BJ'S BLOG 04/22/14 "You Broke My Laptop!"
Come on in, gang! It’s time for some Group Therapy!
We heard from Glenn, who needs some advice about his damaged laptop. This isn’t a tech support situation, however…
Glenn’s 9-year-old son knows that his dad’s home office is completely off-limits, but he still goes in from time to time. During a recent rule-breaking visit, the son’s friend spilled juice on Glenn’s laptop, completely ruining it.
The kid’s parents have only forced him to apologize, but Glenn is wondering if he should ask them to replace his laptop. Glenn says that the neighborhood kids are also fully aware of the rules, and should know that his office is a “no-play zone,” so it’s not like his son’s friend was completely oblivious to the house rules.
Back in the day, this wouldn’t have been a question. The parents would step up and replace whatever their kid ruined, intentionally or accidentally. That’s just how things worked then, but we certainly live in a different age now.
I’ve seen my own son (and his friend, whom we call “Coke Can Boy”) damage someone else’s property -- in a very nice home with expensive contents -- but the “victim” dismissed my offer to pay for it. I was sincere about doing the right thing, but I will admit that I was a little relieved that I wasn’t on the financial hook for the incident.
There is a line of thinking that says you can’t really blame the neighbor kid if your own child broke the rules by allowing access into the office in the first place, but Glenn did specify that the other kids are aware of the rule. It’s a tricky situation, to say the least. I also can’t help wondering why a 9-year-old and his buddy were unsupervised long enough to enter an office and spill juice on a laptop, but that may be a completely different Group Therapy session in itself.
Has this happened to you, Rock-A-Holics? How did you deal with it?
On the other side of the coin, have you been the parent whose kid ruined someone else’s property? Did you step up and at least offer to pay for the damage?