My step daughter stole: How should I handle this?

I haven’t dealt with stealing, but have dealt with being a bonus mom who was very involved with my bonus daughters, and had lots of group parent conversations and had to deal with things in the moment and back my decisions up to the other parents afterwards. Just make sure you back up the other parents and they back you up. You will make mistakes. You will not be perfect. Life is a learning experience. Love the child and think what would you do if your biological child did the same thing? Then do that. No different. Proceed with unconditional love.


Take something of hers and use it in front of her, dont respond to her right away if she says something. Then put it up out of her reach but in her sight. Then as long as everyone is calm sit her down and talk to about how she felt first then let her know how it made her feel. If that dont work whoop her ass

Have a heart to heart talk with her about how it made you feel, how it breaks trust and how it will reflect on her for a long time


Take everything out of her room besides her bed and clothes. She can earn them back.


Let her know that you’re more disappointed that she felt she had to lie to you and steal from you than you are anything else. Somehow knowing someone is disappointed in us for any action is way worse than them being angry about it. Then I’d take something of hers that she really loves and tell her that until she can show you that she’s learned her lesson, she won’t be getting it back.

Hypocritically stealing from her to teach her stealing is bad, getting the cops involved, taking away all her possessions will just lead her to want to hold more value in material things (since it can be taken from her at any moment) and to be more sneaky about stealing next time. She’s only 7. Her brain is undeveloped in the region with impulse control. This means that even if she can understand concepts well, she lacks a stopping mechanism and understanding in long term consequences.

Focus on connection. This link gives a great example of what happened when their child stole money:


Whoop the kids ass. Stop being soft.

Take something she really like!

okay honestly, from the fact that she was stealing a toy but was old enough that you expected her to listen i’m going to go ahead and assume she’s between 5 and 10. if that’s the case — she really doesn’t understand the concept of stealing.

she saw something, she wanted it, you told her not to touch it, her lack of impulse control and desire to have the toy overrode your instructions. it’s really that cut-and-dry. treating her as if she’s some sort of thief in the night would be overkill, ineffective, and for lack of a better term, dramatic.

honestly the best course of action here is to just have a talk about not taking things that she’s been asked not to touch, why following instructions is important, and why what she did wasn’t nice. then drop it. this doesn’t need to be a huge lesson, you don’t need to make her pay, just accept that she’s a kid and she does kid stuff and will learn the ethics of this sort of thing in time.


I stole my grandmas music box when I was 7, what I didn’t realize was it was something she got made with her sister before she died. I gave that music box away, broke my grandmas heart for years. She told me how disappointed she was in me and how much it meant to her. Everyone in the family gave me a scolding, I can proudly say I’m 22 years old, only ever stolen that one thing my entire life, and even replaced it for her two years ago because it haunted me so bad.


While consequences are needed…I would try and figure out why she took it. Also after punishment maybe give her a journal so she can write stuff down.

I think they all do this at one point, talk to her about why she did it?

This is a teaching moment, not a discipline moment.


Group parenting, for this the 3 or 4 of you need to do it together. She needed to understand this is serious and all the parents sit together with her and talk about this and what she needs to do. Be it grounding, replacing what was stolen, writing a letter of apology, or a report on what happens to people who steal and lie. Maybe even another meeting afterwards to talk with her about it .


I’ve no idea…but well done for being a great step mum by the sounds of it :heart:

If it was my 7yr old, I’d explain that we don’t steal, ask how they’d feel if someone took something of theirs without asking. I’d take away their favorite toy and put it up for about a month. Then I’d make them work it off, if the toy cost $20, enough chores to equal $20, that way they understand things cost money and it’s not nice to take things other people work for.


Did you ask her why she took it? Maybe she’s looking for some extra attention? I’d have a one-on-one with her. Ask her why she thought it would be okay to take the toy? Explain how she hurt your feelings and that it’s not okay. Then tell her because she stole, disobeyed your request not to touch it, and upset everyone that she doesn’t get a play time. Instead she has to sit in time out. Maybe write " I will not steal " like 10 times. Tell her every time she breaks a rule like this she is going to have to do this. If she doesn’t then you take her favorite toy away until you feel she deserves it back. She’s 7, so I’m trying to find ways that might help her and you. My husband always talks to his step kids(mine) and explains alot of things and asks them questions about what happened, why they did it, should they have done it, how do they feel that they hurt feelings. Etc…


Probably jealous because negative attention is better than no attention.Let her know you love her but will not tolerate stealing and make her apologize and return the toy or put her favorite toy in lockdown until she sees the light!!!:joy::rofl::joy:7 is still young but old enough to know right from wrong.


I would make her apologize to your daughter for stealing the toy and then if the toy was valued at $20 give her 20 small chores to do.

So a punishment that really works in my house and she should be able to handle at seven is writing an “essay” about what she did, why she did it, what she should have done instead, and what she will do in the future. It could just be a sentence to answer each bullet point, making a paragraph. I also (as a homeschooler myself) make her do a sloppy copy of this, edit it, and give a proper final copy with her corrections so essentially she writes it twice. This has worked better for us than any other grounding, taking away, lecture, etc. because she really has to sit down and think about what she’s done but in your case I’d also make her replace what she took.

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