When responding to a letter about a brother who takes stuff and messes up things, Arizona reveals that her own possessions were up for grabs when siblings Indi and Tex didn’t get her need for boundaries and privacy. Read the story on pages 40—41 of the July 2017 issue, or read the brief recaps below. Then use the questions and prompts that follow to boost comprehension and explore the topic with your kids.
Recap: Not Laughing in Louisiana says a younger brother makes a mess of things that don’t belong to him and she’s losing her patience.
Arizona tells her she felt the same way when her own siblings meddled with her belongings: Indi took a necklace and Tex ruined a project. After Arizona lost her cool, her mom called a family meeting. Everyone talked, apologized, and resolved the issues. Arizona concludes: If explaining your feelings doesn’t change your brother’s intrusions, your parents may be able to help by setting aside a safe, off-limits area for your most treasured belongings.
- Describe a time when you helped yourself to something without permission. What could you have done instead? Did you apologize later?
- How do you react when someone borrows or takes your belongings without permission?
- Did you overreact? How—and how did you fix the problem?
- What kinds of things might families discuss at a family meeting?
- Do you think “outsiders” can help solve a conflict or misunderstanding? Why might they be helpful?
Reading Comprehension Boosters:
- What did Arizona’s sister Indi find that wasn’t hers but she took it anyway?
- When Arizona left the room, what happened to the seashell frame she had made for Indi?
- What did Arizona say at the family meeting?
- What advice did Arizona give Not Laughing to help protect personal property?