Responsible parents

I have a general rule: when a child destroys school property, they need to replace it. Now, I of course have lots of flexibility in this rule. If it was accidental, if this child doesn't typically destroy things, and if the child was only a victim of circumstance (i.e. the pages in the book are already falling out). When a child's behaviors begin to escalate on a regular basis, I typically give the parent(s) a warning: If this continues, we will hold you financially responsible for what s/he has destroyed. This usually gets the parent's attention and they begin to cooperate with us in making a plan to improve the child's behavior.
Yesterday, we had a child tear a book apart...literally. This child is having some problems at home, but not too many at school, so I was ready to look the other way, in a sense. He owned up to it; and when dad came to pick him up he was the one who told his dad what had happened. Of course dad was upset that his child had done this.
Today dad came into my office with his wallet out, "How much did that book cost that he tore apart." I told him not to worry about it this time. We are all working together to help his child through some problems and that's all that matters. Dad was insistent that he pay for the book. I suggested that he take his son to the store and have him buy a book for the center, making sure that he knew that this was because of the book that he destroyed. Dad thought it was a great idea and promised to take him to the store tonight to do just that.
Then the light really went on:
"I'll take it out of his money, too."
That is a fabulous, no perfect, plan. The more responsibility this child has to take in righting his wrongs, the better he will learn. Needless to say, the child was very upset when he found out that he was going to have to use his own money to replace the book he destroyed.
I have to give big credit to this father. He is a single dad trying to do the best in raising his son. The child's mother is a drug addict and never around. He is trying hard to do this on his own; it's not easy. But to take the responsibility to replace the book...Huge points in my book! There are parents whose child has destroyed 2-3 books a day and I can't get them to replace one.

Do you have any parents that you give big credit for doing the right thing?

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