Two situations have occurred in my household this past week. I was actually a little shocked on both accounts. For me I wanted to address both issues very carefully, biblically and practically.
The first issue was cheating. I was very disappointed at this situation. First off let me explain that my little one has some trouble solving word searches and crossword puzzles. It truly does take him some time. So I really despise when this is given first thing in the morning to do as busy work. However, at no point do I agree with cheating. If the assignment allowed for them to work in pairs then fine, but this was to be done by yourself. The teacher explained to me that my child and one other were copying off another child's completed work. I was very upset with my child for his poor decision making. Now to me cheating is cheating...
I think in this case the one he is cheating most is himself. My punishment may have been severe in this matter as I felt for at least one week there should be no t.v., computer, video games. Somehow the degree of punishment was not felt agreeable to my husband so one night was all that took place. My husband felt for the most part that it was busy work and yes he had cheated by copying but that in some ways it just wasn't that bad. He thought when I said he cheated it was on a test or something. To him that deserved punishment.
From the bible I found
1 Corinthians 6:8
Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.
Most cheating references dealt with cheating in the sense of objects so it was rather hard to come up with verses that truly supported my deep feelings on this issue.
I do hope that he chooses the correct path in the future.
Now the second issue I must admit blew me out of the water. We were at Walmart last night shopping and saw fabric was being closed out and on sale at 50%. I begged for a few yards and was able to get two "themes" in enough fabric to make one quilt each from. It was so hard to not BEG for more because the price was $2.22 a yard. You just can't beat that.
Now to the issue....the fabric there was bound with rubber bands. The kids were astonished by the pile on the cutting table. We paid for our items, returned home and I was in the middle of making dinner for that night and preparing for today when I looked at a table in the den and saw 20+ rubber bands.
I must admit I blew. When I questioned where they came from and who had them- knowing we only had the younger two with us... I could not get a straight answer. So I sent them each to their own rooms. I tried to get Paul to go to our room to discuss it, but he did not want to, so I simply quietly told him I felt it was stealing and they WOULD be getting punished for such. In a way I think he felt that again I was over reacting. I then decided to lean on what had just happened earlier in the week with the cheating. That punishment was not made and they need to know they WILL BE punished when they do wrong. Granted this really was more of just a poor choice but STEALING IS STEALING... it did not belong to them.
I decided to do some research on the subject since honestly we have never had a situation like this one. On a side note, children are children and will make mistakes, us adults sure make some big ones of our own don't we. On that note I want to make sure as a parent I nurture them in the way that they should go and try to help direct their path to be a Godly one. Where they will make the best decision they can in each situation and learn from their mistakes...I also want to make sure that even though they realize that Stealing is a sin, that they realize they are also forgiven for that as well. So punishment wise my decision was to work off what they stole- I am having each be considered one bag of rubber bands. This is done by two chores picked by me. In addition, they are to come home after school and do homework, no tv, no computer no games. They can read quietly in their room or turn in early for the remainder of this week. They will also need to read through the verses that I have found so they understand why I feel this is so serious.
Here are some verses on Stealing.
He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
"You shall not steal.
" 'Do not steal. " 'Do not lie. " 'Do not deceive one another.
"You shall not steal.
Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.' "
You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.' "
You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.' "
The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
For the record, I do have wonderful children....so I do feel very blessed that even though I do not like these tough situations, that occassionally they do arise so that we can reinforce the basics.