My kid stole a cookie, did I handle it well?

Yesterday morning, we went to the grocery store. While I was waiting by the deli counter, my 10 year old boy took a cookie. I didn’t know about it at the time.

When we got in the car, I saw him munching on it and I asked where he got it, he outright admitted to taking it. We turned around and went back to the store, I made him apologize for stealing and made him pay for it.

A friend says “Why’d you make such a big deal out of it? It’s just a cookie.” She says her kid does it all the time.

I thought I did the right thing.

What do you think ?

I think you did the right thing. It’s not “just a cookie”…

I think you did the right thing too. He’s definitely old enough to know better. Do you think he took it to heart?

You did the right thing. It would’ve been one issue if he had swiped the cookie at home, which is something a lot of kids do. That deserves punishment, but nothing too over the top. Stealing from a store crosses a totally different line, and one that needs stopping before it goes too far.

I think he took it seriously, he told me later he was mad at himself.

Thank you, Dragongirl. You are an excellent mom! This is something that he will remember always. I’m sorry that your friend doesn’t share the same wisdom, but don’t let that deter you from instilling life-lessons. It’s one thing to say, “Don’t steal, or you’ll pay the consequences”, and another thing to say, “Don’t steal unless you can get away with it”.

My kid lifted a candy bar from the store once. I took him over to the little Mayberry lockup and had the sheriff give him the tour. Stealing is stealing.

If your friend lets her kid steal cookies all the time, she’s teaching her kid “it’s okay to steal as long as it’s little things.”

You taught your kid “Stealing is stealing, it’s wrong and there are consequences.” It’s a lesson every kid should learn and take to heart; I’m glad your son got the point, and I’m glad you took the time to teach him.

Don’t listen to your friend.

And keep an eye on your silverware when her child comes over to play.

And definitely, your son is old enough to know better. Good job!

Yes. My parents did the same thing when I stole some life savers. You did the right thing.

I don’t want to just be redundant, but I think what you did is so important that it bears repeating that you did the right thing. It’s not like you beat him senseless or humiliated him, you taught him that when you want something from the store, you have to pay for it, and if you take something that doesn’t belong to you, you need to apologize and make up for it. I think that makes you a sensible and loving mom.

Another vote for “you did the right thing.” If a kid starts out getting away with the “litttle” things, there’s a chance he’ll move on to stealing bigger things later in life. You’re giving him a good foundation on which to build a life as a responsible, law-abiding adult. I worry about your friend’s son.

even though i agree that stealing is a bad thing and you should do something to teach your child that it is wrong i wanted to ask you if your kid felt humiliated when you made him apologise. that could be a dramatic experience for the child and you can never be sure that from that he will learn. he might do it again but hide it better from you. it is better to tell him that it was not right and that he should spend his money on it if he wanted so much but not make him be ‘humiliated’ infront of everyone. it is better to approach the child and let him know that even though he make a mistake you stil love him and you don’t reject him. I know that you might say that this was not your intention and that you never reject him but it is how a child feels and receives things. when we are young we cannot understand why our parents are sometimes cruel with us because they think is the best. we only remember that they did something that hurt us. anyway, that is just my opinion.

recently i read the story of the life of a woman who was offender. when she was young one night someone, while she was going back to her house from school, tried to raped her and he had held her as prisoner for the whole night. when she went back home her father thought to teach her a lesson since she did not come back for the night, and told her to go to the poice station where she was also examined to see if she was still a virgin. she was because the man came into her leg before being able to enter her since she was resisting. she was humiliated and her parents were not supportive. she was sent to a school for ‘problematic young women’ and that was the begining of her offending life.

this may sound extreme, but my point is that we should be supportive to our children instead of being what they receive to be cruelty. again no offence and i am not judging anyne, just stating my opinion.

Hogwash natalie.
I distinctly remember being punished as a child and when the
reprimand fit the crime, I had no problem with it.
Even when I thought that it was excessive-I survived.
When you do something wrong, you’re supposed to feel bad.
It’s called consequences.
The sort of child rearing that you’re advocating is the reason that so many children are nasty little brats who have no respect for other people’s right.

I agree with **jlzania. ** You * should * feel ashamed when you have done something wrong. There’s nothing “cruel” about that.

In my opinion shame can be healthy. It keeps us from violating society’s rules. Hell, if the only punishment that a person gets is feeling ashamed, they’re getting off light.

When it comes to raising children, I really don’t care if they feel that the rules are too tough. Chances are, as an adult, they will understand the reasoning behind them, and actually be grateful that punishment kept them from more serious misbehavior.

we, if someone has different opinion than you you don’t need to be impolite.

how were you punished? was it in public? and i did not say that kids should not be punished for stealing but that the matters should be handled with care and in a discreet way and not make them apologise in public.

Actions have consequences. A 10-year old is more than ready to deal with this.

The kid has to live in public, he stole a cookie in public, he can face this in public.

Dragongirl is a great mom. Natalia, It seems a little impolite to me that you would suggest she humiliated her child in front of “everyone” when all we know is that she took him back in the store and made him pay for the cookie and apologize for stealing it. If she made him pull his pants down and forced him to sing about song about the naughty naughty felon boy over the PA system, then you might have credible reasons for using terms such as humiliated and likening the story of dragongirl’s child to an apocryphal tale of a woman in the justice system.

Dragongirl, if you have any further doubts about your parenting skills, then ask yourself what else you might have done.

hi :slight_smile: if you had read carefully what i said you wouldn’t say what you said. i talked about the way kids take sometimes the actions of their parents. i did not say that he should not be punished or that she is a lousy mother. please! all i said was that in her place i wouldn’t do anything in public. i would explain to my son that people should not steal from others. for example i would say to him that the person who owns the store sells things in order to make money and support his family financially; if, you steal his/her products then he/she will have no money to feed his children. explain that, i give him some money in order to buy what he wants and other things that i cannot think of now. then i would go back to the store with him and say “i am sorry, it seems that this was taken by accident and i would like to pay for it as well”. then if the child did this again i would punish sending him to bed really early and no tv for two wekks. i would explain to him that people who still go to prison. if he did it again then, i would do the public incident. anyway, i would feel humiliated if my mom did that to me. i would wish to die that very moment. but that is just me, and the opposite is just you who said that i talk nonsense. we don’t really know if her son felt any of the two ways. i say my opinion and you say yours. i did not insult anyone, because i am not at all judgmental. she asked our opinions whether what she did was right or wrong according to our opinion. and mine was that she should handle the whole matter differently, still punish him but not in this way.

we all do what we think it is best for our children, but when we are asking the opinion of the others we should be ready to hear something different from what we did because not all of us agree about everything.

please, who ever wants to reply to me thread careful what i am saying. thanks :slight_smile:

Excellent job, dragongirl! You absolutely did the right thing.

When I was little, oh, maybe 5 or 6, my little sister and I took some Christmas ornaments from a store once. My mother found them in our coat pockets when we got home. She took us right back to the store, made us apologize to the owner/manager and give them back. Contrary to natalia’s concerns, neither of us were scarred for life or grew up to lead lives of crime. :rolleyes:

Kids who’re allowed to get away with stealing cookies because it’s “just a cookie” are kids who grow up to be the asshole adults referred to in this thread: Where I come from, they call that stealing….

I say you did the right thing dragongirl…

To answer natalia… my brother stole some sunglasses when he was 12 and he was let off with a “boys will be boys” don’t do that again kind of speech. None of the stuff he did was ever addressed seriously by my parents. Last October he celebrated his 21st birthday, in prison, with his “cellie” a hostess cupcake and a match.

I think that young woman in your story was more screwed up by the attempted rape and lack of sympathy for her being a victim when she did nothing wrong than anything else.

Part of my parenting style is “everything in moderation.” I believe kids need to learn a little of all the emotions in life. So many children never learn shame, guilt, or embarassment in an attempt to protect their fragile egos. Instead these children gain an unhealthy sense of entitlement and never realize there are consequences for their actions. By age 10 a child can handle a little shame when he does something like stealing. It will make him a stronger more balanced adult one day.

I think too we have all had moments where we thought we would never get through them for the embarassment or guilt or fear or whatever we were feeling. But we get through them and it makes us stronger.