How I Taught My Kids To Stand Up To Bullies

Yesterday, I left the house for 10-15 minutes to pick up my oldest daughter from school. As we came back home, I saw that someone had stolen our yard sign. In broad daylight. The girls were very upset. Our three-year-old daughter believes that the tall, nice looking, nicely dressed, older man who personally dropped off the sign at our house was Mitt Romney. She has been telling strangers that Mitt Romney came to the house “for real.”

They ask me question after question about the election and w…

  1. Mama Toad

    My Romney yard sign got stolen the other night. 

    Our children are filled with mockery and derision for the losers who took the sign.

    They are also certain that whoever stole it just threw it on the roadside somewhere rather than dispose of it in a garbage can because that’s what losers do: litter, steal your own property from your house, and are just generally jerks.

    I am planning to have the children make more yard signs today… I like your daughter’s idea!

  2. with me where I am

    Two left-leaning high school friends of mine were caught by the cops stealing signs in our neighborhood (including from my parents) during one of the Bush elections. Willie Mays they were not. I hope the thieves in your case were similarly foolish teenagers, but alas, when a movement so frequently acts to control and stifle conflicting political speech, you just can’t be sure. It’s as likely to be an adjunct.

  3. AUMom

    It sounds like you have done a bang-up job as a mom. Your girls understand right from wrong and have the courage to make their points. Excellent, absolutely excellent.

  4. Fake John Galt

    When I was working local politics it always surprised me how many of the local signs would disappear.   Sometimes we would find out about it by a call from supports reporting their signs missing.  Other times it would be a report of 50 or 75 or our signs were in somebody’s dumpster.  Then when we went to pick them up they would be damaged so that they were unusable.  I always thought it was petty I was pretty sure it was organized.

  5. skipsul

    Put up an NRA sign in your yard and you’ll probably find the thefts diminish.

    Sorry to say, but some folks I know were bragging about stealing and defacing Obama signs recently, and encouraging their kids to do the same. Can’t stoop to that level.

  6. Percival

    Those sign thieves better watch out.

    Hell hath no fury like an indignant 5-year-old with God and Mom on her side.

  7. The Great Adventure!
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: 

    I grabbed two yard signs, three window signs (just in case) and put a bumper sticker on the car before we pulled away.

    When we got home, the five-year-old daughter made her own sign, which reads “7th Commandment: You Should Not Steal.”

    All this to say, if you ever considered sign theft as an effective political strategy, you were wrong. I can’t imagine a worse strategy, in fact, to demoralize your political opponents. · · 56 minutes ago

    I was with you right up until the bumper sticker comment Mollie.  ”Never, ever, EVER! put a bumper sticker on your car” is one of Dad’s Commandments in our home.  It ranks right up there with “The word ‘whatever’ can be used in a sentence but not as a sentence.”

  8. Jimmy Carter

    The image You’ve painted of a determined Lady hauling the Kids ’round town, in and out of the car, up and down buildings is truly entertaining.

    Curious: where on the car was the sticker placed?

  9. Chris Hurtubise

    Here in a rural county of Northern WI that will likely go Romney by 10-15 points, we were shocked to have our sign stolen. I’m pretty sure it has to have been hooligans, but who knows…

  10. Mollie Hemingway
    Jimmy Carter: The image You’ve painted of a determined Lady hauling the Kids ’round town, in and out of the car, up and down buildings is truly entertaining.

    Curious: where on the car was the sticker placed? · 5 minutes ago

    The “bumper” sticker is on the back window.

  11. iWc

    New sign (on 6′ plastic board):

    My OLD Romeny-Ryan 2012 sign

    was stolen by someone who does not respect free speech

  12. Indaba

    Your children will tell that story to their children.  i like the Thou Shalt Not Steal sign.  This is exactly how to teach children resilience. It should be a movie.

  13. drlorentz

    I live in Southern California, not terribly far from the People’s Republic of Santa Monica. If it makes you feel any better, know that in my neighborhood I have only seen Romney yard signs – not one sign for Mr Obama. I’ve also seen a couple of bumper stickers (on car windows) that say unkind things about the president that I’ll not repeat here. Even the guy with the “War is not the answer” sign in the window of his car doesn’t have an Obama bumper sticker, though there’s little doubt about which way he’s voting. One of these days I plan to stop and ask him, “What’s the question?” [Not really.]

  14. Midget Faded Rattlesnake

    I’ve sometimes wondered whether it’d be possible to smear an urushiol compound (urushiol is the stuff that makes poison ivy itch) or a jelly containing a powerful dye on the top edge of political signs to (eventually) discourage theft.

    You wouldn’t want the dye to run in the rain and deface the sign of its own accord, though. Perhaps a narrow, flexible tube filled with dye and perforated along the top could be run along the top edge of the sign. If the perp grabbed the sign from the top (which is what I’d guess many do), he’d squash the tube, causing the dye to squeeze out of the holes along the top onto the perp’s hands… Or something like that…

  15. MBF

    A man in Whitewater, Wisconsin was severely beaten by two creeps after he confronted them in the act of stealing his Romney yard sign.

  16. The Great Adventure!
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: I’ve sometimes wondered whether it’d be possible to smear an urushiol compound (urushiol is the stuff that makes poison ivy itch) or a jelly containing a powerful dye on the top edge of political signs to (eventually) discourage theft.

    You wouldn’t want the dye to run in the rain and deface the sign of its own accord, though. Perhaps a narrow, flexible tube filled with dye and perforated along the top could be run along the top edge of the sign. If the perp grabbed the sign from the top (which is what I’d guess many do), he’d squash the tube, causing the dye to squeeze out of the holes along the top onto the perp’s hands… Or something like that… · 0 minutes ago

    I see you’ve given this some thought.  Well played, MFR, well played!

  17. skipsul
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: I’ve sometimes wondered whether it’d be possible to smear an urushiol compound (urushiol is the stuff that makes poison ivy itch) or a jelly containing a powerful dye on the top edge of political signs to (eventually) discourage theft.

    You wouldn’t want the dye to run in the rain and deface the sign of its own accord, though. Perhaps a narrow, flexible tube filled with dye and perforated along the top could be run along the top edge of the sign. If the perp grabbed the sign from the top (which is what I’d guess many do), he’d squash the tube, causing the dye to squeeze out of the holes along the top onto the perp’s hands… Or something like that… · 19 minutes ago

    Only problem is that my kids and neighborhood hids will play with yard signs, hide behind them, etc.  For most of those kids I would not want to inflict such harm.

  18. skipsul

    You know, this is a sad commentary on the quality of bumper stickers and signs, but…

    I’ve lost 2 Romney signs and 3 bumper stickers due to completely natural causes.  The stickers actually fly off of my car like they’ve got some form of temporary adhesive (sidenote, why do Obama and Kerry and GORE stickers of 4, 8, and 12 years ago still stick around?).  1 yard sign frame broke when I tried to shove it into the ground, another came apart in a windstorm a couple of weeks ago.

    My current sign was donated by a neighbor who knew of my plight.

  19. tanglewoodfox

    Its always struck me that over the years, in our leafy Philadelphia  suburb the only political signs ever defaced/stolen are for Republicans. 

    I noticed our Romney/Ryan sign “missing” shortly before Hurricane Sandy started to arrive.  I contacted our local party rep and vowed to get the sign out before the worst of Sandy arrived which I did.    After the storm passed, when we emerged from the house my son exclaimed “Romney stands strong!” upon seeing the sign still standing.    I think the thievery/vandalism only strengthens our resolve!

  20. with me where I am
    Mark Belling Fan: A man in Whitewater, Wisconsin was severely beaten by two creeps after he confronted them in the act of stealing his Romney yard sign. · 6 minutes ago

    Wow, that’s scary. Does Whitewater have a significant union presence? I only ask because, having lived in Philadelphia, this is the sort of thing one would attribute to union thugs (as opposed to many excellent people who pay union dues).

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