PROBLEM:While I had the kids in Michigan an issue arose that I felt needed to be dealt with quickly. Upon returning home I talked to Ryan about this issue - theft. Nathan and Audrey felt the need to take things that did not belong to them on more than one occasion while we were there. Sometimes the items came from homes of grandparents, which were more easily dealt with. Other times the items came from the public library. Yup, we had a major case of "minor thieves" and before their records begin stating petty theft we decided we had to do something about it.
The Saturday after we arrived home from vacation we took the kids to Fun Depot a place with arcade games, mini golf, bumper cars, etc. While we were there we received a call from ADT telling us that we had a break in at our home. We told the kids that we needed to get home as quickly as we could to see if everything was okay and if anything was missing. As we drove the 15 minutes home the kids were worried and they discussed what might be missing. They both were worried about TJ, our dog, which actually surprised me in a very positive way.
We arrived home and we sent Nathan up stairs and Audrey to the basement to see if everything was okay. Nathan came down and reported that all of the Legos had been taken from his room. Audrey started to cry before she even made it to the top of the steps - all of the animals and dinosaurs had been taken as well.
Ryan called the police department and talked with Officer Roberts (our friend Alex) to report the robbery. Nathan then talked to Officer Roberts to detail the items missing. We took this time to talk to the kids about how they felt having things taken from them. We also talked about possible consequences for robbers.
We expected everything to be "wrapped up" by Monday - the thieves would be caught and the items returned. The kids talked about it non-stop so Officer Roberts and his team contacted me on the way to church the following morning to report that the items were found, the robbers were in jail and that everything would be at our house when we returned from church. I then told the kids that they should not say anything to anyone from church because they would feel bad for us and everything was okay now. We weren't in the building more then 2 minutes and Audrey told a handful of people about our break in!
So far so good. The lesson seems to have worked. We hope this is a lesson that will not be forgotten.