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Who pays for damage?

(25 Posts)
apricot Thu 20-Feb-14 18:11:01

I've looked after grandchildren for their working parents for 15 years. Very few things have ever been broken and I'd never tell off a child for an accidental smash but I think the parents should offer to pay.
When little grandchild picked half the keys off my laptop my daughter said, "Well we can't afford to have it repaired". Neither could I.
What have others done when grandchildren break something expensive?

rosesarered Thu 20-Feb-14 18:20:15

It hasn't happened [yet!] It would depend how expensive, some things are insured for accidental damage. If it was less than the insured excess, we would pay for it ourselves, although it's nice if the parents do offer.We try to put things away when they come, but obviously you can't put everything away.

D0LLIE Thu 20-Feb-14 18:23:44

Its never happened in all the years ive cared for my grankids ive always made sure that anything valuable or breakable is put away before they arrived...

ninathenana Thu 20-Feb-14 19:31:27

I think DD would offer but I wouldn't accept as I know her and SiL aren't well off.
Not happened yet.

Neeny Thu 20-Feb-14 19:41:02

Thank goodness it's never happened yet although last week one of my DGDs nearly knocked over a precious framed photograph of DH's Dad. The photo has sat there for years undamaged. As it teetered for what seemed ages I just had to pray it would right itself.......and it did. Panic over.

If the worst had happened I think like nina my DSs would offer but I don't think I would be able to accept. smile.

mollie Thu 20-Feb-14 20:15:36

How on earth did that happen apricot? If it helps you can buy replacement keys through ebay for very little - my mum had to replace a couple of keys and they arrived very quickly from Romania (!!?!) for just something like 50p per key plus p&p and they were perfect.

tanith Thu 20-Feb-14 22:18:24

I too would make sure the child didn't have access to a laptop, was the child too small to realise what he/she were doing? I think that the parents would offer to pay but I would not accept as I would feel that I had the responsibility for the child and should maybe of been more watchful.

Penstemmon Thu 20-Feb-14 22:36:06

Oh a tricky issue! There have been one or two minor breakages over the last 8 years but nothing more than expected wear and tear with youngsters in the house.

If the child had deliberately smashed the PC in a temper I think I would expect an offer from parents towards the cost. If however it was not malicious and the child was in my care I guess I would think it was partly my responsibility for not supervising more closely! How old is the child? that might make a difference!

merlotgran Thu 20-Feb-14 22:42:01

DGS3 kicked a football through the kitchen window shock DD immediately offered to pay but his tears melted my heart.

They know they're on safe ground when I say, 'These things happen' smile

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 20-Feb-14 22:54:30

merlot smile

whenim64 Thu 20-Feb-14 23:03:25

Some children are naturally that bit more boisterous but I would blame myself for leaving things around that would cause some upset or be expensive to replace/repair if they broke. My grandsons are like bulls in a china shop, so I'm more cautious when they're around, but the other grandchildren don't tend to damage anything. However, if they did break something expensive, I would hope an offer would be made to pay, including some pennies from their money boxes. (I probably wouldn't hold them to it - except for the token money box contribution).

annodomini Thu 20-Feb-14 23:58:23

My youngest GS is a the most destructive of my GC and has caused considerable damage to the family's laptop - not mine - which my DS had some kind of insurance on; he had worked for the company he bought it from. Fortunately it was covered.
They were also covered for the very bad damage the two of them caused when they decided to play in the bath one day and allowed it to overflow - into the hall, necessitating re-plastering of the ceiling and total re-decoration. Their cousins are nothing like as destructive!

absent Fri 21-Feb-14 00:02:21

I attempt to keep breakables, especially treasured ones, out of the way. Otherwise I am just inclined to think "s**t happens".

harrigran Fri 21-Feb-14 00:20:36

I would pay for damage myself, if GC are in my care then I should supervise them. GDs are told if something is precious and they haven't damaged anything in my house.

Agus Fri 21-Feb-14 01:07:08

Merlot that reminds me of the day I discovered DGDs kicking a plastic ball in the kitchen. When I firmly told them that balls were not allowed in the house, DH quickly sat down and crossed his legs. The girls had no idea what the adults found so funny!

DGDs have never damaged anything but if they are in my house under my care I always keep an eye on what they are up to. In my house it is my responsibility how they behave so wouldn't expect DD to pay for any damage that may happen if she is not here to oversee her DDs behaviour.

apricot Fri 21-Feb-14 18:07:22

I do put breakables away but 3 year old was watching children's programme on my laptop (I have no TV) and baby sister attacked while I was getting them tea.
I just thought my daughter could have offered to get it fixed. I can't replace the keys as the tiny clips are broken.

Bernie46 Fri 21-Feb-14 19:27:29

Shouldn't the insurance cover it? If not, I dont think you're being unreasonable. They should pay for it!

whitewave Fri 21-Feb-14 19:32:39

Honestly - I wouldn't mention it at all. I think that when I look after my grandchildren they are my responsibility and anything that happens during that time is also my responsibility. My daughter cannot be expected cough up for something she had no control over, and I wouldn't want to make her feel uncomfortable over it.

Agus Fri 21-Feb-14 19:37:31

Spoke too soon. Just noticed 'someone' has written at the side of the bookcase. Small writing, fortunately done by washable felt tip. No need to find out who the culprit was.......she wrote her name! grin done by 4yr old GD who has now mastered writing her name neatly.

seaspirit Fri 21-Feb-14 19:40:34

never happened, they were taught what they were and were not allowed to do/touch , kids are a lot more intelligent then people give them credit for and a 18/24 month old knows if they have always been told, you just have to be consistent

dogsdinner Fri 21-Feb-14 20:58:18

Sadly children break stuff, accidents happen. When I found a drawing in lipstick on my bedroom wall it was me who repainted the wall not my daughter, damage done when I was in charge not daughter. I feel for you though, hope it doesn't harm family relationships.

Caramac Fri 21-Feb-14 21:17:50

Hmmm, my DGC tend to be pretty good whilst in my care but hard graft when DD's are present - they revert to childhood and I seem to be the only adult trying to prevent drinks in open cups in lounge, jumping on new (fairly expensive) sofas etc etc. After a very hectic half term I shall be glad to return to working with naughty teenagers next week.
I think damage done by DGC should be paid for by DC but as others have said, their finances are pretty dire so I shut up and sort out but fortunately nothing too bad has happened so far.

lifecycle Fri 28-Feb-14 11:44:48

We are 'Sharing Carers' for children with special needs including some with so-called challenging behaviour but any damage is covered by our normal buildings & contents insurance, we checked that at the outset. But in five years no real damage has been done as we remove things of value, sentimental or monetary, before children visit. Accidents happen but children also need to learn boundaries and to take care of things so as we get to know a child, the more risks we take. I wouldn't expect the child's parents, or our grandchild's parents, to pay for any damage if I am looking after them. It's tough though if you are not insured, which I assume you may not be apricot, and neither party can afford the repair - especially as in 15 years you'll have saved the parents the cost of dozens of laptops in saved childcare fees.

By the way, you can get replacement clips for the keys as well as the keys themselves very cheaply so if that is all the damage there is, it shouldn't be a big deal.

My main fear is always children coming to harm in my house rather than the other way round!

janerowena Fri 28-Feb-14 12:07:29

Apricot, your daughter could buy you a replacement keyboard very cheaply. If you are looking after her children, I doubt very much that you are receiving anything like what a nursery would charge her, and I bet £12 from Argos wouldn't break her budget. Suggest that she buys you a new keyboard for Mother's day and then maybe she will think twice. If she doesn't - then get a new daughter.

gettingonabit Fri 28-Feb-14 12:19:18

Your daughter should at least offer to pay, regardless of whether said item is insured or you can afford to repair it.

You are already doing your dd a massive favour by looking after her gc thus enabling her to work.

I would be mortified if my dd or gc damaged something whilst in the care of another person and I wouldn't hesitate to offer to pay.