A couple of weeks ago, my 7-year-old daughter was playing with our two young neighbors. She had her favorite American Girl doll outside with her as they created a scenario of the $110 doll exploring the great outdoors. That game was quickly abandoned, and the trio went inside to play with a box of Legos. But my daughter forgot something very important -- her pricey Caroline doll, which she left all by her lonesome on the front lawn. I took this opportunity to teach her a valuable lesson about, well, her valuables.
When she was inside our neighbor's house, I grabbed her doll and hid it. On her return, I innocently asked, "Honey, where is your doll?" She went back outside, did some searching, and returned with a shrug saying, "I don't know. But it'll show up later." She was not filled with a sense of urgency or dismay. I then had to 'fess up and tell her I had taken the doll to teach her a lesson, and that she needed to take responsibility for her personal items, especially her expensive and beloved toys. But the lesson didn't stick. A week later, the same doll was left, yet again, on the neighbor's front lawn unattended.
Related: 25 horrifying photos of stuff kids have ruined
But now I know what I've been doing wrong in regards to this life lesson for my daughter.
I obviously need to enlist the help of the police.
In American Fork, Utah, a 7-year-old girl left her bright pink Barbie Jeep outside overnight. The kid-sized vehicle had been left in the road; apparently it had run out of batteries. A passing police officer had spotted the toy car, brought it back to the family's driveway, and left a "abandoned vehicle" tag on it. But it wasn't a "real" ticket. There was no fine or notice to appear. It was just a cute way for the police to send a message to the girl to take care of her stuff.
Hopefully this lesson will stick, and now I need to find my own cop to help me teach a lesson to my own kid!
What has worked for you in teaching your kids to take care of their stuff?
-By Sunny Chanel
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