The importance of relationships vs. things

I am 48 years old and have 7 children from 2 different marriages. I just wanted to say that holding children accountable for items they personally destroy or mar is good, but not at the expense of damaging a relationship. Tuff love is important, but always with proper communication at a low tone level, and always with love.

Now, for those things they are responsible for, you may have to have them pay for a portion because the cost is too expensive to put on them.

When I was a Springville Coach for baseball, I had a player use a bat of another. He broke it out of anger, not out of accident. He beat it on the ground when he struck out. This is something that should be held accountable to that player to replace for the other player. And he did. If he broke it on accident, and had permission to use it, it would be proper for him to replace the bat, but it being not his direct fault or negligence there is some leeway there.

I know of a 16 year old who has a car from his mom. It is her car. She is kind enough to let him use it. It has gotten backed into in a parking lot, some scratches on the hood from wear and tear, and a car shop misplaced the car mat. Should this be the responsibility of the 16 year old? They were events out of his control, and there was no negligence or intent to harm from him. I say he should not be responsible to pay for any of the repairs or items. What do you say? And would you get mad and yell at him, hurting your relationship with him, or not?

I believe relationships are more important than things. Accountability for negligence or intent to harm is definitely important, but I believe youth that have no control of things should have to pay for them, and especially not be yelled at.


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