It took a moment for me to realize there was a problem. The quiet alerted me. Anytime the seven year old gets quiet, I get concerned. My worries were compounded when his door was locked. He was doing something that he knew he should not be doing or he would not have locked the door.
He opened it and immediately confessed. “I cut the blanket because I wanted to make a costume.”
His older brother’s blanket laid on the floor in pieces.
I had no words. First, I have to confess that he is not the first person in the family to do something completely destructive with no ill intentions. I know a young girl that once knocked out all the windows in a neighbor’s green house because two of the windows were already knocked out and it would be good for them all to match. Second, he knew it was wrong and confessed out the gate.
Punishment was necessary, so I grounded him from the family hiking trip the next day. It upset my husband because he wanted the whole family to go. It upset me because someone would have to stay home with the youngest. It upset the oldest because it was his blanket that had been shredded.
Three Lessons Learned from a Cut Blanket
The decisions we make will have an effect on the people around us. My youngest learned that his punishment caused others to be hurt. He also realized that his decision hurt his brother. I need to remember this blanket moment when making choices of my own in the future.
The thing that I do today will have an impact on tomorrow. My son lost out on his electronics for two days. He missed out on a hike he had looked forward to for a week. He had to sit around alone in his room and entertain himself for a full day while the rest of the house was hiking. I need to recognize that my own actions have a domino effect as well.
Just because it seems like a good idea does not make it a good idea. My youngest had no idea that the blanket belonged to his older brother. He just wanted to make a costume. It was almost a good idea, and could have worked out if he had been willing to ask for help. Instead, he just made a mess. I need to remember that sometimes I should ask for a second opinion or a little assistance before I move forward with my own bright ideas.
Each moment of my day has the ability to teach me something if I am willing to learn. Although this blanket moment was meant to be a teaching moment for my youngest, it turned into a teaching moment for me as well.