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Your child’s friend is your child’s responsibility

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A week ago, my son went with my mom to the mall, but not before he broke his coin bank. He wanted to buy a toy basketball hoop after the last one broke. Grandma told him she would buy it for him so he wouldn’t have to spend his savings. But she was surprised he still brought his money – insistent that he would be the one to spend his money on the toy.

I beamed with pride.

It was actually his third basketball hoop. The first one broke when he dunked on it. I replaced it with the second one but offered a firm warning. “Next time it breaks, you’re on the hook for paying to replace it,” I said firmly. I had told him the hoop wasn’t designed for dunking, that he needs to learn that things break when not properly used. He nodded in that way children do, maybe listening but more likely just wanting to get on with his games.

He didn’t dunk on it. Weeks went past and then a friend of his came over and dunked on the ring. “Did you warn him not to dunk?” I asked afterward. He said he did but his friend kept on dunking. “Then, who’s responsibility is that?” I followed. My boy gave a sad and confused look, shaking his head because he knew what I was getting at. I wanted to teach him responsibility with his things and how to control such situations. I asked him if he thought I should buy him a new basketball hoop. He shook his head “no.”

We should provide our children everything they need for the explicit purpose of taking things away. Spoiling children means that you instill false emotions and fix things that shouldn’t be fixed. Repercussions are not something a bratty kid faces.

I’m not raising a brat.

These experiences will go a long way and to teach him how to be empowered as an adult. He will also learn to choose his friends more wisely if he knows there are repercussions to their actions. Not coincidentally, it will also help prevent accidents in the house.

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