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Replacing lost/broken items


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#1 amdirel

Posted 26 August 2019 - 08:51 PM

Just curious as to what happens in other people's housesholds, when your kids lose or break things, eg mobile phone! Do you replace them? With the same thing? Or a cheap version? Do you make them help pay?

We have a missing phone here at the moment  (left on the train). Child is devastated.  Another child also loses her phone at the shops ALL the time (she's been very lucky and has ran back and picked it up every time). We've also had smashed phone screens, and a smashed laptop screen.

I'm just not sure what's reasonable? Household budget is very tight. One child has a job, but he's the responsible one. The two careless ones aren't old enough for jobs just yet.

#2 Jenflea

Posted 26 August 2019 - 09:09 PM

Dd is 9 but if she was frequently losing or breaking a phone she wouldn't have one.
Unless she could afford to replace it herself.

A one off I might replace with a cheaper phone but more than once she would lose the privilege of it.

I bought DD a $300 chromebook for school(stupid BYOD from yr 3) and I told her if she loses or breaks it I'm not buying another one. They need to be able to look after their stuff or they don't have it.

#3 maryanneK

Posted 26 August 2019 - 09:19 PM

for me it would depend on the item, the age of hte child, and how it was broken
Accidents happen - even to me! - so if they werent being reckless or stupid and something was broken, or lost once, I'd probably replace it. Maybe with a cheaper version.

If it was broken or lost through careless, thoughtless, stupid behaviour - then it would be gone.

My kids are only little but they know the difference between a genuine accident and losing something because they broke it being stupid

#4 gettin my fance on

Posted 26 August 2019 - 09:20 PM

Sorry, I have no advice as we bought DD's first phones outright and they tended to be the cheapest available at the time and only ever temporarily 'lost' in the crap under her bed.

We were so lucky that any electronics we bought for her would die natural deaths, not lost or damaged by her actions.

In your situation I would be inclined to either buy the cheapest (and possibly nastiest) replacement or if it wasn't imperative that they have the item for safety reasons, they would go without if lost more than once.

#5 AdelTwins

Posted 26 August 2019 - 09:24 PM

Was it an iPhone? Did it have Find my iPhone on?

#6 xxyzed

Posted 26 August 2019 - 09:28 PM

It depends what it is. My boys are 12 and 14. Lost bus pass - they get to cancel it with the bus company and arrange a replacement - many phone calls later they worked out how to do it and haven’t lost it again. Broken phone - they work to how to repair it. If irreparable they go without and can use their birthday or Xmas money to replace. Broken laptop - they go without and borrow the school ones until they have sorted out a warranty or insurance repair. I paid the insurance excess for them. Broken glasses or braces or health related item - I pay for the repair and strongly encourage them to source work to cover the cost.

#7 waawa17

Posted 26 August 2019 - 09:31 PM

Find My iPhone, plus a sticker with my cellphone number on it, has saved us many a time.

Reasonable repairs I pay - I break things too. It happens. Excessive repairs he pays for or he works off. For the last few years I have sprung for a high-protection Otterbox or Lifeproof case and we haven't needed a repair since.

If things ever get so bad that we run out of old phones to pass down, it's a twenty-dollar Nokia from Officeworks or he can earn money and pay for a better phone himself. (My teenager is very free-range and I want him to have a phone at all times.)

Edited by waawa17, 26 August 2019 - 09:33 PM.


#8 tily

Posted 26 August 2019 - 09:37 PM

We have recently loaned the money for broken iPhones and charged interest. 13 and 15 year old.

#9 BECZ

Posted 26 August 2019 - 09:44 PM

DD1 smashed her iPad and I refuse to replace it as I had told her less than 10 seconds earlier to put in down. (She was unpacking the dishwasher!). We had this issue every time and her reply was, "I'm fine!" or "I know what i'm doing!"

To replace the screen was over $350, so really not worth it!  She had recently dropped it at school while taking it somewhere she wasn't meant to, so the on/off button was already a bit jammed.
It was just on 12 months old too.

I was going to buy her a new one or a laptop for high school, but even though they said that she would need it, all the teachers told me at parent/teacher night that she doesn't need it at school, just needs access to one at home apart from the very rare occasion and they will let parents know if they do.  It's still useable, but half the screen is dodgy now and sometimes you need to flip it around to access parts of the screen.

So no, we haven't replaced it.  Quite frankly she needs to learn to respect things and people and do as she is told.

There are other IPads around the home that she can borrow and we did buy a new laptop for the house, but she won't be taking it to school as her attitude lately is just......

DS2 tripped at the grandparents house when he was running to catch up with DF and smashed his iPod screen, but we paid the $150 to replace it as accidents do happen.


#10 seayork2002

Posted 26 August 2019 - 09:58 PM

View PostmaryanneK, on 26 August 2019 - 09:19 PM, said:

for me it would depend on the item, the age of hte child, and how it was broken
Accidents happen - even to me! - so if they werent being reckless or stupid and something was broken, or lost once, I'd probably replace it. Maybe with a cheaper version.

If it was broken or lost through careless, thoughtless, stupid behaviour - then it would be gone.

My kids are only little but they know the difference between a genuine accident and losing something because they broke it being stupid

This is kinda what we go with

#11 Prancer is coming

Posted 26 August 2019 - 10:42 PM

I don’t see a teen phone as an essential item, so I would not be paying for it, particularly if they lost it.  If I deemed it as an essential item I might be willing to work out a pocket money advance for her to pay back later - through no pocket money.

DD did the wrong thing with her laptop by opening up another account to get around me reviewing it.  I took the laptop away for week, even though it was required for school.  The school did have some spares she had to use, and surprisingly she declined my offer to explain the situation to the school around why she did not have a computer!  I actually think she ended up feeling quite remorseful about it, which may have been more around the consequence.  If you just get them a new one they might not learn to be more careful.  And if money is tight, why should you spend scarce funds on something they lost?


#12 lizzzard

Posted 27 August 2019 - 12:21 AM

I’ll probably be the odd one out but I am a sucker on this. I tend to replace things... but I do usually make them feel guilty about it. DD is worse than DS but I think she’s definitely more aware and careful these days after some notable ‘incidents’

#13 Apple14

Posted 27 August 2019 - 08:15 AM

I wouldn’t replace a phone. If they’re old enough to ‘need’ a phone, they’re old enough to be responsible for it, including replacing it if lost/broken.
My kids don’t have BYOD. They have access to an iPad at home if needed, but it’s often not.

#14 jayskette

Posted 27 August 2019 - 08:35 AM

what would YOUR parents have done?

#15 Kreme

Posted 27 August 2019 - 08:52 AM

It would depend on the circumstances for me. Accidents happen and if it was a laptop needed for school or a phone that I want them to have for their school commute then I would replace it.

If it was happening often through carelessness then I would expect a contribution by the child either in money or doing chores. My kids are too young to work (13 and 11).

Generally speaking my kids are careful and so far we have never had anything broken or lost. DD has had a school laptop for almost 3 years and an iPhone (my old one) for 9 months since she started high school. DS has had an iPad for school for almost 2 years and will get a phone next year. I predict we will have more issues with DS losing his phone as he is inclined to be forgetful.

#16 SFmummyto3

Posted 27 August 2019 - 08:58 AM

Depends if it was dropped and an accident or lost through carelessness. I bought my teen dd some shoes she was really wanting. She wore them maybe twice and then forgot to put them back into her dance bag after a lesson. Of course they never turned up in lost property so she no longer has them and is furious. But not my problem! Maybe next time she’ll learn to be more careful. The same dd then lost her six month old school shoes in a similar way. These are needed for school but I made her pay for a new pair from her own savings.

So natural consequences here, though if they dropped their phone by accident or it stopped working then I’d pay for a repair or look at replacing the item.

#17 Molondy

Posted 27 August 2019 - 09:45 AM

We've been relatively lucky so far. The iPhone screen has been replaced twice at my cost but that was due to accidents. Generally DD is relatively careful with it.

They are both OK with their laptops.

The thing that does my head in is lunchboxes and water bottles. I'm refusing to replace them because losing them is just sheer laziness and carelessness.

#18 Ayr

Posted 27 August 2019 - 09:45 AM

Nope. Luckily never had a lost phone here yet but I wouldn't be replacing it and when I finally did it would be with a super cheap prepaid job until they decided to replace it with a better one themselves.

I don't often replace stuff they lose or break at their hands.

#19 CallMeFeral

Posted 27 August 2019 - 10:09 AM

So many variables.
1) Do they NEED it or is it a luxury? Eg. kids who catch public transport may need a phone, kids in high school may need a laptop. Also depends on level of need - a basic phone might be all they need, so an iphone would not be the replacement
2) Level of their contribution to the loss (and level of effort they have been through trying to regain it)
3) Their ability to save up for replacement (saving up for replacement would generally be my ideal but with high value items and kids who don't work that's hard) - to bring it within realms of acheivable I might pay half
4) How characteristic the behaviour is for them - if they are losing stuff all the time I'd be less likely to pay a portion towards replacement than for a child who is normally responsible and had a brain fart.

Currently if my kids lose their hat or jumper I make them pay for half or all of the replacement (they get an allowance, so it is an acheivable amount for this) unless they haven't lost one for a year or two. Sometimes this makes them ok with getting a second hand one, whereas if I were paying they'd want a new one, sometimes they choose to use their allowance and get a new one. I'd hope to do something similar with electronics but obviously the price levels are different.

#20 amdirel

Posted 27 August 2019 - 12:00 PM

Ok so this is the current situation. Hopefully you all don't think I'm awful for not rushing out to the shops to buy a replacement, but I was just asking for in general as well.

So with the current lost phone, it is my 12yo's. He left it on the train after a day out with his friends for his birthday. He has such poor concentration, I suspect ADHD but psych says looks like purely anxiety. He's been in such a state of panic since then (Sunday evening), crying, and hyperventilating at times, as he uses it to listen to music as a calming strategy, especially whenever he's alone ie in the bathroom, walking to school. He had the day off school yesterday 'sick', but when I spoke to him in the afternoon he agreed it was likely anxiety. In addition to all that, it was a hand me down phone (but still newish) from his dad, who can be a bit of an angry so and so.

So DS actually does have a stash of cash, but he's been saving diligently for 2 whole years to buy a saxophone. 2 years is such a long time for someone so impulsive lol. I know he wouldn't hesitate to pay for a new phone, but he's been saving up so well. The only money he's taken out was for new headphones, for the music.
And anyway, I have to top up whatever he hasn't saved for the saxophone at Christmas,  so at the end of the day, the money for the phone is coming out of my wallet.

So WWYD? Just buy a new one? I also worry if DD loses her phone eventually, will she expect me to buy a new one because I bought DS one?

#21 Daffy2016

Posted 27 August 2019 - 12:20 PM

In that situation, I would probably buy one - maybe a refurbished one - but then create a schedule of jobs or chores around the house to pay it off.

I think if it’s not generally part of an ongoing pattern and he uses it to support his mental health then there’s a bit more leeway.

#22 BECZ

Posted 27 August 2019 - 01:39 PM

Yep, my first thought was him doing extra jobs to pay it off.  Possibly still make him pay half (and earn the other half through jobs) so it doesn't appear to your DD that you bought him a new one.  Like you said, if the money comes out now, it's just more you'll pay at Christmas, but it will appear that he had to help pay the replacement.

#23 SFmummyto3

Posted 27 August 2019 - 03:44 PM

I agree with the PP and would have him do extra jobs around the house. I would sit down with him and draw up a chore chart and stick it on the fridge or similar and he could tick them off as he goes.

I would slightly stretch out the time though for the new replacement and not give it to him straight away. So maybe he gets the phone at the beginning of term 4, not too far away though probably will feel like ages for him. Would find another way in the meantime for him to listen to music.

Edited by SFmummyto3, 27 August 2019 - 03:45 PM.


#24 waawa17

Posted 27 August 2019 - 04:30 PM

 amdirel, on 27 August 2019 - 12:00 PM, said:

Ok so this is the current situation. Hopefully you all don't think I'm awful for not rushing out to the shops to buy a replacement, but I was just asking for in general as well.

So with the current lost phone, it is my 12yo's. He left it on the train after a day out with his friends for his birthday. He has such poor concentration, I suspect ADHD but psych says looks like purely anxiety. He's been in such a state of panic since then (Sunday evening), crying, and hyperventilating at times, as he uses it to listen to music as a calming strategy, especially whenever he's alone ie in the bathroom, walking to school. He had the day off school yesterday 'sick', but when I spoke to him in the afternoon he agreed it was likely anxiety. In addition to all that, it was a hand me down phone (but still newish) from his dad, who can be a bit of an angry so and so.

I wouldn't hesitate to replace that myself. You don't need a super expensive phone to play music and make calls. And have a good talk/brainstorm about phone management while out and about, so he feels empowered to not let it happen again, instead of anxious and out of control. It would be even better if there's a birthday coming up so you could make it a "present" instead? Look into tracking software so you can try to find a lost phone, too. (I'm assuming you've already called the train authority to try to track it down.)

I have strong feelings about punishing kids (I know you're not consciously punishing - this is a more general comment, related to our experiences also) for the effects of their symptoms.

Edited by waawa17, 27 August 2019 - 04:33 PM.


#25 limakilo

Posted 27 August 2019 - 05:29 PM

From what you have listed, I would probably go halves.
He is doing so well saving up, but that is a seperate thing.

Does it have all the things set up on it to help you find it easily?
Find my iPhone etc, the emergency contact set up as you so someone can call you if they find it etc?

Have you helped him call the transit authority to see if they have found it?

DSD has had a phone since about 12, and it's a necessity from when she was going between two houses.
We had a few rules, it had to have a hard screen protector, and always have a good case on it, and find my iPhone set up.

Twice she broke the screen though dropping it, and it still broke, we paid for the screen to get fixed.
She got a casual job from 14 onwards. The rules still applied.
She has never had a new phone, it's been a free hand me down from us.
The last phone was my old one, and I wanted to sell it, so she bought it, and even then the rules applied. Now if she breaks it or loses it, she has to pay for it.




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