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How do I turn a previous tragedy back into a learning lesson?

OK mini recap: last week my kids bikes were both stolen. There was a lot of tears, anger, etc but I tried to turn it into a learning lesson and also a family project. I got them involved with the police, handing out photos to neighbors, etc. We also placed some ads online. The pressure was too much apparently and the thief(s) dumped both bikes in the alley behind us. My husband pointed out something to me that I now see true.... will they always think that the good thing will happen now? That they never will feel disappointment? It's terrific our hard work paid off BUT... in real life it does not. thoughts please?

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Asked by hibbingmom at 2:07 PM on May. 17, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 35 (71,876 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • i guess i would just explain how lucky they were to get them back and tell them that things dont always work out so well..i think thats about all you can do

    Answer by jorjiegirl at 2:10 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • your kids just got lucky. guess they need to learn to put their things away or lock them up. You must be one good momma..i sure would not of posted flyers and all that son wouldve had to take it as a loss. the most i wouldve done is reported it stolen

    Answer by shay1130 at 2:11 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • I think this was a great lesson. You taught them not to just cry about it but to try to do something and it worked. Great lesson. I am sure that there will be other times and probably often that they feel disappointment. Unless you are the type of parent that gives them everything there will be times where they will be told no or times that they have to do something they don't want to. That''s life and they will learn it. It is great that they were a part of something that did work out. Good job!

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:14 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • I understand that stuff happens and that was a really good idea too. I think the lesson, from me reading your post, is that hard work pays off and that they shouldn't give up until they have tried all they could do. You're a terrific mom and I would explain that hard work doesn't always pay off like this and sometimes they have to take a loss with some things. Good job!

    Answer by SMITxsM2 at 2:16 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • My point of view is that this is/was "real life," and so it's NOT true that "in real life" hard work "doesn't pay off" or things don't just work out!!

    I believe you don't need to alter reality for kids or compensate them for unavoidable disappointments (I think they need us to be present with their disappointment & to validate their feelings, not to "fix" things or spare them in some way from reality), and that goes both ways. It also means you don't need to make things worse, or make things work out badly so that kids "learn about real life," or know what to expect "in real life."

    Are you worried that they don't "appreciate" the good fortune? Or are you more afraid that they won't behave responsibly in the future, simply assuming that it will be no big deal if something happens? If it's the latter, then offer some clear communication about what you think is important & what you desire regarding care of their possessions.

    Answer by girlwithC at 4:48 PM on May. 17, 2011

  • I think you taught a different lesson than you intended. Hard work and perserverance, cooperation with the law, will bring justice. There is plenty of time for the world to teach your children that life will sometimes give you lemons. Your family project taught them to make lemonade.

    Answer by Kitkat61277 at 12:37 AM on May. 18, 2011

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