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7 year old lost 2 Pairs of Shoes Last Week--WWYD?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

So, my seven year old son managed to lose two pairs of shoes at school last week---and one day was a snow day!  If I was going to be totally logical consequences, he'd be stuck wearing his sandals with socks for awhile... but I'm not comfortable doing that because he would miss participating in gym....and he needs that. :)


I was thinking of buying him a new pair, but having him contribute 25-50% ($5-10) from his piggy bank.  The only problem is that his younger brother is going to see this as his older brother getting new shoes, and he won't get any.  I can't really afford to buy them both new shoes right now, and DS2's are fine.  They fit well and are in good condition.  But, I agree, it does seem that he's almost getting rewarded with new shoes, even though he has to pay for a portion of them.





post #2 of 16

Well, he needs new shoes.  Can he pay for all of them instead of just part and then if your younger ds throws a fit you can tell him that if he wants new shoes he's welcome to buy them?


I know people aren't too keen on making their children financially responsible for their things at 7, but I don't think its a bad lesson to learn.

post #3 of 16

My answer would depend on how they were lost.


Were they definitely lost through his neglect or did someone else take them?


If they were genuinely lost through his neglect I would make him chip in. If he left them briefly and someone stole them before he could go back for them I wouldn't feel so comfortable making him chip in.

post #4 of 16

I've assumed you've checked the lost and found at school? More than once?


Dd lost her lunch bag 2 weeks ago and it took 4 days for it to surface.


If  they're well and truly lost, I would tell your ds that you have X $ to spend on replacing his shoes and either

1. He's going to have to come up with the rest from his piggy bank

2. You're going to go to Goodwill or another thrift shop and see if you can find good used ones.


An alternative would be to figure out something that your family will have to give up because you need to spend the money on new shoes and let him know that you won't be doing something that you usually do because the money is going to shoes.


Then I'd say: If you use those shoes, you're going to have to wear your socks & sandals until we can afford a new pair in March/April, and you'll be expected to pay for more than half of those. It needs to be a pretty steep consequence, IMO, as shoes are expensive. My sister once lost 3 winter coats in one winter (in Minnesota, so going without was not an option). For my very cash strapped parents, that was a horrendous expense.


I wouldn't worry too much about DS2 complaining that DS1 gets new shoes while he doesn't. You can explain that he needs shoes for gym, and that can't be helped. When DS2's shoes are worn out, he'll get new ones and DS1 won't. It might not hurt to separate that out anyway. My kids get new shoes when they need them. Since their feet grow at different rates, that's always at different times of year.

post #5 of 16

I remember being seven and losing my purse, while on vacation, and feeling so horrible about it.  And that was partially about "being the kind of person who loses stuff" -- which of course my mother had convinced me that I was.  I guess I got that lesson -- the loss of my purse -- via true natural consequences, but not losing my stuff was such a hard thing to learn how to do.  I don't think I could punish my kid for that (well, and ummmm, I must admit, I don't punish my kid for anything).  If he's anything like I was at that age, he probably felt just terrible when he realized they were gone.  If it were my kid I'd give him a big hug and take him shoe shopping.  

post #6 of 16

I think I would give the lost and found a week or so. They might turn up. 


Otherwise, make a special trip to Goodwill (or a consignment shop) where the shoes are $3.00, and have him pick the pair he wants. If $3.00 is too much, I would put out a request on Freecycle or Craigslist for a pair of shoes in his size.  

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks Mamas.


Yes, he truly lost them--they weren't taken.  We've checked the lost and found a few times, but will check again today.


Honestly, he doesn't feel bad about losing them--or doesn't seem to.  I asked him what he thought about contributing to buying a new pair, and he actually seemed to like that idea.  So, if he doesn't find them today, we'll probably do that.


Thanks everybody.

post #8 of 16

Just a thought, but has anyone else in his class had issues with items going missing? If they were labelled with his name and class they should have been returned. The fact that two pairs have gone missing suggests that perhaps someone is taking items left lying around?


Obviously your son needs to learn not to leave items but if they've been stolen that's not really his fault - he's seven and probably believes he's in a safe place.

post #9 of 16

I'd second the idea of double-checking whether they were really just lost.  DS lost 4 or 5 hats last year and I was getting so frustrated.  In the last weeks of term I found out that the kids had made up an amusing game of taking other kids' hats and throwing them in the bin or out of bounds areas; that bigger kids would take smaller kids' hats so as not to be excluded from playing in the sun; and that parents would replace their own lost items with other people's items from the lost property boxes.  By complete chance I also found two of the lost hats just lying around in the hallway where kids had discarded them after taking them (by this time I was labelling them VERY clearly!).  I would never have dreamt that this was the case and DS was just saying "I don't know where it is".

post #10 of 16
I'm curious, why were his shoes off? Is it snow related? It never snows here and I can't think of an instance where my seven year old's shoes would be off at school.

Anyway, don't even worry about little brother seeing that big brother has new shoes. There are going to be many, many things that the one brother will need that the other will not. Dealing, while not whining and begging for some compensation, is a really good life skill.
post #11 of 16

I think I would talk with him about what happened just leading up to the shoes getting lost and try to come up with a plan for the future so he doesn't lose the next pair. Without details, I agree with PP's that it's hard to know if they were lost, taken, misplaced, accidentally picked up by someone else, etc. So if there's a direct play by play and a plan for next time (make sure they go directly into the locker when I take them off, do not leave them out while I put my backpack away, etc." you're teaching him much more. Then he's actively learning from the situation and problem solving. I wouldn't be inclined to take the money from his piggy bank because I want my DS to feel secure that it's my job to keep clothes on his back and shoes on is feet, and that I'll always figure out a way to do that. That may just be left over from my childhood though, as my mom stopped providing the bare necessities for me long before I became old enough to get a job. If I still felt like he wasn't getting it, I'd be more inclined to have him work it off. I'd set a dollar amount to certain tasks that I would be willing to pay someone to do if I could afford it - like laundry, dishes, or washing the car (or some other chores that he isn't already charged with) - and let him work it off over a certain period of time. I think at 7, the loss of $10 will be with them for about 10 minutes, but a little elbow grease will be with him much longer.

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

I'm curious, why were his shoes off? Is it snow related? It never snows here and I can't think of an instance where my seven year old's shoes would be off at school.

Yes it's a snow thing.  They wear snow boots to school and for recess, so are changing into their sneakers at least a few times per day.



Actually, good news... we found both pairs.  :)  But we did have a talk on where to keep them, so hopefully we don't go through this again.  Now to find the mittens... :)

post #13 of 16


post #14 of 16

We went through this with DS just before Christmas and explained to him that if the items lost (he lost a pair or shoes, a pair of rain boots, his school uniform wind breaker and a school sweater and his third sports bottle of the year alll within a week or two) were not found that we would have to buy him new ones and that meant less money for Christmas presents and treats.  He understood solemnly and scoured the school until he found them. 


He was not excited about the consequences, but he understood and accepted them thoughtfully...then he went out and found the stuff.


Interesting that, no?  Before that they were just "lost" and he had no earthly idea what could have happened, one word of fewer Christmas presents and suddenly he just remembered where to look.


I also like the idea of Goodwill shoes.  That's an excellent solution.

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

That's a good idea Rebekah!

post #16 of 16

I'm thinking about my own childhood, raised by my grandparents on pretty much no money. There were times when I had only one pair of shoes and if I lost them, what would have happened? The only thing I can think, is that I would not have been able to go to school or church or out in public until we got our next farm subsidy check and could afford a new pair. I don't know what other option we would have had, except maybe asking some of our church people if I could have a pair of their kids old shoes. (Thus, I never lost a pair of shoes!)

Now I'm thinking about my daughter and what I'd do if she kept losing her shoes. I'd go to target and buy her 2-3 pairs of the cheap sneakers that look like Keds and cost about $6 which she knows are not cute. And I'd tell her if she didn't lose any of them before they were outgrown, she could choose a pair of shoes that she likes, when it's time to get shoes again.

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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › 7 year old lost 2 Pairs of Shoes Last Week--WWYD?