Tuesday, July 8, 2003    


Scrapbooking the whole story


A few years ago, my kids cut their own hair. It caught me off guard and I wasn't sure how to react. (I was just sure my kids would never do that!) So I sent them to their rooms "to think about what they had done." (A mother's first defense and in itself an effective tool as the children stew over their impending punishment.)

In reality, I was just buying myself time. I really needed to laugh, but it was a month before family portraits, and I was upset. The scrapbooker in me REALLY wanted to take pictures, but I knew that would just reinforce their behavior. And I didn't want a repeat performance.

Every once in a while I do this mothering thing right. In a moment of inspiration, I took photos AND came up with a logical consequence. The children had to use their own money to fix their mistake, and they lost their scissor privileges. When I scrapbooked the photos, I included the entire event, not just the cute, funny part. Now as they look through their scrapbook, they are reminded that their actions bring a consequence.

This incident taught me quite a bit. Most importantly, I banned "My kids would never do that" from my vocabulary. And I learned to include the whole story when I scrapbook.. Looking back, I'm glad it happened. Those scrapbook pages are some of my best work, and our portraits that year were the cutest we have ever had.

Tomorrow at dMarie Daily: A Smile to my Face, by Jan A.

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