Being a parent is tough business, it can break you so easily. I mean the guilt of not handling a situation the best way can easily tear you up. And let’s face it there is no instruction manual for how to parent the “right way” because there are so many variations of what is the right way. I’ve never been a spanker when it comes to my kids, in the last few years I have occasionally spanked a bottom or popped one of them in the mouth for being disrespectful or just out right cruel. Raising teenager’s is some tough stuff. It’s never been anything to dramatic and in the end they think I’m just losing my mind because it’s not our norm. I prefer time out’s and taking away ALL of their stuff and that seems to work pretty well for us.
I have been lucky to never really have any issues with my children other than the smart mouths and fighting at home; except for one time when my oldest was about seven and he walked out of the store with candy. You bet I walked him right back in and made him return it to the manager and tell them what he did. Yes, I went there but he got the point very early on and his re-telling of that incident was scary to the other’s so you bet it never even crossed their minds. In my house we don’t hide things, I can leave money on the table and know it will be there two weeks later without worry. But now, I’m raising a child that has not been brought up with the same morals and concepts as my children and I sort of feel lost at times.
About a month ago five dollars went missing from my purse and this had never happened. I keep a jar of loose dollars and change for when the kids want a dollar or two for something at school and my kids always ask me. Sometimes I’ll even send them to my purse to get something but they would never take something from me without asking. Well, we never found the culprit of the missing five dollars. Fast forward to last week, my friend/neighbor takes the kids to the bus stop most days and she calls me just minutes after getting to the bus stop to tell me that Ariana was showing off a $20 bill and said Emily had given it to her. My friend knows I would never give them that amount of money unless they had a birthday. Emily has been babysitting and has her own little stash of shopping money and up until that day she has been very supportive of Ariana and even allowing her to play in her room when she is not here. My neighbor brought me the twenty dollars and I initially thought it was from Gabriel’s birthday money that was on my dresser but realized it was Emily’s after verifying all of Gabirel’s money was still on my dresser.
I waiting until she arrived from school and took her into her bedroom alone to speak with her, she put her head down and would not look at me. So I took Elyas into my room and he was nervous, when I asked him about the money he started crying and spilled the beans. The night before after I sent them to bed Ariana took advantage that I was in the shower and Emily was elsewhere and went into Emily’s room and took not twenty but forty dollars. She quietly placed everything back as it was and went to bed, that morning she gave Elyas twenty dollars. He knew it was wrong but said nothing to me and took the money, he put it in his wallet and left it on his bed. Ariana however was taking her twenty dollars to school with the idea of buying snacks for all her friends. Elyas brought me the money and continued to cry, I told him how disappointed I was in him. I told him he knew that he should of come to me and he cried alot and kept apologizing. I went back and told Ariana I knew the truth and she then proceeded to tell me the same story, I was so angry! I don’t understand how a seven-year old could think of such a calculated plan to steal from her own family. I made them both apologize to Emily, I banned them from Emily’s room and gave them bed-room detention for three days; no TV, computer or video games and I made them each write down “I will not steal” 50-100 sentences each day. I then went on to give a lesson on why stealing is bad and I told them if something like this ever happened I would call the police and they would go to jail (I would not really, but it makes it more valid as a bad thing in their eyes). I’m still very shocked at Ariana’s lack of emotion at the whole incident, she acts as if it was not big deal to her and that is really dissapointing to me.
Now I suspect I know who took the five dollars from my purse. My niece has a long way to go and alot to learn about right, wrong and that our actions have consequences. It’s sad I know that at seven years old I am having to teach her these things she should already know. It’s so important to teach children to be responsible and respectful from early on. They ultimately learn from those raising them and if that person has no respect, responsibility, independence and morals they most likely will not either. We have a lot of work ahead of us and Emily is having a really hard time understanding why she would take from her especially since she has been so good to her but I’m sure we will all get through this. It’s very disappointing to see such a young child behaving in such a manner, I just hope I can truly get through to her and that her mother did not ruin her for life.