I have written many times about financial lessons and my children…How the Kids are Involved and Helping Kids Manage Money are just a couple of them. But now we are dealing with a new situation and I’d like your opinion.
Last spring, History Buff saved up enough money and bought himself a smartphone and has paid the data fee associated with it ($30 per month.) At the time of purchase, he also bought a good, name brand protective case. He ended up taking the case off the phone because it made the phone too bulky in his pocket.
Over the last months I have seen him on several occasions, make the statement of how the phone is “shatter resistant” or “shatter proof” and then drop it on softer surfaces to make his point. Multiple times, I told him this wasn’t a good idea AND that it would be wiser to keep the case on it.
At homeschool co op a couple of weeks ago, evidently, History Buff was doing the same show I had seen several times. And a girl seeing this either knocked the phone from his hand or he handed it to her and she dropped it as well. He claims the former, but the girl’s mom claims she saw the incident and that it was the latter. I tend to believe my son is telling the truth.
When it happened, he called me crying. I had two gut reactions: anger that this happened and what I see clearly at his part in it (not having the case on and his ‘demoing’ the shatter proof) and sadness that I was not in a position to financially fix it for him.
I waited a couple of weeks hoping the girl’s parents would reach out to take responsibility or at least partial responsibility. But I/we hear nothing. I called the mom and she essentially said History Buff was lying about his version of the story and thus her daughter was not at fault.
I didn’t have a clue what to do. I was torn between defending my son whom I believe and calling another parent/adult a liar. So I called the administrator of the co op and asked for her input. She called a couple of witnesses without speaking to my son and they compared their versions with what History Buff told her and there was no variation. She is going to follow up with the other parent.
So Who Should Pay
Should History Buff bear the cost of repair/replacement alone? Should the other student bear it alone? Or should it be split? Or ???
I voiced my opinion to the administrator that I felt that History Buff’s actions which I have witnessed in the past set a bad precedent and having the case off was irresponsible. So I believe him to be at least partially responsible.
As soon as I said that, the administrator said “no, this is not his fault.” We are great friends and I respect her opinion and view on the matter. So we agree to disagree.
My sister had an old phone that she is letting History Buff borrow until he can save the money to get his fixed. We are still awaiting feedback from the other family, but I do not think I will pursue it further. I just don’t want any bad blood in our tight knit homeschool community.
But am I doing a disservice to History Buff by not pursuing his side further and just letting it drop? I value his honesty and want to reward that and I don’t want him to think I don’t have his back in these types of situations. So what are your thoughts?