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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?

OhBuggerandArse Sat 07-Sep-13 16:40:00

Don't let him have poles.

forevergreek Sat 07-Sep-13 16:40:50

I'm not sure you can tell him off really, he's 3. Why did you let him wave a pole around in the house??

Floralnomad Sat 07-Sep-13 16:40:57

I don't see you can do any more than you have done after the incident . Was he outside and smashed it or inside ,because if he was inside then maybe you should be a little more aware of what he is playing with in confined areas.

QuintessentialOldDear Sat 07-Sep-13 16:42:39

.... and where were you?

haverer Sat 07-Sep-13 16:42:58

He didn't know it was going to cause any damage. I know the consequences were serious but he couldn't have known that. I wouldn't make a big deal about it and not let him wave poles about again.

BeerTricksPotter Sat 07-Sep-13 16:44:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsCocoa Sat 07-Sep-13 16:50:24

Just to explain it is an innocuous looking kid's foam-based play kit stored in his toy box. And I do sometimes need to turn my back on him to attend to other child etc ...

reelingintheyears Sat 07-Sep-13 16:50:50

What they all said, he's only three and he didn't do it on purpose.

reelingintheyears Sat 07-Sep-13 16:52:12

It's serious to you because it's expensive, but he doesn't understand that.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 07-Sep-13 16:52:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Floggingmolly Sat 07-Sep-13 16:55:08

It was an accident. We've had several windows broken by footballs; it's unfortunate (and expensive) but I can't see what "handling" has to be done.

overmydeadbody Sat 07-Sep-13 16:55:17

You've done enough.

The poor boy is only 3, and it was an accident. What sort of message are you trying to get through to him?

Different if he was always breaking things and had no regard for the house and breaking things, but this was just an accident.

overmydeadbody Sat 07-Sep-13 16:57:20

SchmaltzingMatilda that is a horrible suggestion. It was an accident, the consequence of which was a broken window, the poor boy doesn't need to be systematically deprived of a treat to 'pay' for it.

I would only use your suggestion if a child had deliberately broekn something after warnings not to.

Pagwatch Sat 07-Sep-13 16:58:13

He is too young to have the ability to anticipate the consequences of waving around a toy which presumeably you gave him to play with.
If you couldn't anticipate that giving him a great big pole might result in n accident then he can't be expected to.

Tell him not to wave stuff sound in the house as he might hurt someone. Don't lecture a three year old about the seriousness and importance of caring for things in the house.

usualsuspect Sat 07-Sep-13 17:02:00

I would tell him not to wave poles about,then I would tell him no one is cross with him because it was an accident.

Then I wouldn't mention it again.

lisylisylou Sat 07-Sep-13 17:23:04

it sounds like an accident and a boy thing to be honest. Reminded me of when my boy was 4 and he waved a baseball bat into the tv! He'd been waving it around and I had been cooking in the kitchen! It's taught me and Dh not to have big toys in the sitting room and was more of an expensive lesson to us! Don't really see what else you can do about it tbh! As my mum says when I'm stressing about my ds 'he'll be pushing a trolley around the supermarket when he's older just like the rest of us!'

Ifcatshadthumbs Sat 07-Sep-13 17:27:43

Small child waves around foam bat from his toy box? Sounds like fairly standard 4 year old behaviour to me (and I'm a fairly strict parent)

Tee2072 Sat 07-Sep-13 17:28:00

It was an accident. The most I would do is remove the pole from where he can reach it without your help.

Now move on.

Viviennemary Sat 07-Sep-13 17:32:45

He is only three after all. Nevertheless, you should discourage boisterous behaviour. If you don't it will only get worse.

stormedmentor Sat 07-Sep-13 17:32:50

I'm with ohbugger
Don't Let Ds have poles then
OP I send you some strong wine

lisylisylou Sat 07-Sep-13 17:34:19

Stormed mentor can you send me some glasses of wine? Otherwise a bottle would be good haha

lljkk Sat 07-Sep-13 17:39:23

No poles allowed in house.

QuintessentialOldDear Sat 07-Sep-13 17:46:36

lljjk - hmm I know it is your home and all. But. You should not discriminate like that. wink

CreatureRetorts Sat 07-Sep-13 18:33:45

He's a similar age to my ds. There's no way I could expect him to fully understand. I'd make sure you didn't have anything like that inside the house and I'd also be worried about my windows! Not very strong!

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