In another very honest and realistic episode of "Home Improvement," raising children with good values is the main theme as Tim and Jill argue over how to handle their youngest son's first major offense. When a pocket knife goes missing at Al's hardware store, Al confronts Tim and Jill with his belief that one of their boys is responsible, and despite not being able to imagine such a thing, they come across the item in the pocket of Mark's pants. After really losing his cool and even going so far as to call Mark a "dirty little thief" (right to his face, too), Tim's only initial concern is how furious he is with him, but reality hits when he realizes how his anger has distanced his own child from him.
It is a solid episode that deals with the various ups and downs of family discipline in the household. It also shows that while all children need to be taught that stealing is wrong, yelling at and belittling them is very rarely the right answer. In the end, all that really does is make kids afraid to confide in their parents in the future. I've seen that with the students I teach, as well as with my own family at times, and it was interesting to see it reflected so honestly here. I think most families find themselves in situations like this, and sometimes it's hard to know exactly how to deal with it, but this episode does a nice job of raising some valid discussion points.
Fortunately, when kids are taught at home to be held accountable for their mistakes, they usually end up going out and doing the right thing, and Mark's final confession and apology really show how much parents can achieve by simply setting a good example themselves. So far, I have not seen very many episodes of "Home Improvement" that I didn't like, and this is no exception. 10/10