New here and crying...I have no idea what to do, punishment and natural consequences - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 03:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm a new member and I really, really need help. Please don't flame me, I realize that I’m not perfect, but I need help now. I'm a single mom to 2 kids, DD1 age 14 and DD2 age 10. DD1 and DD2 have the same father but we are not together and he is not involved in their lives. Their father and I had a brief summer relationship and after we broke up I found out I was pregnant. He knew but never made an effort to be involved. 4 years later he came back and swore he had changed and straightened out his life and wanted to be involved. This time he was only around for a week. I “slipped” once, and that is how DD2 came to be (please don't judge or flame, I was a young, overwhelmed single mom and he was my first love) Since he left I haven't seen him again, I have no idea where he is or anything. DD2 has never met him and DD1 met him a handful of times when she was really young but she doesn't remember him at all. There are no pictures of him or anything, and neither of my girls remembers him.

I have done my best to give them a good life. I breastfeed both of them well past 6 months, they slept in my bed as babies, I have never made them do time-outs or anything like that, and I have never EVER spanked or hit them. I try so hard not yell and have always tried to do natural consequences. Since their father left the second time I have not dated anyone or brought an endless string of boyfriends around. We live in a nice part of the city and each DD has their own room. I took some night school courses and got a better job where I can even be at home sometimes, and while we are not rich and don't have a ton of stuff, I can get by with a little budgeting and my daughters have a roof, food to eat, warm clothes etc. They have lots of friends in this neighborhood. They both do very well in school and have never shown any behaviour problems. Since neither of them has ever known a father it is not like he just left and they miss him. They haven't had any traumas or deaths of someone close. I have always tried to do my best for them, though it is hard sometimes since I have no family and my parents are deceased (back when I was a teen) and their father doesn't have any relatives that I know of. I really, really try to be a good mom, and that’s why what has happened is upsetting me so much.

DD1 has always been into music, since she was small. Ihave never been able to afford an instrument or lessons, but when DD1 became a pre-teen she because even more interested in learning, and settled on the electric guitar. AT 13 she decided to save for one on her own, and began babysitting for our neighbours. I would also pay her for odd jobs when I could, though she always helps out with chores even when I didn’t pay her. She saved every cent she earned for over a year and ended up with $225. She was so proud of herself for saving and I was proud of her as well. DD1 did research and bought a really nice red electric guitar and as a birthday present I bought her an amp. Even though her birthday isn’t until July she needed the amp so I bought it for her now. DD1 was in love with it, she started to teach herself to play and was actually doing quite well. DD1 had the guitar for 1 month, then the situation happened 2 weeks ago. It was the afternoon, DD1 was out with friends, DD2 was watching TV and decided to sit on the deck and enjoy a book. It was such a nice day that I feel asleep. I awoke to a horrible screaming, so bad I thought one of my girls was in trouble.

I went inside and DD1 was crying. The guitar was smashed. Broken. Literally in pieces. After I calmed her down I tried to figure out what happened. Later that night DD2 admitted that she had smashed the guitar on the floor. She said that she didn’t mean any harm, and that she had been watching a music video on TV and playing with her sister’s guitar and gotten carried away and had imitated the musicians in the video when they smashed their instruments. She said that she hadn’t meant to break it and that she was sorry. I truly believe she means it, her sister is another story.

The guitar is a write-off. it cannot be fixed, believe me, I tried. I took it to many repair places and every single one said it was too damaged. DD1 is devastated. Like I said above, we are not rich, I make enough that we can get by if I budget, clip coupons etc, but I don’t have anywhere near enough money that I am able to replace it. I went over and over the budget, I have tried trimming it or cutting things out and I still cannot come up with any money. We have no vehicle and use public transportation but since we live in the city it isn’t a big deal. We have basic TV with only a few channels. I have a cell phone, but it is paid for though my work and neither of my DD’s have one. I have tried to lower our grocery bill, but I was already shopping at discount and clipping coupons, and if I cut it then we will literally be living onbread alone. I have money saved for both them to go to college, but it is locked in and I cannot draw from it even if I wanted to.

The only other money I have is $200 saved for DD2. Both my girls are members of a neighborhood club association (it is free) When the kids reach DD2’s age group, they get to go on a camping/wilderness adventure, with some of the parents as chaperones. DD1 went when she was that age and had a blast, her and her friends from the neighborhood still talk about it a lot almost 4 years later, and she has pictures all over her room. The trip is in June. This is where I am torn. DD1 wants me to give her the $200 so she can buy a new guitar. But if I do then DD2 won’t be able to go on the trip because it is in a month and I won’t have another $200 by then. I have done the math. I can’t afford to buy DD1 a replacement guitar until Christmas. DD2 is only 10 she is too young to babysit like her sister, so she cannot pay DD1 back on her own. If DD1 saves after babysitting again it will take her another year to make that much money, and since she is only 14 she is not old enough to get a part-time job until next year, and even then it will take her months to save enough that amount of money. I can’t ask anyone I know for money. The economy is tough and most of them are just making enough like me. None of them have that much money lying around. DD1 doesn’t want a different kind of guitar, she wants the same model, new not used. She says that since she bought a new one she should have a new one as a replacement.

Part of me wants to give her the money from DD2’s trip, but at the same time I don’t want to DD2 to miss this once in a lifetime camping trip. All her friends are going and I don’t want it to be where they talk about it years later and she missed out on it, all because of one stupid mistake. I have talked to the trip organizers, there is no way that the price can be lowered, they are already getting a deal and the cost has to be paid up front. I don’t think DD2 meant to break the guitar, but she is not a child anyone and she knows better then to even touch her sister things without permission. She should not have even been playing with it. DD1 is crushed, she has stayed in her room for the past 2 weeks, and says that she hates her sister and doesn’t want to live here anymore. She feels as though I’m favouring her DD2, and we have fought about it and DD1 has yelled at me and says she hates me. I am so overwhelemed, I wish I didn’t let them watch so much TV. If I had been inside with DD2 then thismight not have happened.

I haven’t slept in days because I have cried so much. I feel like no matter what I do I will be failing one of my girls. I want to punish DD2 but not too harshly like her missing thetrip. I know she is 10 and old enough to know better, but she is so young still. I feel like if I was a better mom then I could provide for both my daughters and I would have enough money to buy a new guitar without DD2 having to miss her trip. I have no idea where to even start with natural consequences on this. Do I give DD1 the money and have DD2 miss her trip, or do I make DD1 wait until Christmas or beyond to get a replacement guitar? Sorry if this is so long, and if you made it though all this then thank-you. This may be incoherent, I know this is all jumbled andeverything, I just really needed to get it out. I have no idea what to do. I am such a bad mom

Edited for spacing to make my post easier to read. No words have been changed
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#2 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 04:22 AM
 
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i don't have any advice, it sounds like a horrid situation.

my kids are both younger so i'm not sure what i'd do... i'm leaning towards replacing the guitar but i was the older sibling and it always seemed to me like my parents favoured my younger brother

eh. who needs a signature?
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#3 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 04:32 AM
 
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It may seem harsh, but I think missing the camping trip IS the natural consequence for ruining her sister's guitar. It is not fair that your DD1 should have to wait 7+ months to get a replacement when she worked SO HARD to get it in the first place. It is DD2's responsibility to replace the guitar, and if that means missing the camping trip.. well, that's what happens.

You are not a bad mom. You can't watch them every second, and really, a 10 year old should be old enough to know better. Whether she meant to break it or not, she did, and now she has to replace what she broke.
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#4 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 04:36 AM
 
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to MDC!

My DD is only 16 months, so I don't have a lot of experience, but I think I would probably give your DD1 the money to replace the guitar. Yes, it's tough on your DD2, but it may also be a valuable lesson.

Could DD2 go on this trip next year instead?

I was also the older sibling and my younger brother broke or ruined things of mine a number of times when we were growing up. We didn't have enough money that my parents could replace them either, but he never had to deal with the consequences of his actions in any way other than knowing that his sister was mad at him. He's now a grown man but still has little sense of personal responsibility, and no sense of the value of money.

Not at all saying that your DD will turn out like that, but I think that it's important for kids to make amends/reparations as far as they can for damage that they've done, either accidentally or not.

Have you tried sitting down with the two of them and asking them to help you come up with a solution? They might be able to come up with something more creative that you would have thought of.

You sound like you're doing a wonderful job mama. Hope things work out.

Lisa - mama to Eleanor Rose 01/08 and Saoirse Lily 09/10
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#5 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 09:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AutumnAir View Post
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Have you tried sitting down with the two of them and asking them to help you come up with a solution? They might be able to come up with something more creative that you would have thought of.
That was my thought as well. Maybe a family meeting of sorts. You'll need a safe time/space for your DD's to vent feelings a bit (I would moderate as best you can so it doesn't turn into a blaming match or a fight--keeping it respectful, etc.), and then focus on solving the problem. Perhaps DD2, if she really understands the situation and feels remorse, will suggest or at least be on board with waiting until next year to go to camp, since this is a huge deal to DD1 and she is responsible. It doesn't have to feel like a punishment--you have a serious problem which needs solving. Maybe your DD's will think of something outside the box to make it all work out?

Good luck--hope you find a solution. And you sound like a terrific mom to me. Let go of the guilt--it doesn't serve anyone.
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#6 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 10:32 AM
 
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Thank goodness she didn't smash it into the amp.

When's the camp? Any chance she could work as a mother's helper for a month or so for a few friends/acquaintances of yours to earn the money?

Because really, you spending the money you'd put aside for DD2 on DD1 isn't actually DD2 replacing the guitar. Unless she's the one to suggest using the money that way.

Maybe see if there's any way she could work to earn the money, and present to her that she needs to replace DD1's guitar. And then if she needs help coming up with solutions, you can present using the camp money, earning the money, getting DD1 a less expensive acoustic guitar so she can work on learning chords and such while DD2 saves up more slowly to replace the electric guitar (and then DD2 can have the acoustic guitar if she wants or it can be sold back to a pawn shop to get DD2 her money back).

Oh and I wouldn't present using the camping money as using the camping money. I'd tell DD2 that you could give DD1 $200 to replace the guitar, but that would mean that you wouldn't be able to afford DD2 going to the camp.
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#7 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by SaraLe6 View Post
It may seem harsh, but I think missing the camping trip IS the natural consequence for ruining her sister's guitar. It is not fair that your DD1 should have to wait 7+ months to get a replacement when she worked SO HARD to get it in the first place. It is DD2's responsibility to replace the guitar, and if that means missing the camping trip.. well, that's what happens.

You are not a bad mom. You can't watch them every second, and really, a 10 year old should be old enough to know better. Whether she meant to break it or not, she did, and now she has to replace what she broke.
Completely agreed. Her actions have consequences. And frankly I'm dubious about her story about "imitating" rock stars on TV. Surely she noticed that when they banged their guitars around, the guitars smashed? Plus, not only did she destroy her sister's most valued posession, she violated tons of boundaries by touching it without permission in the first place. It was a terrible thing to do to her sister and I think the punishment is justified.
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#8 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 11:55 AM
 
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Ohhh, I really really feel for you! What a tough situation to have to navigate!

I do think this will be a very harsh lesson for DD2, but I do think she needs to miss camp to pay for the guitar. I agree with a pp who said it is dubious that she didn't realize that the guitar would smash(and be ruined).
It is SO unfortunate that she will have to miss out on something lal of her friends will get to enjoy, but sometimes life is HARD and if you do something that is pretty much a really bad idea then there might be some tough consequences and it would not at all be ok for DD1 to suffer while DD2 is living it up at camp with her friends! How wretched that would be!
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#9 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 12:44 PM
 
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I agree with some of the pp. I would sit the girls down, away from home, maybe a park and have them try to come up with a solution together that they would both be willing to have happen or I would tell DD2 that since she did violate her sisters privacy of her room and her belongings then she forfiets her camping trip. Like one Mama said life is HARD and you will always have a consequence you do not like when something you do is wrong.

Good luck and quit punishing yourself. You did not do anything wrong!you are your DD's no matter what!::
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#10 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 12:44 PM
 
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Completely agreed. Her actions have consequences. And frankly I'm dubious about her story about "imitating" rock stars on TV. Surely she noticed that when they banged their guitars around, the guitars smashed? Plus, not only did she destroy her sister's most valued posession, she violated tons of boundaries by touching it without permission in the first place. It was a terrible thing to do to her sister and I think the punishment is justified.

Dubious is putting it mildly for me. Then again, I had a very sneaky and vindictive younger sister who got away with cr@p like that all the time so maybe I'm biased.

I'd use the camp money to buy the guitar. If DD2 gets away with this, heaven knows what her next stunt will be.
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#11 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 12:58 PM
 
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I don't have older kids, but I'd definitely use the camp money to replace the guitar. I think it would be an important (if hard) lesson for DD2, and if you let her go to camp and DD1 has to start back at square one because of her sister's behavior, you risk DD1 being bitter toward her sister (and you) for a very long time. Don't say you're a bad mom. It sounds like you're doing a wonderful job!
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#12 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 01:15 PM
 
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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?
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#13 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 02:00 PM
 
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I have a slight disagreement with some earlier suggestions. I wouldn't talk to the girls together. I'd ask DD1 if she'd be okay with a compromise like getting an inexpensive guitar for awhile while DD2 saves up to replace the fancy electric guitar, or DD2 doing DD1's chores so DD1 has time to work and earn money. Then, knowing what DD1 is okay with beyond getting a new guitar immediately, I'd talk with DD2 about how she's going to replace DD1's guitar.

I don't think you should talk to them together because I don't think DD2 should get to decide whether to replace the guitar and I don't think DD1 should get to decide how the guitar is replaced.
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#14 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 02:01 PM
 
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I agree that the DD2's camp money should now be used to replace the guitar. I think that is a natural consequence because there is only so much money available. And because the guitar was broke, that money now needs to be used to replace the guitar.

I also don't understand how a 10 year old wouldn't know that playing roughly with the guitar would break it, she should be old enough to know better. I think there might be something missing from that story.

Mama to my charming little boy, born at home January '09
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#15 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 02:12 PM
 
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Wanted to add that since this has happened once and the new guitar could mean dd2 won't be getting to do something she apparently REALLY wants to do and will potentially upset her over and over again for quite awhile it might be worthwhile to buy dd1 a guitar case with a lock because if the new guitar gets "accidentally" broken there doesn't sound like there is money to replace it yet again! And if dd1 can't remember to keep it safe in it's locked case when she isn't using it then it would be her responsibility since dd2 obviously can't be trusted around it.
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#16 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 03:14 PM
 
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For your older DD's sake, it might be worth getting to the bottom of what really happened. My younger sister was extremely jealous if I got anything she didn't have, or got to do anything that she was considered too young to do. So she frequently destroyed my possessions or clothes, or managed to sabotage any activities I might have that did not include her. This all went right over my mothers head, and I resented deeply that she always believed my sister and that she thought it was always my fault when these things happened.
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#17 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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i agree that it sounds like something is missing. guitars can take quite a beating before it's irreparable...
i think dd2 should replace it for dd1. perhaps talk with her to figure out how she thinks she can do that. i also think using the money for camp isn't the same as her earning it some other way nor is missing the camping trip a direct consequence for her actions. i think dd1 should get a less expensive guitar until dd2 can replace it / if the trip is far enough way use part of the money now and have dd2 earn that part of the money back to go on trip.
dd1 might want a brand new one if dd2 is truly sorry and tries to replace it she could have some compassion for her and get a used one or different model
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#18 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hi everyone. Thank-you for the replies and for saying that I'm a good mom and stuff. I know that I have done the best for my girls, but long nights like last night just make me doubt, kwim?

Things are tense around here. To answer some of the questions...there is no way DD1 will sit down with DD2 to talk it out. DD1 is so mad at her sister, she told me that it has taken every ounce of her willpower not to smack her (of course I have never hit my kids and I don't condone hitting ever)

I suggested a cheaper guitar, but DD1 does not want an acoustic guitar, or another cheaper electric guitar. She wants the exact same one she bought. She says it isn't fair to her if she has to have something cheaper, even as a temporary replacement. I have tried to talk to DD2 about why she was playing with the guitar, but she just keeps saying she didn't mean it and is sorry. She has always been truthful to me, so that is why this is so hard for me to grasp. I don't understand why she did what she did.

DD2 cannot go on the trip next year. It is only for her age group and next year she will be too old. Also there is no way she will be able to work to earn that much money. She is too young to babysit, and there is no one in this neighborhood who needs a mother's helper. For her to go anywhere to be a mother's helper she would have to go further away, and with me working most days and not having a car there is no way for her to get there, and it is much to far for her to go by herself.

Also the trip is in less than a month now, and it has to be paid for in two weeks, so there isn't any way that DD2 can earn that much money in that amount of time. I know I have to give the trip money to DD1, I just don't know how to break it to DD2. It's like no matter what I do one of my girls will get hurt

I tried to make this post more clear than the last one. I am going to go back to edit the other one, just to space it out a little better so it is easier to read. I am NOT going to change any of the text. Thank-you again for the replies and support, it means a lot to have people to "talk" to.
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#19 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 03:57 PM
 
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While DD2 will be hurt, she needs to understand that whether she meant it or not, there are consequences for touching and breaking her sister's things. Your older DD has every right to ask for a replacement and to be mad at her sister. And I agree with the PP who mentioned a locking guitar case! Good luck Mama and know that you are making the right decision.

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#20 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 03:57 PM
 
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I also believe that the camping money needs to go to dd1. I totally understand how hard that will be since you want your dd2 to have those good memories. It sucks for both of you.
I know you said you don't know where the father is but maybe you can see about finding him maybe through facebook? Of course not with your childrens knowledge. Tell him you would like $200 for a child expese. Don't get into it with him though. You never know, maybe he will come through.
My oldest sisters father was not involved in her life after 1. we were really poor when she was about 11, my mom found him and let him know she needed clothes, he spent about $600 on clothes for her, and as far as I know never saw her. Still was not in her life the rest of the time but did come through this one time.
This may be an option as long as you can not let him suck you in. Believe me I know how hard it is. I have a 3rd child with my dh but we had been seperated 1 1/2 years when I got preggo.
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#21 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 03:59 PM
 
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have you tried posting on wishuponahero.com for money for the trip or a guitar?

i am an older sister who had a little sister who would steal and break my things...so i can kind of see the pp's wish for punishment...

but i dont believe punishment is beneficial.
i can not see taking the money from dd2's trip. the natural consequence of her breaking the guitar is the stress in your house right now. you dont have to do anything for natural consequences to be. they just are.

sure dd2 did something wrong. but by being so willfully wrathful dd1 is also doing wrong. personally i wouldnt feel right appeasing her at the cost to your youngest.

maybe im just contrary but man i feel horrible for your poor dd2. shes got strangers on the internet calling for her punishment

Mother to Sandrel(oct 2003) and Liesl(mar 2006) and someone new coming February 2013

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#22 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 04:11 PM
 
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I agree: your older daughter's guitar should be replaced, and if the sister who broke it on purpose needs to skip camp to have that happen...well, that is the natural consequence. Younger DD can go to camp next year, and she will learn a valuable lesson about the treatment of other people's possessions.

I also don't buy that she didn't know what was going to happen when she smashed the guitar on the ground. And the fact that she left it there on the ground for her sister to find rather than fess up isn't too positive, either.
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#23 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 04:12 PM
 
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thats a logical consequence... not a natural consequence

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#24 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 04:18 PM
 
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I disagree w/ getting her a cheaper guitar. She should have an equal replacement and an apology from dd2. In turn, dd1 should then stop being so mad she wants to "smack her" and say she forgives her.

And then you should keep an eye on the dynamics b/c that was the lamest story (dd2's excuse) I have ever heard. She must think she can get away w/ a lot to not even bother w/ a better story.

If you as her parent believe the camp is important as an actual growing up thing, then search around for assistance or get DD babysitting/doing odd jobs.
Summer is coming up and mowing jobs can bring in a lot of cash.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#25 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 04:20 PM
 
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No flames here.

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#26 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 04:22 PM
 
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Well, I don't agree that there are any "shoulds", but I think you are handling this very compassionately.

I do see value in using the camp money and I know dd2 will be so disappointed and that might be one of those life lessons where learns to be extremely careful around others items.

My little brother used, abused and lost all of our stuff. My mom most always defended him and then if we insisted it be replaced she did it. I don't think she did him any favors.

Like I said I don't think there is a right answer, just the life lessons of navigating around your relationships.
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#27 of 132 Old 05-08-2009, 05:41 PM
 
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i know dd1 feels it unfair to have anything less than a brand new one of the same brand however the fact is that its broken and a new of same type just can't be pulled out of thin air. the nice thing to do if you break someone's things is to replace it and be sorry. the nice thing to do if our stuff is broken is to forgive and not demand the breaker "pay for it". i don't think its fair to dd2 however to say well the only $ i have is the money for your trip which happens to be just the right amount so she gets it. what if the money was for something else. what if it was a vaulable object of your own? take the money out of the equation and breaking the guitar doesn't equal missing trip, especially since this camping thing is a one time event. even if dd1 did get a brand new one i doubt she wuld forgive dd2. i'm still of the opionion that dd1 gets a cheaper one until dd2 is able to earn $ for a new one, in a reasonable amount of time but it might take a while.
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#28 of 132 Old 05-09-2009, 01:55 AM
 
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I have a younger sister too, and like the others, my stuff did occasionally get broken, stolen etc. My parents did defend my sister and I really can't ever remember getting compensated for my loss.

That said, ask your DD2 how important the camping trip is to her. Would she see it as important as you or Dd#1, or would it just be another fun activity that would be forgotten by the next fun activity? Would Dd#2 consent for "her" camping money to be given to Dd#1 as compensation? (Without any pressure applied).

If the camping trip is as important as say Dd#1's experience was, then I say no, don't take it way from DD#2. Its easier to replace a guitar than it is to replace a once in a lifetime experience.

Mama to Emma (7) and Sarah (5)

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#29 of 132 Old 05-10-2009, 11:05 AM
 
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Actions have consequences. I agree with the major boundary issues here. I'm the oldest of six, and an amateur musician. I know what it is to have my things broken, and I know what it is to love music. And I have siblings who, to this day, want to spit on my dreams.

All of which factor into my vote for DD2 has to forfeit the trip. DD1 deserves the real deal, not a cheap variation.

As for the sorry / forgiveness aspect... those take time. DD1 will need to forgive, eventually, but for the last two weeks her life's dreams have been crushed. It's going to take time for that to heal.

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#30 of 132 Old 05-10-2009, 11:16 AM
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Just so you know $200 is A LOT for a guitar, have you not checked pawn shops for used acoustics? They go for somewhere around $50, and to have it tuned by someone it should be a basic charge of $25 dollars, I'd be shopping on the buy/sells, my dad plays guitar and we all have played a bit here and there, I see what guitars are going for at new stores, somewhere around 3-600 for really nice ones that are mid level grade. Just something to think about. Also coming from a family of 3 girls, I'm the middle sister, my lil sister 3 years younger DESTROYED EVERYTHING OF MINE.... it was out of spite, jealousy, revenge usually, so this might have happened because of that, its something between the 2 of them that they need to work out themselves, I don't think its fair to take away a camping trip either, but there has to be compromise on both their parts. I come from a family where we didn't have much growing up either, so I feel you and I see how this is stressful, I think its only going to get harder as they are teenagers so just accept them doing stupid things to each other, my mom eventually just started saying "Dont get mad, get even"... and I did. I dont think my post helped you much but just sharing something, on this mothers day where I'm just zoning out and drinking coffee. Much love dear, there will be good and bad times, especially with girls.
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