I'm doing my best to avoid being punitive when possible, but DS (4) is just not cooperating! We have some very prickly/spiny/thorny plants in our backyard (came with the house, native to the area) and DS is OBSESSED. He has seen the aftermath of what happens when you get too close. That doesn't stop him from throwing things (rocks, toys, anything he can get his hands on) at them.
We have lost several balls over the years b/c they got stabbed by a thorn and deflated. He knows better by now. BUT he has a basketball. And a new foster brother who loves basketball. And a penchant for not sharing well. So I bought FS (3) his own basketball, let him choose the color, etc. Now they each have one and all is well. Until DS tossed FS's basketball into the thorns and popped it. I'm not sure how DS's escaped popping, b/c it was in the shrubs too.
DH immediately scolded DS and said now he has to give FS his basketball. DH is very punitive and I'm trying to guide us more into natural/logical consequences and gentle discipline (although I struggle with it too, as I was raised by punishment too).
I can't keep buying balls to replace them, and that wouldn't teach them responsibility for their things anyway. But this is the one thing FS LOVES and one of the few toys he has that he will be able to take with him when/if he leaves here.
How would you handle this?