Thursday, October 29, 2009

What would you do?

Pippi arrived home with her jeans ripped wide at the knees, no hope of repair.

I know my reaction was off. How does one handle this situation without a lecture, with a positive attitude, and with empathy?

Her explanation: I'm part indian, and indians are wild, so sometimes I play wild and I have to tear things.

My "obedience-promoting" response: We're ALL wild, but mostly you're a child of God. God sent us here to see if we could discipline ourselves and choose not to act like wild animals. (Lame, I know, but dang it, I meant it.)

A brief contemplative look followed by problem solving: But look I can make them into shorts. Or maybe I should sew these into a bag?

This kid has enough optimism for 20 children.


citymama1 said...

Her response is classic. I thought your response was pretty good, especially for being so on the fly.

The "Love and logic" approach would be to say something along the lines of "man, that really stinks your pants got ripped. Do you have any money to replace them? I know it's going to get cold this winter and I know I prefer to wear pants when it gets cold." And then have her pay for them herself. It sounds really nice in the book...but we're still working on implementing their approach, around here.

I think it's great she seems to be problem solving on her own. Bad things happen to things we own all the time, either because of something we did or just by accident. Por ejemplo: My phone (that I only had a year) pooped out today. It really stinks because I rely heavily on my cell phone and will have to pay to replace it. It pooped out because I took it out in the rain when I picked up Olivia yesterday. My consequence? Paying to get it fixed and not being able to save or buy something I've been saving for, for the house. My lesson? Take better care of my phone.

I also learned this lesson with library books a couple months ago. :(

Maybe if I had a few more pairs of ripped jeans I wouldn't have to fork over the dough to replace the phone. :)


The Silly Witch said...

Citymama1, I think you are right. I should have handled it that way. I think she still is going to have to fork over her allowance money for pants. There's no way I'm moving the laundry schedule around to wash her pants several times in a week.

Sheralie said...

Sometimes I have a hard time being calm and rational when my children throw me a new surprise . . . I think you did just fine.

I do have to say that Rebecca is one of the sweetest, best girls I know. I would hate to discourage her from playing outside. I see so many horribly behaved children here who have no interests besides their Nintendo DS. (not to mention spoiled, unkind, disrespectful etc) In the long run I hope she stays the same beautiful girl she is. I would take a pair of ripped jeans any day over the wretched behaviors I observe here.

Jecca Lee Ivie Johnson said...

I think your response was tame. I get all worked up over destroyed clothing. So far, we've just had trouble with marker, paint, and ink stains from school. I just hate to buy anything cute and new, knowing that it will only look that way for two or three days. I'm tempted to make some school aprons. But I have to agree, Pippi is very bright to come up with so many uses for "holy" pants.

Witty said...

What a smarty...I was at one of the schools I work at a couple of weeks ago during their spirit week. That day was "grunge" day. While I was sitting in the cafeteria during lunch I witnessed 2 or 3 kids expanding the holes in their jeans. I wondered how they were going to explain it to their parents...I doubt any of them would have been as original as Pippi!

Prairie Smoke said...

Do you suppose there was a little hole in the pants already? I seem to remember the Silly Witch as a child starting out with a tiny, little hole in her jeans and coming home with a hole the size of a saucer.

The Silly Witch said...

Her hole was actually the size of a dinner plate when she got home--not just a saucer!

Deanna said...

Your kids are so stinking smart!