Monday, January 12, 2009

Help...we have a crisis here.

Aidan got a Nintendo DS for Christmas and it is hands down every one's favorite gift this year. Rebecca loves to play it while Aidan is at school and I have been fine with that so far, but today she played with it and now it has mysteriously disappeared. It is nowhere to be found. We have searched the house. I am sure it will eventually turn up, because I know it is in this house, but when and where is another story. I have told Rebecca so many times that she has to be careful and respectful with things in general, but especially other peoples things. I think this is a great teaching opportunity, but I am not at all sure how to handle this.

So far I have taken away Rebecca's 3 favorite toys. They are in my closet. I told her I don't know when or if she will get them back. She has spent the last 45 minutes in her bed sulking. I am honestly soliciting your thoughts on this. What message am I teaching her? What would you do? If we can't find it should I sell her toys to buy him a new one? Help...I don't know what to do. I want to use this to shape her heart, but I am not sure the best way. I am also very frustrated. This is the most expensive toy we have bought and now it is gone. I don't want my knowledge of costs and materialism to seep into this. Give me any thoughts. Don't hold back (well, as long as you are still kind).

***Updated to add - We found the DS a few hours later. It was stuck back behind the TV. I have told Rebecca that she can choose one item everyday to get back as long as she can be responsible with the things she has and will make sure they are put away in a safe place when she is finished playing with them. We have chosen 2 safe places for the DS where it can easily be found the next time some one is looking for it. We will see if this was a moment that helped her understand better or not. She also has to earn back the right to play with Aidan's DS. So the issue has been resolved and I have fumbled through it but I would still love your input and thoughts about how you would handle something like this. If it was Becca's toy it would be so simple, it would just be gone. The hard part was that it isn't her toy, but rather her brother's favorite toy. So will you play along with this scenario and give me some fresh thoughts?


Tammy said...

In life there are always consequences to the choices that we make. That you have held her responsible is teaching her that she is accountable for her actions. It wasn’t under- or over-disciplining, but equal to what she had done. It is how I would have handled it. Whether the item was free, just a few bucks, or costly, the same type of punishment would have resulted.

If the DS had not been found, I think selling her toys to buy Aidan a new one would have been a good idea. If not that, perhaps doing chores around the house to earn money that would go towards paying for it. Giving her the money in her hand and then having her put that earned money in a container that was labeled “DS Fund” or something like that. The physical act of handling the money and then having to give it back for the fund really lets it hit home, makes it real.

Anyway, I just want to say well done. I applaud how you handled the situation and I don’t believe that you fumbled your way through this. :)

sondra german said...

i think you're doing great.
like you said i think money shouldn't be the issue here, but more along the lines of respecting other people's property.
i agree with everything you did. i would also add that, in the process of becca earning back the privelage to play with aiden's favorite toy, perhaps she should only be allowed to play with it in one place (at the kitchen table, a specific couch).
i can also see some learning lessons for aiden in this...
you're a great mom christa... and what a great idea, reaching out for advice on your blog! confident and strong. :)