Nov 9, 2012

Life Lessons from a Shattered iTouch

I often let Pigtails use my iPod Touch for games and flashcards.  She's memorizing the 50 states and capitals and likes playing Stack the States.

My rule to her when carrying it from car to house is this:

"Carry the Touch into the house with nothing else in your hands.  Then return to the car and make a second trip to get the rest of your junk.  Overloaded arms often leads to the drops, I'm trying to minimize whoopsies with a $200 device." 

So the other night after returning from the store, Pigtails is just kind of standing outside the back door by herself.  I open the door and see her shoulders shaking up-and-down, she's crying.

"DADDY, I'M SORRRRRY, IT FELL!!"  With tears, she slowly raises the iTouch up to me.  Sure enough, the screen's toast, white veins of death spiral from the home button.




I notice she's also holding an armload of stuff from the car.

"Did you try and carry all of this into the house in one trip, with the Touch in the pile?"

"Yes"

"Haven't I told you to make trips when carrying it inside?  You'll drop something if your arms are full."

"Yes, SORRY!"

I continued, "Accidents happen, people drop things.  The problem isn't that you dropped it, but that you disobeyed me by carrying it with your arms full.  We'll check on repair costs, you're going to pay to fix it."

Hug..."Okay."

The girl has 10 bucks to her name, a new screen runs $75 with labor.  I put her to work today, an hour of raking earns her $2.  She'll be shoveling snow this January and maybe mowing grass next spring by the time she reaches her goal.




I bet she'll get the point and learn to listen to dad next time.

~~~

I'm being fair and reasonable here, right?

-Beard

74 comments:

  1. I've got a 3 year old and a 10 month old, so believe me, I'm taking notes here! The grown up me says, "$2 an hour! That's not reasonable!" But the parent in me who admires the parent in you says, "Hmm, let's see what happens!" You've got a good track record so far! Which, actually, I credit my own dad with why I am so good with money (if I do say so myself!). I remember buying things on "Layaway" through him. I got a 20" sony tv, that sat in his closet for about 10 months while I made payments with my allowance, which I earned in 10 cent increments. I was about 15 when that happened. I only retired that tv a few years ago, in my late 20s, after taking it to college, and across the country several times for various moves. I have a huge respect for money and the things I buy. Oh, and guess what job I got out of college? Budget manager for a multimillion dollar organization. So there! These childhood lessons MATTER!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree, this lesson is one in both listening to what dad says and learning the value of a buck.

      I learned how to handle money at a young age, started throwing a paper route when I was 13, detasseled corn at 14, worked a grocery store 15 through 19. Paid most of my expenses through college, now I'm a long-term saver. I hope Pigtails learns to be careful with money, delayed gratification is uncommon today but important for the long haul.

      Delete
    2. I like it!

      Savvy and smart!

      Thanks!

      :)

      Delete
  2. Absolutely! the biggest mistake a parent can make once a consequence has been doled out is to "forget" about it or change it. She is not being punished for breaking the device, she is suffering the consequences of not listening to you. She needs to understand the difference. two bucks an hour seems fair for her age range and she can also be given the opportunity to do bigger jobs that will earn her more $$$. Stick to your guns!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you are the only person in the comment list here that agrees with me on the $2. That amount is a starting point, she has the potential to earn more as additional opportunities crop up. The toilets need cleaned, what's the going rate for de-pooping the throne?

      Delete
    2. Oh dear! Poor Pigtails....except, if that had been one of my kids = No Sympathy!! ;-D I agree whole heartedly & I LOVE how you explained that dropping the thing wasn't the issue. I need to remember to be clear about that with my lot. Finally, you close with "I bet she'll get the point and learn to listen to dad next time." I have to say...no chance! She's a kid, they NEVER really listen! HaHa.

      Delete
  3. I'm with you - but (and I say this with great caution AND respect as I have huge respect for the way you are raising Pigtails)don't make it take too long to earn the money. If the payout is to far off she could end up remembering to listen to your rules but angry.
    She's not an angry kid - let her earn up before the spring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's early in the money earning phase yet, she thought it was fun today raking the leaves and earning a small stipend. We have a ways to go before it starts to hurt and the fun runs out.

      She pulled in a neighbor girl to help rake today, the kid pulled a Sawyer-style whitewashing.

      Delete
  4. Personally, I commend you on your discipline methods and differentiating between accidents and disobedience. Giving her an opportunity to make things right is great parenting, so kudos on that.

    That being said I think $2 an hour is incredibly unfair. Think of it this way- at $5 an hour it would still take her 25 hours, or over an entire day of work to pay off the repairs. I agree with Blackbird that the time it's going to take to amend for her disobedience could discourage the lesson being taught. If you are simply punishing that she was disobedient (and honestly in the scheme of things this doesn't sound like a willful attitude thing, more of simply "kids don't always think things through") it seems a bit excessive that it will take her months and months to make it up to you.

    That being said, she's your daughter and you know what is best for her, and I would never intend to tell a parent they are doing a bad job. Just my advice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think $2 is fair, she's only ten years old. She has other opportunities to make money at an increased rate, depending on what comes up. I added a tally at the top right corner of the blog, she's at $15 and counting. $75 will be here by the end of December, me thinks.

      Delete
  5. You know what's best for your own kid. However, since you asked for opinions, to me it seem like your wage to work ratio is a little unfair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She thought it was a blast today raking leaves and was happy to take $2, so I'll let it simmer for awhile at that rate until it starts to hurt. She'll have her $75 by the end of next month.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous11/09/2012

    Gotta agree with some of the posts above. $2 an hour is rough. Maybe go with whatever minimum wage is in your area? So then she learns the value of money and that if she goes on to a higher education, she can make a lot more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You guys are killing me, a 10-year-old ain't gonna make $7.50 an hour. I didn't make that as a teen detasseling Iowa corn in 95 degree July heat growing up. 8 weeks and she'll be done.

      Delete
    2. I agree, no 10 year old is going to make $7.50 an hour. I paid my 15 year old by the room/area to paint for me this summer. I paid what I thought was a fair price but it was far less than a professional would make. You already know what is important. You responded with empathy and love but allowed the consequences to also teach. We learn responsibility when we experience the cost of replacing something. Pigtails is well on her way to being a savvy "frugalista".

      Delete
  7. Melissa11/09/2012

    From what you've shared, I like your methods but also think that $2/hour is a low rate. I like the suggestion of working with something closer to the minimum wage for your state.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See above comment. :-)

      Delete
  8. Anonymous11/09/2012

    YES! Sounds like you did a great job of making sure she knows she's more important than the iTouch but still enforcing (very fair) consequences. I wish my parents had been so reasonable when I was a kid.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Shannon11/09/2012

    I think your explanation to her of WHY you were unhappy is very good. Important to remind ourselves that kids are kids, they drop stuff too.

    I also think you are overdoing it on the time needed to earn the repair. I think your point is likely not to literally work the money out of her, but to teach her the value of both her own hard work as well as the nice belongings she has. I suspect you could do that in much less time, AND avoid making her feel bitter/angry about the lesson. Realistically, even a kid that age can do a good job with those sorts of yard chores, and you would pay any neighborhood kid more than that (at least I would in my neighborhood 250 miles from yours). To be specific, I would probably pay a kid around $5/hour to do that sort of thing - probably slightly generous, but even a kid's gotta earn a living, it's a down economy. ;)

    Applauding you for reminding her that her actions have consequences - don't listen to instructions, your stuff gets broken, you can't enjoy it while it's broken, and you have to PAY to take care of your things if that happens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I told Pigtails just now people on the blog think I should pay her more per hour. She folder her arms and smiled.

      Delete
  10. Completely reasonable!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good choice of words, good consequences, but $2 an hour is not fair... my parents paid me $5/hour for similar chores two decades ago when I was growing up and my parents were STRICT- we definitely paid for anything we broke, accident or not. Please up her chore pay to a reasonable rate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If $5/hr 20 years ago, you must've grew up on the west coast, higher cost of living. :-)

      Delete
  12. Anonymous11/09/2012

    Definitely an excessive punishment. There has to be space for grace. Put yourself in her shoes. Kids make mistakes. They don't have adult logic or reasoning, and you can't expect them too. There is a place for consequences, but also for forgiveness and understanding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgive her, but she still needs to work out the consequences of her decision to disobey dad. She'll have the money by the end of next month.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous11/09/2012

    When my son incurred an expense he couldn't pay for, I put him to work but also loaned him out to friends for odd jobs, for free. The point wasn't for him to earn the cash but to get a sense of working for something and not taking items for granted. He mowed lawns, weeded gardens, and picked up poop from backyards for dog owners.

    I think I used minimum wage for the per hour calculation or in that range.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's brilliant, loaning the kid out to friends. Hadn't thought of that, Pigtails may take to that better and it will allow her to earn more quickly. Thanks!

      Delete
  14. Anonymous11/09/2012

    (Oh, and my son worked off the debt in a couple of weekends or so).

    ReplyDelete
  15. $2 is more than fair. I doubt she is working non stop for the whole hour/if she finished early. I used to make $50-60 cleaning entire house at 15 but the going rate is $90. Now my work wasn't worth $90 so if was fair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, she took plenty of breaks, and both dad and a neighbor girl helped Pigtails rake. The kid has it pretty easy if you ask me.

      Delete
  16. Awww. The poor girl felt so bad already. Is she taking donations? Just kidding.

    She'll definitely learn from the experience - both the cost of things and why dad has rules. Looks like she'll meet her mark pretty quickly even with the low (cough-cough) rate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 16 buckaroos and counting!

      Delete
  17. Let's try this one more time -- Wordpress keeps eating my comment! Boo!

    We had a similar experience - my teen girl (16) always wanted to jump over the big red concrete spheres in front of our local Target store. I always told her no, because I had visions of her falling face forward and cracking her beautiful smile (the one we paid $3500 for to the orthodontist). One day she was with her cousin, tossed her purse to her and jumped the sphere. She did fine, but her iPod Touch 4 fell out of her purse and the screen busted. She kept using it until it finally died. We refused to repair that one or buy her a new one because she was careless (and had disobeyed me regarding the gymnastics stunts). She understood. I occasionally let her listen to mine when she is washing dishes or vacuuming, but it's completely at my discretion and mood to be generous. LOL

    As far as $$ go, there are things around here that she is expected to do because she lives here. When I'm pressed for time or tired, I pay her $5/hour to thoroughly clean the house. This takes about 4 hours and she makes $20. She has become pretty good at saving her money, using it to purchase birthday and/or Christmas gifts for her friends (usually a piece of jewelry created with supplies purchased at Hobby Lobby with beading materials purchased on sale), the occasional movie ticket or trip to the food court. She buys a lot of her own clothing, too - and I'm really pleased that she selects appropriate, but fashionable pieces on sale.

    I think the $2 rate is good for a kid Pigtails' age. And you might consider this, too: When she gets pretty close to the goal (maybe $65?), waive the balance and explain that because she's worked hard and with a good attitude, you are going to grant MERCY for the difference. That can be a really good learning opportunity, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pigtails loves jumping on those big red Target balls, she bocks like a chicken and usually coerces me into following suit.

      I like everything you said there about your daughter, from the busted iPod to her making gifts for friends. Good job, mom!

      Grace at $65, I can do that.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Beard. I think you're doing a mighty fine job raising your girl, too. With God's grace and that nifty instruction book He gave us, I think we're all going to be okay. :)

      (And I'm glad you like the lesson on mercy and grace, too.)

      Delete
  18. $2 for an hour of raking seems fine, but please give her bigger / more jobs to do as well to speed up the process. Otherwise it'll just frustrate her. It shouldn't take 3+ months (You were talking of spring 2013!) to earn $75 for a 10-year-old!

    Why don't you let her do some tidying up or cleaning (Let her do things you don't have the time for like cleaning your kitchen cabinets), do laundry, run errands,... maybe even some (assisted) cooking or baking. It helps you out, and she'll reach the goal of $75 by the middle (or end) of December.

    I like that you let her get a friend to do things with as she'll have fun that way.

    Oh, one more thought. You could also motivate her by paying a certain amount of money for a properly completed job. She can then make a game out of the whole thing by trying to get it done quickly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She'll have the cash by late December, she got a wad today for helping serve food at her school's holiday boutique fundraiser. I could go for a good chicken Parmesan for dinner tonight, I'll run it by her and see how it goes.

      Delete
  19. Shannon11/10/2012

    I think you are being quite reasonable in your approach at this point & I love that you are so thoughtfully considering the opinions of others (who, it should be mentioned, don't know you or Pigtails - I am always of the mindset that parents are the experts on their own children). It is not easy to reconsider decisions over time - far easier to harden ourselves & hunker down.

    Pigtails is lucky to have a Dad that cares so much about her LIFELONG development - you know this will make her sad in the short term, but it will teach her something she needs to know to be a happy, fulfilled adult.

    We are clearly all glad to hear that she is raking in the dollars already. Har har. ;)

    PS. Love the grace option at $65. Shows her that you are not being a hard ass for the sake of being one, and that you know she worked really hard & that does come with its own rewards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You got it, most folks on here don't even know our names. Maybe I should do a post on that sometime, B&P unmasked.

      The temp dropped 40 degrees today from yesterday, I bet her outdoor chores become less pleasant real quick with the mercury sink. Time for Plan B, brush and Clorox in hand, to the toilets she goes!

      Delete
  20. I'd give more opportunities to earn money. For example, scrubbing toilets is one of my go-to jobs when my son is earning $ for something he dropped, broke, or otherwise ruined. I think $2 is more than generous for raking; the going rate for a clean toilet around here is 25cents.

    It sounds like you handled it calmly and with a level head. Not so sure I'd react the same way, but hey, it's "stuff" and it can be replaced. I'd have to take a deep breath and remind myself of that very fact.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looky up top, $16 and counting! Toilets @ $.25 each, dang you might be more of a cheap ass than me. I'll give it a try.

      I did an internal son of a biscuit when she dropped my Apple.

      Delete
  21. Grew up on a farm in the midwest...those chores were done with no payment received. Sometimes if the weeds got really bad, dad would pay us a dime/5 gallon bucket. Would have bee nice to be paid for picking rocks. The only thing I ever remember being paid to do was rake pine cones. 25 cents a wheelbarrow load. The money we received from the fair after selling our animals, we received a small amount ($20? $30?) and the rest was banked and invested by dad. I completely forgot about that account until a few years ago. Purchased a top of the line washer and dryer in cash. 30 year old self was proud. 12 year old self from long ago would have been embarrassed.

    You're doing a great job - I hope other parents can take a clue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Midwest work ethic is stout. Like your parents, I prefer teaching my kid to grind it out rather than pampering, going soft and enabling an entitlement mentality. I'm a hard worker today because I was as a kid. $.25 per wheelbarrow is tough, you've earned your new W&D!

      By the way, my dryer crapped out recently, we've resorted to hanging wet underpants from doors and such to dry them out. Hoping I can get that bad boy repaired, it's only 8 or 9 years old.

      Delete
  22. Rachael11/12/2012

    You are entirely right in making her accept the consequences of her own actions and I commend you for that. I'd probably pay her a bit more than $2 an hour (but nowhere near minimum wage, for heaven's sake) but you're the dad and I defer to your wisdom. Sounds like you have things well under control and that PT will have her debt paid off in no time at all.

    BTW, what the heck are you guys talking about with the "big red balls in front of Target"? Is that just an Iowa thing?? I swear I've never seen them in New England.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa11/12/2012

      Not sure where you live in New England, but I've seen them in front of the Hadley (MA) store. Have to say, I've never been tempted to jump on them!

      Delete
    2. Yeah, all the Target stores around here have big red concrete balls sitting out front, presumably to keep belligerent Black Friday drivers from crashing through the glass. I'll take a photo and put up a red balls post soon.

      Delete
    3. ROFL!!! I wouldn't think grownups would be tempted, but pre-teen and teenagers think they make wonderful leap-frog obstacles! Can't wait to see your photo, Beard -- maybe I should post one, too? ;)

      Delete
  23. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I think $2 an hour is perfectly reasonable at her age.

    ReplyDelete
  24. You're doing everything right here, in my opinion. I am stunned at what some parents pay their kids for chores that should be expected for free, let alone the stuff they buy them for no reason whatsoever, beyond, "He/she reallllyyy wanted it..." It is not a secret that kids today are spoiled rotten, completely ungrateful and have zero sense of responsibility. They weren't born that way, so take all advice with a grain of salt. I catch myself stumbling with this all the time - rewarding my kids for behaving in the grocery store with a small treat - but WHY? They should behave in the store, period. Minimum wage? For Pete's sake. Humans who earn minimum wage generally incur expenses for transportation, clothing and a meal during the shift. Unless they still live with parents who pay for all that, too. :) Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny how I banged out this post on a whim in 15 minutes and it generates more traffic and comments than posts that take me hours to craft. Oh well, it's opening up good discussion, and has motivated me to start scribbling out a "Quit Pampering You Precious Little Brat" post. Some recent college grads I come across have this smug, entitlement mentality that needs to stop, the blame goes straight at their parents.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11/12/2012

      I agree! While there are some great kids out there, this entitlement culture is getting out of control. Expecting something for nothing. Expecting to be rewarded for doing what they should be doing in the first place. Are you kidding me? And while we're clearly talking about youth here, it pains me to say their parents are no better. It's less a parenting issue, per se, then it is kids modeling their parents' behavior to begin with.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous11/12/2012

    2$/hour is fine for a 10 Yr. old. Stick with it. You'll always offend some, but you love her more than any judge ever will if/when she decides to disobey bigger rules (laws). And it is even fine for her to get discouraged though I doubt she will. Restitution helps people feel better...unless you were/are raised with an entitlement attitude. 10 year old children ought not be paid minimum wage.

    All of this is just the opinion of a daughter of a dentist who was privileged to work hard to earn money beginning in early grade school (and made to tithe 10% of it, save 50% for college and usually opted out of spending the remaining 40% for more delayed gratification of paying for college.) BTW, can you imagine the uproar if you actually had your daughter tithe out of that measly 2 buck hourly wage??? I say go for it...thems is some real life lessons! Great job raising her tougher than the average in society b/c the average member of society today just isn't cutting it!

    I recommend the book, Strong Fathers Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker. I'm sure you'll appreciate it the wisdom and feel pretty glad with the decisions you are already making. If you withheld love and affection and praise from your daughter, she might resent you/this punishment, but it doesn't appear that you do that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, well said. Restitution, or paying the consequences of our sin/disobedience, is Biblical. God forgives when we repent, but he also often doles out consequences, even after forgiving. David and Bathsheba comes to mind. David repented, God forgave, but the consequence was severe for David. Nathan called him out:

      "Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die."

      I will read the book you recommend, thank you.

      Delete
  26. I'm laughing my arse off that you opened yourself up to all this criticism about an hourly wage! All of these comments are hilarious!!

    We pay our babysitter $5/hr and I think that watching a 2 year old is harder work than raking leaves :) Maybe she could do a supervised babysitting gig with my little one? :)

    And I cannot jump over those big red balls at Target ... watching me attempt to jump one of those things can be compared to wathcing a baby horse learning to walk - entertaining to watch but awkwardly uncoordinated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I went ahead and made some popcorn, this thread's heatin' up.

      Pigtails would probably pay you if you let her watch your little one. We'll take you up on that if you ever need help.

      I've got a picture of a baby giraffe stumbling around and tripping. Are bikers not good big red ball jumpers?

      Delete
  27. I have very vivid memories of being about her age and not putting my bike away properly in the garage, then having it fall over and smash the headlight on my dad's car (like pigtails, shoulder-shaking crying ensued). He made me pay for it, too. I believe cleaning out the pantry and scrubbing the bathroom floor were on the chore list, and though I don't recall how much these tasks paid or how long it took me to earn the money to pay for the light, I do remember the lesson of owning up to your mistakes and taking responsibility and I am better for it. Details aren't important - it is the lesson that counts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Growing up I parked my bike in the neighbors driveway, despite being told not to. One day you guessed it...ZA-RUNNNCH! That puppy got backed over and pancaked by a station wagon, it bent spokes and all. I cried, mom said "told ya so."

      As kids, it seemed like our parents were out to get us. Then we later learned they just loved us.

      Delete
  28. Anonymous11/13/2012

    First of all, I think $2 is fine!! Maybe I think it's generous because my mother never rewarded us for chores--she said we were a part of the household and were expected to help out. :)

    Just to offer another perspective: Even though my parents paid my way through college (though I chose to contribute), I am the best saver I know bc my parents instilled gratitude for the easy life I had out of sheer luck of birth. Others are not so lucky; my parents taught me you serve God by serving the needy.I didn't learn about delayed monetary gratification early, but I learned that hard academic work, for example, often pays off YEARS later. My parents could be so generous to us because THEY were frugal. I thought very carefully every time I spent their hard earned money, even when my dad was convinced I had an eating disorder because I spent so little on food. The man has an active imagination!

    All this to say, raising non-entitled children is probably a combination of various lessons: learning the value of money, but also tenacity, humility, prudence, etc. Or maybe by making your kids do chores for free--ha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hallelujah! I don't have to twist snakebites on another commenter complaining about my miserly pay scale.

      Pigtails usually doesn't get allowance around here, sometimes a quarter, but not consistently. I agree with you that chores are part of the game, we all chip in and should help out without expecting anything in return.

      The purpose of paying her for this Apple drop is to help her realize how much $75 is. A 10-year-old doesn't really understand $75, but when you translate that into rake piles and dirty toilets, the math is more understandable.

      I like your note about raising non-entitled children. It's a package approach with niblets (made that word up) of various attributes like humility and prudence tossed in. Well said!

      Delete
    2. Ok, so I think now that you've explained it that way, "realizing how much $75 is", I'm much more on board with $2 an hour. My initial problem was the way you phrased things. Obviously tone is inferred on the internet, but what stuck out to me was you going on about how long it would take her to pay it back. Honestly, it felt kind of smug and superior at first, when you made comments about making her work til the spring and how you bet that would make your point. I don't think I really got that you wanted it to take a while to put value into the money, not just prolong the punishment. So that being said, kudos on your parenting, and I respect that you want to do the best job possible, so much so that you ask total strangers for their advice and open yourself up to criticism. Thanks for valuing our opinion.

      Delete
    3. The Spring payout was tongue-in-cheek, goal is for her to have the cash before year end. I think that's reasonable, she's on pace for that.

      Delete
    4. (Sorry--somehow posted as Anonymous before!)

      You're right--should have acknowledged that clearly paying Pigtails for these chores is part of a bigger picture, paying back for the damage. She'll definitely learn to respect her possessions & know they are not easy to earn (and respect her daddy when he tries to help her keep those possessions safe)--well on the quest to prudence!

      Delete
  29. Melissa11/13/2012

    I keep checking back because I find the comments (and responses) to be insightful. I don't have to agree with all the details to realize the value in this process. I'm also glad to see that Pigtails is making slow and steady progress toward her goal. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, comments are often better than the posts, it's good to hear different angles and opinions. None of us know what the heck we're doing as parents.

      Delete
  30. I think you are doing the right thing. My son will be 8 next month. And we tell him for every action there is a conseqence, weather that be positive or negative. If he does well in school, he gets a good report card. If he is cutting up with his friends, when is is not suppose to, he will have some punishment. He is a well mannered kid, and I think this logic has helped him. He lost he brand new water bottle at the start of soccer season, and we made he work to buy a new one. We heard heck from my cousin and mom about how mean we were. Guess what he keeps track of his stuff now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember taking the family fall school shopping trip one year up in the Quad Cities. Boring as heck, after spending 4 or 5 hours at the mall trying on Wranglers and jorts, I grabbed my bag of clothes and slumped on the floor of Venture as sister tried on jean jackets. We left, I forgot the sack of clothes, returned but they were gone. Entire pile of clothes down the drain, what an irresponsible kid I was. Dad still brings up this story to my brother 25 years later, disappointed that I cost him a bunch of money as a kid. Lesson learned.

      Delete
    2. This so sounds like my boy :)

      Delete
  31. btw, if I were her, I'd illicit donations on your blog. half of what you write about involves her, no? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pigtails, is that you?

      Delete
  32. Anonymous12/27/2012

    I have done this...so obviously I think you did the right thing. My four year old swung a plastic golf club right into our plasma and put an invisible crack in it that, over time, meant we lost the picture. The repair was within $50 of the cost of a brand new TV. We did the double whammy...no TV in the house while we (the adults) saved the money to replace it and the four year old forked over his whole piggy bank (not his college savings or anything...just the money he'd saved from doing extra chores or finding change around the house...our rule is that if it isn't paper money and you found it IN the house, you can keep it). He only had about 60some dollars but you have never seen a child so filled with pride to hand over money. He felt bad that he broke the TV and it made him feel so much better and responsible and mature to be a part of helping to replace it. Yeah, the $60 made little impact on our total cost...but it made a massive impact on his little heart and mind. It's been several months and he still remembers the whole thing.
    It takes years to build a child into the kind of adult you will be proud of...and it is things like this make that adult strong and moral. You are a great dad...Pigtails is in good hands.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Maybe he shot 1 over par and swung the plastic club in protest? Hopefully your family got a nice fat Panasonic plasma out of it.

    Pigtails has been doubling down on the chores lately, she wants to get the iTouch fixed. Good girl, bit by bit we are almost there.

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for the note, check back for my response!