Broken Screens, Broken Dreams


Kids have gadgets. It’s just the way things go now. They bring their “i-Things” to school to do research, manage their calendars, connect with friends – it’s a way of life. Even very young kids are bringing gadgets to school, which begs the inevitable question – who is responsible for replacing or fixing these gadgets when they get broken? Because they WILL get broken.

Consider these real life scenarios that happen regularly:

  • Teacher collects all the kids’ gadgets. Teacher drops kid’s gadget and it breaks. School takes stance that kids bring gadgets to school at own risk so are required to pay for damages. Agree or disagree?
  • Friend picks up another friend’s gadget off her desk and drops it face down. Screen breaks. Who covers cost?

We recently had an incident at our house where a little friend broke a new toy one of my kid’s got for his birthday. The child felt terrible and it was an accident. I assured him it was totally OK and that accidents happen. Regardless, the child went home and reported the accident to his parents. The child and his father went to the mall and the child bought a replacement toy with his own money and dropped it off to my son.

I assured the father that it was completely unnecessary. The father argued that you cannot put a price on a good life lesson. He wanted to remind his son about taking responsibility.

Accidents do happen, but someone has to take responsibility. What is the solution to a broken screen? Who pays? If the school policy is “bring at your own risk”, should the owner of the gadget pay for it? But what message does this send to the child who breaks it?

Have you had a broken screen situation in your house?

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Author: Julie Cole

Julie Cole is the co-founding vice-president of award-winning children's label manufacturer Mabel’s Labels. She has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition and win countless entrepreneur awards. Cole is a regular television contributor, an influential and syndicated blogger and a mother of six. Follow her on twitter @juliecole and Instagram @cole.julie

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