Good Friday Morning, Chaos Crew…
Drinking coffee, packing up and heading home from Mammoth, after a full day of skiing, mais oui. But I spotted the desperate subject line above in my e-mail box this morning and thought, “Let’s take this one to the Crew!”
So here’s the letter from Lisa…
Lian — I’m looking for some parenting advice and after years of listening to Satellite Sisters, you’re my expert on boys, toys, and laundry. My 12-year old saved and saved and saved for an iTouch. He got it, finally. We’ve had it for 45 days. Yesterday, I did the laundry and didn’t check in everyone’s pockets. His iTouch was in his pants pocket. It went through the entire laundry cycle but luckily not the dryer. There may be some hope for it but we won’t know for a week as it dries out. I know he should have been more responsible but after all the pencils I’ve washed I should figure out that I need to check pockets. Does he or we start saving again for a replacement? Should we split the cost of a new one, suck it up and have him start saving again, or how we should handle? Can you help????
Because life is like that, I had a similar situation in my house last week. I thought I had washed my son’s cell phone. Mid-cycle, he went looking for his phone, claiming it was in his jeans’ pocket. The same jeans I had picked up off the floor of the bathroom minutes earlier and tossed in the wash. Oh, no ! I thought. Am I on the hook for this phone? Or should he pay? I had decided on a split when my son discovered his phone in his room, saved from the washer.
So, Lisa, my advice to you is some sort of split with you bearing the brunt of the cost, like 70%/30%. I think if your son has to pony up %30– which is about $100– he will learn a very valuable lesson about leaving stuff in his pockets. And, in this day and age, kids have tons of expensive stuff in their pockets, from cell phones to mp3 players. If you pay it all this time, you may be paying for many more wet and washed devices in the future. By splitting the cost, you acknowledge his effort to save for the iTouch in the first place and his relative immaturity when it comes to safeguarding our possessions. He’s only 12 ad he’s only had the thing for 6 weeks. And, let’s face it, we have all made costly errors like this one. He will learn, but don’t make the lesson so expensive it breaks him down.
That’s my two cents. But I am sure that members of the Chaos Crew have had this happen in their homes. How did you handle it? What’s your advice to Lisa?
Thanks for the e-mail, Lisa! Embracing my chaos, Lian