The two boys, who attend school in the Urals region of Russia, displayed the foresight of kids twice their age by premeditating an escape from the schoolyard that began with them using sandbox shovels to tunnel under the play yard fence of their school for several days before they slipped out during a walk, unnoticed, to live every kid's dream: skipping school to take a stroll to their nearest Jaguar dealership and score a sweet ride.
They made it all the way to the dealership before they were found out. A passing woman asked the pair what they were up to, at which point they presumably told her it was no big deal, they just needed a shiny Jag, nothing to see here. Neither of the boys had money, so we can only imagine that they planned on either going full heist and committing a little grand theft auto, or using their magic words, another acceptable way to pay for high-end luxury cars.
The woman took the boys to the police, who returned the boys to their kindergarten. The school did fire the acting supervisor, which was an appropriate action to take, because no matter how adorably felonious these two kids are, the situation was pretty dangerous. The boys' parents, on the other hand, are being pretty cool about the whole thing and don't plan to press charges.
We can all relate to that sentiment, can't we? Once your kids reach a certain age and the wheels in their little imaginative brains start spinning along at a healthy clip, it's only a matter of time before they end up doing something that will make you both extremely angry and incredibly proud at the same time. It's terrifying to think of your children walking on a busy road to go talk to a few strangers about a sexy coupe, but who could help but feel a surge of pride at the forethought such an adventure would take, from the planning — several days in advance — to the execution, not to mention the kids' superior taste in cars?
For instance, what's the appropriate action to take when your young child ignores your rules about bedtime? What if, instead of sneaking candy and staying up late with the iPad, you find out they stayed up late to read books or build a Rube Goldberg machine that empties the dishwasher. Can you really discipline them for that?
Well, yes. The trick is to establish boundaries without squashing your child's creativity, ingenuity or tenacity. It's better to tell them what it is about what they did that makes you really proud, but remind them there are better times and outlets to channel their accomplishments into. Then, make sure those outlets are readily available to them. Sometimes you might even want to consider letting some things slide.
Not a trip to a car dealership during an epic schoolyard escape, obviously, but reading after hours or taking apart the remote control are fairly innocuous activities, and punishing your kids for their curiosity might do more harm than good. It should always be clear that the discipline you mete out is for rule-breaking, not curiosity.
Frankly, these parents should be grateful to their sons, since both boys have provided their respective family with an epic story that will remain unrivaled around dinner tables and at cocktail parties for decades to come.
"Oh, your son knew how to tie his shoes in kindergarten? That's cute. Mine tunneled out of the play yard, slipped under the chain-link fence and walked to the Jaguar dealership using nothing but playground shovels and sheer guts. But your story is good too."
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