Troubled teen’s stealing is the last straw


Dear Amy: Our teenage daughter, who has put us through the wringer in many ways, was recently caught stealing money. She took $20 from Dad’s wallet and $5 from mine.

We confronted her lovingly, set limits, gave consequences, and dried her tears with hugs and lots of love.

That night, I wrote her a card about how much I love her and stuck it under her door because she seemed down. I felt really great about how we handled the crisis! Except she went back into my purse THE NEXT DAY and stole all the rest of my money.

Now I find I can’t even look at her. I feel so betrayed. How do you go forward when you can’t trust your kid?

She is on antidepressants and under the care of a psychiatrist. She was in therapy, but no longer wants to go.

She has been caught cutting herself, smoking pot, vaping, shoplifting, sexting, climbing out her second-story window, and tattooing herself.

Up until now, I thought it was just an excess of teenage bad judgment — the kind you’ll laugh about some day.

But now I’m starting to feel used. Honestly, stealing from us right after the confrontation really pushed me over the edge. She also admitted it — both times.

We’re planning on locking our wallets up from now on, by the way. Sigh.

Any advice?

— Anxious Parents


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