AIBU to make him pay?

(81 Posts)
cmac76 Sat 27-Nov-21 08:45:17

I just want to gauge if I am being too mean or not. DS (10) has form for losing things….items of clothing mainly. It was really bad when he was younger. He would regularly come home from school without jumpers, socks, coat, water bottle…whole uniform once and shoes another time (after school clubs). We sometimes found items, sometimes not. I resorted to writing in a sharpie pen inside his bag all the things he needed to come home with. But he would forget to check that 🙄

He’s better now but can still lose things from time to time. I won’t let him wear his ‘nice’ things out when I’m not with him though as a result.

So now he’s lost his warm hat and gloves (plays a lot of football etc) and I’m so fed up.
Do I make him pay to replace a set or just half? He does get very upset about losing stuff (I do get cross) so I feel mean but it’s so annoying! He needs to look after his things!!
He is NT by the way, no issues that we are aware of.

Would you make your child pay at this age?

OP’s posts: |
SorryPardonWhat Sat 27-Nov-21 08:53:28

Depends what pocket money he gets. Is he able at 10 to pay for replacements?

I would buy the first replacement, go halves on the next and have him pay for the third. And tell him the plan. Assuming he has a little income of course!

Wannakisstheteacher Sat 27-Nov-21 08:56:46

I do. Incredible how fast they stop losing things when the replacements come out of their pocket money/birthday money.

cmac76 Sat 27-Nov-21 08:58:16

Yes he has the funds to replace…a decent amount of pocket money saved

OP’s posts: |
JetRocket Sat 27-Nov-21 09:19:46

Honestly at 10 and with a substantial history of losing Items I probably would make him pay to replace it this time and tell him that he’ll have to contribute 50% to his losses from now on. It will be a massive incentive to start looking after his stuff.

Don’t confuse distress over having lost the item with distress over you being cross with him! Whilst 10 is still young it’s not far off secondary school and asking for expensive tech items hmm he needs to learn to look after his stuff!

Longdistance Sat 27-Nov-21 09:21:56

Yes, he should it’s for it out of his own money. My youngest is the same age and she loses stuff, it does inevitably turn up. We’ve recently bought winter stuff and doubled up on stuff just in case dd leaves it at school. So far, she’s ‘misplaced’ a glove. She can freeze if she loses the next pair.

Meowwwwwww Sat 27-Nov-21 09:25:40

Wannakisstheteacher

I do. Incredible how fast they stop losing things when the replacements come out of their pocket money/birthday money.

See this wasn’t my experience at all. OP I was just like your DS and I absolutely hated it. My mum used to tell me how disappointed she was and make me pay for replacements in full —- even though she knew I was already so upset with myself. Her response made me feel like shit and caused a lot of anxiety and over time it really impacted our relationship. Worst of all it didn’t help. I didn’t need someone to teach me that I shouldn’t lose things, I needed someone to teach me how to go about it. If you don’t have the same issue it’s easy to say just don’t lose it but it’s very hard to remember to remember something, IYSWIM. What can a child do to remember to read the list in his bag if he forgets?

Of course this isn’t to say you should just buy your son new things every time he loses something. What I did with my son was institute as much scaffolding as possible. For example, he would often lose his homework at home so he wasn’t allowed to bring his folder to his desk alone— he had to bring his whole rucksack and it had to stay zipped unless he was sitting at his desk. Your list is a good start but I would also have asked the teacher to remind him to look at it before leaving school (or wherever he was) and had him wear a watch with an alarm to remind him as well. For his keys I used one of those Tile trackers. We had nametags printed with my contact info and put them on EVERYTHING. Even then he sometimes got fed up and didn’t bother to and in those cases he would be required to pay for what he lost. But if he is genuinely trying to do better and if it’s causing him stress to disappoint you I don’t think extra punishment is the way to go.

For my son the lesson of how to scaffold his memory in different ways was way way way more valuable than the frustration and disappointment I received from my mum when I was already so frustrated and disappointed in myself. Your son may have mild ADHD or it may just be a developmental stage but either way he needs support not punishment.

Advertisement

HidingFromDD Sat 27-Nov-21 09:26:52

yes, let him start to feel the consequences. My eldest DD constantly used to forget or lose her door keys, leaving me to have to sort out the problem of how she could get into the house (teenagers obv, not primary age). Until the day when I was hour and a half away, and sister had made other plans and wouldn't be back for over an hour. And I told her she just had to sit in the garage and wait (so she was at least dry - was chucking down). She never 'forgot' her keys after that

SilverDragonfly1 Sat 27-Nov-21 09:29:14

One thing I would say is that I would have said my son was NT at 10 when he was losing and forgetting everything. In late teens he proved to have 'ADHD traits' during a dyslexia assessment (also very dyslexic!) and now as an adult is awaiting a full assessment. So it's worth keeping in mind if other traits come to light.

MangoBiscuit Sat 27-Nov-21 09:31:50

Given that he's lost so much already, and he already has a substantial amount of money saved, yes I would make him pay. I would also make him go with you to buy the replacements. If that's while you're doing the food shop or whatever, so be it, he can help with that too. Losing things all the time isn't just a waste of money, it's also the time and effort to find suitable replacements.

I don't know if this fits with your routine, but is it possible to get him to mentally check off everything he needs to have with him, at pick up? My youngest tends to lose stuff, so at school pick up, before we go anywhere, we check she has everything, and she has to go back and look for anything that's missing. I'm hoping it's helping build the habit of checking before she leaves. But it's also a deterrent, because the longer we have to faff at school, the less time she gets at the park.

cmac76 Sat 27-Nov-21 09:33:37

This is what I worry about, punishing him for something that I think he struggles with. I know he’s upset at losing things and that it is tied up with knowing I’m cross with him. He can get quite distressed/down about it. In the past he has been a bit flippant…oh we can just replace it! So that made me feel really annoyed.
I’ve said SO many times…when you want to take something off, put it in your bag (at school). I’ve seen him take a jumper off and just dump it where he’s sitting and then of course he’s run off and left it. I’m in two minds…that shows his carelessness. All he had to do was walk over to me and ask me to hold it/tie it round his waist??
Argh!

OP’s posts: |
FallonCarringtonWannabe Sat 27-Nov-21 09:34:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FallonCarringtonWannabe Sat 27-Nov-21 09:37:53

Fgs i quoted the wrong post blush I meant to quote this. Organisation is a learned skill. What can you do to put systems in place to help him develop these skills?

I didn’t need someone to teach me that I shouldn’t lose things, I needed someone to teach me how to go about it. What I did with my son was institute as much scaffolding as possible. For example, he would often lose his homework at home so he wasn’t allowed to bring his folder to his desk alone— he had to bring his whole rucksack and it had to stay zipped unless he was sitting at his desk. Your list is a good start but I would also have asked the teacher to remind him to look at it before leaving school (or wherever he was) and had him wear a watch with an alarm to remind him as well. For his keys I used one of those Tile trackers. We had nametags printed with my contact info and put them on EVERYTHING. Even then he sometimes got fed up and didn’t bother to and in those cases he would be required to pay for what he lost. But if he is genuinely trying to do better and if it’s causing him stress to disappoint you I don’t think extra punishment is the way to go. For my son the lesson of how to scaffold his memory in different ways was way way way more valuable than the frustration and disappointment I received from my mum when I was already so frustrated and disappointed in myself. Your son may have mild ADHD or it may just be a developmental stage but either way he needs support not punishment

FlibbertyGibbitt Sat 27-Nov-21 09:39:23

Wait until he until he goes to secondary school. Mine lost glasses, shoes, towel from swimming, uniform, nice pe n I bought him 🙄 just took it on the chin !

SoupDragon Sat 27-Nov-21 09:42:51

I used to make mine do chores to "pay back" the cost of lost items. It makes the link between earning the money and buying stuff. If it just comes out of saved pocket money, it doesn't seem quite the same.

2Hot2Handle Sat 27-Nov-21 09:42:52

I wouldn’t just have him pay from his pocket money. I’d also have him come shopping to replace the items.

Embracelife Sat 27-Nov-21 09:45:00

Just buy the cheapest gloves hat etc

BurbageBrook Sat 27-Nov-21 09:47:21

I think you’re being mean to tell him off, even meaner to punish him. It’s not deliberate.

Mojoj Sat 27-Nov-21 09:48:34

Absolutely make him pay to replace the lost items. But, if it continues, you're probably looking at other developmental issues.

LindaEllen Sat 27-Nov-21 10:06:18

I think at 10 he won't have enough pocket money to replace the items, BUT you could at least deduct a significant amount towards the replacements, to make him feel what it's like to have to keep paying out. He might then learn that if he loses things, that have to be replaced, he has to use the money that he would rather have used for something fun - that's exactly what adulthood is like!

LindaEllen Sat 27-Nov-21 10:07:52

BurbageBrook

I think you’re being mean to tell him off, even meaner to punish him. It’s not deliberate.

It may not be a deliberate thought (i.e. oh I'll leave these at school today to piss my mum off) but it is AMAZING how kids don't lose things when they see actual consequences.

Totalwasteofpaper Sat 27-Nov-21 10:13:46

Yes to pay half.
My parents did this and I was shocked as they normally were lenient

When I realised it was "for real" it was very upset but It really made me look after my things much more carefully.

HugeAckmansWife Sat 27-Nov-21 10:29:30

'I didn't mean to' is my dds constant refrain at the moment. Drives me up the wall. Inevitably the inconvenience and cost of replacing falls to the parent and finding a temporary work around for lost key or whatever is a massive pain in the arse when you're trying to get out of the house in the morning. OP as he has the funds I 100% think you need to start making him not only contribute but come with you on a long and very dull shopping trip to get them along with some other random errands. My DS is 12, also awful. He's lost 3 PE tops at school in 12 months that cost £25 each. The last one cost him £20 and only then did he finally remember to go to lost property the next time he lost it. Lots of things in life are tricky but if they are going to be functioning adults who don't annoy the fuck out of people with 'adorable' scattiness they need to learn.

dabbydeedoo Sat 27-Nov-21 10:33:49

Yep, I agree with making him pay. I hate that 'we can just replace it' attitude. Some of the people I went to uni with had it. Absolutely no care at all for their personal belongings because they knew they could ring Mummy and get it sorted with zero consequences.

I have diagnosed ADHD and have barely ever lost anything in my life because I always knew it wouldn't be replaced. Amazing what coping and organisational strategies you can develop if you know that losing your phone means you won't have a phone anymore, or losing your hat means you'll be freezing all winter.

Yogaandcocoa Sat 27-Nov-21 10:35:56

He does need to learn and consequences help IMHO

Ten seems young but he's old enough to understand

Is he upset at losing the things are that you'll be upset? Probably the latter

I think he'll take more care if he's got to pay

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in