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Jennyfoo
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15 Apr 2008, 12:05 pm

Anyone have any idea how to handle this. My nearly 10 y/o keeps stealing food, hiding it, then lying about it. She's VERY duplicitous in how she does it too, but is such a bad liar that we see through it and know it was her- we just have to find the proof before we confront her with it.

I'll give an example of the latest problem:

Last night I made smoothies for dessert- all milk, yogurt, and frozen fruit. Allaura loves smoothies. I gave Allaura just as much as I did my husband and I. I wanted to have leftovers to freeze in popsicles because the kids LOVE them. So I poured the leftovers in the popsicle forms and put them in the freezer. Later, I went to put something away in the freezer and they were missing. I thought I'd gone nuts. I'm very distractable so I made sure that I didn't accidentally put them in the fridge or cupboard or leave them out. i was putting lots of stuff away in the kitchen at the time, so anything was possible with me. LOL!

I couldn't find them. I was sure I'd put them in the freezer. So I asked Allaura if I'd put them in the freezer because she was in the kitchen eating hers when I did it. she told me yes, that she saw me put them in the freezer. So I asked her if she'd taken them out. She told me no. So I went and asked the younger kids if they knew where the popsicles were. Nope. I asked Allaura to help me look for them- I emptied out the freezer, looking behind everything. I looked in the outside freezer. All the while, Allaura is with me, acting like she's helping me look. I asked her to go check her brother's room because he's been known to sneak food too. She did and told me they weren't there. I finally gave up. Allaura was unusually helpful in trying to find them, so I suspected her.

This morning my husband joined the search as well. We found one popsicle stick part in the kitchen sink, but nothing else. We looked in the freezers, searched the fridge again. Nothing. Then, my husband went out the the garage again and he found the popsicle container- empty- on the pantry shelves out there, hidden in the back. There was a straw in there that she'd used to drink the rest of the un-set popsicles.

I am at a loss. I don't understand why she does this. This is an ongoing problem and she's even lost her loft bed because we kept finding candy wrappers and crumbs in her bed so we decided that she didn't get her private space any more where she could hide stuff.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

My husband wants to put the popsicle stuff back where he found it and mess with her for awhile. He wants to see if she'll try to pin it on one of the younger kids. She loves homemade popsicles and I don't have a form to make them any more, so she'll have to cough it up if she wants popsicles which are one of her usual afternoon rituals to eat after school.



ouinon
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15 Apr 2008, 12:18 pm

OMG, I did this. Biscuits and dried fruit, chocolate , sweets being kept for other occasions, more biscuits. It was, I now know, because I was becoming more and more addicted to sugar, wheat and dairy. I behaved like a mini addict because I was one. I craved the stuff.

I used to creep down and sidle into the kitchen and open the cupboards and tins and packets so silently while they were in the sitting room, and when my mother found out she didn't understand anymore than I did because she knew I got enough to eat. And I didn't realise myself what was going on. It started at same age too.

I just grew up thinking I was greedy and a liar.

It wasn't until I went on my first exclusion-diet aged 29, after 10 + years of uncontrolled indulgence of my addiction to sugar, wheat and dairy, ( on top of the previous 8 years of secret scoffing), plus alcohol to some extent, had brought me to a state of manic depressive breakdown, and I was prepared to try anything, that I discovered that I was intolerant of wheat and dairy and highly sensitive to sugar and that I had been struggling with an addiction from babyhood when I was first fed sweetened this and sweetened that.

As soon as I got any pocket money I spent it on chocolate and biscuits and tuckshop at school, ( after birthdays, with money from relatives i used to buy as many as 3 or even 4 packets of biscuits a day, for a few weeks until it was spent, at school tuckshop to eat in the lunchhour while reading another book of sci-fi/detection/romance. ) and my mother didn't know that I ate whole bars of choc upstairs in my room sat mornings before lunch. No wonder I thought meat and 3 veg was dull.

I was a terrible liar too. And I used to move the biscuits around in the biscuit tin so that was less obvious that I had taken some, i hoped! I had to have them. I wasn't hungry. My mother 's concern about it, her angry/shocked/puzzled reaction was no use. I kept on doing it as much as I thought I could, and as soon as had money of my own fed my addiction myself.

I longed for deserts; I used to read Enid Blyton, and later Lord of The Rings with the utmost attention to all that glorious fresh crusty bread and lashings of butter and rich dark fruit cakes and cream and treacle tart and pineapples in syrup and chocolate bars and ....

8)



Last edited by ouinon on 15 Apr 2008, 12:57 pm, edited 15 times in total.

jaydog
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15 Apr 2008, 12:28 pm

reminds me of me when i was a kid. never stole any money but food with sugar and lots of caffeine and juice. i get so thirsty sometimes i drink a whole gallon of juice within 5 minutes. most likely your daughter has a craving for it. like right now i have a craving for arizona ice tea and lemonade and peppermints. funny combination i know but i need something like peppermints and some juice to crave my thirst and crave my sugar p=.

Try keeping a bag of her favorite snack in her room, make sure you have a huge water bottle or something to crave her thirst.



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15 Apr 2008, 12:48 pm

I had an issue with candy/junk food when I was a teenager. Our access to this stuff was somewhat limited when we were kids. When I got my driver's license and some money of my own I began to go overboard a bit with the candy now that I could get all I wanted. My teachers expressed concern at seeing all the wrappers in my car. I don't do that anymore, though. The perception of having limited access to certain foods may be making your daughter want to hoard it.



ouinon
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15 Apr 2008, 1:00 pm

I would have preferred to have been diagnosed an addict rather than accused of lying, stealing, and being greedy.

If someone had managed to get me off sugar wheat and dairy then, aged 10, i can't imagine how different my life might have been.

I wish someone had understood/known what I was going through, rather than just adding to my poor self image. Not only lazy and selfish, but a thief, a liar, and greedy too.

:(



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15 Apr 2008, 1:39 pm

Jennyfoo wrote:
Anyone have any idea how to handle this. My nearly 10 y/o keeps stealing food, hiding it, then lying about it. She's VERY duplicitous in how she does it too, but is such a bad liar that we see through it and know it was her- we just have to find the proof before we confront her with it.

I'll give an example of the latest problem:

Last night I made smoothies for dessert- all milk, yogurt, and frozen fruit. Allaura loves smoothies. I gave Allaura just as much as I did my husband and I. I wanted to have leftovers to freeze in popsicles because the kids LOVE them. So I poured the leftovers in the popsicle forms and put them in the freezer. Later, I went to put something away in the freezer and they were missing. I thought I'd gone nuts. I'm very distractable so I made sure that I didn't accidentally put them in the fridge or cupboard or leave them out. i was putting lots of stuff away in the kitchen at the time, so anything was possible with me. LOL!

I couldn't find them. I was sure I'd put them in the freezer. So I asked Allaura if I'd put them in the freezer because she was in the kitchen eating hers when I did it. she told me yes, that she saw me put them in the freezer. So I asked her if she'd taken them out. She told me no. So I went and asked the younger kids if they knew where the popsicles were. Nope. I asked Allaura to help me look for them- I emptied out the freezer, looking behind everything. I looked in the outside freezer. All the while, Allaura is with me, acting like she's helping me look. I asked her to go check her brother's room because he's been known to sneak food too. She did and told me they weren't there. I finally gave up. Allaura was unusually helpful in trying to find them, so I suspected her.

This morning my husband joined the search as well. We found one popsicle stick part in the kitchen sink, but nothing else. We looked in the freezers, searched the fridge again. Nothing. Then, my husband went out the the garage again and he found the popsicle container- empty- on the pantry shelves out there, hidden in the back. There was a straw in there that she'd used to drink the rest of the un-set popsicles.

I am at a loss. I don't understand why she does this. This is an ongoing problem and she's even lost her loft bed because we kept finding candy wrappers and crumbs in her bed so we decided that she didn't get her private space any more where she could hide stuff.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

My husband wants to put the popsicle stuff back where he found it and mess with her for awhile. He wants to see if she'll try to pin it on one of the younger kids. She loves homemade popsicles and I don't have a form to make them any more, so she'll have to cough it up if she wants popsicles which are one of her usual afternoon rituals to eat after school.


What exactly did you ask her when you asked if she removed them. If you said "Did you remove the popsickles" and she said no, then she wasn't lying because they weren't popsickles yet. As for the helping you look, that was likely because she knew you would get mad at her if she said she had drank them. I'd find it more concerning if she hadn't done that. At least her actions show that she knew she made a mistake. Now you just have to work on getting her to realize that you'll be more upset and she'll be in greater trouble if she doesn't admit to her mistakes when questions about them

I once opened a bag of candy corn and ate part of one piece solely because my dad showed me the bag and told me not to open it. That caused the tempation to be to great for me to resist, even though I didn't like candy corn.



Last edited by Triangular_Trees on 15 Apr 2008, 2:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

sinagua
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15 Apr 2008, 1:40 pm

My son does this too, to an extent. If I have any of his favorite snacks in the house (chips, ice cream, orange bars, GoGurt), he will devour the whole thing in a day or two. So then I just stopped buying them altogether, telling him he'd had many chances not to steal food, and his dad and I tried keeping the chips and whatnot hidden in our bedroom closet, but after awhile it was a huge pain in the butt and we just gave up and stopped buying the stuff.

Somehow the concept that "If you eat one or two per day, you can have them every day, but if you eat them ALL today, I won't buy them again for several months, if ever" doesn't seem to sink in. Maybe he has issues with future tense thinking? :(

And sometimes I feel like "oh the hell with it" because our son is, if anything, on the thin side. If he were overweight, I'd worry more. It's things like this that really make me question myself - am I being too strict with this, or not strict enough, or...?

I guess it's different for everyone. :?



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15 Apr 2008, 1:45 pm

sinagua wrote:
My son does this too, to an extent. If I have any of his favorite snacks in the house (chips, ice cream, orange bars, GoGurt), he will devour the whole thing in a day or two. So then I just stopped buying them altogether, telling him he'd had many chances not to steal food, and his dad and I tried keeping the chips and whatnot hidden in our bedroom closet, but after awhile it was a huge pain in the butt and we just gave up and stopped buying the stuff.

Somehow the concept that "If you eat one or two per day, you can have them every day, but if you eat them ALL today, I won't buy them again for several months, if ever" doesn't seem to sink in. Maybe he has issues with future tense thinking? :(

And sometimes I feel like "oh the hell with it" because our son is, if anything, on the thin side. If he were overweight, I'd worry more. It's things like this that really make me question myself - am I being too strict with this, or not strict enough, or...?

I guess it's different for everyone. :?


I have extreme trouble limiting my junk food intake. My original philosophy was to buy in bulk because its cheaper. But I'll eat the $3.50 bag of m & m's just as quickly as the $.33 bag, even if I promise myself to only have a couple day. The other day I bought 4 packs of milkduds. I had a semi-excuse for doing so as I had reason to believe I needed to add fat to my diet. I planned on not eating more than one box in 2 weeks. I had eaten two boxes in two days and am now on the fourth. And thats within even putting two of the boxes out of sight in the hopes I'd forget about them I've decided not to buy them in the future.



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15 Apr 2008, 2:00 pm

ouinon wrote:
I would have preferred to have been diagnosed an addict rather than accused of lying, stealing, and being greedy. If someone had managed to get me off sugar wheat and dairy then, aged 10, i can't imagine how different my life might have been. I wish someone had understood/known what I was going through, rather than just adding to my poor self image. Not only lazy and selfish, but a thief, a liar, and greedy too. :(

I can't believe that some people still treat it as a discipline problem. I am in fact horrified and sad to see that it is treated as if it's a mere question of self control, being good, and behaving oneself.

Blaming the child for craving powerful addictive chemicals and going after them, stealing and lying for them even though she certainly knows it's "wrong" . She can't help it.

Help her. Stop treating it like she's being naughty. She isn't.

:(



Last edited by ouinon on 15 Apr 2008, 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jennyfoo
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15 Apr 2008, 2:51 pm

ouinon wrote:
ouinon wrote:
I would have preferred to have been diagnosed an addict rather than accused of lying, stealing, and being greedy. If someone had managed to get me off sugar wheat and dairy then, aged 10, i can't imagine how different my life might have been. I wish someone had understood/known what I was going through, rather than just adding to my poor self image. Not only lazy and selfish, but a thief, a liar, and greedy too. :(

I can't believe that some people still treat it as a discipline problem. I am in fact horrified and sad to see that it is treated as if it's a mere question of self control, being good, and behaving oneself.

Is that what a heroin addict is told? Learn to control yourself, stop stealing. Don't lie" ???????? ! !! !!

Blaming the child for craving powerful addictive chemicals and going after them, stealing and lying for them even though she certainly knows it's "wrong" . She can't help it.

Help her. Stop treating it like she's being naughty. She isn't.

:(


It's not normal behavior. She's not an addict. She doesn't have much in the way of sugar, sweets, and baked goods because her father and I are both diabetic and we watch what we eat and what we buy and what we put into our kids' mouths very carefully. She's just sneaking because I made something she really liked- and the only sugar in it was the little bit in the yogurt. It was made of all natural frozen and fresh fruit and milk. No chemicals!

She IS being naughty because she knows the rules of our home which include a very strict: eating is only allowed at the kitchen table. She has been told many times before not to sneak and steal food, but to ask. She usually gets what she asks for. She can help it. She knows better.

A drug addict can also help it. They have to own up to it and take responsibility and realize that they are in control of their own lives. Telling a drug addict that they have a disease and it's not their fault is complete and utter BS! It's a cop-out. They have to realize that they make the decisions to take drugs, that nobody is forcing them to. Therefore, they have the power to overcome it as well. Yes, certain drugs are nasty and addictive and hard to quit. Smoking is hard to quit. Smoking is more addictive than certain drugs, but smokers aren't told they have a disease and it's not their fault.



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15 Apr 2008, 3:09 pm

lol, I was going to go after ouinon, but you beat me to it. ;) Ouinon, quoting yourself and getting more upset at Jennyfoo (who is asking for help!) doesn't help. It makes you look judgmental when you make all of those assumptions.

Jennyfoo, the problem is two-fold. The first is the bingeing. I don't agree that it's okay to let a kid binge. Yeah, it's healthy, yes, the food is a treat. But bingeing is not okay. It's a bad habit to get into. And bingeing is not just about weight, like Jennyfoo says (and I was going to bring up anyways) there is diabetes to consider. I am really lucky I didn't get diabetes as a child myself. I was allowed to eat tons of sweets, junky sweets. I had Kool-aid in my thermos! Hostess desserts filled our deep freezer. Mom baked on a regular basis. By the time I was in high school I was skipping meals in favor of Coke and candy bars. I was underweight the whole time. Now I'm fat and in the process of changing my lifestyle. (at 38!)
So, Jennyfoo is completely right in being worried over this behavior. I would be honest and explain the grim realities of diabetes, rotten teeth and poor health to your daughter. I have to discuss this with my son because we have diabetes on both sides of the family and my son is prone to bingeing too. I get explicit.

The second issue is "lying/stealing". I would start off by announcing the purpose of the treat (after dinner for the whole family) and who's in charge of distributing it. I would say consequences for eating too much at one time (or in the wrong place).

I wouldn't let your husband "mess" with her. Rules and consequences need to be straightforward and teasing her might really freak her out.
Sometimes bingeing is due to lacking something else. Make sure that she is getting enough of her meals or healthy snacks. I think autistics might overlook that they need more in their meals and are surprised by later hunger. My son is prone to wanting the "same" everything and not realize he is growing. Or he thinks eating a meal is a chore to get dessert. :twisted:



sinagua
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15 Apr 2008, 3:19 pm

KimJ wrote:
My son is prone to wanting the "same" everything and not realize he is growing. Or he thinks eating a meal is a chore to get dessert. :twisted:


This is what our son does, too. He will request/demand the same thing (e.g., a sandwich, or canned ravioli, or a hot dog with ketchup, or a veggie bean and cheese wrap) for every meal, eat the portion given to him (or not eat all of it), announce "I'M DONE!" and want to have his dessert. (My husband and I hardly ever eat desserts and only snack once in awhile.) But then he'll be hungry again an hour later, want another "meal" (sandwich, etc), then want another "treat." I keep telling him I'm not running a diner, and he needs to fix his own food after 9pm, but each time is like the first time, all over again. His dad and I think he's old enough to make himself a sandwich or heat something up in the microwave, but he whines and acts dejected/neglected, etc. Then he might say, "FINE then, I'll just go to BED!" which is thrilling for us, because he's also decided in the past month that he doesn't need/want to go to bed until eleven or so - so please, go to bed! :wink: :lol:

But it also proves to us that he's not really _that_ hungry, if he'll forego eating rather than fix it himself.

I also agree with you that it's not all about weight - as I said earlier, our son is rather skinny, but I do worry about his cholesterol and so forth. Lord knows he hasn't eaten a vegetable in ages, unless it was a carrot stick dipped in ranch dressing. :( But I'm not the best role model either. Point is, I took him to the doctor a couple months ago and told them all my concerns, and was told he's perfectly healthy and not to worry, it'll all "even out" somehow. :? The doc said he was just glad the boy isn't overweight. So we're back to that again.... :roll:

Anyway, yeah, what you said. ;)



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15 Apr 2008, 3:24 pm

Although I wouldn't word it like Ouinon, she does have a point. Is your daughter going into puberty? I did the exact same kind of thing in my early teen years - all those hormones do crazy stuff to your body, and sometimes you get awfull cravings for food - especially sweet food, like smoothies, or fatty things like peanut butter.
Compulsions and impulses can be very hard to control, and I wouldn't come down hard on it as a disciplinary problem - I would save that for BIG issues. If you come down really hard on everything, she will end up lying a lot! She'll try and prolong the time untill she is punished - and feel awful and guilty while she waits. If this guilt is food related, it can lead to really serious problems, especially in girls (binge eating, bulimia, anorexia).
Remember that the part of the brain that controls impulse, and can foresee consequences, is last to mature - it's not mature until you're over twenty! Remember too that brains differ - some have a harder time with impulse control than others, and some brains/personalities are more prone to compulsive or addictive behaviour.

Also, at a certain age, I believe it is healthy for kids to be able to identify their needs - i.e. hunger - and make themselves a sandwhich or snack without having to ask their parents. It can be a God send! My philosophy is that letting them do these things prepares them for "real life" much better than having parents doing and thinking for them around the clock.
I am going through the same with my 10 year old - trying to let him make some snacks, without over-eating between meals, and also tring to teach him part of the deal is tidying up afterwards :) We also two big fruit and veg bowls out on the kitchen table, where the kids ALWAYS can take fruit, carrots ect.

Could you teach your daughter to make her own smoothies? As you say, they are healthy, and quite easy to make, too.



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15 Apr 2008, 3:30 pm

Jennyfoo wrote:

A drug addict can also help it. They have to own up to it and take responsibility and realize that they are in control of their own lives. Telling a drug addict that they have a disease and it's not their fault is complete and utter BS! It's a cop-out. They have to realize that they make the decisions to take drugs, that nobody is forcing them to. Therefore, they have the power to overcome it as well. Yes, certain drugs are nasty and addictive and hard to quit. Smoking is hard to quit. Smoking is more addictive than certain drugs, but smokers aren't told they have a disease and it's not their fault.


That's not true. Yes they have to want to stop it in order to stop it, but it doesn't matter how much you want to stop a highly addictive drug, you aren't going to be able to resist when you're around people who are smoking it and you can smell it. Thats a well known fact in the scientific and health community

You can say "well just don't go where people are smoking it." But thats not the remotest bit realistic because people who have problems like that are often dependent on the government to help them find housing once they come clean. And from what I've seen with my own drug addicted family, the government tends to put them in places where there are known drug problems.

I have a cousin that was high on crack and involved in murder. She got off scot-free because another cousin first claimed he was soley responsible. However from the story i heard from her there is no way she couldn't have participated in it. She's also lost 9 of ten kids to foster care because she was too drug addled to take care of them - one was found in his crib, with severe diaper rash, surrounded by broken class with cuts on his feet.

She's clean now and because she was pregnant, she got into this program that gave her housing, pays all her babies bills, and helps her find a job. Guess what happened the first day she was in her new apartment - the man across the hall knocked on her door to see if she wanted to smoke crack.

Her mom has always had the same problem. Goes to jail, goes out into the housing provided for her, which is without fail always in a neighborhood known for having a drug problem and soon relapses. Right now she's been cleanest longest than ever, about 2 years. and thats likely because my dad let her move in. You'll have a hard time finding crack when you don't have a car and you're living on a rural farm. Unlike all those housing projects the government likes to put people who are just getting clean into



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15 Apr 2008, 3:35 pm

Quote:
I think autistics might overlook that they need more in their meals and are surprised by later hunger. My son is prone to wanting the "same" everything and not realize he is growing. Or he thinks eating a meal is a chore to get dessert


I remember a couple times when I was younger, I'd go to take a big piece of steak and be yelled at for not taking the smallest piece (I was the youngest). I'd get quite mad. Yes they were all bigger than me, but they all ate the other food served, food I couldn't stand. So I felt entitled to the big piece being as the steak would be the only thing I'd be eating that meal.

Then because I had been yelled at, I wouldn't eat anything. Didn't matter if I was hungry, I wasn't going to eat if I wasn't going to be allowed as much food as I felt I needed to eat.



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15 Apr 2008, 3:46 pm

I must be a socialist because everyone's offered the same over here. My parents were the same way. There are four people, the food is divided four ways.