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.