What I Did Do.

What Would You Do? really seemed to resonate with a lot of you.  I actually received many requests to find out what I actually did do.

So here it is.

Usually I would not decide to discipline someone else’s child. I mean it. Really.  If a child, that is this old, is behaving in a certain way, than many times it can be because they have never been faced with any consequences for their actions.  It truly is futile to put the effort in then.

But after that vandalism morning, I guess I felt that I needed at least to say something. I have actually worked with youth, I am not an expert. But I knew that being all threatening would not be at all effective, so I approached in a different way.

I walked around and looked for him.  Questioning if I would change my mind, as my family was waiting to go home.  The Man was definitely impatient, probably a Seahawk’s game was about to start.  Questioning if he were with a parent or parents than I probably would not try to embarrass the boy in front of them.

At first I couldn’t find him and assumed that he had found his parents and perhaps made like Elvis and left the building.

Then I saw him walking towards me.

I said “Hello” very calmly and then asked, “Why did you take the candy from that boy?”.

He quickly retorted, “I had a quarter!” “Then I turned the handle!”.  He wouldn’t look at me.  He kept looking around me.

In a very matter-of-fact tone I informed him that, “I had looked up as I was told by my son that he could not turn the handle”.

“That is when I saw you run to the machine, turn the handle, then look around.   I looked right at you and then you grabbed the candy and ran”.

I told him. “If it was your candy, then why would you run.  It’s still stealing, even if you didn’t take it directly out of the child’s hand.”

“Just so you know, that is wrong to do, that is still stealing”.  I wish I had said more, I wish had said what Jen R. commented on FB, that told him what he should had done. But I kept it short and simple.

Then I walked away.  He found his mother in the bathroom and I saw him walk silently with her toward the swimming pool side.  He didn’t look at me and I don’t know if I felt better or worse by saying something.  Worse perhaps, worse that he lied and denied it , worse that this was our future.  Here was a kid who had ample opportunity to help out a younger one by just turning a little handle.

He didn’t do it and chose another path.

I hope that I am raising my children to take the path that instantly wants to help out someone else in need, instead of victimizing them.

I hope.


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