Ask Kat: Dealing with Broken Items
As the mum of three small boys, an expert in baby products and a no-nonsense parent, resident blogger Kat Armstrong always seems to be called upon by friends, family and strangers to answer tough parenting questions. We thought it was high time she shared this knowledge with you, and her series Ask Kat was born. If you have questions for Kat, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do you deal with it when your kid breaks something that’s very important to you?
That’s a hard one. I can’t pretend that I haven’t gotten really mad (and probably done some yelling) when my kids have broken something important to me. I can’t say I might not yell again. What I can say, with 100% certainty is that the yelling won’t bring the broken thing back, nor will it correct the root cause of why it got broken. All the yelling will do is make your child upset and in the long run, make you upset, too.
I’m working very hard on mindful parenting and being gentle (but not permissive). One thing I’m trying to do is be calm in the face of things like this and remember a few things: it wouldn’t get broken if I were to have just put it away to begin with; kids break things sometimes; yelling doesn’t solve the problem.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “start treating your things nicely!” But until we’re able to better teach our kids how to respect (including respecting other people’s belongings), it’s just going to keep happening.
Like I said, solve the root cause, and it won’t happen again. Deal in the present with anger, and it will.