Our oldest DD (1st grade) has been doing something lately, and we've talked and lectured a lot. And she's not really "getting" the seriousness.
Here's the situation: At the beginning of the year, she took some random small toys to school. They have a rule that kids are allowed to bring toys and keep them in their backpack and take them out at recess (especially for indoor recess days when there is bad weather). Well, of course she lost a few of these toys and I feel like that's a good enough logical consequence. Then she started "trading" toys with friends and we had to have several talks/lectures about that because sometimes they were trading inappropriate things--for example, once my 6 year old took and LOL doll that is actually her 4 year old sisters, and "traded it" with one of her school BFFs for a "special wrap bracelet" that was actually a detached purse strap. Like picture the clasps at each end and a faux leather purse strap--her friend convinced her she was supposed to wrap it several times around her wrist and join the 2 clasps together as a bracelet. We made our DD return the purse strap (because it obviously goes to some bag at the other girls' house, could be her moms bag or whatever) and ask for the LOL back because it wasn't hers to trade. Well, she never got the LOL back. We made her give DD2 one of her LOL dolls. We also said no more trading.
However, then DH bought DD a watch (not expensive, provably less than $30) to help her learn to tell time. She's in 1st grade and we discovered she's still weak on telling time on an analog clock, so DH bought her a learning analog watch that has a button where she can press it to tell the time, but she can practice reading the time and compare it to what the voice tells her.
Anyway, we told her not to ever wear it to school.....but she sneaked it on one day when it was still brand new, and she let that same friend "borrow it". My husband was pretty livid at DD, who was teary and said her BFF always says if she's REALLY her friend, she'll let her borrow things she wants, or sometimes she'll just try to take things from DD directly.
Now, I'm well aware I'm only hearing one side of the story. For all I know, DD is freely offering these things to her friend. I'm not there, all of this happens at recess (ie, the teacher won't know either). We told DD not to take it to school, so either way, we felt she was in the wrong. DH wanted to nicely email the parent of the girl and ask if the parents could check the backpack and send it back (not accusing, just saying our DD lent it to her and it's new so we'd like it back), but I asked my IRL mom friends and they all said they would be kind of offended and would assume we were accusing the girl of taking something if we emailed, so I convinced DH to drop it. Well....the girl kept the watch for 3 weeks and we wrote the watch off as totally gone, and then it finally showed back up. DD's story in all of this continued to be that she was asking her friend daily to bring it back to school, but the friend was saying things like "If you keep asking, I won't bring it". Again, who knows what the truth was. Bottom line, DD took something to school that we asked her not to take, and then one way or another, she lost it. (even though it eventually turned back up).
Okay, so we've had probably a dozen conversations, lectures, etc about taking items to school that are important--basically, do not take the items at all; only take items that are yours only, and that you don't mind losing. In the same time frame, DD took many other random things (like themed pencils, erasors, plastic junk from party goody bags, etc) and much of it ended up with this same friend, and I shrugged it all off and kept reiterating the lesson, "expect anything you take to school to end up gone/lost".
That brings us to now: Yesterday I pick up DD a little early from aftercare and she's wearing a SPECIAL BRACELET of mine that I keep in a small jewelry box in my closet. She was holding her hand behind her back in an awkward/obvious way so I asked what she was doing and she showed me the bracelet. I gave her a BIG and LONG lecture about not taking things that aren't hers.
Clearly, none of that sunk in because JUST THIS MORNING, DH texts me just as I arrive at work and said he saw DD sort of sneaking to her backpack in the morning, so he checked her backpack--and she's got our point-and-shoot camera in there! Now, this is an old point-and-shoot, and we gave it to her to use at home, but it's a working zoom canon camera, and we make sure she uses it correctly, stores it in the camera bag, she can't use it without us, etc. And she was about to take it to school secretly!!!!!
So now my husband wants to go full-on with some consequences this afternoon when we're all home. Because clearly the talks and the few logical consequences aren't working. But all of his ideas (taking away the 1 TV show a day she's allowed to watch, not letting her go to her girl scouts meetings for a while, or not giving her the christmas present she wants the most because she can't respect what she already has) seems off to me. I read so much gentle parenting stuff that says unrelated consequences don't stick/sink in--so I'm definitely not on board with the girl scouts or the christmas thing, and the No-tv option would certainly make an impression on DD (because she loves picking a show each day), but it's not a related consequence. Talking and lecturing isn't working.
So what's an appropriate consequence for this behavior and how to nip it?