Since having kids, I have gone on play dates. Lots of them. They're fun, most of the time. Lots of women talking and kids playing. I usually end up with two pretty tuckered out children, who don't complain about an afternoon nap. (And I didn't have to do all the work, for once, of wearing them out!) I love this!
But occasionally, not all play dates go super smooth. Once in awhile, a toy will break. (Usually it isn't a household item that breaks, but never rule this out either!)
What do you do?
Most toys aren't built today the way they used to be. (Sounds kind of like someone talking about cars being built out of more plastic than steel right? Pretty much the same concept.) There are a hand full of toys in our house that aren't made of plastic. These, of course, will probably last forever. These, also, don't get played with as much.
Anyway, so it's bound to happen that something will inevitably get destroyed. At our home it's usually no big deal. We throw it away when no one is looking (if it's beyond repair), and go on about the day. Unless it's a toy dirt bike, then we're in trouble.
What do you do with a broken toy?
We don't bring toys with us to other people's houses. Probably because I'm already toting so much stuff, but also because it's a pain. I'm really hoping the kids will play together, as opposed to play with stuff in separate corners, giving them the 'socialization' they need.
But, if while at that house, a toy does get broken...what happens?
I think most people usually say it's OK, and that it isn't such a big deal. But, do you hold your children, if they're older, a little more responsible, and replace the toy? What if it's a joint action in destruction of the toy? Do you pay for part of it?
I think it all depends on the situation. I've heard a lot of talk about teaching empathy to children, being very crucial for development. I think this might be a good way to help your children understand this. Maybe even help you understand it a little. Or, maybe it is just polite social etiquette. (Or, I'm just old fashioned and out of date.)
If a toy gets broken, there isn't anything wrong with that. But, it does show caring and concern for some one else's feelings, when you go to replace it, or pay for part of it. Making the kids understand that it might make their friend sad, to not have their special toy anymore, and that you want to help them get it back.
I'm sure with really close good friends, you'll understand the situation, immediately when it happens, and know what to do. But, what if it's a little bit of a newer play date situation?
I guess I'm one of those people that likes to err, on the side of caution. I'd rather be the person that did something they didn't have to do, than, be the person who didn't do anything. If it were one of my kids special toys, I'd probably hope that it wouldn't just be left up to me to replace it.
Have any of you had any experience with this? Good or Bad? I'd love to hear how you've handled any situations!
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