What do you do when your kids destroy things to be creative?

February 6, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Posted in 1 | 2 Comments
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Two kids aged 6 and 7 decided to make a telephone using their dad’s headset. They snipped the wires and went out have a great time inventing and talking. (By the way they had been told not to play with dad’s things.)

Mom was on a business trip and dad needed to sleep in because he was up half the night shoveling/ plowing in VA. (You may know about the massive snow they are having and how jealous we are here in NH.) Anyway back to the issue-

So when dad woke up his headset was destroyed- And of course it was the one that cost plenty of $$$$$. Not some cheapo one!

What does dad do?

Yell at the kids right then and there?
Spank them on the spot?
Figure it was just a minor issue and let it go?
Try some thing else?

If you guessed try something else then you are on target.

But why not yell or spank?
Yelling will get your anger out for sure, but it won’t get your kids to respect either you or your objects and isn’t that what you want most of all?

Spanking? It’s a cop out and too easy to just spank and expect good behavior- Well you might get the good behavior, but you rarely get the respect that you deserve and your children yearn to have for you.

So why not just let it go? I mean, who really cares- as long as the kids were being creative? You know I always talk about process and the product will come- So why not think about the process and let it go that the headset was destroyed?

The problem is again respect- Of course I think that creativity is one of the MOST important things a kid can do. And the rewards of being creative are endless. Being creative is a process and the product does come from that.

With that comes the sticky part- the kids can be creative, but they have to use things that are not dad’s- or be sure that what they are doing and using are OK w/ dad.

SO what can you do in this situation? Have the kids pay for the replacement. Now you can quickly get it from their savings and be done with it right? OOOOH NOOOOO. Forget that. The money in the bank means nothing to these kids except that they can brag about having it and know it sounds impressive.

What the kids need to do is have multiple jobs. When my kids have to do jobs I have the jobs set up in 10 to 15 minute segments and they get paid from 25 cents (yes in this day and age I still pay in quarters) to a dollar for these segments. Thus they can earn up to $6.00/hour – This is with kids who are up to ten. (Teens get paid at a higher rate but generally still in short segments)


So you and your kids can set this up and do it, too.

And the last thing I would do to promote creativity and decrease destruction of valuable objects is to purchase/ collect some supplies that are set up for the kids to use on their own. Let the kids know how long this supply is for- up to a month- and that iti is theirs to do with as they please, but if they use it all up too quickly they will have to wait to get more- unless of course they want to do some jobs and earn money on their own.

Hope this helps!
Love to hear you thoughts on this- Just comment below.

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