Re: My daughter has stolen something....

kelly_sturman <conspicuousfamily@...>

This thread brought back two memories. I remember stealing a Weeble--
does anybody remember those toys?--in preschool, because I thought
Weebles were SOOOO cool, and I didn't have any, and I knew my parents
couldn't afford to buy me any. I put it in my pocket and brought it home
from pre-school, then hid it in my room. Couldn't sleep a wink that night,
tossing and turning with guilt. You can bet I snuck that Weeble back into
my classroom the next day!

The other memory is of something that happened a year or two later: I got
to wondering what pebbles would sound like as they bounced off the sides of a
moving car. It honestly NEVER occurred to me that throwing rocks at cars
could do damage, or that the owners of the cars might be upset. I was just
honestly curious about what sort of sound the pebbles would make. I think
I had become aware of the Doppler effect, and was wondering about that...

Anyway, one day, after school, at the baby sitter's house, I mentioned this
to the baby sitters' two daughters. They thought throwing rocks at cars sounded
like fun, so off we went to give it a try. Can you imagine my surprise when the
first car we threw pebbles came to a screeching stop, and a VERY angry man
got out and yelled at us? Honestly, I was SHOCKED. To me, this was no different
than skipping stones across a pond, but, gosh, this guy was ANGRY.

He hollered at us for awhile, and then He then complained to the babysitter, who
promptly spanked her two girls, yelling at them for being a bad example for me.
(They were often in trouble, and I never was.) The whole story was relayed to my
mother when she came to pick me up, with MORE apologies for how the other
girls had been a bad influence on me. All the way home, my mother talked
about how proud she was that I didn't act like those other, stupid girls, how relieved
she was that she didn't have to spank me and send me to bed without my supper.

I recall it took me several days to 'fess up to being the "mastermind" behind that
particular adventure; I remember being in tears, crying for fear of being spanked
and sent to bed without my supper, crying because I didn't know how I could
have been so stupid, and crying because I had let my parents down by acting
stupid. What I can't remember is what happened AFTER my confession.

Anyway, I was thinking, sometimes people make mistakes because of an
impulse, and sometimes people just aren't thinking things through. If we
can help our kids to think things through, I think (hope) that they will become
more able to think more things through on our own... eventually. But of course,
there are times all through life when we make mistakes, and need a safe person
to talk to, and need forgiveness, and help in making amends.

Also, these memories remind me that we can pass judgment on our kids,
indirectly, by passing judgment on others'. If we aren't tolerant, forgiving,
understanding of people in general, then we our kids won't feel that we
will be tolerant, forgiving, understanding of them, and with good reason!

We can respond to our children's mistakes in a way that encourages them to
let us help them to think the problem though and to make amends.

Most people appreciate when others make amends. The missing ornament
may have gone unnoticed, but the act of sending it back, or paying for
a replacement, most likely will NOT go unnoticed.

Kelly Sturman


Thanks Sandra,

It's very true what you say about children getting themselves in situations that they don't know how to handle.

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