Children Break Things and Shred Money

October 17, 2018

Photo by BRRT on Pixabay


During the last couple weeks, I've seen numerous posts of a CNN article about a toddler who shredded $1,060. In short, the parents, Ben and Jackee Belnap, had been saving money to pay back the purchase of football tickets but discovered that their darling boy, in imitation of what he'd seen his mother do with junk mail, shredded their stash.


After reading the story, I could only imagine the horror and hand wringing that must have ensued. I was impressed that the couple reacted without committing one or another crime. But now I find that I'm not really sure why it's news that a child dispensed with the hard-earned savings of his parents. What child has not casually reduced his or her parents' net worth?


Certainly, my own children haven't hesitated to throw my money away. They've merely employed a less direct approach. Like the time my oldest snapped the DVD tray off of my friends' daughter's deluxe Disney princess television set. Or like the time three of my children pushed our air conditioning unit out the second-story window. Or what about the total cost of all the broken dishes together with every new roll of toilet paper that's been crammed into the toilet?


Those are just the examples I can think of off the top of my head. And each instance was the equivalent of sticking a stack of greenbacks into the shredder. Did anybody cover my stories in the news? Nope.


At least the Belnaps are able to send their shredded bills to the US Department of Treasury Mutilated Currency Division. Can I send in the boxes of broken Christmas ornaments? My food-stained ties? The many pounds of food storage that were decimated after my little ones let their pet mice loose in our basement to mate until the end of time?


As far as I'm concerned, the Belnaps got off easy with their $1,060 loss. The real news is when your child isn't shredding money.

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