Friday, March 30, 2007

Whatever happened to teaching children right from wrong?

This evening Jackson and I were leaving to rent movies. As I was stepping out the front foor a group of 4 girls, 3 older than 10, 1 around 6 or 7 were walking by. I hear the younger one say, "Hey should I go steal the bike?" She looking over at Korinne's tricycle that's sitting in the grass in front of our apartment. They all notice me and watch me sit the car seat down, glare at them and drag Korinne's bike to the porch. Then they all hear me telling Jimmy through the screen door to keep an eye on her bike because some kids had just commented on stealing it. He comes out and says (LOUDLY), "We're surrounded by thieves!" What happened to parents teaching their children it's wrong to steal? When my children come home with something that I know isn't theirs, I make them return it, whether it's to the person or wherever they found it.

This past weekend, Jay (stupid as it was) left a PS2 game belonging to my cousin on our porch. Our neighbor that had come over to play mentioned he saw another kid messing with the case. I sent Jay out to get the game. The game was not in the case. (Jay insisted it was.) So we went to the child's parent and I asked her to please keep an eye out for the game, explaining that it was on our porch and a neighbor saw her son messing with the case. She said her son didn't even own a PS2, but promised she'd keep an eye out for it.

However, it turned out the game had been in our apartment all along. When I found out, I went straight back to the boys apartment and told his mother, "We found the game and I want to apologize for coming over and asking if your son had it. I only had my neighbors account to go by." She said it was alright and thanked me for coming back by. She then said that the same thing had happened to her son when they used to have a game system. Only the game really had been stolen. I told her, "Well I felt I should come and apologize to you and your son." She seemed genuinely shocked by that. But I feel I was wrong and needed to admit it.

But what about the children around here that seem to think it's okay to walk off with something they clearly know doesn't belong to them? The same day the game couldn't be found, one of Justin's friends came over asking where his bike was cause Justin had been riding it. Justin insisted he'd left it where the other child had left it before. So I sent Justin out with his friend to look for it. A friend of Jay's was over and said he saw some big kids riding it. We spot it and sure enough kids too big for the bike are riding it. So D goes to get the bike and I'm watching them talk for a few minutes, then D comes back with the bike. He went up to them and said, "That's not your bike." One kid said, "Yes it is." D says, "No it's not. It belongs to that little boy over there. I don't want to start anything, but if you don't give the bike back, you're not going to be happy." The kid eventually gave D the bike back, making Justin's friend very happy.

Man I can't wait to move from here! I'm so tired of all the bullshit we deal with.

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