My grandson breaks things in our home….

by Rod Smith

Fortify your boundaries and stay out of control

Clarify what you expect in your own home

“My grandson (7) has broken numerous electrical and other items whilst visiting at our home. My daughter and son-in-law think it is okay not to offer to compensate or repair the items. When I ask them what they intend to do about my damaged goods they are silent. I believe the father needs to set the example by attempting to repair the items. That way the boy learns by example. He learns that if we break other people’s item, then we are responsible for fixing them or making good.”

1. Supervise the child – this matter is about the adults, not the child. You, the grandparent, are empowered to make his visits a joy.
2. Gather old irons and toasters for the boy to work on while at your home.
3. Get him a set of tools to keep at your home.
4. Sit with the boy and request he teach you how things work as he dismantles used electrical items you have collected and set aside for him.
5. Place his usual targets, your valued items, out of his sight for a short time.
6. Pack everything already broken in a box and ask the family (as a group) what it intends to do to repair the damages.
7. Be prepared for some conflict as you articulate your expectations for what occurs in your home. Your intent appears to include “fixing” something about your son-in-law. Quit it. Focus on creating a fabulous (real, forthright, fun, flexible, and fascinating) experience for your grandchild every time he walks through your door.

One Comment to “My grandson breaks things in our home….”

  1. They could try this too – when they come to visit, go outdoors and do something together as a family that involves physical activity. Hikes, walks, swims, etc. This allows the grandson to release his pent up energy in healthier and less costly ways, and allows a natural bond to form within the family. A family that does (physical) things together, stays together. Watching the TV together doesn’t count.

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