What happens when you give your kid an iPhone and it comes back with a screen shattered into hundreds of pieces because he wasn’t paying any attention and dropped it just like that?
A valuable lesson and a chance to expose my child to a new scenario. And… Overcoming fear, who would have thought?
What a Cracked iPhone Screen and Overcoming Fear Have in Common
My 6 year old even admits that he was totally careless and irresponsible.
Here’s the nitty-gritty:
My kids love Pokemon hunting. Since I’m not a huge fan, they have some older friends (who I totally adore and trust and they love Pokemon hunting) take them out on the town for a couple of hours once in a while.
My six year old is just that – six! And doesn’t have a phone of his own – yet. So I give him my phone to play on.
During one of their hunting adventures, he dropped my phone and cracked the screen.
He didn’t want to tell me what happened in fear that I would be crazy pissed, which I was, and would come up with some insane punishment.
NOTE – I have never punished my kids harshly, and it’s incredible how this is the first reaction they have when they know they have done something super wrong.
I won’t lie. I was RAGING mad, and lucky for him when it happened we had guests over and by the time they left the anger subsided.
An important lesson for me. Give time before reacting. Overreacting and coming up with irrational consequences can really do some serious harm. So in a way, I am lucky as well for the guests and my need to suppress my reaction.
Do you know how much it costs to fix an iPhone screen? $80.
That is a hell of a lot of cash for a six year old to pay back. Obviously he can’t work for it. Nor does he fully understand the value of that kind of money. So I needed to come up with a more impact-ful plan.
What Is a Good Lesson for a Six Year Old?
That’s when it hit me. Our local theater company was putting on a show. My oldest boy has wanted to audition for this for over two months. The rehearsals would be three times a week and the four performances will be during a long weekend.
My youngest had no interest in the production due to saying he’s too shy. Doesn’t really know what it is. And, basically, being lazy.
The night before the auditions – four days after the incident – I gave him a proposition.
I told him, for him to pay off the $80 he would have to try out for the show. He didn’t have to do anything huge, just saying that he would be an extra would be enough. And I would be there all the way. Supporting him. But he had to make the jump from fearing the unknown to simply giving it a shot.
After a lot of, “I’m scared’, “I’m nervous”, “What if,” he seemed to run out of steam and instead, right in front of our eyes, began to to enjoy the new opportunity.
It was miraculous. I mean, the transformation was incredible. All he needed was a push. I think he even shocked himself by starting to get excited about this.
Why Being Part of a Production is Healthy on a Bunch of Levels
Being part of a theatrical production is a lot more than goofing off and acting out roles. It’s learning to face your fears and doing what you didn’t think you can. It’s being part of a team and working together as a group. There are so many valuable lessons to learn from simply being part of it.
And the honest truth – If the phone screen didn’t break due to his total carelessness and irresponsibility – and it was exactly those two things – this new opportunity for him to try something totally out of his comfort zone would never have happened.
Next time your kid does something that truly pissed you off and costs you money, take this as an opportunity to try something new.
QUICK STEPS TO DO IT YOURSELF
- When your kid messes up royally (and they do from time to time) – think of how to use their punishment (consequence) in favor of everyone. Is there something in particular you want them to do? To try? Or to experience which they have been opposing strictly due to laziness or uncertainty and not because they genuinely don’t want to do it?
- Don’t make it like a punishment. Make it as something new and cool to try and by doing something totally out of their comfort zone and tell them that is how they can pay back for what they have done. This way it’s more of a mistake that was a learning experience.
- If you can recruit either a sibling or a buddy of theirs to talk up what you want them to try, it will help in the learning process and enjoying it so much more possible.
Have you had experiences like this? What did you do? What was the learning experience that you and your child(ren) received?
What ways to you teach your kid to step outside their comfort zone?