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Too Much of a Bad Thing

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Revengeofthenerds, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. Revengeofthenerds

    Revengeofthenerds
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    Cracked just did an article on terrible parenting techniques. They include throwing a child in a lake to teach them how to swim, making them smoke an entire pack of cigarettes to teach them to stop smoking, making them finish dinner because the kid didn't like it, and "don't cry or I'll give you a reason to cry."

    My initial reaction was to laugh at this article and say how ridiculous it was, but then I started thinking back on my own childhood. It wasn't so much thing my parents did to me that taught me lessons, but what my dumbass did to myself:

    - Stove light says it's hot? Fuck it, I gotta touch that sumbitch just to make sure because I don't trust it (I still have the scars from that one).
    - Gimme that 12 gauge, I can totally handle the recoil!! (At 12 years old; my step-father had to support it beneath the barrel, which should have been my first clue).
    - Hurt my back while running? I'm sure it's not that bad, I'll just run the 1.5 miles back to campus to get it looked at because I'm young and stupid! (My back was broken; ten years later I'm still paying the price when the weather changes)

    Focus: When did you/your parents take a bad thing to the logical extreme? Did you learn your lesson?

    Alt. Focus: Shitty parenting techniques.
     
  2. Juice

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    It wasnt a deliberate parenting technique but more of an accident. I was about 17 at the time and we were on a family vacation at a lakeside cabin. My dad and mom were sitting in some Adirondack chairs listening to James Taylor or something when I waltzed up and started ribbing my dad about not being good at martial arts anymore. He was laughing and decided to show me how quick he was and tried to scare me pulling his own chair out from under him and wave it at me. He miscalculated the distance between him and me and as he whipped the chair out, it hit me in the head and knocked me out cold. I awoke to my mom screaming at him and him trying to wake me while holding back his laughter.

    As for their general parenting, I remember getting spanked when I was a kid, but never smacked around in an abusive way (WickedBitch to the courtesy phone).
    I think the worst thing they did to me was try to teach me financial independence. While that sounds like a good thing, they saddled me with a $1500 a year car insurance bill when I started driving at 16. I basically spent all my time driving to a job to pay off that bill, among others. My dad used to say its the way the real world works. While I get his intention, I always felt that was too harsh of a measure especially considering my brother and sister werent subject to the same lesson. I probably wont repeat it on my kids.

    bump.
     
  3. JWags

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    Ive always found some of the ways parents teach their children about "financial" things to be a bit extreme. I knew a kid from a VERY wealthy family that I went to HS with that wore hand me down clothes from his older brothers and drove a beater that probably couldn't pass an emissions test. Meanwhile, they lived on a large estate in the woods with a large clearing...so his father could helicopter to work each day. He didn't buy the beater himself, that was the car selected by his parents.

    Similarly, I knew multiple kids in college from well off families, some of whom were on partial scholarships, who were paying for school with loans they had taken out. And mind you they were paying in-state tuition, it wasn't $60K a year at an Ivy League. At least one I know of passed on a job he loved for one he didn't care for as much, because it paid better and he was worried about loan payments.

    In the first case, it was overkill about not wanting your child to be spoiled that you're just excessive. If you want your kid to have a car, cause you live in a spread out burb like I did, there is a wide range between a new BMW and a rusted out 1989 Tercel.

    College is a bit trickier, but I'm still not sure of the reasoning. I realized that I'm unique and blessed that my parents were financially able to support me through school and not everyone has that luxury. However, if you have financial means, and your child has ticked a lot of the "sensible" boxes (in-state, partial scholarship, good grades), why you'd put them behind the 8-ball at age 22, I don't understand. One kid mentioned his Dad boasted about paying his tuition each year through his summer job. Which is ridiculous and short-sighted to think the college financial situation is the same in the mid 2000s that it was in 1975.
     
  4. Trickysista

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    My husband's cousin's parents are forcing him to take the bus to his job and community college because he flunked out of his first year at school. His dad's reasoning? "This is how the real world works." The kid lives in the middle of suburbia, and it's about a two hour bus ride to go 10 miles from his house. I don't have kids (yet) but I don't see how this is teaching the kid to do better in school. If anything, it's more of a hindrance on the parents because if the bus breaks down, guess who's driving him to work and school? Doesn't make sense to me.
     
  5. Parker

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    Well, I was spanked, but not beat. Huge difference. I am not scarred or hate my parents because of it. Nope. Timeout and taking away my TV/Sega* or allowance was worse than anything. Spank me please, let me get back to Sonic 3 (the best Sonic). *Here is where you think oh! they gave you a Sega, you got nice shit! Yeah but I'm 95% convinced they just got it to us to take it away when they needed to, they bought it and complained all the time when me and my brother turned it on. They'd say shit like "Oh go outside and play! Oh go outside and play." Then we'd say things like "Well we need bikes to ride with everyone!" and those bikes became the new Sega.

    But where my parents fucked me up was 100% with money. My upper middle class parents had me convinced we were a step out of the prahjeks. Had me wearing hand me downs all through 6th grade, never took me to get my hair professionally cut and bitched about it anytime I wanted the cool sneakers to fit in. If I wanted anything to fit in, they basically said it was too expensive. My parents completely fucked the concept of "expensive" to me because they used it interchangeably for the concept of "cost money." Anything they didn't want to buy was "expensive" regardless of the items price in relation to the category. I get it, they grew up poor, but they missed the whole concept of making it so your kids didn't have to struggle. No, fuck the kids, we struggled, they're struggling too. It builds character.

    All my friends traveled with their parents, I got the 1 middle class mandatory trip to Disney world. While they traveled the world on honeymoons and what not. All my other friends had family vacations to Italy, England or some tropical spot. Not I. When it came to getting a car at 16, my mom (who is the only one that could drive due to my dad's depth perception issues) didn't even want to teach me, let alone buy me even the shittiest beater. re: "It's expensive"...a family member wanted to sell me a brand new fucking Honda hatchback for like $4,500. "Nope, it's expensive."

    Now my parents have COMPLETELY REWROTE history in regards to college loans. When we were going through the whole process, I had to take out loans. They paid for some of it, but I had to take out loans. Now magically they're saying they would have paid for it all and I fucked up. RIDICULOUS. Point 1) I was convinced they couldn't afford it. 2) What the fuck is the point of them bringing it up now unless since they're not trying to pay shit now.

    This is why these sumbitches ending up in an old folks home in like 5-10 years.
     
  6. lostalldoubt86

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    My mother sent me to Catholic school. It was a horrible experience for me because I was a weird kid and the small class size meant that I was in the same class with the same kids from preschool until 7th grade. I was bullied quite a bit. Not only from the students, but from a few of the adults (teachers, cafeteria attendants, class parents) who were too involved in the lives of the students and thought I was a bad kid because I tried to fight back. Every day, I would beg my parents to let me go to public school, but my mother also went to Catholic school and didn't trust the public school system. It took until I was in 7th grade and my mom got a job as a school nurse that she finally realized public school wasn't as scary as she thought. This is something she has apologized to me for years later.

    To give you an idea of how bad these kids were: There were 30 kids in my class. 5 became teen moms. 6 were later arrested for violent crimes. One girl failed out of college for drug use. Another girl is a legitimate sociopath (currently in the high-risk unit of a mental hospital after she tried to murder her fiance.) The girl who was the worst to me is both a teen mom and got arrested for grand theft auto and corruption of a minor.
     
  7. Parker

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    Oh right, so after my parents sent me to what is one of the top 5 expensive private schools in Chicago, they were afraid that the other well off children were passing on their contagious "spoiled children" thoughts and or I was becoming too "white" so they switched me to an all black school where I had ZERO chance of fitting in. That went so well, I developed migraines that persist to this day. Two years I had to verbally spar every single day if not get into a fight, the school was so strict, any "fight" had an unwritten rule of a 2 minute boxing match, because anyone caught WATCHING the fight or fighting the fight received a detention. If you received two detentions in a year, you were suspended. Three you were kicked out. One fight I didn't follow the rules, jumped the kid MMA style and started swinging. Got caught and served the longest 90 minutes of my life (Oh my the way, detention for 5th graders started at 6 in the morning.) I wish I had a nun beat me publicly with ruler than to sit at a desk in a room that had zero decoration, not even a crucifix. Just my thoughts, white walls, and clean blackboards.
     
  8. Kampf Trinker

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    I don't have too much to complain about. Grew up in a middle class family, fairly well off and had everything I needed. I can't help but gripe about the blatant favoritism towards my younger sisters though. The first couple years at college I had no car and had to walk everywhere while my sister still in high school had her own. I eventually got that car without paying a dime, but it was because she wanted a new one. I also had to transfer schools because the loans were getting exorbitant, and I'm still years from paying them off. My sisters? Anywhere you want to go, all expenses paid, plus spending money whenever you want something new.

    I always feel guilty whenever I bitch about it because it's not like I can claim I grew up poor or deprived, but I spent my teens haggling over every cent with my dad while my sisters just had to ask.
     
  9. AlmostGaunt

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    I was a fat kid. Dad would force me to exercise or I'd get screamed at or hit. Surprisingly, this didn't make me enjoy exercise and associate it with good times and happiness.
     
  10. shimmered

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    Probably the biggest thing I could complain about is my mother's complete inattention to ANYTHING to do with clothing.
    ONE pair of jeans and ONE pair of shoes to last an ENTIRE school year, and I have no fucking memory of where my shirts came from. As long as we had on shoes (any season but summer - shoes were optional during summer time) and a shirt and pants - it was good in her eyes.

    Basic needs - covered. Everything else? Not quite so much.
     
  11. zyron

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    My Dad was the same way with clothes. I got one pair of sneakers, one pair of jeans and like 3 shirts before school started. I couldn't pick any of them out either and they were cheap clothes.
     
  12. toytoy88

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    Same here, except it was 3 pairs of pants. Toughskins. In red, green, and brown. Always red, green and brown. The problem was, it wasn't uncommon for me to grow 2-3" in 4 months back then. By Christmas, I always looked like I was wearing my little brother's pants, except I didn't have a little brother.

    The other complaint I might have is, other then school, I was never around other kids. After a while I tended to see them as...well...childish. I was constantly around adults (Very old adults for that matter) so much of my conversational ability was directed at adults, not kids who didn't know what the hell I was talking about most of the time. While others of my generation were being raised by hippie parents, I was being raised by my grandparents who were born at the turn of the century out in the wilds of Canada. To them electricity, tv, and indoor plumbing were luxuries, not necessitates. I may as well been raised Amish.

    And I won't even go into the wisdom of telling a 9 year old child about demons that can take over your body at any given moment just because they can. And then they wondered why I was afraid of the dark.
     
  13. TX.

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    When I was a kid...like late middle school/early high school, my mom would go through her closet and make me try on her clothes from when she was my age. For fun. I think it's worth mentioning that my mom is a solid 6 inches shorter than me and was a curvy cheerleader in high school. Me? Not so much. Everything was tight in all the wrong places and loose in all the wrong places. Did I learn a lesson? Was there a lesson? I still don't know, but at the time it made me feel pretty crummy about myself.

    There's a chance I'm going to have a daughter who's built like a fridge someday. Note to self: don't make her try on my XS leotards or clothes or even XS scrubs when she's 14. There's no good that can come from it.
     
  14. Fiveslide

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    I didn't have normal curfew. My curfew from the time I could drive was between 6 and 7 a.m.

    I'd ask my Dad if I could go stay at a friend's house so I could go out partying. He would say yes, but that I needed to be home by 0600 to dig fucking holes, or something stupid.

    I'm sure his intentions were to keep me from driving after a few beers. What actually happened was I would drink ALL night and not sleep then drive home at dawn, thoroughly drunk and tired, and usually puke while doing whatever task I was assigned. This was before cell phones with alarm clocks so I "had" to stay up all night or I wouldn't make it home in time and would be in trouble. And since I had to say awake I may as well keep drinking.

    Now that I'm older I realize what a danger I was to myself and others and what a failure that particular parenting technique was.

    I will not repeat it with my son. Though I hope by the time he is that age it will be nearly impossible for a 16 year old kid to buy booze. When I was that age, it was entirely too easy.
     
  15. katokoch

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    I didn't start partying until I'd graduated high school, but my parents did the same curfew with me 'til I was maybe 20 when I was visiting. I made some very stupid decisions just to get back home to meet their expectations too.

    My parents also came down very hard on me with grades and school, especially my dad. It was like nothing mattered to him if there was anything below a B on my report cards. I'd typically get my semester grades just before we'd head down to Illinois for family vacations. For awhile we'd take two separate vehicles and this meant he could use the last hour or two of the drive for one-on-one time with me, so he could scream at me over grades while I couldn't escape. His "motivational" talks like those didn't improve my grades as much as they made me anxious over my performance in and out of classes and convince me that whatever I was doing was never good enough. I still struggle with self confidence and accepting compliments sometimes (gee, thanks Dad!).

    I disagree... I still see it as trying to foster some responsibility and appreciation for what you have rather a sense of entitlement and taking things for granted. For perspective my dad is that type that paid for his college education by working as a farmhand and trapping, and makes a very healthy amount today but still wears old sweatpants with holes in them and drives a decade old car. My mom was the first in her entire family to attend college.

    I read your first story as "parents gave their kid a car," not "gave him a beater when it could have been so much nicer." Your friend may not feel so fortunate compared to their neighbor who just got a Lexus from their parents, but they still are. Not getting the nice sneakers you want is not a struggle. My parents could have paid for my college education but didn't, and obviously I wouldn't mind not having these damn student loans on my back for another 6 years- but on the other hand it has forced me into getting used to being responsible and wiping my own ass as an adult. This doesn't mean I assume anyone whose parents helped pave the way for them is an irresponsible ass, or all those who didn't are rock solid, but am I behind the 8-ball? Hell no.

    So? He knew he had repay his loans, so he made the responsible choice. You know I'd love to be working in my shop full time now but I know it would be stupid to try and rely on that for a living now despite how badly I wish I could, so that's why I'm in the office taking a break from market research at the moment. You can't always get what you want.
     
  16. JWags

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    But it wasn't niche craftsman work like your passion/hobby. He turned down a specialized marketing job with a smaller company in favor of a pretty soul-sucking corporate sales job. Its not like he wanted to train fucking dolphins or something. I know for a fact he doesn't have a great relationship with his parents, and the fact that he's working a job he hates making loan payments when both of his parents drive luxury cars and shop for a vacation home isn't least amongst it.

    And as for your father, did not you read what I wrote? There is no way in hell you're trapping and baling hay to pay for most college tuition now. Unless you're trapping unicorns.

    I'll move along now before you yell at me to get off your lawn.
    We can agree to disagree on more material things parents give their children. I just have an issue with financially successful parents arbitrarily withholding from their children to prove points that usually only breed resentment. There is a wide gap between "spoiled" and comfortable or fortunate.
     
  17. wexton

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    My parents had the money to pay for my university but didn't. I have no problems with it, because it meant that when I decided I didn't want to do it anymore I just quit and walked away.
     
  18. katokoch

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    No, stay and have a beer if you want.

    It isn't about exactly how you get the money to pay for your own education, whether work or loans, it's the fact that you did it yourself. People typically appreciate things they earn for themselves more than whats handed to them. To me that isn't some arbitrary reason.

    My point with the job thing is just that I'd rather be doing it in the first place (niche or not, people do make a living at it) and like your friend I've got loans that factor into it. I'm talking about the alt-focus to this thread. Your friend could say "I want to work for a specialized marketing firm but it doesn't pay enough because of my financial obligations so I have to do this shitty job until then."
     
  19. Misanthropic

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    Likewise, although in all fairness to my parents, it was because they didn't have 2 nickles to rub together. My once dad told me that, after they moved us into a house the size of a shed, thigs were incredibly tight. After paying bills and buying groceries, he typically had about $9 in his wallet for the week. Gas for the car, clothes, etc., all came out of that $9. Granted, this was 1971, so $9 went a little farther, but not much.

    My mother's parenting style was . . . well she didn't really have one. For the most part it was "be home by dinner". As a result, I could be anywhere from at the next door neighbor's (and it was a vacation home, so I probably shouldn't have been in their house when they weren't around), to the town dump, to old iron mines, to knocking on my friends' front doors at 7 a.m. to see if they could come out to play. There was zero oversight to make sure I was doing my homework (I was). Looking back, I had a lot of fun and loved my childhood, but if I was only slightly more reckless things could have gone way off the rails before my mother would have had any clue.
     
  20. Mastro

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    This is one of the reasons I consider myself extremely lucky with my upbringing. One example (spoilered for length):

    I went to my first proper party (alcohol, etc) when I was 14. I took three beers from my dad's fridge and hid them in a backpack. On the way to the party, dad heard the chinking of glass inside and asked "what have you got there?"

    I told him what I had, and he flat out said "that's not going to be enough."

    He pulled into the next bottle-shop and asked me what I wanted, to which I replied "beer." He came out a few minutes later with a carton (24 bottles).

    He then said "6 of these are for you, it will be enough. The rest are for your friends. Don't be an idiot, this will be plenty for you."

    I ended up having 5, got adequately tipsy, but didn't push myself too far because I realised I was already having fun and didn't need more. He then picked me up the next afternoon after spending the night.

    TL;DR: don't lie to your kids. Just tell them the story, how it is. Don't fear-monger.

    Note: I know it was probably irresponsible of him to buy me alcohol at such an age. This only occurred maybe 3 times a year, for mine and my closest friends' birthdays thereafter.