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Forcing prudence vs letting the kid sink or swim?
Old 03-01-2019, 08:51 AM   #1
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Forcing prudence vs letting the kid sink or swim?

Well, this Washington Post article:

was clearly meant to provoke discussion on when to "save the children" from a bad experience. Scenario: 20 year old son is wild to buy a doubtful car from a dubious character off the street. Mom is trying to save him from losing the money.

I'm a non-parent so I really am not sure what I'd do in the situation. There were circumstances both for and against. I'd *think* I'd fall back on the consideration that son is still apparently a dependent, but is that relevant?

I'm sure many parents have been in this situation.

July 12, 2018. On safari to stay!
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:13 AM   #2
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If the son is a dependent, then, it is relevant. Thankfully, I have never had this problem with my kids.

The author of the article may have gotten out of this problem and sold her story to the WAPO to make a few bucks. Her bigger problem is the 20 yr. old son should have been smart enough to see the warning signs without mom stepping in. If this was a 16 year old kid, I could see being this na´ve. A 20 year old... signs of problems yet to come.

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Old 03-01-2019, 09:23 AM   #3
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I am preparing my kids so that I don’t have to face such a ridiculous choice. They have monthly budget for their clothing since their middle school. They can buy high end items but can get a few pieces. Or they get plenty at lower quality. They can save up and use it on Black Friday. They have their own credit cards from middle school too. And we talk with them on good choice and bad choice. We show them we follow good choices ourselves.

Not worried for my kids.
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:19 AM   #4
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I won't bore you with the story of my first car at the age of 20. It was a wreck waiting to happen, the exact reason for lemon laws. And I bought it from a well-known car lot that my grandfather always used. He stayed out of it and let me handle the transaction myself. That was something he regretted pretty quickly. He said he should have test driven it himself and he would have known I shouldn't buy it. At the time, I might not have appreciated it, but might have come to do so later.
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:19 AM   #5
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The seller in that article is just another curb-stoner (dealer representing themselves as a private seller)

It's a good reminder of why you always have used cars inspected by your local independent mechanic.
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It was a big decision, but not an ultimate one
Old 03-01-2019, 10:28 AM   #6
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It was a big decision, but not an ultimate one

I have been fairly lucky regarding car purchases. My own children each requested my assistance when buying their own first cars. No problems in that particular arena.

That doesn't mean they haven't gone on to make one or two cement-headed decisions later on. But if they don't ask, I don't belabor it...

...well, not much anyway. An occasional morsel of unsolicited advice might leak out, although I try not to make a habit of it. After all, I wouldn't want my grown children to want me second-guessing everything they do. My duty to them was to raise them into functional adults, not perfect ones. Not to mention that if they always do everything the way I would, they'd be me - and I am far from perfect.

I also note that in the greater scheme of things I have been truly, fabulously, spectacularly lucky. I've been able to provide a safe, stable, solvent, sensible home for my brood to grow up in. They have seldom faced any irrevocable, life-destroying decisions, such as engaging in criminal activities or drug habits. Even if they had bought crappy, stolen rust-buckets, that's pretty easy to survive. It's not so easy to overcome addictions or prison records. If we lived in some benighted, horror-story area surrounded by violence and decay, we might all have had to make choices from a selection of bad options, and it would be very different today.
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:15 AM   #7
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I learned a lot more from my mistakes than anyone helping me. Some of us are pretty stubborn.
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:20 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by MRG View Post
I learned a lot more from my mistakes than anyone helping me. Some of us are pretty stubborn.
Me too!! lol my mom use to call it Hard headed. I do both with my kids. Now I would probably step in if it was going to cause a lot of financial harm but other than that, some times life experiences can be the same.

Op unlike a lot of people who have perfect kids, my kids are not. My youngest son wanted to buy a 10 year old audi and I put the brakes (excuse the pun) on it because over the long run it would have cost ME money.

It's not an either/or situation
My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being "normal" is not necessarily a virtue? it sometimes rather denotes a lack of courage~Aunt Francis
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:30 AM   #9
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My 17 year old daughter wanted less advice from me. After a discussion and consideration of my reasoning and hers, I agreed to limit my advice to any areas that would cost her more than a year of her life or $15,000 (these were parameters she suggested).

With my almost 19 year old son, I use the visual analogy of belaying him as he rock climbs. He's responsible for picking the route. I may make suggestions if I see something from the ground that he might not be able to. If he falls I'll stop him from dying, but he may get scraped up a bit.

For my kids too it has been a long process. I've been backing off advice starting when they were maybe 12. At 24 my oldest requires very little advice. Interestingly he's started asking for advice again, which I take as a point of wisdom and maturity.

"At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may in fact be the first steps of a journey." Violet Baudelaire.
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