In situations where children play together, it is common for them to want an item that another child possesses. As parents, encouraging the child with the desired item to share with others is a great way to teach about sharing. However, it becomes problematic when a child takes something without permission and denies stealing it. In such circumstances, it is important to teach them that stealing is wrong.
Recently, a man creatively tackled this dilemma by teaching his nephew an unforgettable lesson about why stealing is wrong. Unfortunately, the child’s mother was furious with the uncle, deeming his actions extreme and accusing him of traumatizing her child.
So what did he do exactly? Sharing his experience on Reddit username u/Flimsy_Wish_7885 said he had a cookout at his place on July 4th. His six year old nephew, Stevie, asked his daughter if he could play with her Switch. Come home time the boy decides that he is not going to give the switch back to his cousin but takes it with him. The girl is understandably upset so the man calls his sister-in-law, Kara, who responds, “The switch is now Stevie’s.” She goes on to say his cousin gifted it to him and that she was too old to play with it anyway. The girl denied this saying she only let Stevie play with it for a little while.
What ensued is stuff movies are made of. The resourceful man turned to his police officer uncle for help. Police officers went to Stevie’s house and retrieved the stolen item after threatening him with arrest for possession of stolen goods. They also warned him that he could go to jail if it happens again.
Stevie’s mother Kara is furious and is accusing the man of traumatizing her child, sparking mixed reactions from Reddit users who found the uncle’s actions justified. Some argued that the threat of jail would indeed give a six year old nightmares.
One commented, “Your sister-in-law got caught stealing and is trying to deflect by telling you her son is traumatized. She thought you would just back down and let her steal from your daughter.”
Another chimed in, “I have similarly aged kids and never would they ever think that one of their cousins would give them something like that on NOT their birthday for their birthday. They also would have been told to give it back before anyone would have had to even ask me about it.”
Another reader shared their own experience when they stole something as a kid. Police officers were called, they were warned, had to pay for the items and learned their lesson. There was no, “Oh I’m scarred for life now.”
Kids of all ages can be tempted to steal. Very young children, such as Stevie’s age, may do so without understanding that it is wrong to take something without paying for it, or permission.
Teaching children about the consequences of stealing is essential, particularly at a young age. Parents should address such behavior early and explain that stealing hurts others. In this case, the child’s mother seems to have encouraged her child’s behavior, leading to an unfortunate incident.
What would you have done if you found yourself in a similar situation where something was taken from you without your permission?