Viral: Indonesian parents make son apologize and ask for punishment from shopkeeper after he was caught stealing a toy

Singgih Sahara, the shopkeeper, posing with the boy at the toy store he works at. Photo: Twitter/@singgihsahara
Singgih Sahara, the shopkeeper, posing with the boy at the toy store he works at. Photo: Twitter/@singgihsahara

There is no single correct parenting method, but we can all probably agree that this boy’s parents are doing it right.

Recently, a Twitter post went viral in Indonesia, telling the story of how a couple in the Central Java capital of Semarang taught their son a lesson upon finding out that he had stolen a toy from a store.

Twitter user Singgih Sahara, who works as a shopkeeper at the toy store, wrote the story of his encounter with the parents and their son — who were not identified — in a thread posted last week. His thread has gone hugely viral since, having been retweeted more than 38,000 times at the time of writing.

Singgih wrote that the parents recently approached him at the store and apologized for their son stealing a Tayo the Little Bus toy, from the popular South Korean kids’ cartoon series. 

Mas, sorry, yesterday when we shopped at the store, my son put this toy inside his bag. We apologize once again — go on son, apologize to the shopkeeper,” Singgih recounted the parents’ apology in a tweet.

Singgih then told the boy that he forgave him and not to steal again. 

“The boy cried and hugged me. Then he asked me for a punishment, he said he was already punished by his father, but he hadn’t gotten one from here (the store),” he tweeted.

The parents told Singgih to give the boy a light punishment so he’d learn his lesson, so he told the boy to arrange some toys on a display cabinet according to their colors. 

When Singgih asked the boy why he stole, the boy said his mother had promised to buy him the toy once his exam scores came out, but he wasn’t able to wait any longer to get the toy he really desired.

The parents initially wanted to pay five times the price of the stolen toy — which Singgih said is a common regulation at malls regarding stolen items — but he turned it down since the boy had already apologized.

Some netizens wondered why Singgih didn’t give him the toy at the end, but the shopkeeper said he had good enough reasons not to.

“I’m just an employee, not the store owner, and the Tayo toy bus costs IDR179,000 (US$12.64). For me, personally, it’s expensive, I can buy [a lot of] milk for my child with that amount of money. [The parents said] I wasn’t allowed to give anything to their child, because it wouldn’t serve as a lesson for him,” Singgih explained.

Netizens thanked Singgih for the heartwarming story, as well as praising the parents for teaching accountability for their child.

“What a cute story. Thank you for sharing, Mas. Hopefully the boy will grow up well.”


Read more viral news from Coconuts Jakarta.

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