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7 year old with no sense of responsibility

(31 Posts)
MrsSnape Wed 23-Jul-08 12:12:36

My kids (7 and 9) just don't give a shit about anything. They had a playstation 2 and around 30 ALL of those games are scratched through being left on the floor or just chucked aside with no care at all.

I explained to them that if they had looked after the games, they would have been able to sell them and would have made around £100.

So when I bought them an xbox 360 they swore they'd look after the games. They did for so long but my 7 year old is now treating the games like they're worth nothing at all. Everytime I go into the bedroom £40 games are shrewn all over the floor. Alot of them are now scratched, cases knackered etc.

Today 7 year old told me that his new game (one I bought him in a special edition case, cost £50) is broken. I looked at it and it has a big dint in it as if it has been stood on. I got cross and said "do you realise how much this cost?" and he turned away to hide the fact that he was laughing angry I'm so pissed off. Most of his DS games are lost too and they're all £30 each.

I am thinking about sticking all of the xbox games on ebay and he can start his collection again from scratch (christmas/birthday presents, pocket money etc). Maybe this will make him realise? Or is it too harsh to sell ALL of his games? most of which were presents (but will probably end up getting broken before long anyway angry

RubySlippers Wed 23-Jul-08 12:14:50

i would confiscate them all and give them back one at a time so they can prove they can look after them

not sure about selling them all although that would be a huge wake up call

cornsilk Wed 23-Jul-08 12:15:27

sad for you Mrs Snape.
Just don't buy them any more till they can look after them. They'll get the message eventually.

Gobbledigook Wed 23-Jul-08 12:17:03

I agree with Ruby - I'd take them all away until they can learn respect. Then I'd only let them have one at a time.

Tbh, mine are a bit like this with DVDs - they get them out themselves adn put them in but when they take one out they just leave it on the floor. It makes me mad. I put them up on the highest shelf so they'd have to ask permission to have one down but they just pile up toy boxes and climb up! In fact, I must go and move them out of the playroom....

Gobbledigook Wed 23-Jul-08 12:17:23

Although, mine are good with the PS2 games. Strange.

HandbagAddiction Wed 23-Jul-08 12:18:11

I'm not sure that consistently buying new games to replace those that have been broken is sending the right message to be honest.

Can you not just refuse to buy anymore? i.e. you broke it / didn't look after it, therefore you accept the consequences.

Cappuccino Wed 23-Jul-08 12:19:10

there are a lot of prices listed here. Is this the approach you are taking with your kids?

I can't see how saying to a 7-year-old 'We could have made £100' is going to do anything. Certainly my 7 year old doesn't have her head round that amount of money.

This isn't about money - it's about respect for your belongings, whether they are £1.50 crap from Home Bargains or more expensive games. It's about teaching them how to tidy up at the end of the day and not leave stuff on the floor.

every night, before bed, 10 minutes tidying. You can use a timer if you like, my dd likes that. When everything is away then lots of praise. (You might need to be very involved n the tidying to start with wink while they are learning)

mankyscotslass Wed 23-Jul-08 12:19:16

TBH, I would just take the console and games away, full stop, and they could earn them back with good behaviour. I also wouldn't but any new games for quite some time.
My DS is 6 now and went through a phase of being careless with his DS. We took it away for a week, then let him earn it back. He has been loads better, and he knows we mean what we say. Still have problems with some other toys, but he is mega careful with the expensive stuff now. I honestly think he hated us for that week. grin
I think the idea you have about selling them is a good one, but there again I am a bit hard grin.
I'm sure ther will be others along with better advice soon!

Youcanthaveeverything Wed 23-Jul-08 12:20:35

I would take all games away for quite a long period (2 months say) and then if they then seem to grasped the importence of keping things properly, reintroduce one game back at a time, with strict explicit expectations (put away in case after every game etc) and if this is not adhered to then the whole console goes away for a month again.

You have to stick to what you say, you have to teach them this is an importent matter.

Gobbledigook Wed 23-Jul-08 12:21:03

I agree with Cappucino about the monetary value too - it's not really about that and they should respect all their belongings regardless of what they cost.

My 7 year old doesn't really have any concept of £100 vs £1000 vs £500,000 either!

cornsilk Wed 23-Jul-08 12:21:34

I am lax with DVD's myself, so can't complain at PS2 games being left about. DS games get lost easily and have drilled it into poor ds2 to look after them! I have put the ds games away now and only get them out one at a time when they ask for them (mean mummy - ds2 doesn't realise they're hidden in his undies drawer!)

Youcanthaveeverything Wed 23-Jul-08 12:23:28

Having a games console is not a human right. If they can't take care of it, they can't have one. Your idea of allowing them to start again with collecting games will just perpetuate the probelm imo.

The message there is 'once the games are damaged you save for some more' wrong message.

WigWamBam Wed 23-Jul-08 12:24:26

I'd take the whole lot away from him until he was able to show that he was getting a little respect for (a) his possessions and (b) his mother. Make him earn back the console by behaving responsibly, and then earn back each game one by one.

It's no good asking him whether he realises how much they cost; 7 year olds might know a little bit about money but they don't have any clue about it's value - particularly when anything which they break is simply replaced.

And maybe some new house rules are in order; if it is a condition of play that everything is put away once it's finished with and one game is put away before another is started (with sanctions if that rule is not obeyed) it should become easier to keep the games safe.

Cappuccino Wed 23-Jul-08 12:26:21

my kids don't have computer games but if they did I think I would keep control of them

eg with our DVDs, they ask if they can watch a DVD, and I get it down for them. They don't just put a DVD on

I think if your kids are going a bit wild flinging the boxes open and throwing them all over the floor, rather than playing with them, they could prob do with a little bit more guidance about how to manage their free time

AbbeyA Wed 23-Jul-08 12:27:21

I wouldn't argue-just take away anything that is not being looked after.

nervousal Wed 23-Jul-08 12:30:45

If the games are theirs then they should be able to treat them how they want to - but then they have to face the consequences. If you damage a game then you can't play it any more and I am not going to buy you another one.

Twiglett Wed 23-Jul-08 12:32:38

things that get broken through lack of care don't get replaced

lizziemun Wed 23-Jul-08 13:19:37

If it was me i would take all consoles and games away.

Throw away all damaged games and do not replace them.

I would also make them go though all their toys and make them throw away all broken toys and all others toys tidied away. And then at the end of the day they spend 10 mins before bed putting everything away.

They would only get the consoles and games back one at time and only when they learn to look after their toys. All broken toys are thrown away the day they broken.

Don't keep buying them more games when they have not looked after the ones they have as they will never learn how to look after them if you just keep replacing.

AbbeyA Wed 23-Jul-08 13:28:13

I agree with lizziemun. Today is a good day to start. Have a good sort out. Throw away anything broken and put everything away. Explain that they are going to have to look after their belongings-that if you find anything lying around the house after they have gone to bed then you are going to remove it and if you see them mistreating anything you are going to remove it. Put them up in the loft. When (or if)they decide that they want to change let them choose one toy a day to have back. If they regress remove again.You have to be harsh.

serenity Wed 23-Jul-08 13:56:10

Any toys in their room that have been broken through carelessness are thrown away and not replaced here. However, knowing that they are pretty careless, I don't allow the DCs to keep valuable items such as their DSs in their room, they have a special place in the living room to store them. Ditto with our consoles (which are mainly mine and Dh's or family items anyway) i'd never let them have them in their room, because I know they'd get damaged (plus we don't do TVs/consoles in bedrooms anyway smile).

If they treat things badly, they get banned from using them.

clutteredup Wed 23-Jul-08 14:05:05

MY DS had to save up half the value of his DS and had the other for his birthday. With his birthday money he bought a game and was given some others. It is signficant that the things he looks after are the ones he 'paid' for - all else is badly treated. I have vowed to continue this as it means he chooses what he wants - often it is a case that they don't care enough about the object to 'care' for it IFYSWIM.
We give him pocket money and he gets extra from GPs and birthdays and now he buys his own things. We do buy him some things sometimes but he looks after them less - easy come easy go comes to mind.
Its a good lesson for life - mind you |I'm not sure about the being careless with kind gifts bit hmm

batters Wed 23-Jul-08 14:10:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cappuccino Wed 23-Jul-08 14:11:09

I don't agree about being harsh

my mum never taught me how to tidy up, she'd come and tell me to, but there was no system, and I didn't get it and I lived in chaos till I was nearly 30

if your kids aren't tidying up they need encouragement not threats or nagging

if thy don't get it after a few weeks/ months then that is the time to bring the big guns out

if you make this you vs them it is bound to fail

HonoriaGlossop Wed 23-Jul-08 14:39:38

agree with you Capuccino. If they're not taking care of them then they need more chivvying along, maybe you need to be with them each evening to ensure everything's put away properly

but basically, what Capuccino said.

Earlybird Wed 23-Jul-08 16:42:48

<Hijack alert> - here is a similar issue with a 7 year old who needs to take more care with things. I think the main difference is that your ds seems to break things via experimenting, or on purpose, which brings a challenging set of considerations.

I've got a dd who looks after her toys and almost never breaks anything. But, she seems to be in a phase of being careless with regards to spilling food on her clothes. Inevitably, the food spilled seems to be something that stains (tomato sauce, chocolate ice cream, etc), and usually happens when we are out and she is wearing something new and/or more expensive. This summer, she has gone through a phase of managing to permanently stain several things that were only worn once or twice.

I don't want to dress her in dingy clothes where stains won't matter and also don't think a 7 year old should be 'worrying' about her clothes, but equally am unhappy when her lovely new things are stained. Am unsure if it is carelessness in a child who is old enough to be more careful, or if I am being unrealistic. Any ideas how to handle?

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