Has your child ever stolen before?
During one of my trips out with the children, we came across 3 men, lined up on the floor, in front of some police men and security guards.
I knew they were obviously thieves, apprehended by the police. So, I pointed them out to my four-year old, explaining to her that those were thieves who were now going to be sent to their ‘naughty’ corner for being naughty.
Since the word ‘thief’ is not something she is familiar with, I had to explain to her that thieves are people who steal. That is, people who take things which don’t belong to them without getting appropriate permission first. Yes, I tried breaking it down for her in simple terms. Then, I proceeded to tell her a story about a little girl who ‘stole’ some ice-cream when her mom wasn’t looking. You see, I wanted her to fully understand what stealing is all about and how it usually begins from the little things.
Now, here’s where things got a little interesting. When I was done with my story, my daughter solemnly looked at me and informed me that she too had stolen before. Without waiting for me to recover from this vital piece of information, she then went on to explain how she and her cousin ‘stole’ grandma’s cake because it was very sweet. But, she added, that they would not do ‘that’ again.
She looked terribly sorry for her ‘sins’. So, I just encouraged her of the importance of always asking before ‘taking’ and not jumping the gun if there is no appropriate person to take permission from. After hearing me out, she decided it was also ‘important’ to go to her cousin’s mom and make the same confession.
To be honest, I found these very sober moments quite hilarious but because I did not want to make light of what I also considered to be vital lessons, I had to deliberately hold back the laughter tickling my lips. I was just really glad that my child had put what some may describe as a mere ‘pinching’ act into the right perspective. Really, don’t the big crimes always start out as small, supposedly harmless habits?
I was also glad that I had earlier not ignored the opportunity to take an actual event from our immediate environment and practically run my daughter through a moral lesson. You see, I was almost not going to say anything about the thieves and I was almost not going to end with the story. However, I am glad I did because my message was obviously well buttressed.
Before I sign out, let me point out that this post is not necessarily about ‘stealing’ par se. The point being made is that our everyday lives are filled with priceless moments which we can use to bond with our kids and also teach them priceless, practical lessons that come along.
Therefore, whenever you are with your child, be careful to make the most of every moment that comes along. It doesn’t matter whether you are simply out on a stroll together or maybe waiting to catch a bus at the bus stop or perhaps you are both sitting out together in a party or maybe you are just both having a lazy day at home. So long as you are together, find something!!! You know, is there a joke you can both share or a game you can both play or a chat you can both engage in or a lesson you can both learn? The honest truth is that you can both get a whole, whole lot out of these natural, unplanned moments.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net