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What My Son Learned In Jail - Part 2

The bubble which surrounds and protects our kids is only as good as their ability to follow the rules and understand right from wrong. At any time, an event could break the illusion, then you have consequences for your actions or plainly explain where a particular road will take you.

For a moment, I stood there outside the master bedroom door. Thinking about how I was going to tell my Wife what has happened. I look straight ahead, turn the handle, and walk into the room.
My wife is sleeping but wakes up as soon as I sit on the bed. He props herself up using a few pillows and asks, "What's going on with our son. I hear a few bard, but I want to hear the entire tune."
I sigh, then turn to my wife and say, "Our son did a five finger discount at the grocery store and picked up some sort of nineteen eighties style handheld game."

Startled she says, "He did what?"

"He stole a small hand-held video game.", I reply

"Not that part, the part where you called this kid our son."

"He is our son. Do we need to do a DNA test?"

"Oh no, you know the rules."

I really had no idea what rule she was talking about. Maybe she said it when I was sleeping, and I just nodded my head because I was too tired to make a sound, and just wanted to sleep.

I respond, "No. I literally do not know what the f&ck you are talking about?"

Then, the response which was heard around the world, like my head was next to a speaker, in the front row, of a rock concert, which  sounded like, "Language!"

That rule I know, time to put ten dollars I the swear jar! One of the laws of the house is when someone uses a curse word, then they put ten dollars in the swear jar. You think the amount is a little much? Well, it is. That's how serious that we do not want the kids (or the adults) swearing.
I reply, "Put it on my credit! We have more important issues to tackle."

My wife starts to coil back, moving from DEFCON 1 (imminent sleeping on the couch or silent treatment) to, something less than DEFCON 1.

She says, "Well, you know the other rule as well."

I look around for the rule book, "Nope. Where is this rule book? Is this rule list on the Internet? Can I Google it?"

My wife is tired and isn't in the mood for humor, especially after saying what is going on to OUR son.  The look on her face says: "you should know this by now, and I shouldn't have to re-explain it!"
She says, "No. Let me explain it to you. When the child does well, he's my kid. When the child does poorly or steals a video device from the grocery store, he's your kid. So, what are you going to do about the situation to make me happy again."

With a loss for words, I say, "Well there are a couple of things --"

That's when it hit me. This isn't like my son not making his bed, or not walking the dog, this is something more serious. The usual list of consequences isn't going to work for this situation. This is going to take something special.

After a few moments of silence, I look at my wife and say, "He needs to take the item back and be forgiven. Hopefully, the store won't press charges."

Wife nods her head and replies, "What's the second thing?"

I continue, "He needs to understand how big a deal this is. We keep telling him about choices, especially making bad choices. We have to take him to the place where people go when they make bad choices."

My wife retorts, "Where is that, his room."

I say, "No, he needs to go to jail."

DEFCON 1, lookout! My wife's volume went for one to eleven is two seconds or less, "Jail? I think that's the place we are keeping him away from. Right? Did I miss something?"

Doing my best to calm her down, my voice softens, "I am not talking about seriously throwing him in jail. I know the police community officer for the local police station. We keep telling our son that there are consequences for his actions: good or bad. There are positive consequences for action as well as they are negative consequences. I'm going to show him where he'll wind up if he ever does anything like that again."

My wife ways, "Ok. What's the third ?"

I reply, "Volunteer work. Hard labor. I don't mean breaking bricks or anything. I mean that he needs to understand that in order for all of us to live together in a society, there are rules. I want him to volunteer one of his Saturdays to work at the Orchard. I'll go with him. Maybe he might learn something from being outside, doing some hard work, and think about his actions."

The Orchard is a farm which always needs help picking fruit and vegetables. A portion of the food that is selected is given to a food bank, and a part is given to the people who help pick the vegetables. Most of the food is made into goods and sold at farmer's markets as well as their own store.
Partly smiling, my wife says, "That sounds like a good plan. Now, I'm dog tired, let's go to bed."
I turn out the light, but I really couldn't sleep. I kept on thinking about the punishment and does it really fit the crime. I make a mental list of everything that I need to do, like calling the Police Community Officer at the station, checking on how to volunteer at the Orchards, and turning the device back to the store owners.

Maybe it's a lot for a kid to go through. But, on the other hand, this is serious. If the owner of the store caught my son, he would be in serious trouble. I hope through these steps that it will wakr him up and get him back on the right path.

Next blog, the first step, meeting with the store owner and returning the device ...

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns: please post them below.

This post first appeared on Nick Stockton: Be The, please read the originial post: here

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What My Son Learned In Jail - Part 2


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