We came home the other day to find out that Beth had stolen from us. We keep loose change around the house, just like every other person in America and I could tell she had taken some money out of the jar.
She may be sneaky but she hasn't learned to cover her tracks.
We sat her down and asked her why she did it. When she didn't say anything I asked her if she took money from the jar and she nodded yes. So I asked her again why she took it and she said she didn't know. That's what she tells us when she doesn't want to tell the truth. "I dunno."
We told her that it was stealing and if she did that at the store she'd go to jail. We told her that if she needed some money that all she had to do was ask. We'd gladly give her some money but she was to never steal from us again. (She knows all this. We were really kind of stunned.)
She sat there without saying a word so we had her bring her wallet up and we took back all our money. All the while telling her how wrong it was.
She quietly got up, picked up her wallet, and about the time she got to the bottom of the stairs, she burst into tears and yelled something about chores. She slammed her door and we could hear her crying all the way upstairs.
Chuck and I talked about it and realized that now that she's not working, she doesn't have the same amount of money at her disposal that she used to. I mean, we knew that but it just didn't register with us. And the thing about the chores, I sometimes leave her some ones or a five, as a thank you for helping around the house and I hadn't done that in a while because she's had more than enough money to do what she's wanted.
So that's something I need to start doing again. Of course I didn't want to reward her for stealing so I waited a week or so, then left her some cash for helping us with the chores. I've asked her job coach if she's heard anything about the interview at MOD, but she hasn't yet.
Beth is fine now but we're trying to make sure she always has a few bucks in her pocket.
I've also re-hidden the money jar.