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Nearly 4 year old has smashed bay window: how would you handle this parenting situation?

(51 Posts)
MrsCocoa Sat 07-Sep-13 16:37:14

DS (who is generally a high-energy/physically boisterous child) was waving a foam pole with a metal connector bit on the end this morning and smashed it clean through our bay window. Now shelling out £££s for emergency glazing service.

He started off denying it was anything to do with him, but after we sat him down he acknowledged it was down to his actions, but an accident, and said sorry (sort of). We've tried to impress on him how important it is to look after our house and things in it and the seriousness of this specific incident, but I'm not sure the message is getting through, but also conscious that he is still too little to understand the potential consequences of many of his actions. He's four next month: not sure what my expectations should be?
How would you handle this?

I was not suggesting chores as a punishment. I thought it was a way to teach taking pride in looking after the home.

When children are older (old enough to have pocket money, and to appreciate that things have a cost and a value), I see nothing wrong in making them pay towards the cost of repairing/replacing things they have broken. Sometimes, with our dses, that has meant doing jobs, by way of reparation - and in this case, I thought doing a few little chores would be a way for this lad to make a contribution towards the costs of repairing the window.

Of course it should be proportionate, and appropriate to his age and understanding.

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