This morning Ingrid was merrily doing a puzzle in the living room at the coffee table when I heard "chink". The sound indicated crystal breakage was involved. Grrrrr.... The only crystal on that table is Orrefors: a small candy bowl that we received as a wedding gift and a set of four beautiful votive candle holders.
You see, Ingrid had tried to be creative. She had tried to prop up the picture of the puzzle that she worked on by clipping the picture with a fridge magnet onto the side of the bowl. (To save space, we always put puzzle pieces in a ziplock along with the cut-picture from the box lid. We then store all of our puzzles in baggies in a fabric bin rather than on a shelf...huge space saver.)
The chink sound came from the surprisingly sharp metal part holding the magnet onto the hefty clip. So...I ran in, saw the sizable chip out of the top of the Orrefors bowl on the table. I didn't melt down, but I was visibly disappointed. I didn't want the girls to see me upset about this as we really have tried to drum into them that things are never more important than people. However...I did state a new rule for the girls: for the time being, no more touching "glass" on the dining and living room tables. We had always been pretty liberal about this, as they had always been so careful.
So friends, what is the balance? The gift DID mean something to me. It brought me joy. It was beautiful to look at, and was one of the few pieces of crystal that I truly did cherish. So is cherishing this wrong? I don't want my girls to ever think that THINGS are more important to me than them, but neither do I want them to believe that they cannot respect the things that mean something to their parents. Help me think this through please.... it's not really a discipline issue, but a heart and beliefs issue (see my blog post about beliefs, values and behaviors).