I got home from work last night to a nice little surprise. My oldest son who's 11 had something to tell me. His 4 week only Nike gym shoes were missing from his locker. Ouch. After playing detective with him for a few minutes we come to the conclusion that he may or may not have put them back into his gym locker after class on Monday. He checked the lost and found with no luck. He also spoke with his gym teacher, who suggested he check the lost and found. I was upset with the fact that a new $50 pair of running sneakers just went out the window. After thinking about it for awhile I recalled my time in middle school and leaving a jacket in the locker room which was never to be seen again. My parents didn't get mad at me they used it as a teachable moment to remind me to be responsible for my things. I never left things behind again.
I spoke with my son again and explained that I wasn't mad at him, that he needed to take care of his stuff. Mistakes will happen and material items can be replaced, but when he is at school he and only he can control what happens to his things. I'm not there to help him. He understood and will be wearing his old pair of sneakers for the time being, until a new pair can be worked into the budget. A nice little reminder that my wife and I still have a lot to teach our children about, and real life examples like losing a pair of shoe is a great why to do it.
How do you handle losing items of value?