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Stealing from a sibling

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
My oldest DD is almost 6. About a year ago she took a bow from a store, and once I explained paying for things she took it very seriously. She is a "rules girl" and asked to return it. We went in and did just that, and haven't had a problem since.

However, the kids recently turned in their piggy bank change for dollars. The oldest spent all of her money that day on 2 things she had been saving for. The baby had like 24 dollars returned to her piggy bank in bill form.

The middle daughter recently bought a toy she wanted, and the oldest decided she wanted a similar toy- but we reminded her that her piggy was empty and we'd have to save back up.

Well, long story short- she "magically" found 20.00 in her piggy bank (complete with "where did that come from?!") and the baby is "magically" 20.00 short. She has no idea I have connected the dots. We're trying to think it out before we react.

So I guess I'm just looking for ideas. Until now I'd always thought of her as a very ethical girl. She has a lot of empathy and is very respectful. Now I'm wondering how much of that is to reach our expectations and how much is sincere, but I'm sure I'm reading to much into it. I am thinking she just really wants this toy and figured the baby didn't care about money so nobody is really getting hurt. Which is true, the baby truly wouldn't care or know the difference.

post #2 of 2
I would just be very straightfoward about it. Avoid shaming. Do not ask questions when you know the answers already. I would just say, "Honey, this $20 in your bank belongs to the baby. Its not okay to take it. I'm going to return it to his bank, and I don't want you to touch it again."

I'm not sure much more needs to be said, unless she has a reaction. If she argues or cries about it, or has guilty feelings -- then you will need to process that with her. But you'll need to take that as it comes.
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