I remember the day. It was March 8th - a Friday - and I had taken off work to take Brielle and a friend skiing up at the Beav. We even celebrated Chris's birthday while up there, even though he wasn't with us.
We got home and while I was giving Brielle instructions on what she could do to help put away the ski gear, my iPad suddenly ended up on the floor of my garage. Screen, completely shattered. There was a little screaming, lots of tears, and I ended up in my bedroom trying to figure out what to do next. You see, this whole situation could have been avoided had Brielle just done what I had asked.
There needed to be a consequence.
Long story short, we came up with a plan. $150 dollars is what it cost to repair the screen and $150 is what she would owe me, by way of forgoing her weekly allowance for 3 months ($10 per week) and a $30 transfer from her savings account to my checking account.
Only a few people told me that what I was doing would teach her a valuable lesson, but most offered words of criticism. "You are way too hard on her!" was something I heard a lot. "It was just an accident, it's totally lame that you are punishing her for that!" and "You are such a mean mom!" were also statements I heard frequently. I received so much criticism that I almost abandoned this punishment altogether!
But I didn't --- and I couldn't be happier with my choice.
To my Critics, my daughter learned valuable lessons (plural) as a result of this punishment. For one, she learned that bad things can happen when you don't listen. Rarely, if ever, do I have to remind her of this. Brielle will also own up to most of her mistakes (she is still a child after all). She will admit to knowing better, and take responsibility. If she continues with this mentality, she will be a better person that most adults I know.
Finally, she's learned the value of a dollar. $150 is a lot of money, especially to a kid. After working so hard for it, she had nothing to show for it, and this was probably the hardest lesson of them all to learn. Just the other day, shopping for school clothes, she didn't ask for much (which is not normal). She rarely asks me to buy things for her, not even when her birthday approached. And when she wants something for herself, she spends a great deal of time thinking about whether or not it's worth the cost that she will have to pay.
To those who think I'm the worst mom ever... the joke is on you. Because I am the "tough" mom (definition of which could be argued), my child is on track to grow up withOUT a sense of entitlement and WITH an attitude of responsibility and hard work. Qualities that seem hard to come by these days.
Oh, and one more thing... if I wanted your opinion, I would have asked.