I went to the grocery yesterday, and they saw Ricki choosing things that morning, but it is not sure if they saw everything. Ricki did not march up to the counter and ask to put the items on our bill. The store owner and I “argued” who will foot the cost of questionably taken items, each of us wanting to take the blame.
It also turns out that Ricki mentioned in school that she had taken the things in the grocery without my permission, and didn’t want me to know. That shows that intellectually she knows that it is wrong. Yet, despite that knowledge, she did it, and this was undoubtedly not the first time. Telling her that she was wrong is not going to help.
After analyzing the situation, I decided that Ricki needs an allowance, so that SHE can occasionally CHOOSE to buy (and PAY for) a treat. She needs to be able to make some purchases on her own. That may sound like I am rewarding her, but again my goal is correction, not punishment. But in addition she has been warned that any future purchases on MY account, without permission, will be taken from HER money, and an amount LARGER than the purchase price will be impounded. Now I have to be on my toes to enforce this. Wish me luck!