How to deal with a teenage child stealing money

I will give my opinion which reflet only my way of thinking.

I see two points here:

  • child stealing money
  • Adopted child

So, it might be more problems here and the money stolen might be only the consequence of a bigger problem.

I believe being adopted might be difficult. Might be because i haven't been through this experience in my life, therefore i dont know the feeling. Moreover, for a young adolescent (12 yo) it might be even worst.

I believe the problem comes from the origin and the reason why she was adopted. Here few ideas:

  • Does she felt home with your familly?
  • Does your family treated her as her own child and not an adopted child?

It is important for this child to have a place to call home and to feel home (sending her over her biologic parents might show overwise...).

If she stole the money and didn't feel remorse, then the work need to be focused on her perseption of the family she lives in.

I believe the best option for you is to approach professional (child psychiatrist) to help your family through this issue. The problem is not stealing money, i believe is something else which i dont know. Making this step will actually show her you care about her. But it should not be shown as "she has an issue" but more "we want you to feel our family like your family and we meed help to reach this objective".


I'm not sure of the situation where an adopted child could be sent back to her adopted parents.

If you're going to adopt a child this is for good or for bad, you can't just give up on them when they do something wrong.

I would have thought that you would speak to the child and ensure that you have all the facts. (Not opinions) Why for instance was she stealing. You say she was spending the money on her friends but you don't say in what sense. For instance were her friends encouraging her to steal for them, were they forcing her to buy gifts for them or did she do it to buy their friendship.

Is she doing it to buy the "love" of her friends being that she is adopted.

From whom did she steal the money?

Did she do it for excitement?

Did she do it for attention?

Is she stealing because she is hungry or has other pressing needs that aren't being met?

What about seeking some counselling for her, and for the family also, where this is necessary.

What else is going on in her life that might be pertinent to all this. For instance, she is "adopted" and yet she can still be returned to her birth family... Surely the circumstances of all this will have their consequences on her behaviour.


It's best to leave her with her biological parents. Your family don't have to be victims just, because they opened their home to someone that doesn't deserve it. She basically doesn't deserve a good home, because she doesn't care about the family that is helping her.

There are so many children in the world that need good families to raise them and I'm sure they won't be this cold. I'm sure they will be very appreciative that they were given another chance at having a family. This child will grow up to be a jail bird, because she doesn't care about anyone, but herself. She is heading for the wrong path in life.

Your family has done well for sending her back home. You don't have to feel guilty about that. She is bad news, plus she hurt all of you for stealing from you all. I hope your family will recover from this bad experience and give another kid a chance at having a family.


You sent her to her biological parents for a while ? I wonder if she was your own daughter what would you do ? Face the problem head-on, call a third party particularly someone she respects like a teacher or an older mature peer or even one of her friends that you believe are honest at least not in taking nothings without permission and all three of you can have a debate or discussion.


It sounds like she doesn't know right from wrong. Also since she's adopted it would be the genes from her biological parents.

Maybe it's a mental thing. She certainly doesn't care, she's been doing it for a year. Did you find out a year after she was doing it? If that's the case, it should've been caught sooner.

This is a bad habit, things like this turn into breaking the law, etc.. hopefully this doesn't happen to you.


There is counseling available for these types of problems- maybe try and find a place that can help. Or have a really serious, heartfelt conversation about why she did it. Also, HIDE YOUR MONEY!


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