By Diane Ako
This kid! She's come home about once every otherweek, recently, with holes in her clothing. The first time, she said a kid in the after-school program cut her dress. It was a small hole and I didn't get upset. I could darn it.
The second time, it was also a small hole, and I thought, "Those are klutzy kids." But again, I didn't trip.
The third time, I tripped. It was not a small hole, and when I looked harder, the t-shirt was also cut. What the???
She could tell I was angry so she first blamed a classmate, to which I wondered why she was allowing this, and why the teacher hadn't communicated anything to me about this. Surely, Olivia would have been upset with her classmate, tattled, and eventually I'd be updated.
I suspected she was cutting her own clothing, so with a little applied pressure, I got her to 'fess up. "I wanted the wind to blow through it," she said. "It was hot today."
I scolded her, threatened to not buy her new clothes, and gave her time out.
A quick internet search found that other parents have this problem, too, and the majority of people think their children like using scissors and the feeling of cutting material. I cooled off and brought her out of time out.
We talked about it: she promised not to cut her clothes again, and I offered to find some old rags we could play with and cut up.
In school the next day, I mentioned this to the teacher, who said she will keep an eye out for this and also talk to her about it. Olivia is pretty responsive to authority, so I think this should be the end of it. I hope.
My mom thinks it's funny. After the initial surprise, she laughed, "Like mother, like daughter. Remember when you cut your own hair? You liked scissors, too." I never live down the day I cut my own bangs RIGHT BEFORE A PORTRAIT SESSION. Decades have gone by and it's the story that lives on. I digress; that's for another blog.
Meanwhile, have you a similar experience and why do you think kids cut their clothes? What else might be a good solution to this incident?