When Good Kids Do Bad Things

Last weekend Craig and I took some friends to the Halloween party of our kids’ godparents. It’s an annual event, and Katy and Todd spend weeks getting all the stations set up throughout the woods bear their house. We’ve enjoyed it so much, we wanted to share the experience with this family, too.

It’s two parties, actually — a kid-friendly one during the daytime, with a scarier version (complete with spooky soundtrack) in the evening for the exchange students in the area. Unfortunately, when Todd when went to check the sound that afternoon for the evening party, he discovered his MP3 player was missing.

Long story short, one of the kids had swiped the player. His mother found it in his bedroom two days later.

Yes, there were extenuating circumstances. Still, this was a “teachable moment” of monumental proportions.

What would you do in a circumstance like this?

I remember swiping a handful of candy from the corner drugstore when I was the same age as these kids are now.  My parents made me pay for it out of money I earned by doing a MOUNTAIN of chores. I had to put the money in the manager’s hand, and told him what I had done.  And that man, bless him, asked me why I did it, and whether it was worth embarrassing myself and my parents this way. Then he said something to me that guaranteed that I would never do anything like that ever again:

“You are old enough to decide what kind of person you want to be – for good, or for bad.  Bad choices have a way of snowballing into WORSE choices later; each time you make a bad choice, it becomes harder and harder to hear the little voice inside that tells you right from wrong.   

“Now, everybody makes mistakes, and this is yours. I hope you will remember this moment, and promise yourself NEVER to let something like this happen again. Your parents didn’t raise you this way and you know better. It’s time to grow up.”

What would you do, if your child stole something?