Thursday, June 4, 2009

beliefs, values and behaviors ii - the crystal bowl

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).


Kirsten said...

I think (hope) my response would be to explain that you are very sad that this piece broke because it was very special to you. You know it was an accident because she wasn't doing anything intentionally disobedient, or even careless for that matter and you're not angry with her. But, it's still a disappointment. Has she ever had a toy that broke on accident? Maybe relate the disappointment she may have felt when that toy broke to how you feel... that you know it's an earthly treasure and nothing you'll take to heaven with you, and at the same time, it's special because it reminds you of a special event in your life - your wedding. I think it's okay to show our kids disappointment - it's a human emotion. Find Bible characters that displayed disappointment and see if you can help Ingy think through what a godly response to this situation is.

stephanie j. said...

Good suggestions, K. I like the suggestion of finding people from the Bible who have shown disappointment. Lots to choose from, huh?

I'm still trying to figure out if "cherishing" a THING in any capacity is a godly attitude.

matt n karisa said...

I was thinking along the same lines as Kirsten, but I hadn't thought of drawing from the Bible (go figure).

I don't think it's wrong to appreciate/enjoy/maybe cherish a THING...but it all has to do with the heart, what priority that "thing" has in your life. Obviously, we are to hold all things loosely as only Christ is to be prized. (That doesn't sound particularly

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