Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 30

Thread: Need some family input, perplex and concerned

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,080

    Need some family input, perplex and concerned

    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.
    Last edited by Rob Keeble; 05-10-2014 at 11:26 AM.
    cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    new york city burbs
    Posts
    10,133
    well, I came from a different school I guess.
    My parents gave me little.
    If I wanted something, I had to work and pay for it.
    when I went to college, they offered no financial support, so I worked 2 jobs and went to college.

    I struggled for many years, and to be honest, I wasn't happy I had to struggle.

    I decided I would do whatever I could for my children to help them financially.
    Human Test Dummy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Posts
    5,065
    It isn't about giving them things. Its about giving them an appreciation for things. The problem as I see it is that you want validation for your point of view. It's take a decade or two before that is forthcoming from either of your sons.

    But another critical (as in criticism) thought, Rob. You use too many words, and I don't mean in your posts here. Simply tell your son you care enough about him to give him time to help him keep his transportation in good repair, but the costs are his and his participation is required. Period. Linda realizes she wants her boys to grow up to be responsible men. That means some tougher lessons now.

    In other words, give him time, not money. And no lectures about how you had it growing up! Or what your Dad went through. That is the beating the dead horse thing. Your past circumstances have not been in your son's experience. He can't relate. Just tell him you love him and are willing to help him, but the responsibility is his, as are the costs of auto ownership.
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Posts
    5,236
    Quote Originally Posted by allen levine View Post
    well, I came from a different school I guess.
    My parents gave me little.
    If I wanted something, I had to work and pay for it.
    when I went to college, they offered no financial support, so I worked 2 jobs and went to college.

    I struggled for many years, and to be honest, I wasn't happy I had to struggle...
    Sounds very much like my upbringing, as well.

    Add to that that when I got married, my Mom didn't like my wife, and spent the last 40 years of her life finding fault with my wife and our way of life (military career) and the fact that we didn't come back 'home' after I retired from the USMC. (Didn't come back because there were no suitable jobs in that area (W.Va.) and besides, Mom still had her attitude.)

    Over the years, we didn't - couldn't - buy new stuff when the old malfunctioned. We did our best to fix what didn't work, or make do without it. We had old cars, old appliances, and even old clothes for a large part of our life.

    Yeah, we struggled - but through it all, I really think it made us stronger. We learned - and exercised - our independence, and used it to our advantage. Now, in our later years (I'll be 69 next week; her, next month) we're pretty secure, and actually living a better standard than ever before. Sometimes hard work and enduring life's little hardships does pay off.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Bedford, NH
    Posts
    1,683
    Some thoughts that come to mind based on my upbringing (family of 11 on a farm), my personal responses to life's challenges & my perception on raising children.

    · First of all, if you intend to impart your values to your children, then the values ought to be very similar & in agreement with your spouse that those are the values you want to raise your children by. Otherwise a conflict of values between you & your spouse will only convey confusion & lack of commitment to these values to your children.
    · Once you decide upon the set of values to teach your children, stick with them throughout their development years. However, if you & your spouse should decide to change one, or more, of your values, then explain why so there is an understanding that life is constantly changing & one must be flexible while retaining your core values.
    · Your values should also consider the physical & mental awareness of common sense, i.e. does it make sense to spend all this time, effort & money just to adhere to a point of value when it makes more sense to spend the money to resolve a situation, thus giving you, your spouse & your children the personal time to spend on something else. Time has value.
    · Speaking of time, time is perhaps one of the most important aspect of raising your children. Spend as much time as you can with them. They’ll appreciate your willingness to share their life with them.
    · Give your children the opportunity to realize the rewards of self determination & direction given the values you’ve laid out for them. If they are just pushed to doing something without explanation, without understanding, and without the enjoyment of accomplishing their goals, then the lessons of life have been lost on them.
    · In my particular situation, I’ve always felt that too many children in a family that caused unnecessary financial hardship(s) can adversely affect the quality of life for the entire family. These thoughts will remain as an underlying sentiment as the children mature. Staying within one’s means does have its attributes.
    · Whatever values you wish to pass on, consistency is key!
    · Just my .02
    Thoughts entering one's mind need not exit one's mouth!
    As I age my memory fades .... and that's a load off my mind!

    "We Live In The Land Of The Free, Only Because Of The Brave"
    “The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living."
    "
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." Winston Churchill

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    Posts
    8,528
    first of all since my grandparent were Slovak emigrants I was brought up with a lot of old world teachings and when it came to getting things like cars we were told "kúpiť pre seba" which means buy it for your self.So if I wanted a ca rI had to get a job and buy it, I paid all maint and insurance costs. My dad did supervise and repairs but I also did those. when my 2 sons reached driving age due to my wife influence we provided each of them with a good used car but and we paid the insurance but that was all. the first son had the truck for several years and finally traded it in when he bought his first one and my second son wrecked his within a month. In neither case did we help them with the second one.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
    Posts
    5,760
    I could write a book about kids, their expectations and my expectations for them. But, I'll summarize by saying that my own life was similar to what Allen and Jim stated. Not that my parents weren't supportive from an encouragement standpoint. I had to work for the money to go to school and was expected to make my own way in life.

    My two sons and three daughters learned along the way that I would help when necessary, but not because they were being foolish. Each of them has learned lessons when they would ask for money and I could present them with alternatives to solve their issue. I don't like where my sons have ended up so far, but it's been their choice. My girls are a different story. The oldest has become very successful in a medical laboratory; the middle finally got her act together (I think) as has been a manager at a restaurant chain for several years; the youngest got into a government job and is doing well.

    My bottom line is: Don't embarrass yourself and ask for help when you're perfectly capable of solving your problems - just like I had to do during all my decades on this planet!
    Last edited by Bill Arnold; 05-10-2014 at 07:03 PM.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member
    Member of Mensa
    Live every day like it's your last, but don't forget to stop and smell the roses.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Posts
    4,595
    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Reed View Post
    It isn't about giving them things. Its about giving them an appreciation for things. The problem as I see it is that you want validation for your point of view. It's take a decade or two before that is forthcoming from either of your sons.

    But another critical (as in criticism) thought, Rob. You use too many words, and I don't mean in your posts here. Simply tell your son you care enough about him to give him time to help him keep his transportation in good repair, but the costs are his and his participation is required. Period. Linda realizes she wants her boys to grow up to be responsible men. That means some tougher lessons now.

    In other words, give him time, not money. And no lectures about how you had it growing up! Or what your Dad went through. That is the beating the dead horse thing. Your past circumstances have not been in your son's experience. He can't relate. Just tell him you love him and are willing to help him, but the responsibility is his, as are the costs of auto ownership.
    Nail on the head. I don't have kids but having been on the other end of a similar stick I can echo all of this 100%

    I think for me the main thing was to re-form the approach, and it became more a "we can fix this because its interesting and useful to know how to do" not "because we have to" (the latter was often implied, but approaching projects like this as a point of personal pride at being able to do it whether or not you needed to was more successful with me. Obviously everyone is different, but generally trying to re-form something into someone own self interest in some way shape or form will get you a lot further.

    I also think we're perhaps a bit alike in some ways and one thing I've fought a lot if to work harder to make it their project and you are there to help but not to much (I've mentored a fair number of more junior staff members and my approach has changed quite a bit over the years - at this point I'm pushing people into projects that I know they'll fail at initially but can recover from without to much pain because you really do learn better that way.. its taken me a long time to get over taking over the keyboard though).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,895
    I grew up with divorced parents and 4 sisters. We KNEW that money came in the mail once a month. We knew what hand me downs were all about. We knew that getting a job and handing over the pay was all about. Growing up on welfare was not fun. My sisters stayed in that trap most of their lives and their children grew up in that trap. Their children were teens when they had babies. Full bore welfare story. That's where I came from.

    Don't ask how - but somehow I broke the mold. NOT at first. I dropped out of high school in 9-th grade, got a job as a dishwasher - handed over my pay. Late Teens - lots of trouble - you don't wanna know. Arrested, probation, court, record.

    Somewhere along the way - I was able to break the mold. At 27 I decided to get a high school diploma - NOT GED. I did that. Then I got a Associates in Engineering. Then I got a B.S. in Engineering. Did that after buying a house taking care of two kids and 2 cars (NOT NEW). I now have that plus near 40 years experience in engineering and mechanics.

    NOBODY - in my family EVER did anything like that - NOBODY

    I say that to say I had NO - role model to look up to.

    Nobody was there encouraging me.

    Nobody taught me how.

    I just did it.

    There is sooooooo - much to be said - but few people actually really read this stuff.

    My son is now 33. He started late in his life but better than me. He has a Masters in Finance and a CPA. Blows me away. I think he got something from me but not everything. I encouraged him but did not pay a dime for his financial education. I just cannot afford to. We are a single income household.

    I never could afford to NOT fix everything.

    I have never been in a position whereas I had money to pay to have work done for me. MAN - to me that is a dream. I am not further on in life and I do have a LITTLE discressionary income. Not enough to retire on - I will NEVER have that.

    It's a tough question...

    My son and I had a long discussion about a new car vs a good used car. Which is a better value. On that discussion the false topic of buying someone else problem quickly came up. That is not the discussion here - but once we got past that and into a real honest discussion, we got to a point as to WHY someone buys a new car. He has NEW cars - I never did. The only REAL reason to buy a car NEW - is because that is what the buyer LIKES. It's not based on value.

    My son buys cars NEW - it OK - for HIM - not me.

    My daughter is 36 - she has her own ways.

    Both of my kids have left home - years ago. Never needed to come back. Never needed for me to give them money. Though I have done plumbing for me son and remodeled my daughters bathroom - they paid all materials.

    So --- the entire point is that ------ It's not so much what is the CORRECT thing to do. That is secondary.

    The point is ---- What is it that makes you sleep at night - what are you comfortable with??

    Are you at a point where you CAN afford it - but rather keep you money in the bank - nothing wrong with that - FOR YOU

    Are you at a point where you have no money - need to fix everything - satisfied with what you have - it's OK - FOR YOU

    Your kids may or may not adopt - YOUR - ways. It's OK - just LOVE them anyway.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Posts
    4,832
    My parents did what they could. Dad was a school teacher and played bass in local dance bands for extra money. He built his own house and pretty much anything else he needed, otherwise we would have been renters. I was fortunate to live near a good university and money was short enough that I started working at 16 and have been at it ever since. I would not have been able to work without the loan of my moms car and used it to commute to college and (like Allen) the two (three during the summer) jobs that paid my tuition. My dad helped me buy my first car when I graduated ( a $400 Plymouth) and needed transportation to enter the USAF. If those cars ever broke down, my dad and I fixed them. One of them was an Anglia, a little 4 cylinder English ford that with the help of a neighbor we completely rebuilt the engine on. I stopped fixing cars when they became computerized and smarter than me, but don't regret the learning experience. Even though I didn't appreciate it at the time, learning to build things and fix things has given me a leg up on a lot of other folks...and saved me a lot of money in the process. Kudos to those who try and teach their kids the practical things in life, including a good work ethic.

Similar Threads

  1. Need some of our techies input ....again ...please...
    By Rob Keeble in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 11-09-2012, 09:55 PM
  2. Input please
    By Jeff Horton in forum Designs, Plans and Sketches
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-09-2007, 01:32 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •