Let's say your 4-year-old daughter's grandma built her an adorable pink and purple playhouse, which, of course, became her favorite place to play in the whole wide world. The perfect spot for tea parties and make-believe -- one of those things every little girl dreams about. She loves that playhouse more than anything.
Let's say Grandma's Home Owner's Association does NOT love that playhouse more than anything. On the contrary, they really are not very fond of the playhouse at all, because they have a rule about "sheds" and/or "garages" being painted the same color as an owner's actual home, and Grandma's actual home is brown, not pink and/or purple. So the HOA sues Grandma and threatens to have the playhouse torn down.
How, exactly, would you explain this situation to your heartbroken daughter?
Because according to Becky Rogers-Peck of Georgia (builder of the condemned playhouse), her granddaughter Aubree "knows exactly what's going on, and she is very upset about it. She is scared they might make us tear it down.’’
Aww, poor kid! So here we have a very sticky parenting situation. Some big meanies think Grandma broke their rule. But Grandma legit didn't think she WAS breaking the matching paint-job restriction: “I totally agree with the rules if it’s a shed or a garage, but I consider this play equipment like a trampoline or a swingset. Originally, I was just going to buy a Little Tikes Playhouse, and what would have been the difference?" Indeed.
Now, the question is, do we explain to our child that, Oh well, rules are rules and it's not Grandma's fault but if they tear down the playhouse there's nothing we can do? Or do we explain to our child that, Some rules are meant to be broken and sometimes you have to stand up to authority and you gotta fight for your right to party in a pink playhouse?
In my opinion, the latter. Which is exactly what Aubree's family is trying to do, which is a problem because lawyers are expensive, but they're still not backing down, and I really hope they figure out a way to win this one!!
What would you tell your child in this situation?
Image via MSNBC