Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Luckily for her, Kyla Was in School at the Time…

…when I went into her room and discovered she had used scissors to cut a hole in her window screen, large enough to put her hand through and touch the roof.  Of course, it’s never an isolated incident—Wesley had cut up the dust cover on a library book so that he could see the picture it had covered, Piper had gotten out my Russian nesting dolls and then stepped on one—the destruction seems ongoing.  And I was So. Mad. At. Kyla.  Had she been there, the following would have happened to her:

  • a thorough and vindictive lecture.
  • taking away all scissors in the entire house and hiding them in my one safe spot (inconvenient to me, but this is the one I have done).
  • taking everything out of Kyla’s room except her bed, blanket, pillow and clothes, with no plan on how she could earn them back.
  • take her to Home Depot and have her buy a new screen with all her money and withhold her allowance ($1/week)  for a year until it was paid off.
  • put myself in a long time out in a separate city and not parent for many months.

But as mentioned before, Kyla was at school—her last day—and I had to cool my heels for a few hours.  I had to go clean something.

I went out to our street with the blower and broom and cleaned our end of the street and a vacationing neighbor’s driveway.  I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned (with Piper and Wesley’s help, because heaven forbid would they let me be when they have 3 other adults to be with) and thought and stewed and fumed.  And I finally came up with a consequence that was practical, cost-efficient, timely, and hopefully, educational.

Dwayne bought “screen by the foot” at the hardware store when he went, and I threaded a needle, and after lunch, I taught Kyla how to sew and she repaired the screen.  It took her some time, and she couldn’t use big stitches, and I received a sincere apology.  And she will have a patched screen for the rest of her childhood to remind her of impulsive actions and consequences. 



I think all my children will do well to be out of my reach for two hours upon committing (or have been discovered to commit) a particularly destructive crime. 


Margaret, Jeremy, Evelyn & Isaiah said...

brilliant! And I totally agree, I wish I could have a couple hours to come up with consequences for my kids actions. unfortunately I usually don't get enough time in between discovery and reaction.

Deanna said...

Good solution! I usually vacuum when I have to blow off steam because then I can be loud and drown out the kids.