Boy I need some advice
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  1. #1

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    Dec 2004
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    Default Boy I need some advice

    Today DD#2 (who is 3) and I went to Walmart. I had to get several things, including a red lipstick for DD#2's dance recital tomorrow. I found the cheapy stuff, but the tube kept falling out of the holes in the cart. I told DD#2 to hold onto it. We went on our way to finish our shopping.

    When we got ready to check out I couldn't find the lipstick. I figured she put it in the back of the cart and it fell out somewhere along the way.

    So, I went back to get another one. Paid for my stuff and came home.

    This afternoon, after getting DD#1 from school, DD#2 is getting out of the van with her little purse which she had with her in Walmart. She says "Mommy, guess what I have in here?". Out she pulls the red lipstick!

    I remembered she started to put it in there while we were in the store, but I told her not to and she stopped. At least I thought she did. She must have put it in there while I was looking at something else.

    ANyway, I gasped and told her that I had told her NOT to put it in her purse and that it was stealing. She immediately burst into tears.

    I felt really bad for her, and we talked about why you don't put things in your purse without paying for them.

    My question is - I want to take her and the lipstick back to Walmart and make her pay for it. But, they way things are these days I don't want to get arrested for shoplifting or something.

    Anyone have any experience with this sort of thing? I want to make the lesson stick, but I don't want it to grow a life of it's own if you know what I mean.

  2. #2
    Registered User debbiepittman's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Oklahoma, USA
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    I've taken my kid back to pay for things. Wal Mart especially should not get you for that. Generally, whomever I got helped me talk to my kid and get the lesson. I've never had it happen over once per kid.

    I've also taken things back that got stuck in my cart (once)....a CD I was intending to buy had gotten stuck in the plastic seat thing and I couldn't find it when I was trying to get everything out. So I assumed the kid had put it somewhere in the store. When I got outside, I opened the seat for the kid to get it and the CD was under the plastic.

    They don't get you for going back to pay for things that got in the stuff by kids or accident and you tell them. They get you for stuff they find and you don't have a receipt for.

    I can't imagine anyone should give you any trouble over it.


  3. #3

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    Jan 2004
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    Cheryl, I had a similar thing happen when my boys were young (around 10, I think). One of then was dared at school to steal marbles from the local shop. He did it! When I saw them and knew he didn't have money to buy then I asked him about them and to his credit he told me the truth. We got in the car and took them back to the store. I made him tell the manager (whom we knew) what he'd done. His punishment was to work for two hours cleaning up at the store after school the following day. We talked about that recently. He's 24 now and he STILL remembers it. He said it REALLY taught him a lesson.

    However, a 3 year old doesn't understand completely. She probably had some vague idea about you knowing she had it, or she forgot about it until later. I'd phone the store and ask to speak to the manager. I'd explain the situation and tell her/him what you'd like to do and that you don't want to go to the store to scare your daughter or to cause a scene. Then arrange for a time for the mamanger to see you and you and your daughter take the lipstick back. Make sure you explain to your daughter what you're doing, and why, and try to keep it low key. You want to teach her about shopping and stealing, not scare the living daylights out of her.

    Good luck Cheryl. I'm sure it will all work out.

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  5. #4

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    Dec 2002
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    It three I would tell her what she had done was wrong. Maybe punish her at home. I think untill about 5 they have little concept of "stealing." They figure they want it so take it. After 7 or 8 I think then make them go back to the store and talk to the sales person/ manager. At that point, remember to call the store first to tell them what has happened. This way you can make sure you're on the same page and that it is not so busy that they have time to deal with it in the proper way.

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