I am trying something different in the form of punishment. My daughter keeps bringing home things that do not belong to her. Obviously,  I do not approve.

When I was a kid,  I could not bring home anything that wasn’t mine,  PERIOD.  There were no excuses. I didn’t even want my friends to give me anything; I didn’t want to get in trouble.  I remember bringing  home an eraser once, my grandmother acted like I stuck someone up at gunpoint.

I remember getting $20.00 from my friend in fifth grade.  I don’t know where he got the money from, he claimed his father. I think he stole it, to give it to me. I didn’t know what to do with all that money.  I couldn’t tell my grandmother and I damn sure couldn’t buy shit. I asked my brother if he wanted some money.  He lived with my mom and she was much more lenient. Plus,  he loved money! I had to give my grandmother all of my money, to put into my bank account. Money really didn’t have much value to me back then. Anyway, my brother came to my house and I think I gave him all but two bucks.  I figured I could spend it on candy and not get caught. I never ate $2.00 worth of candy that fast in my life.  Back then we could get penny candies, so I  had A LOT.

My daughter tells me her friend gave her this and that. Or she found this or that. One day she brought home a toy phone. The shit didn’t even work. She said her “friend gave it to her.” I told her the child’s parents “bought that toy for HER — not YOU.” She loves saying “they said I could have it.” I have explained over and over — kids can not give you anything. They did not buy it, therefore, they can not give it away. You can look at it and give it back.

She is not getting it!

Yesterday she brought home a dollar. She claims it was change from the book fair. The book fair was over — lies. Then she “found” it in her cubby. Then she said it belonged to the boy who shares her cubby. I do not know if this was true, but I put the dollar in an envelope and wrote the boy’s name and the amount. I told her to give it BACK to the teacher.

She said she gave it to the teacher and the teacher gave it to another little girl. I think it may have been the girl’s dollar. I am going to email the teacher today to touch base. Actually, they have a thing at the school today, I am going to attend. Hopefully, her teacher will be in attendance. If not, I am going to send the email tomorrow.

I spoke to her and warned her again about taking people’s things, borrowing, begging, or anything. Leave the other kids with their things.

You now this child brought home a pink pencil that did NOT belong to her? She claims her friend let her use it — she has her own. I am assuming she wanted it because it was pink. She needs to be pleased with her own things.

I talked to her again and I sent her to bed 45 minutes earlier than her sister. I explained that was the consequence to her actions and she has to go to bed early, while her sister gets to stay up. They go to bed @ 8; she was in bed by 7:15.

Oh, she cried the whole time. Her sister liked the fact she could watch T.V, but she felt bad for her sister. When I went to the kitchen, she opened the door and told her to come watch a little T.V. “quickly.” They were trying to talk to each other through the door as well. My daughter apologized for the pencil, for being mean to her sister, everything and anything she could say. I accepted her apology and told her she still had to go to bed early.

I am hoping my punishment worked.

What else can I try?

I really want her to learn to appreciate her own things: toys, snacks & clothes. 



  1. Sometimes a gift really isn’t about the actual gift itself but more about feeling connected to the person that gave it. So maybe your little one is just learning to be social and that’s one of the ways she’s doing it?

    It’s interesting what you said about money having no value when you were a kid. I remember feeling that way too. Once on my way to school, I was about 10 or 11, I found a roll of money. Looking back I think it was a lot of money but back then all it meant to me was that I could buy a big cookie, I was hooked on big cookies. But ultimately I flushed the money down the toilet. I’m not sure why I did that either, but I did. Lol


  2. I found $1,500 once and my parents acted like I robbed a bank! They took my money – and then contacted everyone they could think of because they were sure I stole it even after they made me take them to the spot where I found it. When they realized that I had told the truth, they weren’t gonna give it back to me – but after two hours of literally arguing with them, I got it all back. One of the few times I ever really fought with my parents about something and I won!

    For your situation, man, I’m not sure what I’d do – you have to tailor creative punishments to the kid you’re punishing, like finding out what they really like and can’t “live” without – then denying them access to it until they straighten up. I’m kinda sure the “no TV” punishment isn’t going to always be effective. But, they have to be made to understand that their privileges will go away if they continue to screw up like this and remember this important thing: Whatever you tell them you’re gonna do, be damned sure to do it; otherwise, they’ll just ignore anything you say.

    My kids thought I was the worst person on the planet for some of the stuff I had to come up with and laid on them; I even made one of them go stand in a corner and stare at the wall so they could see the error of their ways.

    In this, you can’t be cruel… but you can be merciless when handing out punishments because you know that, in the end, they will be better for it – but having to punish them just sucks.


    1. Yea, I am learning more about the consistency thing too. You are lucky you got the money back. I don’t think I would have gotten it back. It may have been put in the bank for me. Yea, I am doubtful the tv thing will work very long. The thing is, the kids don’t get to watch much t.v. During the week, it rarely turn it on, if I do, it is for like a half an hour until bed time, if we get finished early. I am more lenient on the weekends. So, she was terribly sad to miss a chance to watch t.v. during the week.

      I am trying to figure out what she really likes. She has a bunch of toys, but I sometimes feel like I waste my money on them. They play with them, but, I don’t think they are attached to any one thing.


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