Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Should Your Kid Pay For A Lost Coat?

Old Jacket New Jacket

You child left a coat at school. Days later, it hasn’t turned up at the lost and found.

What’s the right parental response?

Certainly not to produce a new coat out of thin air with no discussion. There’s no learning there.

But, which of the following responses is best:

  • “You’ll need to help pay for a replacement so you learn to be accountable for your belongings.” (Related tip: Add an emergency fund to your kid’s money bucket list.)
  • “You’ll need to make do with an old coat we have in the closet.”
  • “These things happen. Since this is the first time, we’ll purchase a replacement for you, but let’s be more careful going forward.”
  • “What do you think is the best way to handle this?”

The answer is: it depends.

As this thoughtful story points out: “we don’t have to pick a one-size-fits-all style from parenting’s extremes.”

Your situation. Your child. Your values. Each has nuance and context that you’re in the best position to evaluate.

Pick a solution that fits your child. Like a snug coat.

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