Monday, November 3, 2008

What's a parent to do?

There is a time in every parents life when they will be faced with the most important question a teen will ask (at least to the teen). "Can I get a car?" This question automatically puts a huge knot in the pit of my stomach! We told Zach that we would match what he saved for a car and that he would have to pay for the insurance and tags. I think this is a good plan since we would not just be handing him the vehicle, but instead making him work for what he wants so he appreciates it more. He turned 16 in August and still has yet to find a job (not for lack of trying), so Zach still has no car! Our neighbors son turned 16 a week or so ago and a couple of days later a nice, shiny, red Firebird appeared in the driveway! UGH! Number one, the kid has no J.O.B. and more importantly, that is WAAAAAAYYYY too much car for a new driver to handle especially a boy, who tends to want to go fast and show off for friends and by friends I mean girls!

So, now Spencer feels bad for Zach because he doesn't have a car! It is at this time I also remind him that we have no car payment or insurance payment either! Back to reality!! I feel bad for Zach too, but not bad enough to buy him a car to which he cannot afford the payment not to mention a car that is not suitable for a 16 year old NOVICE driver! Zach is still looking for a job in a market where the teens are competing with adults who need those jobs to support a family! Hopefully by this time next year he will have a job and be on his way to EARNING his very first car!

As a side note: Don't forget to vote tomorrow! It is our right and our responsibility! My theory is: If you don't vote, don't complain about the winners!


Lin said...

Oh, good--another mom joins the rotten parent club. Welcome! Have a seat, grab a cup of guilt, and embrace your morals and values.

I do not agree with buying a kid a car, especially the 8 cylinder super sportscar that they will inevitably either get a ticket in or wrap around a tree. No kid appreciates what they don't earn. I'm proud of you that you have not succumbed to peer pressure to buy your teen a car. I think it is more of an ego trip for the parents than the kid to give their child a car. You are not alone and even though your teen will tell you otherwise, the majority of parents DO NOT buy cars for their new drivers.

My son is mortified and sulks about the car I will never buy him, but I don't let it bother me. I tell him that his "car's" make and model is called College Fund. When he has enough money to pay for 4 years of college, then he is more than welcome to buy a car. I'll be darned if my money is going to school him while his is going for fun. Aren't I mean?! He'll understand later in life.

I saw a good article on that the other day---when you are confronted by someone about why you don't buy your kid something that they've bought for theirs, you simply reply "If you don't feel sorry for my kid, I won't feel sorry for yours". Nuff said, don't ya think?

I love being a parent of teens......arrrgghhh!


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