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My daughter has been lying and stealing from us as well as someone she called her BFF. We give her consequences and she continues with her stealing and lying. Recently I found out that she was cutting and I am so very scared for her and dont know what to do. I am trying to get her into a counselor but they dont take my insurance. I know she loves me but lately it seems as though its a big struggle to keep her on the straight and narrow and she is in danger of being held back in school. Right now her punishment of grounding doesnt even seem to be working and she is up to 2.5 months grounding from different offenses, its like she doesnt care!! What can my husband and I do to turn this all around?

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2.5 months of grounding is a hopeless punishment. Removing a cell phone for 25 minites will have the same effect as removig the phone for a day. –  DanBeale May 1 '14 at 13:59
Amen to that - speaking from recent experience as a 21-year-old, my computer I think is technically STILL completely off-limits to me, and it didn't matter as soon as it hit about two weeks, even though it escalated rather slowly and I've been 'grounded from the computer' since age 13 pretty much entirely. –  Commander Coriander Salamander May 3 '14 at 3:17
By "cutting", do you mean "cutting class" or "cutting herself" or something else? –  Dave Clarke Oct 8 '14 at 12:36
@DaveClarke "cutting" in this context generally means self-harm. That's very serious. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Oct 8 '14 at 13:41
Act now. Cutting is the serious symptom of major mental health issues. Everything else is secondary. Double-check on the medical insurance. I understood one of the changes to medical insurance under the Affordable Care Act was coverage for mental health just like other health issues. mentalhealth.gov/get-help/health-insurance –  Marc Oct 10 '14 at 5:20

3 Answers 3

Therapy is the best thing to do in my opinion. Your profile says you are in California, so there are clinics available and if she is suicidal to the point of attempting it, taking her to a hospital is actually the best way to go. (That may sound odd to those not "in the know", but when I was suicidal, that's where I went and they hold you until they take you to the mental health facility to ensure you are safe.)

NOTE FOR NON-UNITED STATES PERSONS: This advice is only relevant in the United States and may vary for your locality.

Grounding for 2.5 months might as well be 2.5 years... after a certain amount of time, it all seems like forever.

Kudos for trying everything you can think of and seeking other means without trying some of the less productive methods.

I know for myself and my daughter that going to a therapist is quite expensive and the therapist doesn't take any form of insurance, so it can be a true challenge. Fortunately, those clinics do exist and my experience is that contacting the local authorities for advice is a good place to start because they will move you to the department best suited for your situation.

I wish you and your family the best!

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Well this kind problems are most difficult for every parents. But i would insist you to take her out somewhere for few days & spend quality time with her, at the same time make her realize how important is she in your live. If she still behaves in the same manner like now then it is better to force her to see a counsellor to help her to get rid of these tendencies, where she can lead a straighter life.

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Take all of her things and throw them is storage.

Admittedly, these sort of lessons work better on much younger kids. A very real way to illustrate that people don't like their stuff taken, is to take all her stuff. You can choose to return it in 2.5 months if her stealing doesn't persist.

Lying is a very difficult problem to solve. The benefit of lying is that it protects you from getting punished sometimes when you have done something wrong, but the authorities cannot verify that you did it. I have never found a good solution to prevent kids from lying to their parents.

As for her cutting and possibly being held back in school, is this a sudden change in her behavior? Perhaps there is a issue that is occurring at school or at home that she isn't telling you about.

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I feel that taking all the child's possessions long term is is not only extreme, but also unlikely to have the desired effect. Research has shown that increasing the length of a punishment has quickly diminishing returns. Grounding a child for a month will have little or no difference over grounding for a week. Other than that one solution, you provide no other answers, only "I don't know"s and questions (which should be relegated to comments on the question itself). –  Doc May 1 '14 at 18:23
@Doc, I blame the OP for me not having other answers, it is unclear what they are asking. How do I stop my child from stealing, OR How do I stop my child from lying, OR how do I turn this all around (whatever that means). Questions should be seperated. Do you think theraphy, and spending quality time are the correct solutions to stealing, llying, and cutting? Physician heal thyself. –  user1873 May 1 '14 at 20:56
Wow, your last comment's sentence is wrong on every level. Therapy is not "thyself", first of all. Second, your implicit assertion is that therapy only addresses one issue at a time... like questions on a forum... which is patently false as therapy often addresses far more than one issue at a time. –  Jeremy Miller May 5 '14 at 4:32
@JeremyMiller, it was a joke, a play on the commenter's username. It didn't realize that therapy was the snake oil of the 21st century. Does it cure baldness too? –  user1873 May 5 '14 at 4:50
@user1873 Should the time come when therapy can help you or a loved one via the counsel or meds, you may find yourself questioning your own hubris. –  Jeremy Miller May 5 '14 at 4:54

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