It’s OK, people matter much more than things
Hurting children is rarely a helpful way to teach them. Our children learn lessons best when we take time to teach them.
Perhaps Chad might point out what happened and ask his son how the neighbour would feel with a ruined computer. He could teach empathy.
He could also invite his son to describe more appropriate items to use as skateboards in the house.
If our child broke something or disrespected property, our response will be most effective when we: see the issue as a chance to connect; understand rather than reprimand; encourage our child to consider how their choices have affected others and invite our child to identify ways to make things right (which should be based on their ability to make restitution).
How often do we, as parents, become angry at the cup of spilt drink, the broken toy, the Textra scrawled along the wall, carpet, or lounge suite, or even some of the more costly things our children ruin?
Fortunately Chad was gentle with his son. When he explained the problem to the little boy, he could see he felt both terrible and remorseful.
Then Chad and his little boy came clean to their neighbour. After explaining what had happened he was surprised to hear his neighbour respond: “Chad, it’s OK. People matter more than things.”
What a great lesson from a wise neighbour. He added: “I hope you didn’t get mad at your son. He’s just three.
“He didn’t know how serious what he was doing was.”