Sunday, August 11, 2013

Stolen Bike

Written May 15th, 2013
If you hadn't gathered from the post below, Josh's bike was stolen from our back yard yesterday. The neighbor said he saw a 10ish year old kid riding off with it. Where we live, based on the value of the bike, if I were to report the theft the child would be charged with a class b misdemeanor, and spending time in a juvenile detention center would be a very real possibility.

I asked yesterday what you would do if you were in the same situation, and was surprised by some of the responses.

I talk here often about when our children act out, they need compassion and support. Instead of thinking of kids with negative motivations, we need to look at the underlying needs that are not being met and consider that they likely want to do well but may not have the skill set to do so. Everyone seems to accept that for truth regarding toddlers and young children, but it seems most don't hold the same truth for older children.

I don't know the boy who stole the bike, but I assume any child who would do such a thing is troubled. I assume he's not been taught property rights. I assume his property rights are not respected. A lack of adult connection and guidance is not his fault. 10 years old is very young. I can't imagine the devastation to a family, and to the child, for a boy that age to spend any amount of time in a detention center. What would he learn from being sent there, anyway? Not to get caught. Really, they're not teaching self-worth, self-respect, respect for others, and property rights in there. He'd be branded a criminal and treated as such.

So, what did we do about it? We walked around the neighborhood and talked to everyone we saw, asking if they'd seen the bike. We're printing up fliers to post at the parks nearby. We will not be filing a police report. If we find the boy who stole the bike, we'll talk with him and his parents respectfully and compassionately to hopefully come to an agreement of a way for him to right his wrong against Josh. If we don't find the bike, well, bad things happen sometimes, and this has been a good opportunity to talk about other people's motivations for their actions with Josh. And also to talk about what we can do to prevent such things from happening to us in the future.

I'd like to have written more coherently on the subject, but Bug (2y) has been vomiting since 2am, so forgive me for lacking clarity and thoroughness.

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