Google+ Authentic Parenting: Breakable

Friday, October 15, 2010


A while back, a fellow plantation mom visited my daughter's room, which is only being used as a playroom, as we're still all snugly sleeping in the family bed. My daugher had gotten a new play kitchen and everything that comes with it (plates, cups, glasses...). The woman came out of the room with a look of horror on her face.
"I took a long hard look at your daughter's kitchen set", she said, "you've gotten her breakable pottery!"
I responded positively, they were indeed made of normal kitchen ceramics.
"But how..." she said with a reveal all look on her face.

By now my daughter has had this playset for over three months. She only broke two cups when she started playing with them, just enough to find out that they could break and that were not the same as plastic ones her friends use. She hasn't broken anything since.
She has also been eating off ceramic plates and drinks from real glass - and this from before she was one year old. And all this time, I can count the items she has broken on one hand.

Not letting your child have the 'real thing' tells them you don't trust them. It is belittling. Yet it doesn't take a lot of effort to not have them break every plate in your kitchen. It just takes some explaining, some being there.
They are not as clumsy or hopeless or helpless as you think. If given the trust and confidence, they can easily handle these things.
And what if they do break something? It's not that bad. It's just a plate, you can always get new ones. Just clean it up, reassure your child, but don't make a big deal of it. Surely you've broken things in your life, even as an adult. How would you have felt if someone had screamed at you then?

Image: CarbonNYC on Flickr

Isn't it better they break a plate then you brake their hearts?



  1. Great insight! I am going to try it as well...

  2. Be careful when you start out, your child might not know/understand the characteristics of what you give them (if they are used to something unbreakable) and will put it to the tests. Simple scientifical experimentations right :)

  3. We do this at home. I buy little cups and bowls from the opp shop - quite often new, cheap and mismatching so I don't care if they get broken.

    I bought one this morning and we used it to cut out scones. After a small tussle over the cup we dropped it and broke it after only five mins of use. Damn! It was a cute one too!


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