One of the most common parenting challenges is a child who steals. While common in parenting children not your own, it is also common in parenting biological children. This is a long standing concern that crosses all social and economic lines.
They caught her stealing today. Not just stealing from us. Not stealing from a classmate. Stealing as in "call the police" stealing. I am tumbling from feeling to feeling tonight like a surfer tossed from his board and dragged under the pounding wave. Anger that she would do this. Frustration that she has not learned the honest values I have worked so hard to teach her. Embarassment that a child in my home has done this. Even humiliated that people I know will see the police car at my house and ask all kinds of uncomfortable questions. Hopelessness that if she can still make this choice after all we've been through together, and all I have done to teach good moral values, then what am I doing? But what about her God? What is going to happen to her? Will they press charges? Is it possible that she might go to jail? She is too old for them to brush it off ad this is too serious a theft. Why Lord, Why? Did I miss some warning sign? Is it drugs? Is it defiance? Gangs? Guide us through this new uncharted territory. Help me to trust You. Help me be there for her. Help her find a way through this mess to a better place. Help us.
Excerpted from "The Caring Heart Speaks: Meditations for foster, kinship, and adoptive parents" by Gail Underwood Parker Artwork by Anna Parker David from the book cover.