...or Maybe , don't, and instead treat them like developing humans in need of hugs and guidance ?
When I can, I buy things while they are on sale or when I have extra money and I hold on to them until I'm ready to give an item away.
The kids don't know this but they know they aren't allowed in my room especially when I'm not around. About a month ago I bought a Batman LEGO set that I had planned on building with the Boy once he did something particularly worth rewarding.
Something in his 5 yr old brain made him go into my closest (in the room he isn't allowed to be in) get the set, take it to his room, open it then proceed to hide it.
Imagine my surprise when I found the box hidden strategically while cleaning his room a few days later...
Obviously I flipped out and my ,My-Mama-beat my-ass-since-I-was-two, brain skipped immediately to "whoop his ass so he takes a warm nap" ....(let me clear I didn't but I wanted to and that's the problem )
But then my progressive, treat- your-kids-like-humans-not-property brain kicked in and I not only came back and apologized for flipping out but I explained thoroughly how what he did was basically stealing and lying by omission and that in the real world as an adult the consequences would be serious. Not only that but it really hurt my feelings to have missed out on doing something I had planned on doing with him had he just waited. He, a five year old, absorbed this expression of disappointment better than some grown men do (including his father ) and took full accountability for his actions.
Together, we CLEANED OUT every single LEGO , every action figure, and anything with the Batman logo on it out of my house . Every.single.one.
I didn't once say I was throwing anything out I just let him assume I was. I let him know he was grounded for 3 days at least pending a review of his attitude.
When I tell you this Boy did a 180 and has been on his BEST behavior even waaay after LEGO-GATE !
He was even proactive in helping me gather stuff he no longer wanted to donate to others and he did so happily.
I know this is far from the last thing he's ever going to do to piss me off. I know there is a lot of trial and error coming our way. A Lot of hard lessons to learn. I know he's probably going to steal my car at some point or jump outta the 2nd story window to go to the beach with his friends at 1 AM like I used to.
But FUCK , it felt empowering knowing that I humbled myself enough to EXPLAIN MYSELF to my child. A luxury not afforded to me by those that raised me. It was empowering to not let my emotions dictate my actions. That I did not prioritize having my kids fear me over having them understand me.
A lot of people close to me , even in my own family, feel like "beat their ass" is the answer to any behavioral issues that arise with kids. And sometimes it may be. Honestly some of yall lil heathens need exorcisms nevermind a lil chancla action. But most often it's actually the laziest answer. Frankly , as time progressed, the threat of my mom whooping my ass became less of a threat and more of a challenge. I was like 12 yrs old going toe to toe with her like we were on the block, and now we don't even talk, so, go figure 🤷🏽♀️.
All I'm saying is, there are alot of contributing factors to why our communities are in shambles and maybe teaching our kids that they aren't allowed to make mistakes, they have no voice, and that violence is a cure-all may or may not have a little something to do with it.