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?
Okay, that's fair. And now they're just going to fight over the one basketball they have? And what do I do if/when FS leaves? I bought him that ball b/c he really missed playing with his brothers. I let him choose it and told him it was "his to take home" when he goes. Give him DS's to take home and then DS doesn't get another one ever? Buy FS a new one before he leaves?
What I would do: I would tell ds, yes, that's FS's ball and FS gets to take it with him. I would tell ds that they can share as long as ds asks politely and FS agrees to share (I would not encourage FS to share, I would let him decide what he wants to do). I do the same with my two kids; if one has his/her own toy and the other one wants it, they are to ask their sibling politely and accept the answer yes or no. (And I sometimes have to deal with a tantrum - usually dd's - if ds says no. But that's ok, it's a work in progress and they are usually ok with sharing.)
Does your ds get an allowance? I would suggest he buys a ball with his allowance, if he really wants one. If he gets no allowance, you could buy one and let him play with it only when you go to the park, not in the backyard. That would be a logical consequence imo.
I hope this helps, or maybe gives you some ideas of what you could do. You know your ds best. GL
I appreciate the ideas -- that does help. Unfortunately, DS is just not "getting" consequences and he thinks we're just being "mean." I can't get through to him that his choices lead to consequences. It's driving me crazy. This particular issue is just one of many, but I posted this one b/c it involves FS, who I don't want to penalize for DS's poor choices.
Ugh. Someone please tell me there is a magical age where it finally "clicks" for them! (And it better be sometime before high school!)
My DD is 6, and it's finally starting to click with her. I'm not sure if that's going to make you feel better (light at the end of the tunnel) or worse (2 more years). lol.
I agree that that's a totally logical and reasonable consequence. I would personally probably buy FS an identical ball in color to the one he picked out when he leaves, but that's me. I also agree with the allowance thing, or maybe even better have him earn money by doing a couple one-off chores for you, to buy a replacement for FS that he then MUST leave alone or he'll have to work more to buy him another one, etc. etc.