little money might help. Maybe she can do chores for pocket money or get a job? Both of those can be positive things for kids. I believe kids should learn that if you work, you get money. If you sit around all day you do not get paid. Having said that I'm amazed at how reluctant my teenagers are to do chores for cash ("Can I have some money?" "Sure, I'll give you $10 if you mow the front lawn"...."Nahhhh, I'll do without" -- It's a 15 minute job!!!!)