Saturday, August 25, 2012
Easy Discipline with Balloons
Aren't balloons great? So much fun. I don't think I have ever had a buddy that didn't like to play with balloons. I love them, too. They are colourful, inexpensive and can entertain kids for hours. They are also somewhat fragile so they are easily popped or lost.
My buddies, like most children, are not always careful with their toys or with their play. Sometimes my toys, toys which I have painstakingly created or purchased at great expense for my buddies to play with, get damaged. Yes, it's true! My buddies sometimes break things!
How do you teach children to be careful? Sometimes children have to learn to be careful by experiencing the natural consequences of being careless. I would rather not allow them to be careless and break more expensive toys, or toys I have spent a great deal of time creating. This is where BALLOONS come in! Remember inexpensive? Fun? Fragile? Balloons lend themselves perfectly to natural consequences because when they are played with too vigorously, especially outdoors, they will pop or fly away.
Yes! I admit it! Sometimes I deliberately set my buddies up to fail! I know my buddies love balloons. I know they will be terribly disappointed when their balloon pops or goes over the fence. Yet, I would rather they experience this disappointment over an inexpensive, easily replaced balloon.
While we naturally want to protect our children from disappointment, we forget that disappointment is a normal and natural part of life. Our children, including my buddies, whether I like it or not, will face many disappointments in their lives, no matter how hard any of us might try to prevent them. If we can help them to cope with these little disappointments early in life, we will actually be helping them to overcome the bigger disappointments that come along later on.
So a balloon is lost. It didn't cost much. And my buddy learns to be more careful with the next one. Yay! Even better, after a period of sadness and disappointment, he or she learns that it wasn't the end of the world as it might have felt like at first. Yay, again! Now, buddies, go out and conquer the world!
Note: Children must be supervised when playing with balloons. A popped balloon presents a choking hazard to young children. Supervise your children at all times.