I need your brainstorming powers please. I have an 11 year old son who has form for breaking/damaging stuff. He doesn't do this intentionally. He does it because a) he is curious and b) he doesn't engage his brain and think of the consequences.
He has just done something particularly stupid that he has been warned against doing A LOT: playing with the fire - dropping a coal on the carpet and burning the carpet - luckily he did not burn himself or burn the house down, both of which we have pointed out to him were distinct possibilities. To his credit, he voluntarily came and told us what he'd done. But that's where my kindly thoughts end....
There is no way he can pay for the carpet to be replaced. When I asked him what he thought we should do about it, he suggested a rug or mat to cover the carpet....
I think he needs some kind of consequence that will make him start to engage his brain more. I don't want him to simply be punished for doing something wrong. I want him to really start to learn that he needs to think about the consequences of his actions. But what?? What will teach that? I did toy with the idea of getting him down to a firestation to learn about the consequences of playing with fire, but this isn't just about playing with fire, it's about doing a bunch of stupid things without thinking through the consequences.
You have spelt out the possible consequences, now you need to deal with the actual consequences. Given he has suggested the mat or rug to cover the damage he has caused, I would expect him to pay for it, if he dosent have savings then jobs around the house until he pays back the debt.
Kids think they are indestructible at that age, I agree with your thought about the fire station Is there a fire prevention officer at your local fire station? If so, speak to them. They may be able to educate him on the dangers from a personal viewpoint.
Maybe first hand experience will make him stop for a second to think about 'what may happen'.