Don’t Handicap Your Children By Making Their Lives Easy*

I like that particular quote. Its how I was raised and its how my parents continue to raise us.
I hear a lot about spoiling ones children, or making things too easy for them- from all sides- even from people who don’t have children (which never ceases to amaze me)… and I don’t think I’ve done that to Damien so far… granted, he does have “more” than a lot of kids, like Lizzard shoes and access to the school of his choice (or the option of a private school) because he’s my only child, and people with more than one child can’t afford such things- but I do try not to spoil him. And I know I have done so on many occasions anyway- purely due to the whole “poor-kid-doesn’t-have-a-dad-guilt-trip” factor…
Anyhoodle**, I was indirectly reminded about spoiling ones kids again on Sunday morning.
We were driving to sister B’s and my darling Damien asked me if he could please have a motorcycle next year so he can take himself to school and such. Boy oh boy was he annoyed with me when I said no!!?! It was almost comical… I said no immediately but I didn’t explain right off the bat- and being a temperamental teenager, he immediately decided I was judging him!
I didn’t even have to mention my abject terror at just imagining my (often reckless and usually daydreaming) son navigating peak traffic on two wheels with nothing between him and the tarmac but cowhide- if that… I have a perfectly legitimate excuse, in that I cannot afford to pay off a bike for him. As much as I’d love to be able to buy him a car (or MAYBE even a bike) one day, I just can’t do so on my one salary.
And don’t get me wrong bunnies- I absolutely love bikes- I reckon am SO a biker at heart! When they go by me on the highway, I feel such a longing its quite weird- and I get the urge to whoop and yell and scream for them to take me with them! I was taught to ride by my cousins when I was 14 years old and I’ve been hooked ever since… but buying my own Monster (as in Ducatti) has to wait till “one day” because I have responsibilities right now, teehee.
So as much as I do worry about Damien handling 4 wheels, and as terrified as I am at the possibility of his handling 2… he’s going to save his pennies and buy his own wheels… like I did.
*Robert A. Heinlein
**Thinking of you Vangiepants!

6 thoughts on “Don’t Handicap Your Children By Making Their Lives Easy*

  1. As a fellow only-child and Procrastinator Junior can vouch for this too: Sure, you get all the goodies when you are an only child, you also get all the grief and you are constantly under the microscope.

    Damien? You’re better off with a car, one jerk yakking away on his mobile while he’s driving, can ruin your whole motorcycling life.

  2. genevieve: very well put tjomma- and i agree, i’m all for helping damien- like taking out the loan and he pays it for me or something…

    allan: nothing like working for something eh…

    faerie: splendiferous argument there girl!

    brigitte: mwaaaaaaahahahahahaaaa…

  3. Happy – of ALL people suggested getting Nephew M a scooter!!! I nearly swallowed my saliva glands. I told him that first of all M wouldn’t be caught DEAD on a scooter – that’s just not in with his little “image” he thinks he’s got going, and second I would not allow it, and niether would Happy’s Dad. M just doesn’t measure up in the responsibility department, or the friendly, or the helpful department for that matter.
    If he wants a bike or a car one day he will have to get it himself. Maybe oneday when he feels like he can at least give me so much as the smell of his own fart I may consider doing something like that for him. LOL!!!

  4. ya know… my kids get many things from myself, my sister (without children) and my parents (we live here with them) … NOW even at times their father..
    trust me when I say the guilt of not having a “normal” family doesnt mean a damn thing to me. Their father cheated on me and I refused to accept it, work it out and move on from it.. It was the deal breaker… and I had had many other reasons for us to split up. That to me was a personal promise that he broke.

    So, as I told my friend this weekend… Do not feel sorry for your child(ren) … Come on, do you want your kids to feel sorry for you? And futhermore, we love them to pieces.. so why would I try to overcompensate?? You truly cant make someone something that they arent. And not having a father near/around/at all wont diminish YOUR skills as the parent that is present.

  5. Yeah, I agree with the withholding…my Granny never said “NO” to her son, consequently he has never had a job- he is now 61 years old and still lives off of her.
    I didn’t get my first car until I was 30 and I got it the old-fashioned way- barter!

  6. Great Post here Angel, although I agree to disagree with you. I am with you 100% about the road bike issue – knowing that motorist on our roads have absolutely no consideration for people on two wheels firstly and that is something I have told R and D from the beggining – NO ROAD BIKES – EVER unless they pay for it themselves one day. (They do have scramblers to muck around on the farm with but that is where it will stay). As for saving for their first wheels (car) I dunno if by then they are going to ever be able to afford it without the help of a parent. I too had to buy my own first car but somehow things they can like to be changing and fast too and the times are not like they used to be! Anyhooooo, I will cross that bridge when I get there! I just love it when you write posts like this!!!


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