My daughter steals

Please hide my identity. I am in pain as I write to you. I am a young mother of three. I have been married for 16 years and my first child, a girl is 15 while the other two boys are 12 and 9 respectively. As a mother, I have been doing everything within my power to see that I raise these kids in the best way possible. I put all of them in one of the best schools in my area even though the school fees is very expensive. My husband and I are both health workers so we earn enough to take care of our children and their needs. The problem as I write to you now is that I found out that my daughter steals. I feel very sad about this and from the look of things, it has not been long since she started doing this. Initially, we have not had a situation of missing money or anything else at home until recently. There was a time that her teacher called me in school to inform me that my daughter was accused of stealing her classmate’s money. I got to school and I was furious. 

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I vouched for my daughter that she doesn’t steal and would never do such a thing. I asked my daughter if she did it and she said no. Her teacher also said that she doesn’t know my daughter as someone with such character and that was why she called to inform me so that I would observe my daughter closely at home. To be honest, I was very worried after that incident. Stealing is something I dislike so much. I informed her father about it and we both told her to speak to her. After everything, she still maintained that she was falsely accused and she would never do such a thing. About three months ago, I had another issue of missing money in my house. I didn’t even want to suspect her, I suspected my house help. I confronted my house help and asked her to return the money or risk leaving my house. She cried and begged that she wasn’t responsible for the missing money. After so much search, I didn’t get the money again. I never had another incident of missing money until recently. During the beginning of this month, I brought home a certain amount of money. It was big, around 50k. 

This was the money I planned to pay my house workers from. The gateman, and house help were supposed to get there money from there then the rest will be for small errands at home. When I finally brought out the money to pay them, I really that only 20k was remaining. My heart skipped several beats. I was scared, angry and confused. I didn’t know who to blame. My house help has been living with me for over two years and never have I had any reason whatsoever to doubt here honesty and loyalty. She was diligent and hardworking so I didn’t know how to confront her plus I was already feeling guilty for confronting her for the first missing money. On the other hand, I didn’t want to confront my daughter but the money in question was so much. I finally asked both of them and as expected they both denied it. I told them that I was going to call the police yet nothing happened. I finally called a police officer I knew and when he came, after much threat, my daughter agreed that she took the money including the first one. What would a 15 year old child do with a whopping thirty thousand Naira? I was shocked. We asked her how she spent it and she couldn’t even say anything reasonable. .

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She later said she was using the money in school and she was giving some of them to her friends. I couldn’t take it anymore, I had to involve the class teacher. She said she observed that she was bringing a lot of things to school and that her circle of friends were becoming bullies and many times, they bullied my daughter sometimes too. My daughter has changed completely. I feel so scared. Why would she steal? I provide everything for her. She lacks nothing. Why would she steal. She is still very tender. I don’t know what to do. I have talked to her so many times but I don’t think it is making any difference. I don’t want my daughter to end up as a thief. She is still very young. I am disappointed and at the same time. What can I do to salvage this situation? I need help as soon as possible please.  

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