8 Ways to Keep Kids from Breaking Your Valuables!

Baby sitting up holding cell phone to one ear and using other hand to touch laptop keyboard.

For Christmas I got a Fossil Sport Watch, which I love. It’s a pretty rose gold color and my husband got me a pretty metal band to go with it. It helps me keep track of appointments, text messages, phone calls, fitness, etc.  This watch has to be charged once a day and for some reason my sweet little barely 1-year old loves to try to get it whenever I take it off.

Sometimes I let it charge in the living room where I can keep an eye on it and not forget about it. One day I did that and I left the room for 5 minutes. I thought, “It will be fine, even if the baby got my watch, she won’t hurt it.” That was not the case!

My husband was in there also but didn’t see our 1-year-old grab my watch.

Next thing I know my 7-year-old is calling me telling me the baby has the watch. I ran to get it but it was too late. Somehow, she had broken the side off my watch. I have no clue how. I wasn’t upset at her or anything. After all, she is a baby. A very sweet little baby! We tried to glue it back together but that didn’t work.

 So, we sent it into fossil to get fixed, and luckily it was covered under warranty! They either fixed it or they sent me a new one with no problems!

I was so thankful!

I, also, have learned my lesson from several experiences to keep kids from breaking our valuables, or at least minimize the chance. And to keep our things better protected from my curious children.

That is just where they are at developmentally. One year old are just curious about the world. They want to do what we do and play with our things. They love to try to get our keys and phones. Play phones and play keys are just not as good. It seems like babies know the difference and they want the real deal if they can get them.

Babies are learning and observing their environment. Even older kids still love to do what their parents are doing.

My oldest daughter loves to get into my jewelry and wear it. One time she even wore a necklace of mine to school. She claimed it as hers because she found the chain that goes with it. I told her “it doesn’t work like that. I’m glad you enjoyed wearing it to school but it is one of my favorite necklaces and I want it back. Maybe you can borrow it sometimes if you ask”. She was seven.

My three-year-old daughter also loves dressing up in my jewelry and wearing my shoes around the house. My 5-year-old son loves to get into his dad’s tools, mainly his tape measure.

Children have such curious minds, which is such a good thing. However, it is also good to protect things important to us that are easily broken and let the kids explore other things, like the outdoors or helping us build something, helping to cook, or even doing a science project with them.

So now I take certain steps to protect the things that I don’t want my kids playing with.

Here are 8 ways to keep kids from breaking your valuables!

  1. I don’t keep things that are valuable to me where they can reach. Don’t assume they won’t touch it or get to it. They will at some point. It is human nature for a baby. They love to play with their parents’ things and anything they are not supposed to play with.
  2. Make sure the item has protective coverings if needed. For my fossil watch and my phone, I have a clear glass cover on the screen so if it falls and gets a crack, only the protective glass is damaged. Then I can just take it off and put on a new protector. I also have a case for my phone and a case for my watch, though I don’t always use the watch case, it can make it a little bulky looking. But it can be fun also. My husband likes to try out different watch cover colors. So, one week his watch is blue, then another week red. It is fun.
  3. Tell your kids not to touch. Even the baby, they can understand a lot. Even if they are likely to touch anyway. Kids need to be told constantly. We have decorative vases in our living room by the fireplace. At the beginning we had to be very clear about not touching. We had to repeat it a lot at the beginning, especially to the baby and toddler. Now, I just have to remind them once in a while. I don’t even know the last time I had to remind them. It might have been like a month ago or longer. 
  4. Realize if you do leave it out, it is as much your fault as theirs that it is ruined. In the case of a baby, you can’t blame them at all. Even toddlers and older children don’t think like we do. So, you can’t get too mad. They are learning and exploring and get into everything.
  5. Explain to older kids why something is important. Tell them to ask you first if they have some fun ideas that they want to do with the item and then talk about whether it would be a good idea or not.
  6. Pay attention. For instance, if you are letting a kid use an item, like a tablet, stay in the same room as them and watch them. Your three-year-old might be watching an educational show and then why you are not looking, she might decide to give the tablet a bath in the sink and clean it for you. Trust me, it can happen. Stay in the same room.
  7. Teach them. Teach them to value of being respectful towards our own things and others. Teach them the value of an item. Whether sentimental or monetary. Both are good to talk about.
  8. Put things away right away. Don’t put them down for a moment. It will help keep the house looking cleaner and your sweet baby or child will be less likely to grab it. We all know if they grab car keys or something like that, they could be gone for good. I hang up my car keys right away. I try to keep my phone in my pocket. One time, I didn’t do that and I found my phone in the trashcan. My oldest had thrown it away when she was two. Luckily, I called it and heard it in the kitchen trashcan.  I’m better about putting away the keys, not as good about keeping my cell phone in my pocket or on the charger when I’m not using it.

Remember, our children are so sweet and learning so much about the world. They do not always understand the consequences or why something would be a bad idea. In their head, a younger child thinks they are being helpful when washing a tablet off. Or they just might think it is fun. They don’t understand how that can damage an item.

It is our job as parents to be proactive and put things away and it is also our job to teach them. To help them learn what the consequences could be for certain actions. We should be teaching them and giving them warnings in advance. We need to explain why we need to be careful with things and even how easy things can break by doing things they might think is fine.

Following these steps has helped me keep kids from breaking our valuables. Comment on what you do to keep breakable things away from your children or what the most expensive thing your child has broken is.

Baby sitting up holding cell phone to one ear and using other hand to touch laptop keyboard.

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