"Shoplifter Attempts to Steal Light Up Toy in Target"
This is what the headlines would read if anyone other than me (and now all of you) knew what was going on in the Christmas section of Target the other day. Z found this light up toy and was absolutely mesmerized by it. He carried it around with him, as I found the last few goodies to send in my Aunt's holiday package. He asked me over and over to bring it home and I told him "no". When I was finished, I asked him to put it back because we had to go and check out. I turned around to grab his hand and shuffle him along when I saw him trying very hard to shove the toy in his pocket!!!!
I stopped there in the middle of the store, got down on his level and calmly asked him for the toy. I put it back on the shelf and asked him what he was doing with the toy. "I want that toy Momma." When I asked him what I had told him to do with the toy, he looked down at the ground in shame. He finally said, "put it back". I then asked him if he knew what the word steal meant (heavy lesson for a three year old) and he said "no". I explained that it was against the rules to take things from stores unless you pay the store for them. I told him that when rules like this are broken it is a very big deal. We then spent the rest of the shopping trip talking about how important it was to not break the rules and when we got to the cashier, I explained that I was paying for all of our items.
There was no trip to the chicken store for young Z and he was very upset. I explained that he hadn't listened to me and so we would have lunch at home. I then called daddy and told him what had happened so that Z could hear every word of our conversation. I know this is quite the lesson for a three year old and this is just the beginning of our teaching. I was not upset that he attempted to steal the toy (he has no idea what stealing is) but I was upset that he did not listen to me when I asked him to put it back and disobeyed me by putting it in his pocket. S and I plan to role play with him and have him more involved in the paying part of our shopping experiences. This is only the beginning of the heavy stuff that I know we will have to deal with in the years to come!!!! Yikes ;)