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Yesterday my 10 yr old broke my windscreen on purpose ...

(21 Posts)
HarrietSchulenberg Sat 20-Aug-11 12:29:25

... so I have put him on washing up duty until next half term. Have I been soft on him?

He broke it from the inside with a stone while in a foul mood yesterday. I didn't see it happen as I wasn't inside the car at the time, and he claims it was an accident. He says he slipped while climbing from the front seat to the back. Unless he slipped at 50 mph there's no way he could have hit it with enough force to cause that crack, unless he happened to be smashing it with the stone that happened to be lying in the footwell. He also has a history of causing minor damage to my car when he's in a bad mood with me, which he was at the time.

Seeing as it's going to cost me £100 to replace the windscreen (insurance excess) I have decided he can work to pay me back. I have put him on washing up duty every day until October half term. Is this reasonable or should I have gone for something shorter and sharper? And if so, what?

MrsRobertDuvall Sat 20-Aug-11 13:03:04

I would be livid.
Does he have anger issues?
I would take away phone/gaming stuff etc and make him pay for some of the damage.

HarrietSchulenberg Sat 20-Aug-11 14:50:26

I was livid yesterday. Yes, he does have some anger issues, previous episodes of which have resulted in the removal of his phone and other items (favourite toys mostly) but with little success.

I really don't know how to deal with this.

Madlizzy Sat 20-Aug-11 15:05:04

I would have freaked. I would sell something that's precious to him to pay for the damage. Washing up as a punishment just isn't going to cut it. He'd also be grounded, and that includes no computer, phone or games. Sounds like he has little respect for property, and he may gain some when he realises what it's like to go without for a good long period of time.

FigsAndWine Sat 20-Aug-11 15:05:27

I would remove all privileges; phone (he has a phone aged 10? confused ), computer games etc, until he has earned enough money (chores) to pay for the damage he's caused. Washing up every day for a long period seems a bit wishy washy; are you really going to enforce this? Every day?

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Sat 20-Aug-11 15:08:28

Does he have something worth £100 that you can sell?

Far better consequence than washing up for god knows how long.

Itsjustafleshwound Sat 20-Aug-11 15:10:33

I don't know but the punishment does sound very removed from the crime. Is there a way he could forgo something to the value of £100 or understand the cost of replacement rather than just some 'random' unrelated task???

nickelbabe Sat 20-Aug-11 15:10:45

Have you been to the GP with his anger issues?
If it's happened in the past where he's deliberately damaged stuff because of his anger, it might be a real problem , rather than just a not coping thing. sad

purplepidjin Sat 20-Aug-11 15:11:07

Erm, how about he loses the right to go in the car for anything except school? Therefore, no activities or trips to friends etc. If anyone wants to see him, they come to you or he walks!

WhoWhoWhoWho Sat 20-Aug-11 15:11:32

I would take stuff to his up to the resale value of £100 and sell them.

Does he help out with chores around the house anyway?? A small daily chore on a permaent basis wouldn't hurt would it. Our household know we are in this as a team and we all pitch in together whether it's tidying, putting a wash on, etc.

Have you had any advice on his temper in the past??

KimberlyClark Sat 20-Aug-11 15:20:46

sell something

this is unacceptable behaviour <<channels jo frost>>

but seriously - if he does this at 10 what will he be doing at 13, 14, 15 etc if you don't put your foot down NOW?

ds (12) has a "habit" of destroying things in temper angry, fortunately nothing of particular value BUT he has to pay for/replace whatever it was and he knows full well I would have no qualms about selling his xbox from under him if he ever pulled a stunt like that.

HattiFattner Sat 20-Aug-11 15:23:35

The problem with long term punishments is having the will to carry them through. After the first few days he may start to kick off or do the job so badly that you start to take over. So he gets away scott free. And he knows this.

I would make him pay the actual amount through doing chores - each one worth a specific monetary amount. keep a tally of what he has done and how much he owes. If he has a birthday coming up, use the money for presents/party to pay for the windshield. ANy money coming in from aunties etc goes against his debt. If he has a wii/nintendo type thing, sell it. Until the debt is paid.

My son (11) cut the new leather armchair with a blade from a pencil sharpener. His punishment was that I cancelled his birthday party, which was supposed to be a big treat for him and about 10 of his mates to a laser park and back for pizza....

Equally, he recently broke my laptop cable - I have taken the money out of his pocket money.

The only way kids can learn the value of money and to respect other peoples property is to feel the pain of repayment. He wont be in a hurry to do it again.

RosemaryandThyme Sat 20-Aug-11 18:09:59

I'm always impressed with the folks on "The Strictest Parents In The World" programme.
For issues related to damaging property they often get their children to do related voluntary work.
Could you arrange for son to spend a day sorting second-hand stuff at a charity shop? voluntering to clean-up or help-out at a chrity event,

SummerRain Sat 20-Aug-11 18:39:16

When the little shit boy next door broke my car window his savings were given to repay the damage on top of the tongue lashing from his mother and mine.

If he'd only been made to do the washing up (surely he should be doing jobs like that for you anyway at his age!) I would have been extremely pissed off with his mother tbh.

RosieMapleLeaf Sat 20-Aug-11 18:46:28

I am in agreement with everyone else, he needs to pay (literally) for the damage. I know if I tried the washing up for 2 months type punishment here, it would end up being more of a punishment for me, what with having to monitor whether it was being done, and nag nag nag, and inspect the work and request it be redone if necessary. I bet I would last less than a week.

woollyideas Sat 20-Aug-11 18:58:19

I agree. He has to pay for it in order to understand the implications of damaging something. Even if the whole amount can't be covered, I seriously do think that if he has any games consoles, etc., they must be sold. And I also think he needs help with the anger management. Sorry OP, I don't mean this to sound patronising at all, but for your own sake I think you need to bite the bullet and have a two pronged 'consequence': pay for the damage/address the issues that caused the damage, especially as he's got form...

HarrietSchulenberg Sat 20-Aug-11 21:25:44

Thanks for this, folks. He doesn't have anything that I can sell for £100 apart from his Playmobil, but his brothers play with that too so it would penalise them aswell, which isn't fair.

He doesn't have a playstation or big games console, and he's not really interested in the rather old (and pink) third hand nintendo ds that he shares with his brother. He wouldn't even notice if he was banned from that.

I did wonder whether to ban him from football, which is £1 per training session plus £20 to register to the team, until he's paid the £100 off, but I think that that's one place that he gets some discipline and I think it would make things worse if he lost that.

I really do intend to keep the washing up thing going. I need the help and I've told him that it's working out as £1.50 per day (50p per meal washed up) for holidays and £1 on schooldays (only 2 meals to sort). To be fair to him he did offer me his phone but it's still very new to him and it's about to run out of credit, so when the money's gone he won't be able to use it anyway. Which is a separate lesson that I'd like him to learn.

I did speak to school about his behaviour some months ago but they've seen no signs of it. They did mention that he's reserved in class and there have been a few other issues, not behavioural, that we're already working with. I suppose I'm going to have to start the new school year with another trip to the Head.

He's generally a very well-mannered, polite, bright boy but he seems to actually WANT to act like a thug, which just isn't him.

Dialsmavis Sat 20-Aug-11 22:57:22

You need to do more than making him wash up.... He has caused serious damage and also lied. I would seriously consider seeing if you can take him to the police station and get them to have a word with him. It really needs nipping in the bud. He should pay too, how much is his phone worth? sell that for starters.

HattiFattner Sun 21-Aug-11 09:24:01

you are already giving him a way out of everything! His brother also plays playmobile. The football is an area of dicipline. he wouldnt notice the nintendo, the phone is nearly out of credit anyway.....

The reason he is destructive is because you are not being firm with him - you are making excuses for his behaviour ("it just isnt him") and not following through with consequences for bad behaviour. If he wants to be a thug - let him. But the full weight of consequences for bad behaviour should come into play.

Make HIM decide what the appropriate sanction will be for any further damage to your car. Maybe he has to wash it every week until the damage is paid off - that should be worth a fiver a week over the next 20 weeks?

Id also look at increasing his physical activity so he has less time and energy to be destructive. Maybe start another club - swimming, martial arts, scouts.

giraffesCantChaChaCha Sun 21-Aug-11 09:29:26

In a month will you still be going with the washing up?

EssentialFattyAcid Sun 21-Aug-11 09:33:16

Have you read "Playful Parenting"? might be worth a try with this re anger levels

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