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How would you handle it?

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  • How would you handle it?

    This might come as a huge surprise to you, but our family is not perfect! The only perfect one, of course, is yours truly. Here's the problem, and I'm sure I'm not the only one with it. I have quite a few tools, and my kids borrow some of them from time to time. Problem is, they forget to return them. Then I forget who had them . I had a post hole digger that I loaned one of my kids. It didn't come back, and when I needed it, nobody remembered borrowing it. So now I have to buy another one, or borrow one myself. Two weeks ago, one of my boys wanted to borrow my conduit benders. I told him of the problem, and he guaranteed that he would have it back to me in a day or two. I still don't have it. Last Sunday, the same boy wanted to borrow my digital camera for a couple of days. I jokingly told him to write me a check for $700.00, and if the camera wasn't returned, I would cash the check. Well, he took the camera, and he still has it along with my conduit benders. I'm seriously thinking that holding the check idea might not be a bad one. I'm kind of hard-headed, and if I did hold a check, and the item was not back when it was supposed to be, I would cash the check. How would you handle it?


  • #2
    Interesting approach Ed. I kind of like it.

    In the military we had to fill out forms for pricey items. If the item was lost or damaged it was our responsibility and we had to pay accordingly depending on the circumstances in which it happened. Typically depreciation was also applied to an item appropriately so you didn’t have to pay the full price unless it was still new. Also by signing a form you would know which kid had which item (grin).

    You could also make a rental style contract…if not return by such and such date….X dollars a day late fee. I think you are in the right, especially if you had to keep buying new items to replace the ones that never found their way back.

    I think the key would be to use that humor of yours and make the contract entertaining, but at the same time get your point across...and of course PhotoShop should be involved. Good luck!



    • #3
      I don't think that would be unreasonable at all, Ed. I once asked a friend if I could borrow his cam-corder for a special event. And before he even put it in my hands, he made sure I knew I would be responsible for replacing it if anything should happen to it. And that's only fair.

      I think you should expect that your children will respect your property and that they will return or replace any borrowed items. Holding a check sounds like a great idea...

      If your kids are anything like some I've seen (hopefully not), you might make that a cashier's check...

      Maybe you should present a bill to the one who still has your camera and post hole digger...


      • #4
        Had the same problem, Ed. I would loan out my things to my kids and either they were not returned , were lost or were returned damaged.
        I finally hit on a simple solution...I simply say "No...every time I loan you something it gets lost, damaged or I have to constantly ask you to bring it back. You dont seem to value my stuff, you dont honor your word to me, so you cant use it."
        There were some hurt feelings, but they passed. I look at it this way, I spent years aquiring tools etc. and being a Parent does not have in the job description the necessity of allowing my things to be abused, damaged or lost. If there is no respect shown as regards honoring a promise to return something in a timely manner and in good shape ( barring the unavoidable of course), then that individual looses the right to use my stuff. Period. Allowing the sort of thing you describe to go on unchecked, simply enables the individual to continue in irresponsible activity and does not serve any useful purpose.
        Would they do the same with equipment they rented? I dont think so! Just my hard nosed opinion, thought....Tom


        • #5
          You seem to care for your children and are willing to share your "wealth" with them, and that is as it should be.

          Somewhere along the line they have gotten the idea that you do this because they deserve it instead of because you love them. Something written in this regard, including the reason(s) that you are willing to loan in the first place as well as the fact that the same consideration should be extended back to you (for they are YOUR tools), does not seem undue.

          I would make them read such a missive to me, and then sign and date. If they live close enough to borrow from you, then you can go to where they are in a reasonable length of time and "borrow" your tools back from them.

          You never stop teaching your children, and they always act like kids with you no matter their age.


          • #6
            Take a truck over to their houses and "borrow" a few things of theirs...TV, VCR...large appliances. Tell them that the items will be held until you get your "borrowed" items back. All your tools should reappear in no time!

            Taking tools is one thing, but now they have the digital camera...that means WAR Ed!!


            • #7
              Some good food for thought in this thread! My kids aren't all like that. I actually have some who *do* return things, and in good shape too.


              I told the one who borrowed my camera that if he didn't get it back when he should, he wouldn't get anything from me again. I have a hard time saying "No", but I'm really thinking about the check option. I might even be able to make a buck that way! No depreciation allowed!



              • #8
                The check option could be a good way to go...either the tools.etc., come back on time or check gets cashed...also might work just as good as saying "No" if cooperation with providing "security" is objected security borrowing. Pretty slick idea!!!.....Tom


                • #9
                  Well my case is different.... It was my tools.... and my Son was younger..
                  started losing some.. and thought about not allowing him to use them...
                  Then I realized it was the price I'd have to pay to allow him to explore mechanics...
                  and actually got some useful repairs out of him in time...

                  Still..... when I reach for a missing socket or another commonly used tool....
                  ah! well one of these days I'll remember the needed sizes while in the tool dept.

                  in the mean time... lets see is it 5/8 that's the same as a 14mm ..


                  • #10
                    Either 5/8 or 9/16 I think. Probably 5/8.



                    • #11
                      I agree with you, Ed. Kids have a hard time returning things.


                      Ah, by the way, if somone returns the post hole digger can I borrow it? My neighbor came and took his back.


                      • #12
                        Good news / bad news Bob. No posthole digger, but my camera and conduit benders found their way home about a half hour ago! Life is once again good.



                        • #13
                          Hmmmm.... Half an hour ago, huh?

                          Are your kids sneaking in here and reading your posts???


                          • #14
                            I didn't even consider that! Actually he needed a favor, and probably didn't think I would be up for it without my things coming back.



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