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ezrabean2005

WWYD Advice requested

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I have a little issue that I wanted the Hive's perspective on. DS11 and I use a Kindle Fire and a Kindle Paperwhite for schoolwork each day. You need to know I LOVE my Kindle Paperwhite. It is the one thing I'd save in a house fire after people and pets. I always have it with me and use it many times a day.

 

DS11 lost it. He feels terrible because he knows I really liked it. He has said he would help pay for a new one.

 

I really don't feel like he should pay for the whole thing because 1) we still have the Kindle Fire and I can use the Kindle app on my phone (so it isn't technically needed), 2) originally a dear friend gave it to me, so I didn't pay for it, and 3) the replacement cost is $120 so it would wipe out any savings DS11 has (which we've always encouraged).

 

On the other hand, he did lose it so it makes me think he should do something to make it right.

 

My heart wants to let it go and just deal. What would you do?

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For me, the answer depends a lot on the kid.  Mine have always been pretty careful and rarely if ever lose things.  At one point I think my kid was the only one in his Scout troop who had never lost his phone.  One father told me his son had lost 3 phones!   Anyway, because of that, when something has been lost I have replaced it.    But if the child is generally careless, or cavalier about the loss, expecting parents to replace items immediately with no consequence, then I might feel differently.

 

Once for a somewhat expensive item we had the child pay half but that was mostly because the kid felt so bad about it and wanted to pay something.

 

YMMV because you know your kids.  It sounds from your post that he is sorry about losing it.  

 

 

Edited by marbel
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I almost think the fact he offered to pay for a replacement and feels terrible is enough 'proof' of remorse that I wouldn't accept his offer, kwim ? I assume losing it was an accident ?

 

He's 11. If he was older and had a p/t job or something, I might accept his offer and suggest he paid for half of the replacement cost. But an 11 year old ? I don't think I would.

 

Especially if you can cover the cost of the replacement yourself. 

 

I'd probably say something like 'thank you for your kind offer, but you can pay me in cups of tea instead!' The Kindle is precious but replaceable...the relationship is equally precious and not at all replaceable. I think extending grace is OK.

 

If this is a habit - he keeps losing things - I'd institute natural consequences (so he can't borrow your stuff anymore) and look at why he can't keep track (executive function scaffolding needed ?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I would see if they go on sale around Christmas time. If so, hint to your family that it would be a great collective gift from the family to you. That would buy you and him a month or two to try to locate it. Plus it would give your son the opportunity to help replace it without spending the bulk of his savings.

 

If he loses important stuff a lot, I would be more tempted for him to spend part of his savings to help replace it now just to teach a lesson that he needs to keep up with stuff better. It sounds like this isn't the case, he is really sorry, and he has taken initiative to try to make it right,

 

Last option, buy one used and split the cost. (Craigslist maybe?)

Edited by TX native
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Maybe pay half?  Recognizing that if it was that important you maintain some responsibility for loaning it away.  (This is only a gentle reminder.  If I can't bear to lose it, I don't loan it to anyone.  Not even my children or husband.  You may have different guidelines. :) ) The fact that his heart is in a great place is huge.  The monetary hit will make a life lesson, but the grace shown will as well.

 

If would only do that if he could earn that money back in a reasonable amount of time, and before any major events where the funds are needed.  My children don't have a regular way to earn money, so that would be in my consideration as well. 

 

If you so choose, you could put the money into a savings account for a future gift for him.  My parents did that when I had to paid them back for a car they bought me.  My step-dad gave me the money back as a wedding present 5 years later, with interest.  That was a huge lesson.  

Edited by Elizabeth 2
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I think it would depend on whether your son is usually responsible or if this is an example of repeated carelessness with other people's property. 

 

 

We all make genuine mistakes. We all lose things every now and then. If he really feels terrible, then I'm guessing this is the case. I'd discuss this and let it go.

 

If he has a history of  carelessness, I'd be tempted to require some input on his part, but not necessarily all his savings. Maybe a portion or maybe some household chores as contribution.

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Just let it go. Saving money is more important and he's likely to become frustrated that all that savings didn't pay off for him so heay become more impulsive with his money so he doesn't lose out again.

 

I'd likely claim the Kindle as my own for a bit, meaning ds could still use it but not as much. And wait until the paper white went on sale, black friday, to replace it.

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I'd probably sit with him and look for a good used one on eBay, and then split the cost with him. Yes, he might need to cat sit, or more a lawn, but the lesson will be worth it.

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Thanks for the replies, I think you all are on the same page as what I was thinking. We've already done a pretty extensive search. He is so careful with things, we were both surprised when it was gone and he realized it was lost. In my family of origin, the legalistic side would always win - as in making him pay without considering his heart or mine.

 

I do appreciate his offer, but I think I will just tell him he owes me in hugs :)

 

Thanks for the great advice,

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It's hard.

 

The "parent" in me says let him pay for it.  In 5 yrs when he is 16, if he accidently backs into someone in the car in a parking lot through an obvious mistake, it wouldn't matter if the other person's car was given to them for free by a family member, if it was their spare car and not NEEDED, or how much money your DS had.  He would still be responsible for it, particularly since it's likely that type of accident cost less than the deductible.  The truth is, the rest of the world doesn't care WHY an accident/loss occurs.  So...the "parent" in me says "what a great opportunity to teach a kid about being responsible out in the real world.

 

The MOM in me says "he's only 11" and "he knows what he did wrong" and "I don't want my baby to feel bad/guilty/sad" and "have some grace" and so on and so forth.

 

 

ULTIMATELY.....I am not sure either choice makes as much of a difference as much as how you handle either choice. 

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I wouldn't have him pay for it, especially if, as seems to be the case, this is an unusual event. We all lose things from time to time, there is no "lesson to be learned" unless it was lost intentionally or he doesn't have regard for things. That doesn't sound like its the case though.

 

I agree with other posters: the relationship and goodwill is worth far more than the price of a gadget (no matter how loved). Knowing he can mess up--and that adults do too--and that he can be honest with you about it and not be punished is priceless at any age, but perhaps more so as a preteen.

 

It's so sweet he is concerned and wants to help. That says far more about the person he is than the fact he lost something. Honestly, if it was me, I'd want to make sure he knows that. :)

 

Eta: oops, I was writing while you posted your answer!

Edited by MEmama
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Mine was "lost" in between the back seats of the minivan for a while. We thought it had fallen out somewhere. We also have a 4yo who likes to hide them. DS's was in the Kitchenaid mixer bowl under the cabinet. We found it when I went to make a birthday cake.

 

Anyway, I agree with your thinking that he didn't lose it destructively and hugs are good. :)

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Some food for thought....and I know you have essentially made your choice, so just some things to think about...

 

Lets say you had your phone out at the grocery store, say a good phone, like an iPhone 5 or 6, but one you got because your dad/brother/friend upgraded and gave you the old one.  You were using it add coupons at the store, calculate your basket total and so on.  You set it down on the counter when the cashier is checking out, and she reaches for the credit card machine and knocks it off and it breaks.  Would you just pay for it?  Or would you ask to speak to the manager and get the store to pay for the repair/replacement?

 

Ultimately, again, I don't think either answer is wrong, but I think the answer to that question kind of indicates the direction the answer should go.

 

And for me....honestly....I would probably just take it to the repair store and deal with it.  And thinking of it from that perspective, I would probably NOT make my kid pay for it myself, unless it was a common problem.  Because mistakes happen. 

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He sounds like a sweetie.  Decide if you want a new one or not (since you said you don't need it).  If you do, I would let him pay part of it.  Maybe the value for which you could have sold your used one, which would presumably be less than a new one.  Mostly I would make sure he knows he is forgiven and you appreciate his sense of responsibility.

 

If you don't want a new one, think of something he can afford that he can buy you instead.  Or a job he can do.  Besides being a good lesson, it would probably make him feel better to do something to make it up.

 

I remember a time when I was supposed to be watching my mom's purse, and I was a little careless and someone stole it.  I still feel bad about that almost 40 years later.  My mom didn't give me a hard time, but I still felt awful.  I think if I could have done something to fix it, I would have felt better.

 

 

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I wouldn't be opposed to let him pay for a fraction of it. A third? A fourth? And probably not from money he already has saved. I'd probably do an exchange of shores/money towards it.

 

I know it was an accident, and he sounds like a sweet, concerned boy. But, first, it might make him feel a bit better if he can help somehow. Second, accident or not, sometimes we do have to cover the monetary cost of what we broke, lost etc. It's very clear he knows that, therefore he offered to pay for all of it. A small fraction would be a good compromise for us.

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I would expect him to pay, but it is a lot of money. I think my solution would be to find out a "depreciated value" (or fudge a value) of a used one approximately as old as yours was. This allows you to lower his amount owing, without the feel of "just letting him off the hook."

 

The logic that he needn't pay a full replacement cost, because the object he lost was no longer brand new will play well with an 11yo. He is likely to feel like he has lived up to his responsibility to make amends.

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How sure are you guys that he even lost it? It sounds like it was in the house somewhere, and he was the last known person to use it, but does that mean he lost it? 

 

In my house, it would very likely mean that it was on a table or countertop when dh was cleaning up, because he will put things in completely random places without telling anyone. Or remembering. Because his only focus at that moment is a clear table. If we are looking for something, we know to look in extremely random places. 

 

It might also mean that I borrowed it back to check on something, something I am likely to completely forget about until I find said item under the covers in my bed, or possibly under my nightstand. 

 

Do check some random places. Like the pantry, in case he was reading while grabbing a snack, and set it on the shelf while opening a Ding Dong. Like the trunk, in case he had it in the car and you made a stop and put it in the trunk to be safe. Like the bathroom, in case he was reading whilst otherwise occupied, and set it on the edge of the tub while cleaning up. 

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I tend to be pretty hard line in my parenting, but sometimes an issue is so big you really don't need to apply a significant consequences to ensure a lesson is learned.

 

Dd15 recently booked an event for a large group of friends. She duplicated the booking in some way AND never got money upfront and some of her friends didn't pitch and didn't pay. I ended up being about $120 out of pocket. She felt terrible. We discussed how to make sure it never happened again (check your online shopping cart! collect money upfront!) then we moved on. I didn't make her repay any of it.

 

In your situation it would depend on how the paperwhite was lost, I suppose, but I'd probably take a similar approach. At most I'd accept a contribution to replacing it. I'd also have him try to get it back (if there is a lost and found where he lost it, he must go and ask them, post in local lost and found column, contacting the police etc). Even if it's just going through the motions, he needs to try. (Good people do find things and hand them in.)

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I would.probanly go with paying half (or some percentage) and maybe having him work a few extra chores (out of the ordinary things like cleaning put a spot you don't want to touch).

 

When my oldest lost his retainer, I made him pay half and he had to help me clear out a section of the crawlspace. It was two Saturday mornings. I felt it was a fair deal. He never lost it again. I think kids need to have some stake in the game to learn responsibility, but not so much responsibility that they become disheartened. And do look for it on sale. I got mine for $90. (And I would be heartbroken if mine were unavailable to me.)

 

Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk

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I do appreciate his offer, but I think I will just tell him he owes me in hugs :)

 

This would be unacceptably lenient to me - I'd insist on a hug repayment plan than extends over the next 5-10 years :-)

 

(A mom needs to make sure she's still getting her hugs when they're in their teenage years!)

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Thanks for all the comments, I am definitely considering everything you are saying. It was lost at our bakery in the customer side. He asked to read on it and I said yes. Instead of putting it back in the school bag where it belongs, he thinks he put it on a nearby bookshelf. No one has found it or turned it in - so we are fairly certain it is gone.

 

I like the idea of adding it to my Christmas list and trying to find a refurbished one for less. My first one was used, so that part is no problem. I like the idea that he could then pitch in if he wanted to.

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This would be unacceptably lenient to me - I'd insist on a hug repayment plan than extends over the next 5-10 years :-)

 

(A mom needs to make sure she's still getting her hugs when they're in their teenage years!)

Great point!! :)

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It sounds more like it was stolen? Does insurance cover it?

 

We did have similar in that my iPad died recently. It was three years old so may have died anyway but I think the death was accelerated by cracked screen twice, spilled drink once and general kid use. We won't be replacing it as we can't really afford it. The lesson was mostly mine - I now don't lend my phone to the kids because I realise they may kill it and I can't afford that to happen. If they want a screen again they can save and pool birthday money to buy something for themselves.

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I have a paperwhite that I never use. It's not the newest one, but it's the touchscreen one and is fairly new, and it's in perfect condition. PM your address and I'll mail it to you. (I'll wipe it first!)

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It sounds like you have a solution, but for future...  It is very sweet of your ds to offer to pay, and I might take him up on part of it.  I was thinking, he could "pay" for half of it, but really pay for only 1/4 of it with cash that he has.  The rest, he could pay off with extra jobs around the house.  

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They usually drop very low in price on Black Friday/Cyber Monday. I would maybe accept $20-40 dollars from your ds toward the replacement.

 

I wouldn't want to wipe my kid's savings out either, but I do think paying some money in towards mom's kindle fund is appropriate. In life, even when we're sorry, we usually still have to cough up some money to set things right.

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Well, my first question - is it really not going to turn up?  

Example - I "lost" (William hid) my shoes last week, my favorite shoes, my go everywhere shoes.

 

Sure enough they were found this week.  

 

So does it *have* to be somewhere at your house or did he drag it to a park, a playdate, something?

 

That would be first.

 

 

Second, if it really and truly does not turn up, then yeah, he should "pitch in" to replace it.  My pitch in amount would be based on his amount of genuine remorse, kwim?

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He was so sweet to offer, that makes me even less likely to accept any payment or maybe just some small portion of it. Or he could buy you a few new books off your wishlist to put on your new one instead. It was an accident, I wouldn't do more than reiterate that when we remove things we must replace them to their rightful spot to keep them secure.

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I have a paperwhite that I never use. It's not the newest one, but it's the touchscreen one and is fairly new, and it's in perfect condition. PM your address and I'll mail it to you. (I'll wipe it first!)

Oh my word. You are so sweet!

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He was so sweet to offer, that makes me even less likely to accept any payment or maybe just some small portion of it. Or he could buy you a few new books off your wishlist to put on your new one instead. It was an accident, I wouldn't do more than reiterate that when we remove things we must replace them to their rightful spot to keep them secure.

Yes. This.

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