Yesterday Baby tried to take my Mont Blanc Meisterstuck pen, which I received as a Christmas gift, to her school to show to her friends without asking for permission first. I was looking through her books, so I could sign her homework book, when I found the pen.
“Taking something that does not belong to you without permission is stealing,” I said, when she explained why she had the pen in her possession.
I also explained that while her intention may be to bring the pen back after showing it to her friends, a number of things could happen to prevent it.
“What if another pupil at your school decides that she likes the pen and steals it? You’re certainly not going to come home to tell me that a pen you stole from me was stolen from you by someone else, and you can’t give it back.”
I also pointed out that she would be unlikely to say anything even if I asked if she’d seen the pen, because she knew even at the beginning that she was not supposed to take something that did not belong to her.
A small case of “borrowing” something can quickly turn into a big case of theft, creating more problems than you can deal with.
Another point I had to make was that getting caught “borrowing” like that destroys trust. The pen may be expensive, but it’s only a pen. The real damage is to her, because it destroys the trust I have in her that she is not a thief, I said.
“The next time, when it really counts, you will need me to believe in you, and it could be very difficult if I can’t say with absolute certainty that you would never steal someone else’s property,” I told her.
By this time, he was sobbing how sorry she was and that she would never try something like this again. I hope she doesn’t, because once trust is destroyed, it’s very difficult to rebuild it.
Character idea – sticky fingers
The main character in “73 things I want to do before I turn 16” could be someone with sticky fingers. [The story is still and idea and nothing more. For a short summary of the story ideas generated by real-life events, including "73" click here].
The character knows she will have difficulty explaining what she was doing in her sister’s bag in the first, in order for her to see the note, so she is hesitant to tell anyone of the note she found.
The lack of trust may also influence whether she is believed if she tells an adult that her sister is in trouble. Her sister is the “good one” in the family, so how can she be in trouble?