Friday, March 12, 2010

Caring for the Next Generation

This has been haunting me, so might as well write.

A couple of weeks ago,my granddaughters and I went into the local dollar store after the older's game ( which was awesome, she blocked five saves by the other side and...)

There was a couple ahead of us, with a child about 4 or 5. She had on a coat with a hood. Never saw her face. She had a rope around her back, attached to a cardboard sign in front of her.

Having come from a sports game, I assumed her sign was a yea team for someone.
So I asked her what her sign said. She didn't answer or turn around. No worry. Lots of young kids are like that.

Being a busybody, I reached for the cardboard and read the sign. And stood in shock.
It read," KEEP AN EYE ON ME. I STEAL FROM PEOPLE." I was speechless.

I looked up at a man I assume was her father, and an upset woman I assume was her mother.

He said they had tried everything, and this was the last thing they could think of.
He said she had taken things from Kroger's three times.

The little girl kept her head down. They paid, and his hand was somewhat affectionately on her shoulder when they left.

The checker commented, "Nothing illegal about what he did."

There were murmers of agreement and incoherent sounds. We were discombobulated.

What went on? was this a child who couldn't control her like for candy in the store?
What else had the parents tried? Were they the parents? was this a scam so that they could steal while eyes were on the kid?

I'll never know. It felt genuine. And I wondered what they had tried. Parenting skills aren't taught, valued, or acknowledged. If you are lucky enough to be born into a healthy family, you have the skill. If not, LOL. What do I do with a culture I belong to that doesn't value parenting?

I can try to spend time with kids, and try to give them boundaries and imagination.
It's all I can think to do.

It sure is fun.


Anonymous said...

very popular to u! ........................................

clairz said...

Charlotte, this isn't really a comment on the post and you can delete it after reading it, but it was the only way to communicate with you. If you check out the previous comment for this post by clicking on the "....." you will see that it takes you to a place you probably don't want to go. I have gotten some of these before and at first assumed that just because I couldn't read the text, it didn't mean that was a bad thing. Then I thought to click on the message itself, and oops!

clairz said...

What a sad post! I felt terrible for the child and terrible for the parents.

We adopted an older and extremely difficult child and ran into all sorts of very difficult problems. We were experienced (3 other wonderful kids) and good parents and had lots of training for the issues that come up in older child adoptions, but nothing could have prepared us for some of the situations we found ourselves in. There seemed to be no answer that worked. Eventually we understood that our child had an attachment disorder and the best we could do was to give her some good family experiences and hope for the best.

At one point we just hoped for survival through those terrible years.

Our experience has affected the way I view other families ever since.

Thank you for this post. I always look forward to your words and observations.

Jess said...

I'm thinking some time, hugs and a strong effort to find professional help were never part of the everything. I might be wrong and I offer an apology to the parents if I am.