We were staying with relatives in a different part of the country at the weekend. The dc were sleeping in their adult sons’s bedtoom. Adult son is at uni, room is still full of his teenage stuff. Got home and found DS (9) had filled his pockets with bits and pieces from that room - penknife, marbles, Warhammer figures. Things of little value, but that’s not the point.
I pulled DS up on this, who eventually admitted he’d taken them.
I’ve suggested that DS writes a letter apologising for taking these things, and then we post them back at DS’s expense.
DS was clearly upset last night, whether because I tumbled him, or because he has had a realisation that what he did was wrong.
Does this sound like an ok punishment? I want it to be something that he remembers. I think it’ll pain him to use his pocket money on postage.
Actually I think you’re being soft. Just posting it back with no other reprisal? I’d be enforcing some sort of ‘loss’ at home too - no screen time for a week for example. I can’t abide stealing, and that’s exactly what this age. I’d suggest a look at age of criminal responsibility with him too, as he’s very close.
Personally I would tell him it was wrong and ask him why he did it. Explain why he can't go around doing things like that and be done with it. Punishment rarely works unless HE understands what he's done wrong. Otherwise a punishment will only go as far as to annoy and upset him without any real understanding being taught as to why he shouldn't have done it. Talking to him should be enough.
I think I'd want my child to phone them actually. An apology letter is very easy to do, he writes the letter and sends the stuff back and presumably the next time you see them it's all over and forgotten about. He's not had to actually face up to what he did by speaking to the person he stole off. A face to face apology would be ideal but presumably unworkable because of the distance.
I would be so upset and disappointed in my child. Definitely some big conversations about what on earth he thought he was doing.
You absolutely should make him apologize for stealing things that don't belong to him, but I also think you should devise another punishment now that you're at home. Your son needs to hear from you, loud and clear, that stealing is completely unacceptable. He may be only 9, but he KNOWS stealing is wrong. Let him know you love him, and you understand that he made a terrible mistake and we all make mistakes, but he is going to have to live with the consequences of his actions, just like everyone else does.
I don't think it's punishment at all to be honest. Itso certainly what I'd do because he's stolen from your friend and those things should be returned at his cost, but then there should be an actual consequence such as no game time for a week (if he's into gaming)