A couple of weeks ago one of our daughters lost her phone...again. I would usually get pretty frustrated with her, but this time was a little different. I started getting irritated, but when she started complaining that everyone always blames her when she loses things, like her phone, I recognized a teaching moment. I explained to her that her phone is her responsibility, and while we will not think she is a horrible person for losing it, she has to take responsibility for keeping it safe. I explained that I accepted responsibility for losing my iPod, as painful as that was. Moments later, after tipping an over-stuffed chair, in which her phone was stuck, I discovered my iPod on the floor! It had apparently been hidden deep within the chair, somewhere between the cushions and the bottom of the chair. Somehow a hole had been torn in the fabric underneath the chair, and the iPod slid right out when I tipped it to find the phone. It had been missing for a few months!
So, losing my iPod allowed me to be a little more humble, and a little more responsible. It allowed me to learn, once again, how to be patient with my daughter and help her learn a lesson that will hopefully pay off later. I was surprised to realize that I also needed to learn that I cared too much about my iPod, and all the information it contained. Painful, but very good, lessons.