Children are notoriously clumsy. It’s not their fault, really—their bodies are still developing, and their motor control isn’t nearly what it will be when they are adults. There are some moments, though, when it can be hard for parents to really understand that fact. If you catch your child in one of those incredibly clumsy moments, you’ll want to keep calm and take a few simple steps to move forward.

Take a Deep Breath

The first, and maybe most important, step for any parent to take after a big accident is to take a deep breath. There is a very natural tendency on the part of adults to freak out when an accident occurs, especially one that could end up being expensive. However, yelling and potentially scaring your child isn’t going to fix the situation. Take a moment to compose yourself, if possible, and then get to work fixing the problem.

Assess the Situation

What exactly happened? First and foremost, make sure that your child is okay. Then, take the steps necessary to figure out what’s going on. What did your child do? Did anyone else get hurt? Did anything get broken? What’s the fallout look like right now? You need to gather as much data as possible to make the right choices going forward.

Address the Cause

So, why did the accident happen? Sometimes the accidents occur because of something that parents could have prevented, while other times they really do occur because a child was clumsy or because they just weren’t paying any attention. This isn’t about assigning blame, though; your goal in addressing the cause of this issue is to make sure that it does not happen again. For example, if there’s a tripping hazard that is difficult for your child to avoid and they knocked over an expensive vase because of it, remove the tripping hazard. 

Look Into Damage Control

Finally, you’ll want to repair the damage that has occurred. Depending on their age, your child might have to bear some of this responsibility. How you handle damage control will ultimately have quite a bit to do with your child’s age and the type of accident, so don’t look for a one-size-fits-all solution here.

For example, if your child is older or a teen and throws a baseball and breaks a window, get a quote for window replacement. Get the window fixed, and show your child the quote. Then, you can have your child help pay off the balance over time, according to their ability to earn money.  

Don’t panic when your child causes an accident. Make sure they are okay, figure out what happened, and then do what you can to address the problem. Learning from these situations is an important part of growing up for your kids, and how you handle such issues will have a huge impact on your child’s actions as an adult.

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