One kid loses another's toy - should he pay? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 48 Old 05-30-2010, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's the situation. There are two 7yo boys, call 'em Frank and Joe.

Frank decides to spend his own money on a remote-control airplane. The next day, he goes to the park with Joe to fly the plane. Before letting Joe have a turn, the two boys make a deal: if Joe breaks the plane or gets it stuck in a tree, Joe will pay Frank the $30 to replace it. (If the plane comes down from the tree later, Joe will get to keep it.)

Joe flies the plane into a very tall tree, and it gets stuck. It's a high tree, very thick, and there doesn't seem to be any way of retrieving it. Joe is very willing to pay Frank the money, which he has plenty of in his bank account. But when he asks his parents to take him to the ATM, they don't want to. Their stance is, "accidents happen." and that should be the end of it.

Frank's parents feel pretty much the same way. Accidents happen. On the other hand, the boys made a deal, apparently, and Frank is upset that Joe's parents are going to prevent him from getting his money to replace the plane.

What would you do if you were either Frank or Joe's parents?
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#2 of 48 Old 05-30-2010, 10:03 PM
 
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First, they made a deal and I'm assuming they both knew what it meant going in. So I would let the child who lost the toy pay for it.

Second, if I borrow something from someone and break it, I most certainly will replace it. If my daughter plays with a friend's toy and breaks it, I will replace it. If it's accidental, then we'll just go get a new one but if it's (I can't imagine how, just being TOO rough or whatever) misuse she will be more involved in how the toy gets replaced.

I REGULARLY have to tell my cousins things like - I don't let her play with my iPod, laptop, expensive sunglasses, etc. I wouldn't do it if I were you. If she breaks it, I am not replacing it. She's four and adults giving her something expensive after being warned? On their own. I will even go so far as to suggest she not play with too-expensive-to-be-replaced-by-me or especially sentimental toys because if something happens, there's not much I can do about it.

I think Joe should pay for the plane. Frank saved up with it, Joe and Frank made a deal, Frank has money of his own, let him pay up. It sounds like they really thought it through (with contingency plans and everything) so there's no reason not to let them follow through.
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#3 of 48 Old 05-30-2010, 10:07 PM
 
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Yup I think he needs to pay for it. If my kids break each others toys they have to find a way to replace it. If they lost/broke a friends toy I would expect to be responsible to help them make amends. The only time things are not replaced is if the owner is the one responsible for losing or breaking it.

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#4 of 48 Old 05-30-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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If I were Frank's parents, I would allow Joe to pay for it. If Joe's parents wouldn't let him pay for it, I would buy another plane for Frank myself.

If I were Joe's parents, I would let Joe pay for it.

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#5 of 48 Old 05-30-2010, 10:27 PM
 
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I think Joe should give Frank the money, or at least most of it. They made a deal, and in the long run, it's worth more than $30 for Joe to have learned something from this. Keeping your word is important, no matter what the deal was.

If I were Frank's parents, I'd probably not let Joe pay for it. But, i'd tell him I appreciated his good character.
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#6 of 48 Old 05-30-2010, 10:40 PM
 
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If my child breaks something of someone else's I offer to pay for it (this has happened with my dd twice with glass figurines at her grandmas house), I find it very rude when her friend's mom doesn't do the same thing. She has one friend who is no longer allowed to play with most of her toys because he is too rough and breaks things. His mom views it as an accident that happens sometimes, but it only happens with this one child and we have had many kids playing with these toys over the last two years and none of them have ever broken anything.
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#7 of 48 Old 05-30-2010, 10:45 PM
 
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If I were Frank's parents, I would allow Joe to pay for it. If Joe's parents wouldn't let him pay for it, I would buy another plane for Frank myself.

If I were Joe's parents, I would let Joe pay for it.
yeah, that. If I were Frank's parent, though, I wouldn't be bugging Joe's parents to let him pay for it/buy a new one. I'd leave that to the kids to sort out - and between Joe and his parents. Then I'd replace the toy for Frank with my own money - because accidents do happen, and I wouldn't tell anyone else how to parent, yk?

Hope I am not confusing the names. LOL.

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#8 of 48 Old 05-30-2010, 11:03 PM
 
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He should pay for it like he said he would.

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#9 of 48 Old 05-30-2010, 11:47 PM
 
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yeah, that. If I were Frank's parent, though, I wouldn't be bugging Joe's parents to let him pay for it/buy a new one. I'd leave that to the kids to sort out - and between Joe and his parents. Then I'd replace the toy for Frank with my own money - because accidents do happen, and I wouldn't tell anyone else how to parent, yk?

Hope I am not confusing the names. LOL.
What she said.

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#10 of 48 Old 05-30-2010, 11:47 PM
 
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Joe or his parents should pay for or replace the plane.
If Joe's parents are not willing to step up then Frank's parents should buy him a new one. He was being a good friend and shared his toy, and losing it forever would not be a good lesson.
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#11 of 48 Old 05-31-2010, 12:16 AM
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Joe or his parents should pay for or replace the plane.
If Joe's parents are not willing to step up then Frank's parents should buy him a new one. He was being a good friend and shared his toy, and losing it forever would not be a good lesson.
Agreed.

I also think that Frank's parents need to have a talk with him about making cash deals with other children. Unfortunately, parents often have more control over a kid's money than the kids do.
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#12 of 48 Old 05-31-2010, 01:29 AM
 
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Sorry, the parents opinion doesn't matter on this one unless Joe didn't want to make the deal but did out of pressure. They made the deal, they get to stick to it if they want.

That being said, while accidents happen, it is considered good form to at least offer to rectify the problem either by paying for what was accidentally broke or replacing it.

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#13 of 48 Old 05-31-2010, 01:46 AM
 
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If I borrowed my friend's book and dropped it in the tub while reading it in the bath I would go out and replace it for her. I wouldn't just say "oh, accidents happen... too bad for you."

So yes, I think the child who broke the toy should pay to replace it... and if the parents think that the child's own money shouldn't be spent because it was an accident, they should use their own money. But to put the onus back on the child who owns the plane and/or his parents is rude, IMHO.

But at the same time, if it was my kid's toy that got ruined I wouldn't make a big fuss out of it. I would be quietly disappointed in the other parents, but would end up just taking my kid to the store myself.

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#14 of 48 Old 05-31-2010, 08:46 AM
 
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He should pay for it like he said he would.
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#15 of 48 Old 05-31-2010, 09:08 AM
 
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If I were Joe's parents, I would be super proud of my son for wanting to keep up his part of the bargain. If I thought it was too much money and he did not understand how much he was promising to Frank, then I would chip in to help out both my own kid and Frank.

If I were Frank's parents, and Joe was prevented from making good on the deal, then I would help Frank to buy a new toy. I would also using as a teaching moment to let him know that, regardless of best intentions, sometimes circumstances prevent others from doing the right thing so he needs to take full responsibility for his own toys in the future.

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#16 of 48 Old 05-31-2010, 01:32 PM
 
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If I was Joe's mom...

I would agree to let Joe pay back Frank for the plane, and then I'd get my husband out to that park with a ladder to help him get his plane out of the tree! lol

If I was Frank's mom...

I wouldn't be comfortable with my kids making deals like this about their toys. I have a general rule that I live by and that I teach my kids. If I let someone borrow something, I expect to never see it again intact. I don't lend out things that are irreplaceable or that I can't afford to replace myself. I've watched too many episodes of Judge Judy. Good people sometimes act incredibly irresponsibly, and I'd never want to ruin a friendship over 'stuff'.

So in this situation, if Joe's parents' didn't replace the plane, I wouldn't buy Frank another one. I'd tell him to NEVER let Joe play with his stuff again unless he doesn't care if it's messed up.
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#17 of 48 Old 05-31-2010, 05:01 PM
 
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If I was Joe's mom...

I would agree to let Joe pay back Frank for the plane, and then I'd get my husband out to that park with a ladder to help him get his plane out of the tree! lol

If I was Frank's mom...

I wouldn't be comfortable with my kids making deals like this about their toys. I have a general rule that I live by and that I teach my kids. If I let someone borrow something, I expect to never see it again intact. I don't lend out things that are irreplaceable or that I can't afford to replace myself. I've watched too many episodes of Judge Judy. Good people sometimes act incredibly irresponsibly, and I'd never want to ruin a friendship over 'stuff'.

So in this situation, if Joe's parents' didn't replace the plane, I wouldn't buy Frank another one. I'd tell him to NEVER let Joe play with his stuff again unless he doesn't care if it's messed up.
Yeah this is where I am. I don't like agreements of this sort because they always lead to trouble. If you lend something, understand it might get lost or broken, and don't have any expectations. However, these kids did make an agreement, and it sounds like they're old enough to understand what they were agreeing to, so it should be a learning opportunity for Joe, where he follows through with the agreement he made.

Also, those kinds of planes are notorious for getting broken or lost up in trees. It's like letting a friend take a turn playing with a balloon you know will pop at some point during play. It was a question of when it got lost or broken, not if.

I want to add that I think I'd respond differently if they weren't really playing together with it and taking turns, say if Joe had actually borrowed it and taken it home to use (which I would discourage and send it back home anyway), or if Joe had been misusing it. In that case, someone would pay for it, whether it be Joe or me, regardless of any agreement or lack thereof.
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#18 of 48 Old 05-31-2010, 05:47 PM
 
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Joe or his parents should pay for or replace the plane.
If Joe's parents are not willing to step up then Frank's parents should buy him a new one. He was being a good friend and shared his toy, and losing it forever would not be a good lesson.
Agree.

I just had to buy a replacement for a book DD borrowed from a friend and that somehow disappeared from our house. I keep expecting it to turn up but after a month, I couldn't wait any longer. Which is a real bummer, since the point of borrowing it was to avoid paying for it in the first place. At least the author benefits.
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#19 of 48 Old 05-31-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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Yes, I don't like the agreement that was made. I think if you let someone play with something of yours or you lend it to them, you do so without strings attached, with the understanding that it could get lost, broken, or you've never see it again. If you're not willing to take that risk, don't lend out your stuff. It's nice gesture if a friend replaces something he broke but not a mandate.

However, I'd also like to teach my kids to honor their word. So if it were my child that made the agreement, I'd like to see him keep his word.

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#20 of 48 Old 05-31-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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If I were Frank's mom I would be really bummed for him. I might give him more opportunities to earn money and save up quickly in order to replace the money he lost. Hopefully the boys will talk about it and Joe can tell Frank how much he wanted to hold up his end of the deal but his parents wouldn't let him. Maybe Frank and Joe can come up with a better alternative. It sounds like Joe made a deal he couldn't keep because he's not completely in control of his money.
I would also talk to my son about it a lot. Listen to his ideas on how he and Joe could resolve this if Joe is unable to hold up his end of the deal or how making that sort of deal might not have been a good idea because he didn't make sure Joe had access to those funds or because that's a lot of money for kids and not a good bargaining chip. I have to process things a lot with my son because he often gets fixated on certain things. My son is 9 and he's been talking about financial responsibility lately. It cracks me up when uses those words hehe. But he has been telling me that if he spends his savings on a toy that breaks, then he learns a lesson about smarter shopping.
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#21 of 48 Old 05-31-2010, 08:05 PM
 
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Did the parents know about the deal before it was needed?
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#22 of 48 Old 05-31-2010, 08:11 PM
 
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I am also taking Frank's side, but I can understand how it might not be acceptable to Joe's parents. I remember not wanting others to play with my things because I knew they weren't as careful as I was, and sure enough, they were broken and it was just my tough luck. It sounded like Frank knew ahead of time that this would be the issue, and the fact that Joe immediately flew it into a tree makes it sound like Frank made a good deal.
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#23 of 48 Old 06-01-2010, 12:32 PM
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This is another thread where I'm with Buttercup!

I hate to answer a question with a question - but to me, this is commiserate with the 7 year olds agreeing to buy .10 cent pokemon cards for $10. I wouldn't hold them to the deal.

It's a toy airplane that they were flying outside. Of course it was gonna get stuck. The agreement never should have been made and the parents are right in not making the agreement stick. Toys get broken.

I think the kid who basically said you have to buy my plane if you mess it up should learn a lesson in sharing. He shouldn't have it out there.

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#24 of 48 Old 06-01-2010, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the insight. Most of you said what I felt myself.

I'm Frank's mother. None of the parents had any idea that the boys had made this deal beforehand. However, since they did, and since Joe had plenty of money, I didn't have a problem with them fulfilling it. So when Joe's parents objected, dh and I weren't sure what stance to take.

We decided to get Frank a new plane, since it wasn't his fault that he wasn't getting the money back. And had a talk with him about making "deals" like this. Our main point being, if you really don't want someone to lose/break your stuff, don't lend it out.

However, on the morning we were to get the replacement plane, Joe's dad called to say that he'd gone back to the park and found the plane, which had blown out of the tree, undamaged. So, happy ending and lesson learned.
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#25 of 48 Old 06-01-2010, 04:30 PM
 
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I am glad everything worked out ok.

It does sound as if the other kid's dad felt some sort of responsibility if he went back to the park to find it.

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#26 of 48 Old 06-01-2010, 04:46 PM
 
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If I were Joe's parents, I would be super proud of my son for wanting to keep up his part of the bargain. If I thought it was too much money and he did not understand how much he was promising to Frank, then I would chip in to help out both my own kid and Frank.

If I were Frank's parents, and Joe was prevented from making good on the deal, then I would help Frank to buy a new toy. I would also using as a teaching moment to let him know that, regardless of best intentions, sometimes circumstances prevent others from doing the right thing so he needs to take full responsibility for his own toys in the future.
I agree with every word of this!
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#27 of 48 Old 06-01-2010, 06:21 PM
 
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If I were Frank's parents, I would allow Joe to pay for it. If Joe's parents wouldn't let him pay for it, I would buy another plane for Frank myself.

If I were Joe's parents, I would let Joe pay for it.
this.
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#28 of 48 Old 06-01-2010, 07:22 PM
 
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I'm glad everything went okay.

If I were Joe's mom, I'd pay you guys back for the plane...not because I think there's necessarily an onus on a 7 year old to replace a toy that he broke, though. It sounds as though Joes was planning to honouir the deal he made, and I respect that, whether the person in question is 7 or 70. I'd talk to him about never making deals regarding cash, but I'd definitely help him pay Frank back.

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#29 of 48 Old 06-01-2010, 08:17 PM
 
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I think it is really sweet that joe wants to step up and uphold his end of the bargin. if I were franks parents though i still probably wouldn't let him pay for it. i would thank him for being a young man of integrity and replace it myself. Accidents happen and it was sweet that frank shared his toy.

if I was joes parents heck yeah my kid would be paying for it. If frnanks mom refused to accept his money i would suggest that joe buy a similar toy with that money to share with his friend joe.

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#30 of 48 Old 06-01-2010, 09:18 PM
 
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It's a toy airplane that they were flying outside. Of course it was gonna get stuck. The agreement never should have been made and the parents are right in not making the agreement stick. Toys get broken.

I think the kid who basically said you have to buy my plane if you mess it up should learn a lesson in sharing. He shouldn't have it out there.
I don't agree. First, if they were that close to trees, they both were in the wrong. Clearly some parental supervision is needed if they don't know to go into a large open space. My husband flies RC planes as a hobby, and even with adults at the controls, a good bit of space is necessary.

Second, what is the lesson in sharing - that he should accept that someone else might not be careful? I think the lesson Frank learns here is that he should say no to sharing of a toy like this. Since most people will need to go to a public park to have enough room to fly them, he *should* have it out there, but he has the right - and probably should have (again more parental support needed here) - to tell Joe that he can't play. This is precisely why I dislike this "culture of sharing" we force on children. He's probably been taught to share because that's the "nice" thing to do, but he's getting hurt for having done so.

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