What Do We Do About The Christmas Tree?

Hey Gang! I’m coming directly to you to try to get some advice to help Stephen and I out with a situation that we have. You see, Angela has a problem with touching other people’s things. Mostly things like Pens, Pencils, Markers, Papers, Empty Boxes or Full boxes…just boxes. It’s so annoying and absolutely drives us mad when she does this. She knows she’s going to get into “trouble” when she does this, yet she still does them. She’s good for a few days, and even 2 weeks tops. However, she almost can’t help herself when she knows the out come.

She does have some sort of OCD “tick”. Her brain is trained to rip paper up into a million little pieces. I don’t even know how she does it. But literally, a million little pieces. We understand that she can not control herself with this aspect of her neurological disorder, so we make sure she has lots of blank pieces of paper, scrap paper, old mail, sales flyers, coloring books galore, and even sometimes an occasional box.

About 5 or 6 months ago, we finally had enough. We are very big on her owning up to her mistakes and learning how to fix them, and that there are consequences when she does “bad” things. So, we moved her bed upstairs into our dining room area. We told her that we couldn’t trust her, and this would be the outcome. It took her a while, and a few huge meltdowns, but she almost got used to staying up here. We wanted to make sure she know that we wanted to keep an eye her so she wouldn’t make that mistake again. The main final straw was when she took our Nephew’s art project he was working on (personal…not school related) and his big pad of coloring books….and she ripped them up, and hid the rest.

Fast forward to December. December 3rd to be exact….her birthday. We decided that it was finally time for her to go back downstairs to her bedroom area. She had finally earned our trust back after touching nobody’s things for over 1 1/2 weeks. We applauded her and encouraged her; however, this came with a stipulation: We wrote it down in a note that she is note to touch other people’s things and stay on the right path. If she did, we would have to pull her bed back upstairs to the dining room area and we wouldn’t be able to put up our Christmas Tree. Yes. Our Christmas Tree is still not up…and I am a little dismayed by it. In the note, we stated about the bed coming up, the tree (if it was up) would have to come down, and that we would write a letter to Santa Claus to explain to him what had happened.

Since she has been downstairs, she has touched other people’s property (small things of paper, boxes, etc.) 3 times – the 3rd time being today.

We don’t know what to do. We are at a loss. We seriously area. We want to make sure that she is held accountable for her actions, but at the same time we want our Christmas Tree up to have Christmas. She keeps saying that she promises she won’t do it again. She wants Santa to come. She wants the presents. But she won’t stop…and we don’t know we to do with this situation.

Do we follow through and pull her bed back upstairs and not put the tree up?

Do we take away 3 baby dolls that she loves? I say 3 because she touched things 3 different times.

What should we do? I would love your insight and suggestions. How do we hold her accountable for this without ruining Christmas for everyone? Even her. Our hearts are definitely broken, and we don’t want to have to make this decision…but we will if that’s what it takes for her to understand that she is being held accountable for her actions.

This will send her into an extreme super meltdown. No matter how calmly we talk about things, her brain will be done. We will have to suffer the repercussions once we do this. So we are so confused.

Thank you for any help and suggestions! You know how much we love you all.