My daughter “Jane” 16y.o has about $2800 in savings. She got the money from saving up the allowance, running errands, and selling homemade jewelry. She treasures her money a lot.
Yesterday, my son Jon (M10) told me that Jane paid her friend to tear up his painting. He loves art and has been working on a painting of a winter landscape. The worst thing is that the painting was supposed to be for Jane (for her Christmas present).
He was so upset, and obviously, I was furious. I demanded an explanation from Jane, and she said “It was supposed to be for a reaction video…” I told her I didn’t care, it was a horrible thing to do. She argued again and again that it was just for fun. Jon said it wasn’t funny and was visibly hurt.
Eventually, Jane gave a half-hearted apology. I told her that she wasn’t sorry, the apology meant nothing. So, as a punishment – I told her I was going to take away all her money until I felt she deserved it again. I would also never give her allowance again.
She looked stunned and started getting hysterical. She said that was her hard-earned money, she worked for it so hard and now I was taking it away. “All for a silly thing!” was what Jane said. She started crying that she was going shopping with her friends next weekend, and now she would have no money. She stormed out tearfully and locked herself in her bedroom.
Jon agreed with what I did, but he said I should give it back to her when she apologises properly. I feel it’s too lenient. He’s already ready to paint another landscape for her if she apologizes.
My husband is totally horrified with my decision and said it was unfair to Jane. He said I should just ground her for a month. He thinks I’m being an A-Hole (and of course so does Jane). So is my punishment too harsh?
Here is what netizens thinks:
- Withholding her allowance until you’re able to pay the damages out of it if she won’t step up and do it herself is entirely reasonable. Seizing money she’s earned without any involvement from you is not.
- Tearing his painting in front of him to capture his reaction is downright mean. But your reaction was out of line. The punishment didn’t suit the crime. Confiscating her money for an unknown amount of time is outright preposterous. She needs it and it’s hers.
- It’s not about the punishment fitting the crime. It’s about the punishment getting through to the child that committed the crime.