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The kids scratched up my car.

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I am fuming. Help me handle this properly.

One or two or all of my kids scratched up my car. It's not a piece of junk, it's a pretty nice subaru outback wagon. There is a smiley person scratched into the side in the back, and scratches on the hood and on the side near the driver's side door.

I know they probably didn't know better, but I feel like they should know not to mess with other people's things. If they had done this to someone else's car, there is no way I would be able to pay to have it painted.

I'm not sure how to handle this. I am pretty peeved that my car is all scratched up now. I am not looking forward to my dad discovering this (he sold me the car very cheap to help me out).

Ugh.
post #2 of 33
How old are they?
post #3 of 33
hopefully it is not as bad to fix as you think? what did they scratch it up with? will some touch up paint work? they could pay for that... not sure what to say other than i would be mad too. i'm not the best when mad so i would try to cool down before deciding
post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 
It turns out the offending child was my middle child, my 5 year old DD. I recognized the style of person she drew and asked if she did and she shook her head and said NO. Then I asked her later, "DD, what did you use to draw the picture on my car?" She replied, "A stick!" Then she got the oh geez I'm caught look on her face.

I know she didn't know it was such a big deal. I mean, it's a person with a happy face... so I feel sorta bad that I'm annoyed.

We just had a talk (all three kids and I) about respecting other people's property. That if you want to play with something, but it doesn't belong to you, you need to ask first.

Please let me know if there is anything else I should do or say.
post #5 of 33
Depending on the age of the kids, I think assigning them car-related chores would be reasonable. It takes work to maintain a car, which they benefit from. So vaccuuming, washing, etc. the car for a few weeks (or months?) might give them a sense of how to respect and take care of it.
post #6 of 33
If it was your 5 yo - she could be the one to clean out the car, and maybe vaccuum, for a while. That seems reasonable to me, and certainly is something my 6 yo could do.
post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thank you... She is going to help me clean out the car tomorrow after school. Good timing too because I just bought stuff to clean it out really well, and got new mats for the back seat.
post #8 of 33
Depending on how deep the scratches are - there are some car waxes that actually kinda rub the paint off of the surrounding area and deposit it into the scratched area. Don't know how well it'll help you, but I used some that helped at least lighten up some of the lighter scratches on my car. The deep learning-to-ride-bike-without-training-wheels, got-too-close-to-mamas-car scratches, yeah, didn't really help those, though.

Good luck!
post #9 of 33
I agree that helping to clean out the car for a while, say for the rest of the year, is a good idea. An added benefit for you is that little hands can reach under seats and other tight places to get wrappers and crumbs that are unreachable for you. I wouldn't let her help wash the car, though. Younger children tend to cause more damage to the finish when they are "helping" (voice of experience here).

You have every right to be annoyed. You are now taking an unnecessary financial hit due to the damage, either now to get the car repainted, or later when you want to sell the car. I don't think you should feel guilty about your annoyance.

I would also have another talk with the children about respecting other people's property and how same things, like cars, are just off limits completely for play.

You could also include your daughter in the exercise of calling around and going to shops to get repair estimates, so she will get a good sense of what it will take to fix it, regardless of whether you actually do get the car repainted. Also talk to her about the expense and how that will would have to come out of the budget for other things. I think a five year old is not too young to understand and appreciate those things.
post #10 of 33
That stinks. You know, my DH just took his car into the car wash and got the Deluxe Package where they like really clean your car, shampoo the rugs, wax, buff, ect.. There were scratches on his car that I thought were there for good, but after that cleaning, it looked brand new! I was amazed. It was about $200 but IMO worth every penny. I'm sure thats much less then touch up paint or getting the entire car repainted. And, even if it doesn't get the scratches out, you get a really clean car.
post #11 of 33
Can you claim it under your home owners insurance? There's a family down the street that had a son break their windshield and I think home owners paid for it. If it's bad enough you car insurance might pay for it too.
post #12 of 33
Touch up paint isn't very expensive. You can go to a Subaru dealer and get an exact color match. I did that when I got some scratches on my car and I want to say the bottle was less than $10. If you decide to use touch up paint, though, I wouldn't advise letting the 5 year old actually do it, as it does take precision. But have her watch you do it and explain that she created an extra expense AND chore for mommy.
post #13 of 33
So.... this child was apparently unsupervised enough to do this because.....?

I'm sorry, but really. Who was keeping an eye on the kid while she was vandalizing (yeah, that's what it's called) your car?
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
So.... this child was apparently unsupervised enough to do this because.....?

I'm sorry, but really. Who was keeping an eye on the kid while she was vandalizing (yeah, that's what it's called) your car?
*laughs wildly* You're joking, right? Do you know what your kids are doing EVERY.SINGLE.SECOND of every day? It might've taken all of ten seconds for her DD to scratch the paint.

If you have more than one child and you've got a lock on their presence every second of every day, then dang, I salute you. I have three (hopefully soon four) and I know where they all are at varying time throughout the day about 65% of the time. However, that's why my house is proofed to the limit and there are rules for outside engagement (I live in the woods).

You really were joking, right? :
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
So.... this child was apparently unsupervised enough to do this because.....?

I'm sorry, but really. Who was keeping an eye on the kid while she was vandalizing (yeah, that's what it's called) your car?


I have one kid and I don't/can't watch him all the time - anyone else notice how when you think you got lucky and get to use the potty by yourself that it gets very quiet? Anyway, this could have been done while op was unloading groceries, changing a load of laundry, attending to the needs of one of her other children! Give her a break!

I really came to post a thank you to OP because this thread started a very good conversation between my husband and I about discipline. We often disagree and I knew this would be a touchy subject for him as he takes very good care of our cars. It turned out really well and I think we now appreciate each other's view point more, so thanks!
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
So.... this child was apparently unsupervised enough to do this because.....?

I'm sorry, but really. Who was keeping an eye on the kid while she was vandalizing (yeah, that's what it's called) your car?
:

Oh, that was good. I needed a laugh.

How many kids do you have?

OP: We were out hiking with some friends over the summer, and as we were all getting out of our cars and our friend went around back to get her stroller, we heard, "OH. MY. GOD."

It was pretty obvious who the perpetrator was, because she'd spelled her name on my friend's bumper. With a rock.

I really thought she'd flip her lid, but after a moment of shock, she started laughing. Later she told me it was either humor or murder, so she chose humor.

And her daughter (3) now knows how to buff scratches out of a car.
post #17 of 33
OK, I have to , too. DS1 did that when he was about 5 practically RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!

We were camping, the ex and I were sitting about 5 feet from my Jeep & DS was on the other side collecting pine cones. I could see his little feet over there and all of a sudden, I notice his little feet aren't moving. I think, maybe he found a cool bug or something, so I go over to share in his discovery.

Well, he'd discovered that rocks can be used to draw pictures & Wranglers are an excellent canvas when there's no paper to be found He was very proud.... and then a little scared.
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stace View Post
Touch up paint isn't very expensive. You can go to a Subaru dealer and get an exact color match. I did that when I got some scratches on my car and I want to say the bottle was less than $10. If you decide to use touch up paint, though, I wouldn't advise letting the 5 year old actually do it, as it does take precision. But have her watch you do it and explain that she created an extra expense AND chore for mommy.
This sounds like the perfect consequence to me. I don't think cleaning etc is necessary, let her see how much trouble she's caused you, be genuine and she'll learn from that, is my guess.
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
So.... this child was apparently unsupervised enough to do this because.....?

I'm sorry, but really. Who was keeping an eye on the kid while she was vandalizing (yeah, that's what it's called) your car?
Are you kidding? :My 8yo "vandalized" my car in my very own driveway! Yes, I do let her play without me standing right next to her within 20ft of her own front door.

And to the OP, I really understand your frustration! I was sooo mad, but I knew she had no idea that her little scribbles would be permanment. She thought it was like drawing with your finger on a frosty window, though she used a penny this time.:
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
So.... this child was apparently unsupervised enough to do this because.....?

I'm sorry, but really. Who was keeping an eye on the kid while she was vandalizing (yeah, that's what it's called) your car?


I don't know what kind of kids you have, but really, c'mon now.


OP, I hope you get things figured out smoothly. That must've been frustrating to find.
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