My kids are grateful---though they don't know it---that I still remember being a kid. That's why I can sympathize with my son about his stolen bike, instead of bemoaning the expense of replacing it and his irresponsibility that got it stolen in the first place. What I haven't yet told him is his experience brought back vivid memories of when my own bicycle was stolen.
Unlike my son I had earned the money for my bike myself. I had worked and saved and put a bike on layaway (when they still had layaway), making small payments on it every week until it was paid off. I'd had it only a few short months when I rode it to the store and left it outside.
Like my son, I was old enough to know better. I knew I needed to lock it up but didn't. I was only going to be in the store a few minutes, after all. How many times do we use that justification?
Of course, when I came out of the store my bike was gone. I told a policeman, filled out a report, but nothing happened. It was Phoenix after all.
This morning he got up and was mid-way through his morning when he remembered about his bike. I explained to him how his inaction is in part responsible for his bike being stolen. It's like when we're told to lock our car. An unlocked car is easier to steal, just like an unlocked bike. We aren't done talking about it. I plan to share my experience with him. We just might go through the motions of filing a police report, if we can remember enough details to make the bike identifiable.