Sam was caught stealing. His parents knew it was wrong so Sam got yelled at, and a lecture. Sam was sad, bitter and angry at his parents. He felt awful, and his self-esteem went down. The parents returned the item, apologizing to the manager.

John was also caught stealing. Only his parents tried a different move. They felt really sad for him. They put their arms around him, and said only once, “Stealing is wrong.” They took him back to the store, and had him talk directly with the manager on duty, apologize, and return the item herself. Tears welled up in his eyes. He felt scared of the store manager, and was embarrassed by his behavior. His parents hugged him again, and said, “We love you. We feel sad for you. This is really sad.” Then after a few seconds, “Let’s get going now.”

  • Which child probably felt strong emotions towards the parents?
  • Which child probably felt a little closer to the parents?
  • Which child probably learned the lesson that was intended to be learned?

parenting resources

helpful websites

  • Love and Logic
    Bestselling author Jim Fay, founder of the "Love and Logic" process.
  • Focus on The Family
    Provides parenting advice and other family issues from a Christian perspective. Founded by Dr. James Dobson.
  • TroubledWith: Parenting Children
    Resources dealing with various common childhood issues and what a parent can do.