I woke up his morning and got to thinking maybe i am wrong and on the wrong path so I thought i would ask all of you for some input on this matter to hear some views other than my own.
I know its 2014 and i know we live in an age of consumerism and convenience. However my Dad passed on a few things to me and I have been merrily trying to pass on those same values and principles to my sons. Thing is it really feels like i am swimming upstream more and more and frankly i am beginning to wonder if i am flogging a dead horse and wasting my precious time and questionable results.
The issue at hand is fixing a vehicle which my wife and I purchased for our sons to use as they grew old enough to drive. Oldest had it first and trashed it and paid the price. Was offered same deal as youngest but decided to foot the bill the hard way. Again easy come easy go. The youngest had a choice buy your own, with your own money or fix the existing one with your own money. I was not about to make the same mistake twice.
Few years back we tackled the job of renovating the vehicle to safe standards and cleanliness. This involved replacing brake lines fuel lines brake drums shoes, rotors discs and even recon calipers etc. Also included a good few other items including recon starter motor. He learnt a whole bunch and actually enjoyed it once we got going. But it hopefully showed him there are alternatives if needed.
Now let me be clear, i have the cash to be able to have purchased a new car for this guy or at least another good second hand car, but i come to believe after my upbringing and seeing what happened in the part of the world that i grew up in and other parts, that when it comes with out struggle it is not appreciated and looked after and the item at hand can be anything. This is a now a core belief of mine. I find it applies to just about anything in my life including learning a new woodworking skill.
My observations though in these parts i live in are that people with money are in my opinion destroying their kids by just taking the path of least resistance and dolling out the cash. So my sons housemate at University for example had a new car purchased for him so he can get back and forth to school and get about at school. Mine has the bus and trains to get home and back and his bicycle and they stay a less than a mile from school and hundreds of meters to a whole grocery store plaza setup. Of course with the car comes the insurance costs (here equal or more than a large car payment when you under 25 and dont have 5 stars). This is what i am up against and frankly it continuously feels like an attack on my values. This kind of thing applicable to so many other items is social leverage even if not applied by ones own.
I have tried to explain my point of view to my son but honestly not sure he buys it and to me the sign of that would be whether he gets behind a project where he is involved or not.
I have tried hard to teach budgeting given my parents never passed that concept on Dad used to joke about the fly now pay later attitude which i dont subscribe to but he managed but through doing without rather than planning to have what is needed.
Now the vehicle in question has a mechanical issue which i stepped into accidentally. Long story and trying not to let the issue itself play a part in the basic decision making. Its the principles I am stuck on not the value or effort involved in the item.
The net is this is a huge task, i see it the same way my Dad did when he and i first fixed a washing machine. As a youngster i was dancing about saying trash it but he and i persisted and got it fixed. He new nothing of electricity and motors but pure sweat and common sense and it was fixed. He even went to extremes i wont by making bits and pieces if it was possible to fix something worn or broken. Parts were not easy to come by in our neck of the woods as they are here today.
The lesson i took away was self reliance. It left me with a feeling that where there is a will there is a way. I fear little in the way of these kinds of challenges and given my educational and career to date, background am comfortable taking them on. In fact i actually turn them into a challenge and enjoy them in a crazy way.
I feel leaving this ability or letting some of the ability rub off on my kids is worth more than leaving money behind. I have witnessed two very dear friends both go through fortunes made by parents both from scratch post WW2 and today have nothing. Their Dads did not leave them with how to manage the money, neither did they leave them with the ability to fix things. It took less than a generation for them to lose what took a lifetime to create and accumulate. Neither family should have ever wanted again if it had been managed prudently.
But honestly the "Forces" against this approach are everywhere i find and its equivalent to holding back a dam wall by oneself. So i am really having second thoughts on whether my "tack" is realistic in this age.
It would be easy to give in. The benefit to me would be peace and more personal shop time to do as i want.
On a similar vein i think prior generations were absolutely correct in having many more kids and i mean 5 or 6. I have thought long and hard about this. We try to defy survival of the fittest but if i had more kids I would NOT be the one taking ownership of a safety issue i would allow the accident to happen and the cards fall where they be knowing there is another to follow in that ones footsteps and perhaps the second one would learn from the first, and if not then the cycle would do a rinse repeat. Sounds callous but i believe this is the issue that causes some of the "helicopter parenting" of today.
Now before you comment factor in this point. If i adopt the approach of buddy if you dont fix said vehicle then catch the bus, well then my other half would gladly give up her vehicle for her baby and therein lies the other half of the equation. If a wheel came off his vehicle while he was driving, well who do you think would be at fault? And this problem is much worse in other families around us than in mine.
So fire away and let me know where you stand on these issues i need some input i can go and evaluate to get back my own sanity. Thanks for any and all contributions.