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Topic: Do you discipline your child for breaking things on accident?  (Read 6447 times)

AdamH1978

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Do you discipline your child for breaking things on accident?
« on: August 31, 2011, 08:49:32 am »
First of all let me say that my 12 year old step daughter is a great kid with no other discipline problems and an honor roll student, but she ends up breaking everything she owns.  Of course it's always an accident, but I will not be buying anything handheld of any value for her until she gets older.  She is a tomboy and when she turned 11 she wanted walkie talkies to talk to her friend(when I told her a cell phone was not an option) and so I bought her very nice 100 dollar walkie talkies with a huge talking distance.  They were supposed to be durable, but somehow the way she dropped it on the concrete that very first day broke it beyond repair.  She borrowed my camera last year and returned that broken, dropped her ipod touch and while it still currently works the glass screen is cracked and falling out, her ds works, but is scratched very bad from her using who knows what instead of the provided stylus, and today I find that she broke my 200 dollar Sony Cybershot DSC-WX9 16.2 megapixel camera. :'( :BangHead:  I didn't know she was using my camera till I found it in her room and the zoom was stuck out when it should be retracted when the camera is turned off.  It won't take a picture any more and what I've found on the internet it says the problem is the result of dropping.  She says she doesn't know what happened to it, but I know this isn't true.  The denial and not asking me for permission to use my camera(which I would have denied unless in my presence) is what makes me truly livid.  Not sure what the punishment should be for the camera or the perceived lying.  Still talking to my wife about it since it just happened.  It will be at least two years plus the addition of showing more responsibility for her's and other's things before I will buy anything for her that can be easily broken.  What would you do?

tomangben

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Re: Do you discipline your child for breaking things on accident?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2011, 06:32:31 pm »
i would suggest making her work for what's been broken. I also have a tomboy but never had this problem, when she got in trouble and it started getting kinda bad we took everything out of her room but her bed clothes and dressers for about a month or so and she shaped up pretty good. We make our kids work for what ever they break or lose teaches them to be more responsible and have respect for what they get. Now a days it seems that kids just don't respect anything that is given to them.  I grew up having respect and being responsible for my things. To this day i still have items i've had from when I was little. Now my kids understand why we make them work for their things if they want things they have to work for them. Not to say we don't buy them things just out of the blue but when they use their own money they seem to take care of things so much better. Good Luck!

Blugamer44

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Re: Do you discipline your child for breaking things on accident?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2011, 06:55:12 pm »
Well I'm not a parent (still living with mine),but it would depend on if they were screwing around or it was purely an accident. Either way there would be some punishment.

alaric99x

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Re: Do you discipline your child for breaking things on accident?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2011, 07:08:34 pm »
I've had kids, grown now, and I agree with the first two posts.  I would never discipline a child for breaking something accidentally, I woudn't even want them to feel guilty about that.  If breakage occurs on a regular basis, then I would have to consider that it's a case of repeated carelessness and lack of respect for the value of things and what those things might be worth to others.  That's a situation that needs to be corrected, and failure to correct a child in such circumstances only encourages worse behavior later.  When the kid takes a complex and expensive item like a digital camera without bothering to ask, that's even worse, and then telling lies about it, that's clearly deceptive behavior and very serious disrespect and apathy that requires immediate and decisive correction, not that I'm suggesting in any way that the kid should be beaten, but there should be some very strong and intelligent way to punish the child in order to get the message across that that kind of conduct will not be tolerated.

dreamyxo

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Re: Do you discipline your child for breaking things on accident?
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2011, 07:08:46 pm »
I'm not a parent but I would break something of hers and give it back to her so she can see how it feels.  Just kidding a little.  She sounds extremely clumsy which is not unusual for her age, either that or she has totally no regard for other people's things which is I would suspect as well.  Definitely keep your electronics under lock and key and don't let her use them unsupervised.  

She has to learn how to take better care of her things and she has to be taught that when you use someone's things you should be held responsible if it's in your care and something happens to it.  Even if it was an accident she needs to learn there are consequences for breaking other people's things that she is entrusted with.


dexterjrh

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Re: Do you discipline your child for breaking things on accident?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2011, 07:12:18 pm »
maybe she is not happy and not telling you. So instead she breaks things,of trying to reach out to you.

alaric99x

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Re: Do you discipline your child for breaking things on accident?
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2011, 07:14:40 pm »
The kid wasn't entrusted with the digital camera, the kid simply took and broke the camera.  You shouldn't have to keep things under "lock and key," better to teach your kids effectively what they can and can't touch.  Of course, there are some things we have to lock up, like firearms, but we shouldn't accept it as a lifestyle or standard that we have to lock things up from each other in a family.

samiole32

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Re: Do you discipline your child for breaking things on accident?
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2011, 07:17:43 pm »
if it is in accident and beyond his control I don't punish her I don't even mention it but if it is because she was careless or in purpose I send her to time out and sometimes I withdraw one of her favorite things, like toys, stickers, chuck e cheese ..etc

alaric99x

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Re: Do you discipline your child for breaking things on accident?
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2011, 07:24:33 pm »
maybe she is not happy and not telling you. So instead she breaks things,of trying to reach out to you.

I understand the logic of your analysis.  The kid breaks things in order to get attention, and will break ever more expensive things until we give her the attention she deserves.  Don't leave your car keys laying around because that could give the kid the opportunity to destroy your car, thereby giving you a message, hopefully this time with abundant clarity, about how desperately she craves your attention.

You can choose to believe this or "Plan A" as I stated previously.

AdamH1978

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Re: Do you discipline your child for breaking things on accident?
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2011, 09:11:56 pm »
i would suggest making her work for what's been broken. I also have a tomboy but never had this problem, when she got in trouble and it started getting kinda bad we took everything out of her room but her bed clothes and dressers for about a month or so and she shaped up pretty good. We make our kids work for what ever they break or lose teaches them to be more responsible and have respect for what they get. Now a days it seems that kids just don't respect anything that is given to them.  I grew up having respect and being responsible for my things. To this day i still have items i've had from when I was little. Now my kids understand why we make them work for their things if they want things they have to work for them. Not to say we don't buy them things just out of the blue but when they use their own money they seem to take care of things so much better. Good Luck!

Thanks for the good advice.  I have taken away Facebook for a certain amount of time until I feel she can be more responsible and trustworthy and while she usually received allowance for chores she will be working off the camera for a few months.  I did just buy a long skateboard for her after the fact that she had wanted for some time so she can get outside and have fun off the computer, camera, or phone.  She has had a bike for several years now that still works fine and I doubt she can break a skateboard(knock on wood). 

MudValley

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Re: Do you discipline your child for breaking things on accident?
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2011, 10:30:41 pm »
sorry, skateboards can easily be broken.....it almost sounds like she's intentionally breaking YOUR stuff, or does her mom's things suffer the same fate? It might be worth looking into. Not knowing all your details(not wanting to, none of my business) but is it possible that she has some feelings of resentment towards you, you know, marrying her mom, etc etc?

mawhite63

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Re: Do you discipline your child for breaking things on accident?
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2011, 02:12:59 am »
How's her handwriting? If she's "a great kid with no discipline problems", has anyone at school considered testing her for a disorder such as constructional or coordination dyspraxia? One of our kids has/had that. He's OK with bigger items, like bikes and such, but with smaller things he's constantly dropping. Physical therapy in school helped a lot and made an improvement. That being said, nevertheless I personally agree with paying for the broken item she took without permission.

kqa

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Re: Do you discipline your child for breaking things on accident?
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2011, 03:41:33 am »
My son used to break stuff "accidentally" all the time.  I don't think they were accidents at all, and it never stopped until he moved out of the house in his 20s. 

heartofphila

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Re: Do you discipline your child for breaking things on accident?
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2011, 06:32:21 am »
No, but I do repremand him for trying to do too many things at one time, that lead to accidents.

animikokala

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Re: Do you discipline your child for breaking things on accident?
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2011, 07:07:04 am »
I don't have children myself, but I was one of those "clumsy" children.  Even now, although I'll be 27 in less than two weeks, I'm constantly dropping things or losing them, or tripping over anything and everything, including air sometimes.  Several of my brothers are the same way; we even nicknamed one of them "Butterfingers".   I never intend to drop things or trip; it just seems to happen, even when I'm being careful.  Cellphones are the bane of my existence:  in the past two years, I've lost two phones and accidentally put one into the washing machine; never-mind the countless times I've dropped my current phone (I put the silicone protector on it, so it's not broken yet).   ;D

She could just be absent-minded and prone to accidents like me.  However, she could also be just careless and irresponsible; have you asked your wife if she's always been like this even before you came into their lives?

Either way, she could benefit from working to make up for it.  It sounds like she's being spoiled.  12 year olds don't need their own full set of electronics.  We were never given access to such expensive items at that age without parental supervision; even now, my youngest brothers (who are around that age) don't have mp3 players any more expensive than $20.  Kids that age drop things all the time; they shouldn't be given such high-price items until they are responsible enough to handle them.  Don't buy her more items to replace the broken ones until she learns some respect for both her own (and your) property. 

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