Jude (6) confessed to keeping part of his offering out of the offering basket at church. Dad was initially mad. But then he decided to make this a learning opportunity and help his son develop conscience rather than create a pattern where he simply feared his father’s anger.
Ask him how he felt when he did that.
Talk about where the donation goes and talk about what DIDN’T get to happen because he didn’t give his money (maybe a hot lunch at the Headstart preschool, etc).
Ask if he would ever steal from his church.
Would he walk in and steal the stapler off the secretary’s desk? Well how is it different if he kept money that had been set aside to give?
Ask what happened with the money he kept.
He couldn’t spend it with dad, or dad would find out. If he took it to mom’s, did he have to lie about where he got the money? How did that feel? How did it feel if he used it to buy something for himself?
Ask him what kind of boy he wants to be.
If he wants to be an honest kid, or a kind kid, then ask if this is something an honest kid would do? What would an honest kid do?
Make sure to celebrate his imperfection! Express happiness that he’s not perfect and that you love him and are so happy that you got to have this conversation. Remind him that in your family, people don’t have to be perfect in order to be perfectly lovable.