Wedding Woes

Tell her she can't take your stuff to her dad's house. Period.

Dear Prudence,

My daughter keeps stealing my clothes and wearing them to her dad’s house. (He and I are divorced and on ok terms, but we are by no means friends.) Now, I’m normally pretty okay with her borrowing my clothes, but I really don’t enjoy coming home to find my daughter dolled up in my 2022 designer jacket ready to go to her dad’s. I’ve tried talking to her about it, at the very least to bring these articles back! And while she sometimes remembers to bring my clothes home, more often than not I get a “oh I’m so sorry mom, next week I’ll pick it up!” I also don’t wanna be seen as the villain who keeps her from dressing like me by more firmly putting my foot down on this behavior. Am I overthinking this?

— Don’t with Donatella

Re: Tell her she can't take your stuff to her dad's house. Period.

  • You need to both set boundaries with your daughter and also co-parent with your ex.

    Be clear, "You are no longer borrow my clothing and if I find stuff missing your dad will return it to me and additional punishments will be set by BOTH of us." 

    My biggest thought is that the kid is using this as a way to manipulate mom and dad.  Don't give her the satisfaction of anything other than you're united in telling her she's not going to be able to steal and get away with it. 
  • Yep, this is for sure something you have to establish boundaries with her. 
  • I don't understand why LW can't tell her daughter to stay out of her things and tell her she needs to ask before taking something.   And then also, take steps to secure the stuff that you don't want her getting into.  Plus, if she does borrow something, tell her it stays at your house.  And if she breaks rules, give her consequences and try to involve her father in upholding them. 

    NONE of that makes you a bad guy.  Geeze. 
  • Yeah this one’s easy for me. 

  • The LW needs to start enacting punishments, since verbal requests are not working.

    My sister, mom, and I all had different styles and rarely borrowed each other's things.  If we did, we ALWAYS asked ahead of time.

    One day when I was about 19, my mom was going through her closet and getting rid of stuff.  She came across one of her favorite mini-skirts from a bygone era, the 1970s, and asked me if I wanted it.  Heck yeah!  It was so cute and completely retro.  It was plaid, but in soft tones of cream, pink, and light brown.  It had two pleats in the front and the fabric texture was like wool.  I loved that skirt also and gave it a second life 25 years later, lol.
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  • It’s a pretty fundamental rule not to take things that don’t belong to you; she’s not entitled to take your things but she will keep doing it if there are no consequences. 
  • Theft is theft.

    LW needs to be clear with daughter. Boundaries and they fact daughter isn't asking.

    I borrowed stuff from my mum but
    1 - I'd leave a note if she wasn't home
    2 - I knew she didn't need it next day
    3 - my mum established boundaries early - borrowing and returning asap is fine, but I was to never bring stuff to trips or to friend's places {trip thing was changed as I got older}
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