How I got busted at the movie theater by a 9 year old

Last night I embarked on the adventure of taking my two daughters to the movie theater to see the new movie “Turbo” which I highly recommend. I made my ritualistic journey to the drug store first so we could stock up on candy that would easily fit in my jacket pockets. Much to my surprise, the bag of gummie bears wouldn’t fit, so I searched for a sneaky alternative. Coming up short, I asked my 9 year old daughter to hold the bag under the jacket she brought with her. She quickly agreed, but then asked “Daddy, why do we have to hide it?” BAM! My days of sneaking candy into the movie theater are over. In reality, I was asking her to be an accomplice to my crime of stealing! Seriously! How could I do that? I then realized it was the same as when we as adults, observed our parents telling each other to tell the person on the phone that they were not at home. That was of course before the days of voice-mail. Now we can conveniently hit ignore.

Am I being extreme? No, I don’t think so. I realize most people would let it slide and justify the action, but if you want to be a consistent parent who is proactive in the  teaching moments as they arise, you can’t pick and choose. As a parent, I have to realize that my actions are speaking louder than my words. As a parent I have to realize that my children are going to grow up and be placed in similar situations where they will have to decide for themselves. The point is not candy, it’s integrity.

Are you going to allow your children to be an accomplice to your crimes?

I am praying for more awareness as I lead my family. I pray I would not look over the little things in life. Everything matters.

Parents, be aware that you are being watched and your every action is being recorded in the mind of your child.

Question: Are there any areas where you struggle with being consistent in the areas that most people ignore?

  • Alex Barker

    It’s hard to rationalize speeding. Everyone does it!
    Not sure if this is a ethics issue or a heart issue…

  • Jeff Jones

    Truth is relative right? haha. Yeah, I know what you mean. That discussion is hard to have with a 9 yr old. 1-5 miles over is really ok, but above that, not so much. What?!?!?!

  • Alex Barker

    Speeding is a car discussion I have often with my wife. Is going over the speed limit one mile per hour illegal? According to the law, YES.
    I hate that truth.

  • Christy

    I am always truthful with my kids..I want them to be sure they can trust me

  • Christy Hodges

    It awesome that we learn as we live…don’t despair we can retrain the learned behaviors we have picked up. Keep your head up. You are raising tourists right and they will understand as men an women we are not perfect!!!!

  • Joe Lalonde

    Ouch Jeff! That’s gotta sting. But it’s a great thing to become aware of. Amazing how we can so easily justify this while telling children not to lie or cheat.

  • Jeff Jones

    It cuts like a knife when it comes from our kids! I felt like such a fake when it happened. You are so right, it was worth it for the sake of the Truth. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Jeri

    Hi Jeff,
    Love your messages!
    I, too, was busted by my 18 year old. He has autism, so he only knows truth! Praise the Lord! I was trying to sneak in candy and a bottle of water into the movies. I asked him if he wanted anything and he said, “No, you can’t do that!” I thought about all the money I’d have to pay for the theater’s water and candy, but, you know what!? Totally worth it to teach my son to have integrity and stay honest! Good lesson for me from my son!
    Thanks for sharing yours!

  • Charlotte

    I’ve always felt that people learn more from example than anything else. As the old saying, do what I say not what I do doesn’t always work. We are watched and judged by what others see than what they say. Good article and reminder.

  • Jeff Jones

    wow! That is soooo right. I once knew a guy who was 28 and would buy the child’s ticket online and get in with it. He always said, “they won’t know” . I think of that every time they ask for my daughter’s age. Kids learn how to be dishonest. I don’t want them to learn it from dear old dad. I want to be consistent in their lives with what I say and do. What a challenge to live by.

  • Melissa R

    You’re absolutely right. It reminds me of parents who tell their kids to claim to be younger than they are, in order to get a child admission ticket/meal instead of an adult one. We don’t always see it as wrong until we see it through their eyes.

  • Charles Hutchinson

    What you are describing is Honor and Integrity. I applaud you for it. Your girls are fortunate to have a daddy (and leader) like you.

    There are many area’s that I see where I struggle to be consistent. Unfortunately, I don’t always see them till after the “event” and have to go back and say “Hey, you remember the other day when I…?” ugh.

    Thanks for sharing this event with us.

  • Jeff Jones

    You are so right! Nothing gets past them.

  • Kevin B.

    Good word. Our children are excellent accountability partners for us.