Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Disappointing Day

Whenever I talk about how we don't have "rules" (instead we have principles) or how we don't use a punishment/reward system in disciplining the kids, there are always a few people who respond something like, "Kids need to learn about disappointment, heartache, etc and that life isn't fair."

My response is this. Kids will learn about disappointment, heartache, etc and that life isn't fair. They wi
ll learn this naturally, by living. There is no need for us, as parents, to create artificial consequences to teach those lessons. Life presents these situations without any help from us.

For example, yesterday was National Aviation Day and we had plans to go to a flight museum. It isn't exactly near our house, so we made the trek out, parked the car, coaxed Bug from his seat, hiked in the sun and heat across the parking lot to the front door only to find the museum was closed on Mondays. Both the kids, and Papa and I, were really disappointed.

Alright, we'd driven all this way, what else could we do in the area? The kids wanted to play at the mall, so we headed that way. While they're enjoying pretzels and the play area I notice there is a movie theater in the mall and look up show times. According to my phone, Planes was starting in 5 minutes. Maybe we could still have an Aviation themed day after all! Everyone is excited, and we ran alllllllll the way across the mall to the theater only to find out the time on the site I'd checked was wrong and the movie isn't starting for another hour. Bummer. Again.

We ended up seeing another movie instead and got a giant popcorn to share. Just as we all sat down and the lights dimmed, Josh accidentally dropped the popcorn all over the floor. Bummer again.

So you see, our kids' are not sheltered from the negatives of life (although I admit these examples are definitely first world problems). The difference is that instead of creating situations in which our kids feel upset, sad, lonely, disappointed, etc, we are there to support them through their feelings and help them find healthy ways of working through them.

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