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New here and crying...I have no idea what to do, punishment and natural consequences - Page 6

post #101 of 132
The money is earmarked, it should stay earmarked. How would you be trying to work this out if it had happened in 2 weeks, when the camp money is no longer a liquid asset. I fear taking the money and saying, "Sorry, you broke your sister's guiter, no camp for you," is not going to have the effect of making dd2 remorsful and regretful of her behavior. The girls need to be brought together to find a solution, other then the quick fix of spending the camp money.
post #102 of 132
So, what did you decide? What ended up happening?
post #103 of 132
I agree that the money must go to DD1. I am the older of all my siblings and my sister was ALWAYS getting away with everything.
While I can't say that her getting away with lies and cheats and all other sorts of unacceptable behavior made her the way she is today, I can say that we are COMPLETELY different people. I am empathetic to a fault. I put everyone before myself and suffer silently. I tolerate more than I should and can be walked over. I do have a strong voice and I can be more outspoken, but typically it takes every ounce of anything I have to get a word out.
My sister makes choices based on herself first and herself only. Nothing matters than how something will affect her.

I guess when I say it like that then yes, this type of situation would teach a very valuable lesson. Behave poorly and it directly effects you. Right now it has not effected her at all and she has learned that she can do things like that... in a sense. kwim?


Also, I agree about the intentions. She saw them smash a guitar, she saw it break into a million pieces. Sounds like jealousy, to me. I would probably explain to her that her sister earned the money, that you now have to replace it, but this means not having the money for the trip. I might also suggest her doing a job every week to earn some cash and help her see how to save it... Because she is younger I might ask her what she would like to save for, you can cut out pictures, make a chart... like... a doll $10, a dollhouse $20, an art easel/set $30. Fill it in as she earns it and show her she can buy now or keep saving. At the end, she will learn that the hard work paid off. Unfortunately she lost the trip, but in the long run, the lesson is far more valuable. IMO of crouse.
post #104 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamafreya View Post
Being the oldest of five kids, I think your oldest needs to have her guitar replaced. I never had something like a guitar get ruined growing up but my stuff constantly got broken or lost and most of the time my parents couldn't replace the things that were damaged. It really really sucks to have something that you love and worked hard to get ruined. I really think replacing the guitar is the only solution in this case.

I also think that your youngest dd had to have known that the guitar would've been damaged. It's not like they do that on tv and the guitar looks brand-new afterward, yk. Her story doesn't jive at all, sorry. If she were 5 or 6 then I would maybe consider it as being truthful but she's 10.....

The only other thing I could think of is selling something of your youngest daughters. Does she have anything that you could sell that might equal the cost of the guitar?
This.

I am 26 years old and can still vividly remember how incredibly unjust a decision my mother made was after my little brother ruined a lot of my precious books that I had worked all summer for.

Replace the guitar.
post #105 of 132
For me the bottom line is that one child deliberately destroyed her sisters prize possession and now one of them has to suffer for her actions.

Poverty sucks and nobody likes telling their kid they can't afford something. I know it was hard as a kid to hear that, especially when one of the other kids was getting something that was the reason there wasn't money left. With multiple kids and limited funds, people have to take turns. DD2's camping trip was a priority. Then she decided it would be cool to destroy the guitar. Stupid or malicious, it doesn't much matter, she made a willful decision and now someone who worked hard has been robbed of their reward. That changes the priorities. Just like a hospital bill or a family emergency would change the priorities, something else is now more important than her camping trip. DD1 needs to know that she matters. That her passion matters. That you, as her mother, will do what you can to protect her from people who want to take it from her.

If you can't focus on the need to make it okay for DD1, try this- what will serve DD2 better in the long run? Will she get more out of a camping trip or learning that you cannot hurt people with impunity? What will she get from the camping trip that is more valuable than the lesson that we are accountable for our actions and that actions have unforseen consequences? This may be a once in a lifetime opportunity too and I'd say it's more important than camp. Your entire family will feel the backlash of this if DD2 waltzes off to camp without things being made right. It will be an issue for years.

PS: DD2, who blamed tv for this mess is watching tv? Suppose she'd blamed Mythbusters for destroying your stove or car? Is this really a child who can be trusted with tv right now?
post #106 of 132
Someone higher up the thread said that they thought you should use the camp money to pay for a new guitar right away. But that then if DD2 wants to go to camp she needs to think of ways of making up the money to do it. I think that would be the best idea.

Perhaps once DD1 feels better about the whole thing she might even help DD2 to get the money to go to camp? So you all pull together to help DD fix things and both replace the guitar and go to camp, but if it isn't possible it isn't DD1 who loses out through no fault of her own.

Just a thought, but if you speak to someone involved in organising the camp, might they let you pay the $200 in a few smaller installments?
post #107 of 132
I have to agree with other posters who have said that DD1 is the one suffering for this. It was not her fault that something she saved for got smashed and yet it seems that DD2 is being silently rewarded for her actions by getting the TV all to herself now. DD2 made a decision when she smashed the guitar and she needs to understand the ramifications of that choice.

I am an only child as well but I remember times when I was a child when I did something wrong, whether intentional or not, I paid the price for my actions. I understood what was going on and, as much grief as I felt for having to miss out on things, I knew that (unfortunately) it had to be done.

I also agree that it is not camp vs. guitar. It was the OP's money to begin with. DD1 saved and worked hard for a dream of hers only to have it ruined by her sister. That has got to hurt. It is now only fair that the money be used for a new guitar. DD2 has to understand that. She did make the decision. I missed out on the trip of a lifetime when I was 11 because of something I did wrong and it hurt ALOT, but I understand now that it was my choice.

DD2 unfortunately has to learn this very valuable lesson in life. If it were anyone elses property she would be in debt right away. Thats the way the law works. She needs to know that destroying property (accident or not) will result in her having to make sacrifices in order to pay. I dont see why her sister should have to wait at all to have something back that meant so much to her that SHE worked for. DD2 as far as I know did not work for the camping trip.

I have no kids (yet) but I know that my decision would be to use the money for the new guitar. It is only fair. Why reward a bad decision (even if it was a mistake) and punish someone who saved and worked very hard for something she loves. DD1 deserves to have her guitar back.
post #108 of 132
First, I think you have to decide WHOSE money this is. Is it YOUR money you are making a decision on or is is really a gift of money for dd2 that was going to be in the form of camp?

I ask because if it is really dd2's money, she needs to pay it back for the guitar (which would probably mean no camp). If it is YOUR money, then there is more of a question and the idea of punishment does come into it (by taking your money to fix the problem and dd2 ends up punished by not going to camp). It may sound like semantics, but its not. If the money is dd2's then you are a mediator and judge. If it is your money, then you are completely in charge. I personally think that ultimately, it is dd2's money and you are giving her a gift that was supposed to be in the form of camp. So, I'd "give" the money to dd2 and then work with her on what her options are and work with your dd1 as to what she is willing to work with (if anything).

Personally, I'd say "dd2, this is the money that I am giving you for camp. Here it is- yours. However, you owe your sister a guitar. How are you going to work this?" and then moderate a discussion. The most straight forward answer is dd2 owes the money for a guitar, she has it in her hand, she needs to pay her debt and does not have enough left over for camp. This is a very straightforward equation. And if dd1 is immovable on timeline, guitar, etc. this may be the only answer your dd2 has (which happens sometimes in real life- people are not flexible with payments and if you have the money you need to pay, well... you must pay it). If dd1 wants her guitar absolutely now, dd2 broke it and needs to pay for it and currently has the funds that was her monetary gift that was going to be camp. But the three of you may (or may not) be able to work something else out. Can dd2 sell something of hers? Would an empassioned plea from dd2 work? You could also talk to dd1 about what options she may have, and, if nothing else, recognising her sisters loss for her mistake as well.

By "giving" the money to dd2 that you were going to give her anyway in the form of camp, you are putting the responsibility on them and it is much more clear how camp=guitar owed and your only role was that you had given a money gift to dd2 that you had given to dd1 4 years ago. Though the most likely outcome is still "new guitar, no camp" it is not you who is imposing a decision from on high and have to "break it to dd2", she is involved in the decision (even if she has very few or no choices- sometimes that is life) and you are more like the collection agency who is making sure that those who are owed are being repaid according to their requirements (dd1's decision, as she is the one owed). It may sound semantical, but putting the actual cash in dd2's hand for the camp and telling her that she owes a debt first is important. She will be invested in the process if she has an ownership role, even if in the end you must be a bill collector and say she has no choice but to give money she owes.

I feel for you. This is hard. I also think something else is going on with dd2 as to why she would do this... And I also feel that settling this fairly between sisters with dd2 understanding her responsibility is more important than the experience of camp, even if camp was great. The two of them will share this experience and the relationship of sisters for life. Settling up fairly (even if the loss is painful, which it appears it will be for both of them) will overall have a powerful and positive impact, knowing that you will help them work through it and be fair and that they must treat eachother honestly.

Maybe you could take them camping yourself and dd1 could play her guitar around the campfire?
post #109 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsam View Post
With this situation, you are putting the responsibility on them. Though the most likely outcome is still "new guitar, no camp" it is not you who is imposing a decision from on high and have to "break it to dd2", you are more like the collection agency who is making sure that those who are owed are being repaid according to their requirements (dd1's decision, as she is the one owed).
I kind of doubt that the most likely outcome would still be "new guitar, no camp" judging by the attitude displayed by DD2 thus far.
post #110 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
I kind of doubt that the most likely outcome would still be "new guitar, no camp" judging by the attitude displayed by DD2 thus far.
Well, it sure seems like it will be one of those decisions that is not a decision. If you have an outstanding debt to pay, like a long overdue bill, and you get back a big tax refund, if you decide to take a vacation to Hawaii, you end up being sued, judges ordering money taken from your paycheck or savings, things repossessed, or going bakrupt because you had money that you did not spend paying what you owed. It is a decision, but anything less than paying your debt is a bad one with much more uncertain, painful and long lasting consequences, so there is really only one option.

If dd1 wants her money now, dd2 will de facto end up without a "choice" per se, but she will feel "her money" going to repay her debt because she will be active in trying to find another solution and will very directly feel why and how she is missing out on camp. If you want to play out the scenario, mom is bill collector and if dd2 refuses and says "screw it I'm going to camp" then I guess mom must start repossessing things to sell or deny her in the near future make up $200 ASAP... And dd2 will become supremely unpopular with dd1 (which should be explained to her). Mom could even have grounds to over-rule that decision by "freezing dd2's assets" until the debt is paid (which would mean no camp because she couldn't spend the money to pay for it). The $ is dd2's, but like adults, our money is sometimes not really ours to do what we want with, especially when we have a large, outstanding debt.

Really this is a kid version of how the world works. Set it up that way and the answers and options we as adults have are the same.

This is how the world works.
post #111 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsam View Post
First, I think you have to decide WHOSE money this is. Is it YOUR money you are making a decision on or is is really a gift of money for dd2 that was going to be in the form of camp?

I ask because if it is really dd2's money, she needs to pay it back for the guitar (which would probably mean no camp). If it is YOUR money, then there is more of a question and the idea of punishment does come into it (by taking your money to fix the problem and dd2 ends up punished by not going to camp). It may sound like semantics, but its not. If the money is dd2's then you are a mediator and judge. If it is your money, then you are completely in charge. I personally think that ultimately, it is dd2's money and you are giving her a gift that was supposed to be in the form of camp. So, I'd "give" the money to dd2 and then work with her on what her options are and work with your dd1 as to what she is willing to work with (if anything).

Personally, I'd say "dd2, this is the money that I am giving you for camp. Here it is- yours. However, you owe your sister a guitar. How are you going to work this?" and then moderate a discussion. The most straight forward answer is dd2 owes the money for a guitar, she has it in her hand, she needs to pay her debt and does not have enough left over for camp. This is a very straightforward equation. And if dd1 is immovable on timeline, guitar, etc. this may be the only answer your dd2 has (which happens sometimes in real life- people are not flexible with payments and if you have the money you need to pay, well... you must pay it). If dd1 wants her guitar absolutely now, dd2 broke it and needs to pay for it and currently has the funds that was her monetary gift that was going to be camp. But the three of you may (or may not) be able to work something else out. Can dd2 sell something of hers? Would an empassioned plea from dd2 work? You could also talk to dd1 about what options she may have, and, if nothing else, recognising her sisters loss for her mistake as well.

By "giving" the money to dd2 that you were going to give her anyway in the form of camp, you are putting the responsibility on them and it is much more clear how camp=guitar owed and your only role was that you had given a money gift to dd2 that you had given to dd1 4 years ago. Though the most likely outcome is still "new guitar, no camp" it is not you who is imposing a decision from on high and have to "break it to dd2", she is involved in the decision (even if she has very few or no choices- sometimes that is life) and you are more like the collection agency who is making sure that those who are owed are being repaid according to their requirements (dd1's decision, as she is the one owed). It may sound semantical, but putting the actual cash in dd2's hand for the camp and telling her that she owes a debt first is important. She will be invested in the process if she has an ownership role, even if in the end you must be a bill collector and say she has no choice but to give money she owes.

I feel for you. This is hard. I also think something else is going on with dd2 as to why she would do this... And I also feel that settling this fairly between sisters with dd2 understanding her responsibility is more important than the experience of camp, even if camp was great. The two of them will share this experience and the relationship of sisters for life. Settling up fairly (even if the loss is painful, which it appears it will be for both of them) will overall have a powerful and positive impact, knowing that you will help them work through it and be fair and that they must treat eachother honestly.

Maybe you could take them camping yourself and dd1 could play her guitar around the campfire?
I could actually see this working quite well to get the point across. To DD1 it will seem fair and just. DD2 may take it rather harsh...but that is life and she needs to understand that this is the way things work. She does owe the money, that is a fact, and by giving her what she perceives as choice in doing the honest thing might serve well in her future decisions. She may be resentful but ultimately she will know that it is the right thing to do.
post #112 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilvanaRose View Post
She may be resentful but ultimately she will know that it is the right thing to do.
Or not, and she goes to camp, and DD1 is out one guitar.

If the OP really decides to go this route, she needs to be sure she's okay with whatever DD2 decides. If not, then she may as well just give the money to DD1 outright.
post #113 of 132
But mom is the ultimate enforcer. If you owe a debt and choose not to pay, there are reprocussions and methods of collection or freezing if the debt is not paid (by the debtor choosing not to pay). Giving the money to dd2 does not leave mom powerless. If she chooses, she can "give" the money to dd2 and then flat out require she pay dd1 without allowing other options (I mean, if you have debt, a judge can freeze your accounts or take it from your assets, basically forcing you to pay). But it is dd2 being required to pay (and therefore no camp because she doesn't have any left after the debt is paid) vs mom just giving dd1 the money without including the girls in the process. It may "look" the same in outcome and mom setting the ground rules, but the implications, angle and emotions are quite different.

Just saying that you can get a very "real world" scenario here and dd2 has the opportunity to be involved and see the reasoning and make amends (which wouldn't come from her if mom just decided and doled out the money... dd2 would just suffer for her wrong without really getting the chance at making it right).

And who knows? At best, the girls work out an alternate deal that gets them both what they want (maybe mom has some ideas for them to consider). At worst, mom gives the money to dd2, they can't work out a deal and bill collector mom enforces the rules of debt and compels dd2 to pay now and therefore no money is left for camp and everyone learns a lesson. If the mom wants to be more flexible with dd2, she can open up dd2's options and allow her to choose not to pay, but then start repossessing/garnering/freezing and let dd2 experience the social and emotional consequences as well as the loss of control in what gets "repossessed". But mom does have legitimate basis for both these options that hold true to a role of enforcer and moderator and would illustrate how this works in the real world and why.

She could let them know going in... "Here is the money dd2 (blah, blah). You owe a debt to your sister. What will you do? Is there a deal you can work out? If not, the debt MUST be paid FIRST, BEFORE you try to pay for camp because before you can spend more money, you must pay your debts. It is the law for adults and it is what is responsible, fair and just and that is how we treat eachother in this house."

Its different to have the money in your hand, know what it was for, and give it up (even if you don't have much of a choice). It is also different getting the money from the actual person who owes it to you (even if they were forced to do it).
post #114 of 132
And again, it's not as if the camp is a "once in a life time opportunity." There are more summers to come, and other camps she can attend after the debt is paid. It just means that camp is "delayed" for a bit until the guitar can be paid for.

I know it is a hard decision, but considering the circumstances, I just don't think you're going to find a resolution that makes everyone happy. I'm all for gentle discipline, but DD2 is thus far showing no remorse, and even feeling rewarded by her behavior. I don't think she'll agree to loose out on camp at this point because she doesn't seem willing to admit that she's in the wrong. Additionally, I think it will be easier for her to learn the lesson of personal responsibility now, rather than when she's an adult.
post #115 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsam View Post
But mom is the ultimate enforcer. If you owe a debt and choose not to pay, there are reprocussions and methods of collection or freezing if the debt is not paid (by the debtor choosing not to pay). Giving the money to dd2 does not leave mom powerless. If she chooses, she can "give" the money to dd2 and then flat out require she pay dd1 without allowing other options (I mean, if you have debt, a judge can freeze your accounts or take it from your assets, basically forcing you to pay). But it is dd2 being required to pay (and therefore no camp because she doesn't have any left after the debt is paid) vs mom just giving dd1 the money without including the girls in the process. It may "look" the same in outcome and mom setting the ground rules, but the implications, angle and emotions are quite different.

Just saying that you can get a very "real world" scenario here and dd2 has the opportunity to be involved and see the reasoning and make amends (which wouldn't come from her if mom just decided and doled out the money... dd2 would just suffer for her wrong without really getting the chance at making it right).

And who knows? At best, the girls work out an alternate deal that gets them both what they want (maybe mom has some ideas for them to consider). At worst, mom gives the money to dd2, they can't work out a deal and bill collector mom enforces the rules of debt and compels dd2 to pay now and therefore no money is left for camp and everyone learns a lesson. If the mom wants to be more flexible with dd2, she can open up dd2's options and allow her to choose not to pay, but then start repossessing/garnering/freezing and let dd2 experience the social and emotional consequences as well as the loss of control in what gets "repossessed". But mom does have legitimate basis for both these options that hold true to a role of enforcer and moderator and would illustrate how this works in the real world and why.

She could let them know going in... "Here is the money dd2 (blah, blah). You owe a debt to your sister. What will you do? Is there a deal you can work out? If not, the debt MUST be paid FIRST, BEFORE you try to pay for camp because before you can spend more money, you must pay your debts. It is the law for adults and it is what is responsible, fair and just and that is how we treat eachother in this house."

Its different to have the money in your hand, know what it was for, and give it up (even if you don't have much of a choice). It is also different getting the money from the actual person who owes it to you (even if they were forced to do it).
: I absolutely agree with this. Very well put.
post #116 of 132
Ok, I've been thinking about this today...

I think the money for camp is circumstantial. What if this happened two months from now and DD2 had already gone to camp? I don't think that is a natural consequence.

I think the biggest natural consequence for DD2 is the hard work she will have to do to pay her sister back and also the change in her relationship with her sister. There will be a lack of trust for a long time.

Though it sucks for DD1 to have to wait for a new guitar, there is also a lesson there for her. Not everything in life can be fixed immediately.

If camp for DD2 was a yearly, every summer camp, then I would think of taking it away. Then it is something that is always there to let her go or not based on her behavior, but not if it is a once in a childhood experience.

I do think she should try to sell anything she has that could help her raise money- garage sale season is here.

Good luck with your decision.
post #117 of 132
Just to be clear, I don't believe that having to replace the guitar can be considered a punishment of DD2. It is just what we all have to do when we damage someone else's property.

So, what I'm a little confused about is what IS her actual consequence for handling property that she shouldn't have been touching? It seems merely replacing the guitar alone is not sufficient (as that is only basic restitution). In addition, if the camp money is not used for a new guitar, what is DD2's consequence for depriving her sister of the use of the guitar for more than half a year?
post #118 of 132
Quote:
The tension isn't bothering DD2 at all, she admitted she likes always being able to watch what she wants on TV because DD1 isn't there, or being able to play her music loud because DD1 isn't in the same room complaining. So the natural consequences are not getting to her.
I think the answer is in here. Our children let us know what works with them, based on their age and personality.

Beyond that, there is the issue of money. The family cannot afford to replace the guitar and send a child to camp. Yes, DD2 is going to be upset but the real life consequence of destruction is replacement. If this guitar had belonged to a friend, there would be no question that it had to be replaced with an identical item and quickly.

Lastly, if you do decide to spend the money on camp, what are the odds that DD2 will do the work to earn the money without you hounding her? Has DD2 taken any steps to make amends? If not, that's important to factor in.
post #119 of 132
How are you, OP? What have you decided?
post #120 of 132
Yes, I'm curious what the decision was, as well.

As a only-child musician, I would replace dd1's guitar and have dd2 earn the money back.

As a teenager I was caught shoplifting - my parents paid the businesses back and boy did I work my tail off that year to pay *them* back. One business required I work it off from them - after I paid it off they hired me to continue the job (cleaning windows) and after the business changed hands the new owner hired me as a clerk there - my first "real" job, taxes and everything! I learned extremely valuable lessons at that time - both of forgiveness from my parents and the business owners, restitution, hard work, and, most of all, the love extended to me that I wasn't simply a shoplifter but a kid who'd made some dumb decisions and could grow up and learn from them.

I agree with the posters that say there's something else going on - jealousy, anger? With me I know there was "stuff" that needing dealing with - why does a kid go around stealing *books* of all things...especially when I could afford them (I had babysitting jobs) and there were these things called libraries around? Absolutely that needs to be addressed. At the same time, the fact is, she smashed a guitar. Like others have said, the money is mom's - yeah, it's earmarked for a special trip, but it's still moms. I would loan it to dd2 with a payment plan drawn up by her about how she's going to earn the money back (no interest) and then replace dd1's guitar.
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