What should be the punishment for breaking a window accidentally?


I have two twin boys, both aged 15. My wife and I both agree that the right way to parent is to spank when necessary with the rod. Recently they have been getting into a lot of trouble together, and yesterday they broke a window (whilst playing ball inside -- forbidden in the house anyway) then subsequently lied about it several times. For this, they will receive spankings, but it's been a while since they've been spanked. Should I use a switch?

Also, I was thinking of spanking them with both of them present in the room. I figure if they're so keen to get into trouble together they can take their punishment together.

Please give me guidance on this matter.


Personally, I would not spank a child for accidents, even when those accidents came about because of disobeying rules. While spanking is an effective tool in disciplining a child, it is just one of many. Overusing it reduces its impact. Spanking, especially for older children, should be reserved for violence, willful disobedience, and for those few situations where no other obvious means of punishment is available.

In this particular case, the boys should pay for the replacement of the window from their own funds. If they do not have the funds, line up a set of tasks for them to work off the cost of replacing the window. Estimate the number of hours a person could reasonably accomplish the task, divide it by the minimum wage, and then use the figures to estimate how many tasks need to be accomplished. This will help the boys to learn the value of money and property, complex tasks will enhance their skills, and it will give them a productive outlet for their excess energy. Since they lied about what they did, I would double the amount that they owe. Make sure that they understand this is the consequence of their lying.

Give them a reasonable time-frame to complete the tasks. Remember that they still need to get school work done and allow them a little bit of leisure time, but make sure that it is only a small amount. The inability to do as they please for the next several weeks will also serve as punishment.

Reserve any spanking for cases when a child refuses to carry out his tasks. The spanking would be done solely for the willful refusal, but it would not replace the need to complete the assigned tasks.

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