Why do parents teach kids to steal?
It’s hard to understand why parents teach kids to steal but we see it almost on a weekly basis.
It was an unofficial party.
We were excited to greet the family even though it wasn’t a party we were hosting with all our bells and whistles. It was a child’s birthday, an opportunity to be whimsical.
Our Play Co ordinator for the day went down to check on the family!
I’m not really sure how to describe what she found…maybe the word flummoxed best describes her heart.
She wondered if we had become a Mc Donald’s Franchise!
The family had bought in food.
She didn’t know how to convey our policy, a policy set to protect families, our staff and the business on all sorts of levels.
She explained the policy to which the reply was, “There is nothing on the web to say we can’t bring in our own food,” – which isn’t true and irrelevant. Our manager then asked but “How could you ignore all the posters on your way through?”
“We didn’t see the posters because we let all our friends in downstairs.”
20 children had been admitted in for free, 20 children and their parents had been let in using the down stairs doorway.
I wonder what was put on the Kids Paradise Party Invitation.
“Please don’t come in through the main entrance but meet us downstairs where we will let you in for free. This way you won’t have to pay!”
When confronted the families never saw anything wrong with their behaviour.
Anger quickly surfaced and my manager felt unsafe. Glad it was her doing the confronting and not a junior staff member.
The family created quite a ruckus as they left blaming prices for the reason why they had to steal, sneak and be naughty.
Our staff felt sad.
Sad because stealing never shapes a child’s character for good.
Children to grow and thrive and be who they really are need character and boundaries.
Without boundaries children don’t flourish.
Kids will kick up a stink when you first put down boundaries, they’ll throw a few tears and stamp their foot but eventually they will be calmer, more peaceful and happier for the boundaries.
I’ve seen parents in supermarkets let their kids steal the excuse being, “If they put the temptation at a child’s level then they can put up with the kid taking the food!”
Eventually this parenting strategy bites parents on the bum!
Because there will come a day when the child will return the behaviour.
Recently I confronted a youth about stealing their mum’s credit card and the response was, “Mum left her purse out!” The youth didn’t call what they had done stealing. The youth simply repeated the line given over the years.
Your child is unrepeatable.
Never again will a child like yours walk the planet.
They are unique with a distinctive and wonderful contribution to give to planet earth.
When I hold a baby in my arms, when I do a child dedication, when I get to bless a child I can’t help but wonder, “What beauty will this little one create on planet earth.”
They are a treasured gift brimming with possibilities.
They are purposed and destined.
It’s our job as parents to help shape their character so they can carry their purpose and destiny.
Without character they can’t be who the best of who they were created to be.
Our children follow our examples, not our advice.
They imitate what they see.
We need to give them something good to imitate.
We need to be who we want our kids to become!