9-year-old boy steals from grandma for mobile games: Teaching kids positive "lessons"

9-year-old boy steals from grandma for mobile games: Teaching kids positive "lessons"

See how his parents teach him a "lesson" without making things ugly for both of them.

Mums and dads, do you mete out punishment to your child by either scolding, shouting or hitting them? What if you could conserve all that energy while also teaching your child valuable lessons when they do something unacceptable? Just take this from the parents of a Chinese boy who stole from grandma as a fine example — and how they “taught him a lesson”. 

Chinese Boy Stole From Grandma For Mobile Games

Numerous reports have shown young children using their parents’ mobile wallets to purchase games and even “gifts on live-streaming sites”, according to the South China Morning Post. 

 And that’s exactly what this nine-year-old boy, Hang Hang from Chongqing, China, did two weeks ago.

Hang Hang’s parents discovered that he “secretly used his grandmother’s phone to buy equipment for a mobile game“. 

He made use of his grandmother’s WeChat Pay account to make in-app mobile game purchases. Some 2,000 yuan (US$290), to be exact.

chinese boy who stole from grandma

Chinese Boy Who Stole From Grandma: Many young children secretly use their parents’ phones to make purchases. (Source: Knews screengrab)

Of course, like any other parents they would have gotten angry. 

“My first reaction was that I was very angry and I felt like slapping him,” said Hang Hang’s mother. 

But instead of “getting angry”, which she thought made no sense, the parents approached the situation in a practical manner. 

In such cases, most parents would choose to “seek a refund from the game operator or website”. But not for Hang Hang’s parents as they decided that there was an important lesson to be learned.

She ordered Hang Hang to collect cardboard, newspapers and bottles for recycling, in order to amend for his mistakes.

These efforts were made for him to understand the value of money by experiencing some hard work and “see how difficult it is to make 2,000 yuan”. 

A Positive Change To The Chinese Boy Who Stole From Grandma

For the past two weeks, Hang Hang spent his free time with his mother to collect recyclables such as cardboard at others’ homes and then exchanging them for money.

Even with the week-long National Day holiday (from Oct 1 to Oct 7), there was no exception for the nine-year-old.

chinese boy who stole from grandma

Hang Hang spends his free time paying back for what he’s done. (Photo: Knews screengrab)

But he’s gotten more proficient in his temporary job, say Hang Hang’s mother.

He even makes appointments in the neighbourhood to collect items for recycling, gathering bottles, and folding and packing the cardboard and papers.

It isn’t easy definitely and could take a year to pay back the money, according to Hang Hang. Still, he is “determined to see it through to the end.”

After experiencing what he did the hard way, Hang Hang said that he would never steal money again. Besides, he also hopes to collect more every day so that he can pay off his debt sooner.

To see what Hang Hang has been up to for the past two weeks, check out the video here.

chinese boy who stole from grandma

When Hang Hang is not in school, he collects and sorts rubbish and turn them into money. He says he will not make the same mistake again. (Source: Knews)

Even netizens on Chinese social media have chimed in and cheered on the parents on the “lesson” they taught their kid. 

“If there were more parents like this, China wouldn’t have so many ‘little emperors,’” one Weibo user wrote, referring to the country’s latest generation of spoiled brats.

Creative Ways To Teach Your Child A “Lesson”

You want your kids to actually learn something from an incident, and not for them to obey you just to avoid scolding. 

If we can stay kind and connected while setting limits, our children will be able to internalise what they have lived.

1. Pay Attention To Positive Behaviour

Human beings, in general, tend to focus on the negatives rather than positives. So, mums and dads, it’s normal to pick on negative behaviour more than focusing on the good ones. 

But it could do you and your little one a great favour by doing this: start making the effort to pay attention to their good behaviour. Reinforcing positive behaviour could be effective, as long as you do not overdo them.

How you can start:

  • Praise behavior that is helpful, pleasant and kind.
  • Emphasise that you appreciate such behaviour through cuddles, hi-fives and verbal praise. Even a celebratory ice cream could work!
  • Always let them know what they did good or bad before you carry out said action. 

2. In Our House, Rules Apply. 

Your child could be exhibiting behaviours from elsewhere. Perhaps even something that they have seen or from external influences like friends. 

Make the home they have here the focus.

Subtly hint where you think the “copycat behaviour” originates from. In this way, you are allowing them to realise that the behaviour they are exhibiting is not the expected behaviour at their home and they should correct that.

What you can say: “In XXX’s home it might be alright to shout, but in our home, we use words to ask for what we want.”

Source: South China Morning Post, Knews, Psychology Today, The Finder, Weibo

Also READ: Should you discipline someone else’s child?

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Written by

Jia Ling

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