121 answers

Would YOU Have Punished Your Child for Doing This?

Last night we went to dinner at a pizza joint with a bunch of friends and their kids. There were arcade games so my son asked if he could have some quarters. I told him yes, I would need to get change. My purse was on my chair at the table.

Right as I’m about to do that one of the Moms asked me a question and we started to talk.

Next thing I know another Mom asks me if I knew my son had my wallet and was putting money in the change machine. I looked over and sure enough my 5 y/o is reaching up to put money in the machine.

I hurried over hoping he isn’t actually putting a $20.00 dollar bill in the machine. In his hand was my wallet and it was a $1.00 bill. I asked him to hand it over and the dollar bill, which he did, and told him to never ever take my wallet out of my purse again without permission. He said "o.k., I'm sorry Mommy". Now the other 2 moms came walking over as I’m asking my son WHY he did that and he said because he didn’t want to interrupt me while I was talking.

Again I repeated that he can’t do that and why, then I proceeded to get him some quarters as I had promised. Then I tell him we will talk more about this at home. I wasn't mad in the least (and secretly found it comical). Wow it seems everyday he discovers something new that I have to lecture and teach him about!! LOL!

One of the moms asked me quizzically “your son has never done that before?” I laughed and told her No, never! I thanked her for telling me and then she says “He should still be punished for it. I wouldn’t have given my child the quarters after a stunt like that!” I just said that it was his first offense and I did say I would talk to him about it more when I got home.

This just bugged her and she rolled her eyes at me. She tells the other Mom that she BETS he will do it again. What is the big deal? You do things your way, I do them my way. Not to mention I’m learning as I go!

How would you have handled this if it were your child? Did I go about it the wrong way?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I just LOVE the support on this site! The majority of you gave me reassurance that I handled it just right. There are also some of that said if it were their child, they would consider it stealing. I love the varying opinions.

When we got home I went through the scenario with my son. He asked me for money and I said yes, then got distracted. I told him I should have told the Mom to hang on for a sec while I got the money, but I also told my son how HE should have handled it.

Tugged on my sleeve and said excuse me.

Then I gave him the lecture about never going into my purse. I’ve never had to have that talk with him before!

We agreed that next time I would get him the money first BUT if I got distracted he would be patient or say” excuse me Mommy”.

Then we got down to real business as we're getting ready for bed - cuddling!!!!!

One thing I can tell you about my son is that I almost never have to tell him something twice. He is not a repeat offender. He just finds new stuff to get himself into! Keeps me on my toes and I love every second of it! LOL!

You can BET that I wrote this down in my book! Priceless.

Thank you beautiful Moms!

Featured Answers

shoot. 5 years old. mom promises him quarters. mom gets distracted. he doesn't want to interrupt mom so he decides to help mom by getting his change instead of mom. AND he needs to be punished?
i am not following.
he was a good boy. not a thief. he didn't commit an offense (shoot, he is 5) and no punishment should follow.

9 moms found this helpful

I think you handled it fine as it was "a first offense", plus he was trying to be polite by not interrupting you.

Yes, other moms are allowed to have their opinions. Don't sweat it.

9 moms found this helpful

Seriously? No, I wouldn't have punished him for it. He said that he didn't want to interrupt you while you were talking, so I assume that you have scolded him for that in the past. In his mind, he was doing the right thing. Lol

8 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I would have done exactly as you did. He wasn't "stealing" money from you, he was trying to be helpful and self-sufficient while you were talking. He had already asked and been granted permission to play a game and to have money, so he figured that you were busy and he could take of it himself and not bother you, interrupt you, or have to wait on you. I think you handled it perfectly.

12 moms found this helpful

You handled it perfectly and I am going to bet he never does it again. He was honest and said he did not want to disturb you.

And yes, I would have also given my child some quarters. He wasn't stealing, he though he was helping you out. He is only 5. He is not some thug teenager.

Good Job mom.

10 moms found this helpful

I think you handled it fine as it was "a first offense", plus he was trying to be polite by not interrupting you.

Yes, other moms are allowed to have their opinions. Don't sweat it.

9 moms found this helpful

Nope. No punishment. My kids are very well-behaved, so they don't get punished a lot. However, I always prefer a good "teaching moment" over punishments. Teach your child how to get your attention properly and teach him what could happen if he lost your wallet. IMO, when punishments are over done, they become worthless.

Good Job!

9 moms found this helpful

shoot. 5 years old. mom promises him quarters. mom gets distracted. he doesn't want to interrupt mom so he decides to help mom by getting his change instead of mom. AND he needs to be punished?
i am not following.
he was a good boy. not a thief. he didn't commit an offense (shoot, he is 5) and no punishment should follow.

9 moms found this helpful

I think you totally did the right thing in how you responded. You told him yes, and then you got distracted. It was actually quite polite of him to not want to bother you again. Since he already thought he had permission, it makes sense why he went and got the wallet himself. I see absolute ZERO reason to make it a big deal or for him to get in trouble. When stuff like this happens with my kids, I try to see their point of view, thank them if they need it (it was polite that he didn't want to interrupt you because i'm guessing he knows you don't like to be interrupted), and then explain that next time he could just bring you the purse/wallet or whatever. No reason for it to be a big deal. There's no reason to treat a child as though they had bad intentions, or to be sneaky, when they weren't.

I know you're learning as you go, but you're also following your "instinct", and you seem to be right on. There is so much pressure from society to punish kids for things when it's just silly. He was NOT doing anything wrong. He just needs to learn...

Anyway, I would give you an A+ for your response and would ignore that other lady:-)

9 moms found this helpful

He is 5....I honestly think you dealt with it in a wonderful teaching way. I do not think there was any malicious intent in what your son did...Now if my 15 year old or 10 year old had done that I would have handled it differently.

8 moms found this helpful

I think you handled it perfectly. He is 5 years old.

The woman who got on you about your parenting, really?! She was extremely rude. She was completely out of line to tell you that you should punish your child. She rolled her eyes at you and continued to comment rudely about your son to another person at your table? Honestly, if I were in your shoes, I wouldn't be getting together with her for pizza or anything else. She sounds like a critical and mean know-it-all, not someone I would choose for a friend or to hang out with solo or in a group. Sorry that happened to you.

8 moms found this helpful

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