THieving Niece

If any mom happens upon this please give me some advice. I have a little niece who steals. She is eight years old. She is actually quite smart about it. She waits until the adults' attention is on something else then she swipes. I mentioned it first to my husband with a small incident. My daughter who is three, had a little silly yellow bear face plastic ring. It was really too big for her. My niece comes over for CHristmas and begins wearing it. I take a mental note that it fits perfectly and decided that i will let her have it when she is ready to leave.. SO they stay a few hours and finally are ready to leave. I haven't said anything yet about her having the ring. She is sitting next to me and I notice that she has her bag on her lap . She slips her hands into the bag, takes the ring off and leaves it there. What attracted my attention to begin with was the furtive expression on her face. The sly little thing had decided she wanted the ring and would take it. I didn't say anything at first. I was really taken aback. As they were leaving I said" You know that I was giving you the ring? Where is it?" " It's in my bag" and she runs out the house quickly and jumps into the car.

In the second incident we bought a large pizza to feed the brood of her siblings. I ensured that they all had including my own little pre-schooler. Niece finished quickly and I offered her some more, which she took. IN the meantime my own three year old is wandering around, takes a bite, wanders around, comes back etc. My husband, I notice is looking closely at her. She pick up my child's plate with the pizza, and offers to ensure that she eats it. It's ok for a while and  our attention is distracted by two of her siblings. My kid comes across and I am pouring juice for them all. Her parents arrive. It's melee. My kid is running around and then I realize that her slice is gone.  The plate is still on niece's lap. I think, OK but there is more in the box and she will probably eat after her cousins are gone. I close the box and move it. Her parents get ready to leave. Melee again with children looking around for parts of their attire, I am by the gate and I look over everybody's shoulder and there she is scarfing down the remainder.

Then yesterday, we go out on a family outing. The trunk of our car is full of drinks for everybody. She is travelling on the leg back with us .Because we live at different points we stop to return children to their respective cars and retrieve whatever items may have got mixed in with other people's stuff. I am sitting in the car looking at my hubby. She gets out, comes to the driver's side, opens the trunk then leaves with her towel cradled. She goes to her mom's car and ever so swiftly slips a bottle of juice out of the towel ,holds it behind her back and then to her side as she walks next to her mom's car. Again, the sneaky movements. And there was no need, all the other kids were simply asking for the juice and then taking it.

Am I making a big deal about this? I can't tell her mom because she is like a mother bear. What do you think?

indefinitelee indefinitelee
36-40, F
2 Responses Apr 9, 2007

No easy way to deal with these types of situations for sure.<br />
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There is a lot more than meets the eye going on here. I don't know that you can do much about it since it isn't your daughter. If this is your husband's sister maybe he could talk to her about it without upsetting the apple cart. <br />
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When kids do these sorts of things it is usually a sign of something much more serious going on in their lives. <br />
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As far as the other incident with the nephew and your daughter I think you handled that very well. You have every right and responsibility to be sure that she is safe and there was a real possibility of injury since she was resisting and the nephew wasn't respecting her boundaries. <br />
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Can't say exactly what I would do but I know I would at least keep an eye not only on the niece but a lookout for what may be the root of the behavior. There may come a point where it gets to be an elephant in the room and can no longer be ignored. If it reaches that point then it is likely that there will be a real rift in the family over her behavior. <br />
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Wish I had something more constructive to offer.

RandomGal, thanks for the comment. I want to tell her mom but she is really, really, protective of her kids. ONce, her son kept lifting up my daughter who was shouting "NO!" repeatedly. I kindly told him to put her down, because she didn't want to be held and it was upsettibng her. I wasn't rough or anything. She stopped talking to me.