Sometimes things break. Sometimes those things are insignificant. But sometimes they are a big deal. Like windows.
Which is exactly what happened during a sleepover. The boys were "winding down for bed." Read: Making crash pads on the floor with the camper mattresses and taking turns jumping off the bed onto each other. My son did a very grandiose "ready, set" into runners pose...putting his butt right through the window.
Crashhhhhhhhh. Heard from the kitchen. My husband and I exchanged looks.
Cue the boys (9 and 11) running from the room announcing his butt broke the window.
Now to be fair, the house's previous owner's children had put a bb hole in the window and it was already slightly spider webbed around the tiny bullet hole. Repairing the window was already on our to do list albeit very, very far down on our list. Alas, here we are responding to a broken window.
Big thing, little thing, in between things? Our response should ideally remain the same.
Are you ok? Did anyone get hurt? Are you sure? Glass is easy to not realize you were cut. Double check yourself. Ok, good.
...anxious waiting from our son's friend...
Well accidents happen. I don't want you to get cut so I'll clean up the glass. But please go clean up the LEGO's because this glass won't all be cleaned up before bed. When the LEGOs are cleaned we can move the mattresses and blankets together.
No yelling. No anger. No punishment.
It truly was an accident as most broken things are. In this case we'll replace it as it was already on our repair list. In other cases, perhaps we would have had them work toward part of the window cost. Or maybe there are locations they couldn't play certain games anymore. There are plenty of logical consequences to broken windows depending on the situation. But none of them require punitive measures.
No amount of yelling or punishment would repair the window. But it definitely could damage our relationship. And that's one REALLY big thing that I don't want broken. Perspective.