Should I make him replace it?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterbee, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I know this really isn't a big deal, but it bothers me.

    easy child was being a dumb kid and messed with something of mine and ruined it. He didn't break it, but one wrong move and it will break. I don't get attached to 'things', but this was very special to me and I haven't had it long at all. And he's 16 years old, for crying out loud. Too old for this stuff.

    Now, he told me about it; he didn't try to hide it. I asked him why he did it, told him that it was special to me and that I was upset. But, I didn't say anything else because he's leaving today for Georgia for a week and he always gets very anxious about going.

    I'm just soooo tired of my things getting ruined. Or doing without. It's not the doing without that bothers me, but like I bought myself a new pair of slippers and difficult child really liked them so I gave them to her and took her old pair. That kinda thing. And you know what, I don't go into their stuff and mess with it. This was my special thing. And it's ruined.

    If he hadn't told me about it before I found out, I wouldn't even question making him replace it. But, since he was up front about it, I'm not sure if I should make him replace it or if I should just replace it myself.

  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It's great he was honest but I still think having him replace it is a good idea. I'm sorry something special to you was ruined. Hugs.
  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    He's not 6. He's 16. He replaces it. Yeah, to my mind, it really is that simple!
  4. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I probably wouldn't. It's a easy child. I'm sure he feels badly. He may replace it on his own because he knows it's what he should do. 16 isn't done cooking yet. It's a life lesson to learn for easy child. Besides sentimental things are seldom replaceable.
    I learned that in a hurricane.
  5. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    I love that!! and so true. I think if a new item can still hold the same value it should certainly be replaced. I would wait until easy child comes back, talk with him about it again, and see what he says. Maybe he'll offer to replace it or you could split the cost or something. Help him come to the right decision if he doesn't on his own.

    Also...not that you asked...but treat yourself better too!!! Don't take difficult child's old slippers, go and get another pair for yourself, maybe even a pair that you like better. Wait until after Christmas and maybe they'll be on sale!
  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    You know, I might use this as a lesson to see what he thinks.

    "I know it was an accident, but it WAS my thing. And I was not the one who broke it. What do YOU think is fair, son?"

    See where that goes. You don't necessarily have to take money from him. Maybe he can work it off with extra chores, or maybe you guys decide to go in halves. My point is, I would use this as a life learning thing for him (since the truth is, he is NOT done cooking yet) instead of just "do I make him pay for it or not". Any chance to get some learning in...and they don't teach this stuff in school.

    Then, back in at 350* till he is done :wink:
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Since it wasn't intentional or malicious, I'd chalk it up to "things happen". But I hear you *really* well about not being able to have special things, even slippers.

    thank you intentionally destroyed everything I owned of sentimental value long ago. There's nothing left, seriously. My living room is furnished in difficult child-style - can it be broken? Will it hurt when it's thrown? I swear, if Nerf made lamps, we'd own them. :wink: There's nothing pretty or decorative or particularly homey. I hate it but... it's what we had to do.

    Sorry about your damaged item.
  8. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Sorry, but I still think he should replace it. It wasn't one of those playing with a ball and it broke type things. It was messing the property of another and damaging it. It was the lack of respect and privacy that says he should pay for it (or take it to be fixed, if possible).
  9. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I think he should replace it. He is 16. I think as an adult if you break something, you offer to replace it. I think that is the lesson to be learned as well as not to mess with other people's property.

    He probably feels bad and will feel better if he can make amends.
  10. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I would let it slide... let him know how you feel. Maybe treat yourself to a nice something.... box of chocolates... bottles of something... Tell him it is to try and make you feel better because you were sad over the broken item!!!! New slippers...
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'd have him replace it. Like you said, at 16 he should know better. And in the adult world he would be expected to replace something he damaged, intentional or not. 16 may not be fully cooked, which I agree with, but adulthood isn't far away and it's best to learn such things at home.

    I wouldn't make a huge deal out of it. And I'd be sure to tell him you're proud of him for taking responsibility for what he did. But taking responsibility also means trying to correct a wrong doing. In this he only went half way. Telling you was the first half, replacing it is the second half.

    My kids have grown up knowing if you break something belonging to another person you are automatically expected to replace it, accident or not. I use it as a lesson in repect for others.

    That said, Heather you need to treat yourself better. Doing without so bills get paid or something is one thing, doing without so that your child gets your new slippers and you end up with their old ones is not treating yourself right. You are important too, and so are your needs/wants. So many of us parents do this, I used to too, and we don't realize what a toll it can take on us over time. I woke up when I realized my kids were dressed well, but I was embarrassing them because I had been going without to the point my wardrobe made me look like a homeless person.

    You have a right to have special things. You have the right to expect your children to leave those things alone.

  12. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    He has to replace it. It's his lesson to be learned. It's not about the money or anything like that. His actions have consequences, you want it to sink into his head that when he feels like breaking something-he better be prepared to cough up some money to pay for it. I'll bet having him pay for it out of his private money will have more of an impact than you paying for it.-Alyssa
  13. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Heather! I'd make him replace it and for a different reason:

    not because he's 16 and should know better
    not because he was up front
    not because it was an accident
    not because he's a easy child
    not because he didn't mean it


    because he's been a toad to you lately
    because he's been rude
    because he's been lazy
    because he's been condescending
    because he's been accusatory
    because he throws your physical limitations in your face
    because he spoke disrespectfully to you and about you
    because he knew if he touched it it would break yet he did it anyway


    the negative outweighs the positive.

    The Emporer has shown a thumbs down! Off with his allowance...REPLACE IT I SAY!!!
    (sorry for the drawma!)

  14. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Thank you for all of the opinions. You all have really made me think. But, I have to say, Beth, that spelling it out like you did helped me make my decision.

    I've been back and forth on this for a few reasons. I tend to have a lot of guilt because I've been sick for so long and I know that it's not fair to him. He is a really cool kid, with a great heart and a quirky sense of humor. But, it's not usually directed at me. He always remembers his dad's, step-mom's, grandmother's, sisters' (in Georgia), and friend's birthdays - or asks me to remind him - but he never remembers mine or difficult child's. Not that I expect a gift, but a 'Happy Birthday, Mom' would be nice. difficult child always remembers. What I usually get from easy child is - after receiving a handmade card from difficult child - is, 'Oh. I didn't know it was your birthday today.' My birthday is 6 days before his so it's not like it's hard for him to remember.

    He had friends over Wednesday night. He knew I had plans on Thursday - was going shopping with my mom. I get out of the shower Thursday and he's *demanding* that I take his friend (not the one I posted about before) home right then. Said I've been sleeping all day and they've been waiting all day for me to get up so I could take him home. I told him that I had NOT been sleeping all day - that I laid down at 8am and slept til 11am (love those steroids) and that I would take him home, but he would have to wait until Nana got here as she was already on her way. That wasn't good enough. He goes and tells his friend that I won't take him home and I have to step in and tell his friend that I will take him home, he just has to wait until my mom gets there. His friend was fine with that. by the way, when we dropped friend off, friend's mom was home.

    Then, while we're out shopping Thursday (been gone about 3 hours) he calls my mom's cell wanting to know when we're going to be back cause he and his friends need a ride to the XBOX360/PS3 party at another friend's house. My mom tells him we will get there when we get there and if that wasn't good enough then he should make other arrangements.

    Then, I knew we needed 2 more surge protectors in use, but I thought we had one more at the house so I called easy child to have him check so I knew how many to buy. difficult child answered and I asked to talk to easy child. Well, easy child was playing Guitar Hero and couldn't come to the phone right then (AND - cause I could hear it in the background - he was playing 'Freebird'...know how long that song is?). I gave the phone to my mom and asked her to deal with it. She told difficult child to tell easy child to pause the game - yes, it can be paused - and told easy child he was rude.

    I don't have many special things. I don't get attached to material things - except for shoes :wink: - very often. But, my kids are both old enough that if I have something, they shouldn't bother it. Period. I don't go into his room and start messing with his PS3 controllers.

    So, I found the item online and I'm going to email it to him, tell him how special the item is and see what he does with it. It cannot replace the sentimental value, but I can keep the damaged item out of use so it doesn't completely break and then keep the replacement item as a reminder of the original.

    by the way, I *love* the cooking analogy. I use it all the time. easy child was 11 days late, so I always said he was 'well done', which is why he's a easy child and difficult child was a week early; she wasn't done cookin'. :smile:
  15. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with the those that say he should replace it. by the way, he really doesn't sound like a easy child to me. At least not in how he treats you. NTVS summed it up nicely.

    I'm still not really clear about what happened but it doesn't sound like a total accident to me. He shouldn't have been messing with your things in the first place even if he didn't mean to break it.

    So, yup, I think he needs to replace it. I agree with Lisa about the slippers, too. You need to be good to yourself.

  16. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I know where his behavior towards me comes from, but if typed it out it would be a book. Suffice it to say, it came from outside influences and though rectified now - and though we've come a long way - those early teachings are hard to overcome and I'm still struggling with him in that area.

    I'm going to send him an email (I just talked to him and he just got to his Dad's) and explain that it was a gift and was very special to me and give him the link to replace it. He can figure out if he's going to give the money to his Dad so his Dad can put it on his card or give it to Nana and let Nana put it on her card (for ordering online).
  17. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Ok. Here is the email I'm sending to easy child. I haven't pulled the trigger on it yet cause I want some feedback.

    I know this seems really silly, but...I don't you ever feel like you're so used to dealing with difficult child stuff that you don't know what to do with normal kid stuff? That plus my guilt over being sick and I really don't want to come across in a way that is going to put him on the defensive, but rather says that I am important, too, Know what I mean?? Plus, I'm on too many freaking medications to think clearly.

    Here it is:

    Hi honey -

    I hope you're having a good time. It will be nice to be able to see all of your family.

    I wanted to tell you that I appreciate you telling me about the damage to my [item]. I know it seems like a small thing, but it was a gift and holds special, sentimental value to me. I don't often get attached to 'things', but this was a special item and made me smile everytime I saw it. It's what it represents as opposed to it's function that makes it special.

    I know you didn't mean to ruin it, but unfortunately the damage is bad. The weak spot goes all the way through and with one wrong move it's going to break. What I would like to do is keep it out of use so it doesn't break completely and have a replacement to remind me of the original. I have attached a link for you as it can only be purchased online. Maybe you could give the money to your dad or nana and ask them to put it on their card.

    <insert link>

    I will talk to you soon. Have a good time.

    I love you.
  18. carolanne

    carolanne Member

    important too, and so are your needs/wants. So many of us parents do this, I used to too, and we don't realize what a toll it can take on us over time. I woke up when I realized my kids were dressed well, but I was embarrassing them because I had been going without to the point my wardrobe made me look like a homeless person.


    Just an hour ago my daughter told me she didn't want to be seen with me as it was embarrassing...why? I asked...she told me I was cool like her friends moms because I don't wear labels like they do which I(the word starts with b and rhymes with itchy) replied guess I should take your :censored2: back to american eagle huh??

    I am proud of being a seamstress and always get compliments on what I wear when I go out....

    Some days I really don't like my kids...

  19. ML

    ML Guest

    I like the letter. Good luck and big hugs to you.