Anonymous

How do I get my kids to respect their belongings?

I have 3 boys (8,7,2). My husband and I have been struggling mainly with the older 2 when it comes to their belongings. We bought my 7 year old a new pair of shoes a couple days ago and they're already destroyed. I understand that they're kids and that they are boys and they play outside and things will get dirty. But we are not well off financially and struggled just to buy them each a new pair of shoes, even if they are cheap ones from walmart. They are constantly losing their gloves and I can't just keep buying new ones, but I can't let them go without. We also let them have an early Christmas gift last night, each of them getting a new lightsaber. We told them not to fight with them because they are just plastic and will break. Well, a couple hours later and they're both broken already. They don't have a ton of toys so it's not that they are overly spoiled. I just want them to appreciate the things they do have and take care of them. We have talked to them about other families not having things that we have and they seem to get it, but then they still don't take care of their stuff. Any advice?

  • Anonymous
    Dec 17, 2018

    I wonder if getting them fewer but higher quality things is the answer. Cheaper plastic light sabers (which are meant to be fought with...) are going to break. And now that they are, tell the boys that they don’t get new ones.

  • Tim
    Dec 17, 2018

    My advice is if they are going to destroy their things, they deal with that reality. If they’re losing their gloves, then they go without for a while - they can and should go without. My guess is if their hands are cold they’ll eventually make the connection that the result is due to their lack of care and responsibility and cold hands are not causing them any serious harm. Same goes for the toys and shoes. You asked them not to fight with them and they did - they’re broken and that’s that; they ruined the new shoes and now that’s the condition in which they’ll wear them. They need to make mistakes and then suffer the mild and uncomfortable consequences in order to learn. Be strong! Good luck!

  • Alexis
    Dec 17, 2018

    Agree with PP. If they cant be responsible, they need to learn from the natural consequences of that. Even with my just barely 2 year old I've already begun teaching him by taking away any toys he isn't taking good care of. He gets one warning and then he loses that toy for the rest of the day. My 7 year old nephew lost his coat and his mom (with some advice from myself and others) decided to go ahead and get him a new coat, but she also took him to the store and they bought hats, scarves, and gloves and then she had him wrap them up and deliver them to homeless people. It was a way of helping him understand how blessed he is to have something as simple as a coat.

  • Christa
    Dec 17, 2018

    I absolutely agree with fellow posters! Respect and responsibility. If their shoes, gloves, toys ETC are broken or lost or destroyed, than well it’s their own doing. I would let them know, that’s the only thing they are able to have or shoes or whatever the item is, and they can’t have a new set for a while. We tell our son if he can’t treat his things nicely, than we will give it to someone else who will appreciate it. And I actually tell that to my dogs too. If they destroy it or don’t want it- I can give it to a dog at the humane society. Granted our children aren’t dogs- though I consider mine to be just as much my children as my human babies!!! Any how, give them a consiquence and follow through. If the gloves are lost, they have full option to find them and get to use both sets of the gloves, or deal with the fact their hands are going to be cold until they either find their gloves or learn not to lose the next pair. As far as the shoes go- shoes are washable, but they need to learn to respect them as well. We make a point with our son, that he needs to respect his belongings or we take them away. We give him an opportunity to make a decision - and decide if he wants to take care of it, or not, and then we follow through on this action which we’ve told him we will do. Kids need to know there are consequences for their actions. Whether it be taking it away or once it’s broke, well it’s broke and that’s just too bad until they get to get a new one. We are also not financially off to buy brand new all the time, or over and over again. We are a one income family, and have expectations which our son has been held too since day one. They aren’t helpless blimps that can’t learn and understand. Stay strong and give them consequences!!

  • Anonymous
    Dec 20

    My boys especially my oldest is destructive and while I used to replace things I’ve now stopped doing that. My oldest is on his 5th ps4 remote, he’s broken 2 TVs, tore his shirts, ruined his shoes. Now unless it’s a need, or it broke just from being used so much and not being destroyed I don’t replace them.