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Old 01-10-2016, 11:44 AM   #81
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I have a single parent friend who has a tendency to over-provide for her 2 kids. One has turned out fine and independent while the other is still having problems.

(The one that is fine is the girl but I would not draw any conclusions just from that.)
This might suggest that the level of parental support isn't the prime determinant in how the kids turn out? Kids have their own personalities and don't always turn out like their parents or as their parents would like. They make their own choices for better or worse in most cases. A bit of a "crap shoot" being a parent.
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Old 01-10-2016, 11:44 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
I have a single parent friend who has a tendency to over-provide for her 2 kids. One has turned out fine and independent while the other is still having problems.

(The one that is fine is the girl but I would not draw any conclusions just from that.)
Is the Older one the one who turned out OK or the Younger one?

Can't draw any hard conclusions from that either but there is some literature involving birth order concerning these things.
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:49 PM   #83
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21. Got a scholarship that paid for 2nd half of senior year of undergrad and all of graduate school. Came with a $700/mo stipend for doing computer/LAN mgmt. Didn't take money from my folks again except for a new pair of glasses and they threw me $100 for some fun on spring break.

Agree with the comments about not pampering kids.
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Old 01-10-2016, 01:05 PM   #84
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21.

Agree with the comments about not pampering kids.
I don't think anyone ( certainly not me) is recommending "pampering" their kids. But perhaps a little flexibility to help when it is needed the most?
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:11 PM   #85
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Age 18 when I got married. Both sets of parents helped us some but not excessively and we appreciated it and did the same for our kids.
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:33 PM   #86
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Age 21, when we got married just prior to my Sr. year in college - specifically on the third day of our honeymoon when my new bride had an emergency appendectomy.
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:59 PM   #87
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age 22, at age 18 joined army for 4 years where they are basically your everything, then got out and never looked back
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:34 PM   #88
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I don't think anyone ( certainly not me) is recommending "pampering" their kids. But perhaps a little flexibility to help when it is needed the most?
Perhaps a poor choice of a word. I have no issue with helping kids -- I was certainly helped to a great extent and my kids will be more so. But I do think parents often times cross the line (well intentioned, but cross it nonetheless) to where they're actually harming their kids.

Grit counts for a lot in life and expectations perhaps even more. I watch parents put their kids into small mansions, buy their kids new cars, don't make them work for a thing and I wonder "what is left for these kids to reach for?" What expectations have been set about how much work is required to achieve a given end? We signal to our kids what we value by how we live. My wife and I deny ourselves a lot for the simple reason that we don't want our kids to think that its a "normal" lifestyle or accidentally establish a lifestyle baseline that no young person can hope to achieve while being financially responsible.

I want my kids to have it better than I did -- which I largely equate to not being buried under a mountain of college debt -- but the first cars won't be pretty (let alone new), there will be work for big privileges, and college will be loaded with working for $$$ to pay for it.
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Old 01-10-2016, 08:04 PM   #89
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My parents contributed $300 a year for college. I have a vivid memory of going to the bank with Dad and watching him count the savings bonds he was cashing in to give me that money, and I knew it was a lot for him. The rest of college expenses were financed through scholarships, loans and savings from past-time jobs (including a lot of babysitting at 50 cents an hour).

Totally self-sustaining since leaving college at 21 for my dream job (or so I thought) in NYC. Started with nothing, but my job paid $100/week and my rent was $100/month so I did OK. Once when money was tight, I went to Household Finance and borrowed $200 - it never occurred to me to ask my parents - and I repaid it as soon as possible, along with $1,500 in student loans.

Always felt self-sufficient and LBYM. I admit I had fantasies that some day I'd find a rich guy and never have to worry about money, but maybe deep down I always knew I'd have to be, and could be, self-sufficient. Good thing too, since that's how it turned out. http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ies/smiley.gif
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:19 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by razztazz View Post
Is the Older one the one who turned out OK or the Younger one?

Can't draw any hard conclusions from that either but there is some literature involving birth order concerning these things.
Yes I did not mention it because I did not want to bias the interpretation. The oldest was the boy. But they both reacted to the parents divorce, probably impacted the younger one more.
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:05 AM   #91
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When you had become self sustained.

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Things are indeed pretty difficult for today's kids. Graduating with huge student debt, or living in squalor after graduation might build character for some but might overwhelm others. No one size fits all here.

On the other hand, good thing there are many encouraging stories on this post about how some kids got creative and avoided crushing student debt, which the media seems to always assume is inevitable when they write their scary "today's kids are doomed" debt stories. Avoiding debt and then living modestly after college seems a pretty good indicator of savvy financial intelligence, forward-thinking, LBYM, and self-sufficiency. Others are just kind of blind about debt. In our case, DW piled on some student debt, which eventually took some of the profit from selling our first house to get rid of. Agreed that no one size fits all.
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:27 AM   #92
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Most of us were probably helped or not helped because of our family's financial or personal circumstances--there really wasn't much of a choice to be made about sustaining us into adulthood. Most of us in this forum seem to be in much better circumstances and we have more of a decision to make. In my case, we could be helping our children with down payments, grad school, cars, etc., but we don't, and although my parents paid for my very cheap college tuition, further reduced greatly by my working during all four years of college, they would have laughed out loud at the idea of helping with any of those other things. (We paid for all undergrad college costs for our kids--even though they both worked all four years--and also for weddings because we wanted to throw them each a great party, for which they will always be most grateful).

But DD is married to an only child. His parents did give him his half of the kids' down payment while DD paid her own half. They are also very generous financially in other ways. DD's FIL says they would rather pass it on while he is alive. I can't fault that in him. Who knows if DD's DH would be any different either way--he's a great guy.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:03 AM   #93
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age 22, at age 18 joined army for 4 years where they are basically your everything, then got out and never looked back
I think that joining / drafting Army or Navy makes you self sustained the very day you start the service.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:09 AM   #94
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Most of us were probably helped or not helped because of our family's financial or personal circumstances--there really wasn't much of a choice to be made about sustaining us into adulthood. Most of us in this forum seem to be in much better circumstances and we have more of a decision to make. We could be helping our children with down payments, grad school, cars, etc., but we don't, and although my parents paid for my very cheap college tuition, further reduced greatly by my working during all four years of college, they would have laughed out loud at the idea of helping with any of those other things. (We paid for all undergrad college costs--even though they both worked all four years--and also for weddings because we wanted to throw them each a great party, for which they will always be most grateful).

But DD is married to an only child. His parents did give him his half of the kids' down payment while DD paid her own half. They are also very generous financially in other ways. DD's FIL says they would rather pass it on while he is alive. I can't fault that in him. Who knows if DD's DH would be any different--he's a great guy.
Good post. Points out the prime point I am trying to make ie it really depends on the kid and the circumstances. Only child (my case ) might be different than large family. But most importantly the way an individual child reacts to assistance or lack of assistance. I don't think there is a universal truth here. If your child reacts in a way you don't approve of, well change the level of assistance. My daughter has reacted exactly in the way I would have hoped. Anecdotal evidence is often cited that significant assistance destroys the child's work ethic. Sounds plausible but I have not experienced this with my daughter. If I had I would have changed the arrangement.

My other point is specific to my circumstances as well. We are quite well off financially and since my primary heir is my daughter it makes little sense to me to hold off our assistance until we pass away. My spouse is 58 and comes from a long lived family. She could easily live another 35 years. At that point our daughter would be 66 years old and in line to receive an 8 figure inheritance. Why not help a little earlier on, ie education and housing down payment? I struggled to pay for my education and my first house (not to mention subsequent homes). I really could have used some help. It wouldn't have changed my work ethic. I would rather my daughter didn't have to struggle as much. This is especially true given our very affluent lifestyle and our obvious ability to help her and her husband out.

Anyway, what a parent does in their specific circumstances will vary of course. One size does not fit all and stereotypical behaviour of others should only be a consideration for parents, not a prescriptive road map. Each parent will do what they believe is best for their children in the context of their financial means. That certainly is what I have done.
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Old 01-11-2016, 02:31 PM   #95
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age 22, at age 18 joined army for 4 years where they are basically your everything, then got out and never looked back
I think that joining / drafting Army or Navy makes you self sustained the very day you start the service.

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I think that joining / drafting Army or Navy makes you self sustained the very day you start the service.
Really. I joined the Service precisely because that made me self sustaining. On civvie street your employer is also your everything. Not gonna get much done without that paycheck. The military just parcels out the remuneration for services rendered differently. You don't get t for free. You have to show up and jump when they blow the whistle. Just like Darren Stevens and Ralph Kramden
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:29 PM   #96
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OTOH, the few times I worked for someone else; a private employer, they didn't regulate exactly what I wore, the length of my hair, where I slept, where and what I ate, my medical choices, whether I could skip coming to work for a few days without facing brig time, or whether I could decide to go work for someone else and just quit.

Yes, if you are military, you are putting in the time and effort and receive remuneration, so in that sense you are self sustaining, but I'd suggest that the more choice one has; the more chance to succeed or fail, the more self sustaining they are. Robinson Crusoe would be the poster boy at the far end of the spectrum for self sustaining. We all get to decide at what point we are self sustaining, by our own lights.
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Old 01-11-2016, 08:43 PM   #97
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Age 16. I graduated from high school and spent the summer working in Europe. Left home with a round trip charter airline ticket I paid for with earnings from my summer job a year earlier and $25 in cash. Went to college that fall, paid for with scholarships, grants, and loans. When I turned 18 I started getting social security survivor benefits directly -- my father had passed away when I was 12. That plus part time jobs got me through college.

My mother was manic depressive and had spent time in and out of mental hospitals throughout my childhood, so the day I left home really felt like the beginning of my life.

I ended up as a Silicon Valley marketing executive and am now comfortably retired. I never had children because feeling safe economically seemed to be at odds with motherhood. I don't regret that decision and believe it also made it easier to make the most of a career I took much satisfaction in. In my last 10 years of fulltime employment I earned an average of $300k, $1M in my highest earning year.

In a different reality with a normal childhood I'm sure my story would be quite different, but I am very grateful now in my early 60s to look forward to a (hopefully) long, happy retirement without concern about running out of money.


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Old 01-14-2016, 09:48 AM   #98
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Age 22, out of college. Got a corporate job for $30k, hated it and quit 5 months later. Started a house painting franchise instead, earned a whopping $18k that year and lived with a roommate. Qualified for "universal life line" which was the subsidized phone service.


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Old 01-14-2016, 10:30 AM   #99
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2nd year of university. Got married, university was in another city. Lived downtown, no car, no debt. Rented a car occasionally when we needed it. Our bicycles or public transit got us to most places we wanted to go.

Great, well paying summer job with lots of OT.No worries. Dependable P/T job during term.

But I sure got a shock 25 years later when my son told us what his tuition would be!.


Here is the kicker. I was in school. DW was a nurse-low pay at that time. We really did not have much but we were able to take vacations to Bahamas and one year to Europe. SIL/BIL married just prior to us. Both working. They went the personal bankruptcy route just as I finished my fourth year.
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Old 01-24-2016, 12:51 PM   #100
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17 - left for college. 18 - part time work in sales. 21 - self-sustained after graduating from college and working in a bank ... Mom sent check, I mailed it back.
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