A recent bike outing ended up with a knee like this:
and leggings like this:
The next day when we were sorting laundry the big sister was lamenting over the loss of her (new at xmas) leggings. So we sat and pondered a bit to think of what we could possibly salvage from them since repair would not be comfortable in her mind. She's one of those! Socks with seams, pants that itch, tags that scratch- all very serious problems. So, she decided on making a headband with the waistband.
A simple blanket stitch around the outside and then we found some glass beads around the house from a jewelry making kit.
And viola, her new headband.
I love the idea of teaching kids the idea of turning lemons into lemonade. But I also share a cautionary tale on the subject. I have found it cannot be rushed. I once knew a mother who took hold of this idea so vigorously that whenever her child broke something or ruined something that she loved and began to cry the mother immediately focused (in a very happy and perky way) on turning it to lemonade. This exasperated the child to no end!
First, we must meet our children in their despair, no matter how trite it is and allow them their sadness over the object lost. Many mothers I know fear this will instill an importance of objects and therefor enforce worship of the material world. But I have found the opposite to be true. Once the sadness over the object is expressed as long as the parent displays unattachment to the particular object (energetically- not with words only!) and hears out her child, 'Ya, I see you really liked these pants and it is a bummer that they were still so new- They didn't even have stains in them yet! Too bad it couldn't have been a stained pair that you ruined." I find they let it go. Then it is time to look for lemonade. This way they feel heard and understood and all of that. The next day we decided what to do with them- not while her knee was still bleeding and she was sad about her pants.
This is the form of detachment to the material world I would like my children to embrace. Not one that just throws things away because they are 'detached' but one that still tries to make use of things and find that silver lining in creating something new and beautiful of what was originally a bummer. The lesson in doing speaks much louder than words like, "Well, let's make something great out this and turn it into something good!" I find most children resistant to this sort of parenting. But just quietly saying to a child when the time is ready, "I wonder what we could make with the parts that are still good?" and then let them come up with an idea and a design for that matter. I would've never come up with the design on this headband, but she digs it- and she's the one to wear it. If I would've made it for her it would've had pink and orange embroidered flowers and paisleys on it- and it would've have been hers. Restraint is often our best gift to our children.