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"Teach your children well"
Old 11-20-2007, 09:32 AM   #1
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"Teach your children well"

In today's materialistic, disposable world of instant gratification is there any way at all to teach our children of the benefits of LBYM and the value of family and community? I mean, seriously, when was the last time (other than catastrophic disaster) that you saw youngsters (or anyone for that matter) pitch in to help out a neighbor just for the heck of it.

JMO, but when elementary schools have to have rules for no cell phones in school or no text messaging during class, something is wrong. When recess has more kids playing video games than kickball, something is wrong. When a child calls his teacher M*-F* instead of Mr. Smith, something is wrong. When a 16yo brags that she earned every one of those strings of Mardi Gras beads, something is wrong. When our children protest our involvement in saving the lives of hundreds of thousands from the whim of a beastial dictator, something is wrong.

My DD is 25 and expecting a son next month. Immediately upon leaving us she fell into the same credit card trap and well of debt that we were digging out of and trying to steer her clear of. But she "just had to have IT". I appear to have failed her. I hope to do better with her son.
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:02 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeatherneckPA View Post
In today's materialistic, disposable world of instant gratification is there any way at all to teach our children of the benefits of LBYM and the value of family and community? I mean, seriously, when was the last time (other than catastrophic disaster) that you saw youngsters (or anyone for that matter) pitch in to help out a neighbor just for the heck of it.

JMO, but when elementary schools have to have rules for no cell phones in school or no text messaging during class, something is wrong. When recess has more kids playing video games than kickball, something is wrong. When a child calls his teacher M*-F* instead of Mr. Smith, something is wrong. When a 16yo brags that she earned every one of those strings of Mardi Gras beads, something is wrong. When our children protest our involvement in saving the lives of hundreds of thousands from the whim of a beastial dictator, something is wrong.

My DD is 25 and expecting a son next month. Immediately upon leaving us she fell into the same credit card trap and well of debt that we were digging out of and trying to steer her clear of. But she "just had to have IT". I appear to have failed her. I hope to do better with her son.
Don't rip on yourself so much. Remember the saying: "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink?"

Part of becoming a responsible adult is just that........R-E-S-P-O-N-S-I-B-I-L-I-T-Y...........
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:29 AM   #3
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Some people are born with the ability to learn from the mistakes of others, while others must learn from their own mistakes. DH and I produced one of each. Fortunately, they are both LBTM now and keeping an eye on ER.

Interesting, but the one who has to learn from experience is also more involved in charity and seeing the needs of others.

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Old 11-20-2007, 10:32 AM   #4
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Don't rip on yourself so much. Remember the saying: "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink?"
True. My wife is thrifty, but her siblings are spendy and lack financial common sense. They were all raised by the same parents.
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by LeatherneckPA View Post
In today's materialistic, disposable world of instant gratification is there any way at all to teach our children of the benefits of LBYM and the value of family and community?
Certainly no answers from me, but I'm eager to see what others have to say.
Two observations:
-- I think it would have been better if our kids (including one we raised) had faced more of the right kind of challenges. When I was young (not too long ago, really), if I wanted material things I had to earn them (first through a paper route, later through a job in fast food). This was not unusual, it was the same with most of my peers. Though my parents could have given me the $$ to spend for luxuries, they didn't and neither did the parents of most of my friends, so I didn't feel oppressed. Fast forward to my daughter's high school class, where nearly all the kids had cars of their own given to them by their parents. She was one of the few without a car, and I'm sure she felt deprived. I learned a lot from my jobs, and she never received any of that wisdom, so now she's learning that the world is a tough place, and she's learning it as an adult. The lessons would have been cheaper if she'd gotten them earlier.

-- I used to be a believer of the "tabula rasa" view that children were almost exclusively a product of their environment. After exchanging views with a lot of parents and reading more of the literature, I now think many aspects of personalty, intelligence, etc are hard wired. People do have free will and can change/learn, but starting conditions are not the same for everyone.

Other notes: Some may feel differently about the group, but my participation in Boy Scout activities were a positive influence in my formative years. I don't believe in everything they espouse, but overall the values are solid and, at least for some kids, the experiences are very positive.
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:08 AM   #6
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you can live vicariously through another person but you can not live their life for them.

you can share your experience with another person but you can't make them live your life.

you can talk until you are blue in the face but they will not see the sky until they open their eyes.
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:18 AM   #7
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Some people are born with the ability to learn from the mistakes of others, while others must learn from their own mistakes. DH and I produced one of each. Fortunately, they are both LBTM now and keeping an eye on ER.

Interesting, but the one who has to learn from experience is also more involved in charity and seeing the needs of others.

Twink

oooh that is sooooo true!
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:32 AM   #8
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I hope to do better with her son.
Dangerous ground amigo.

How much did most of us follow what our parents wanted for us?

My kids are spendthrifts; but they earn good money so they get to choose. How much did our parents manage to teach us? They said don't drink, don't have sex, don't do dope, and don't... And what did we do? All of these things and maybe some they hadn't thought to mention.

I learned a lot from my father, but applied it mainly after he was dead. Maybe it is just in our nature to be rebellious.

Who can blame us? When I look back on my life, I really dont think- I wish I had saved more money! More likely I think, I wish I had gone to bed with a blond, a brunette and a redhead, at the same time. Why should our children be any more abstemious than we were/are?

I certainly demonstrate a moderate degree of fiscal responsibility. If my kids ever need to, they can access their memories and find reasonably good examples to follow. And while I am here, they can observe me for hints. So far I don't think this is particularly appealing to them.

Ha
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From "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran
Old 11-20-2007, 11:40 AM   #9
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From "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran

Having no children of my own and being inspired/influenced to search for it by lg4nb's post, I offer you some poetry:
And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

-------------
In agreement with HaHa, I also offer from my memory that I did not really listen to my parents and elders very well. It seemed like I had to make my own mistakes and learn the lessons they were trying to impart. Also, I learned some lessons that they did not just because of the very fact that I live in a different time, in a different place, with different conditions, and my life is different from theirs.
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Old 11-20-2007, 12:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by LeatherneckPA View Post
I mean, seriously, when was the last time (other than catastrophic disaster) that you saw youngsters (or anyone for that matter) pitch in to help out a neighbor just for the heck of it.
I'm never sure how we should respond to these threads. "Yeah, you're right, the world is going to hell in a handbasket"-- ? Or should we try to convince you that the sky's really not falling everywhere?

We put neighbor kids to work all the time around our house, and they keep coming back for more so it must not be a problem. And our kid has helped out the neighbors because she's a good kid.

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JMO, but when elementary schools have to have rules for no cell phones in school or no text messaging during class, something is wrong. When recess has more kids playing video games than kickball, something is wrong. When a child calls his teacher M*-F* instead of Mr. Smith, something is wrong. When a 16yo brags that she earned every one of those strings of Mardi Gras beads, something is wrong. When our children protest our involvement in saving the lives of hundreds of thousands from the whim of a beastial dictator, something is wrong.
It wasn't so long ago when we virtuous Boomers were rebelling against authority by:
- passing notes in school
- smoking and doing drugs during recess
- singing elementary-school songs about teachers who we met at doors with loaded forty-fours, and later graduating to Alice Cooper's "School's Out"
- trying to choose among a number of quiet back-country roads to "park" the car that night
- protesting against the Vietnam War.

And I went to a "good" school!

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My DD is 25 and expecting a son next month. Immediately upon leaving us she fell into the same credit card trap and well of debt that we were digging out of and trying to steer her clear of. But she "just had to have IT". I appear to have failed her. I hope to do better with her son.
Hey, you got her to the point where she can live independently and make the kind of mistakes that she'll learn from-- far better than by any parental lectures.

My FIL says that if he'd known what a great deal grandkids were then he would have had them first...
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The Payoff
Old 11-20-2007, 12:14 PM   #11
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The Payoff

Well.... my daughter faced a lot of challenges growing up and she did not always heed the advice given by wife and me. However, it does appear that financial well being and fiscal reponsibility discussions did sink in.

Just recently, she applied for her first apartment and qualified based on excellent credit records. When she let us know (by text message of course), her quote was that "having good credit really does make a difference" and she thanked us for advising her.

She got a big payoff.... and so did we!
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Old 11-20-2007, 12:44 PM   #12
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Ditto what Nords said. If you deal with many kids you realize that they are about the same as we were. Lets face it, human nature doesn't change overnight. Yeah, some of the stuff we did is gone with the horse and buggy but our grandparents were undoubtedly horrified about us. Think, making out in cars.

As to the kids who are upset about the war - more power to them. They are paying attention to their world. I'm more concerned about the ones that don't even know what is going on.
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:09 PM   #13
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I am worried about my kids. My sister left them enough money to get them both through college, and most of grad school should they choose that route.

Son Number one is 2 years ahead in math and 4 years ahead in reading, but does not study because he has a near photographic memory............

Son Number 2 is not ahead of the class, but is very creative and I think could be an artist in a few years........

I am trying, but worry about giving them enough money lessons that "stick"........
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:18 PM   #14
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FD, i'd like to have your kinda worries

Aren't your kids still relatively young?

I think we end up worrying no matter what - it is the nature of parenthood.

I hope to have the confidence to let go when the time comes...
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:34 PM   #15
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LeatherneckPA,

With all that you have going on right now, this might an area you let slide, as not under your control. Enjoy your grandchild when he/she arrives and lead by example only. Deep breath. It will be ok.
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:45 PM   #16
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FD, i'd like to have your kinda worries

Aren't your kids still relatively young?

I think we end up worrying no matter what - it is the nature of parenthood.

I hope to have the confidence to let go when the time comes...
Kids are 9 and 6.............

I am a worrier.........but I do have the power of my late sister to help. The day before she died, she whispered these instructions to me:

"I left my 403B to the kids. I want you to use it for their education. You know what to do"...........

So.......I think I got a little ammo just in case of the following scenario:

Son: "Dad, I'm dropping out of college, it's not for me"........

Me: "Yeah, I'm sure your late Aunt, who left you money strictly for college would be impressed if she was alive to see how you were WASTING her gift to you, But hey, it's YOUR LIFE........"..............

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Old 11-20-2007, 01:52 PM   #17
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FD, you're hilarious... you only have, um 7 or 8 more years to refine that strategy (fine tune the speech)...ha!
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:56 PM   #18
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FD, you're hilarious... you only have, um 7 or 8 more years to refine that strategy (fine tune the speech)...ha!
Guilt is a powerful motivator.........my strict Catholic parents used it like a battering ram to knock sense into me...........

7-8 years will go quick, which is why I am feverishly working on the "speech".........."nonchalantness" is difficult to nuance.........my dad's a pro at saying "well, it's your choice".........which still sends shivers down my back............
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Old 11-20-2007, 04:11 PM   #19
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More likely I think, I wish I had gone to bed with a blond, a brunette and a redhead, at the same time.Ha
That's just GREEDY! I'd settle for twins.

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I'm never sure how we should respond to these threads. "Yeah, you're right, the world is going to hell in a handbasket"-- ? Or should we try to convince you that the sky's really not falling ..... My FIL says that if he'd known what a great deal grandkids were then he would have had them first...
Perhaps I put the wrong spin on that. I don't believe the world is coming to an end, and generally I don't even think that most kids are bad. I guess I'm just disappointed in the perception I have of modern society. Good grief, I'm starting to sound like those people in simple Living Guess I should spend more time laughing at myself and less time shaking my head at them.

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As to the kids who are upset about the war - more power to them. They are paying attention to their world. I'm more concerned about the ones that don't even know what is going on.
I guess I'll have to conceded that point.
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:43 PM   #20
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Seems to me that most of us prefer to make our own mistakes and are stubbornly resistant to learning from the mistakes of others. I certainly was that way when I was young, and I'm sure my parents despaired that I would ever amount to anything.
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