Sunday, July 26, 2009

I Don't Know, I Found It That Way ...

I think kids these days don't really know how to value their own property. They have this weird thinking that their parents are rich with limitless funds. Take my kids for example, just yesterday wifey discovered that the older boy broke his new school knapsack which was only given to him just last week to replace the earlier one that he also broke. One that we went around the entire city looking for, one that was made out of strong hand sewn canvas. How he broke the first one we got him, don't ask me. Some things are not meant to be answered.

And even then, after breaking it, he kept quiet about it. Wifey discovered it quite by accident when she was cleaning up the place. Even after he destroyed his first bag he kept quiet about it. I'm glad I wasn't him yesterday cos the earful he got from her was enough to wake the dead ... LOL!

But seriously though, I can't speak for other kids but my own kids really don't know how to value their stuff. They want everything they see out there and when you buy it for them they practically destroy, break or loose it the very next week! It can make your blood boil at times.

We've been telling the boys that they need to look after the things we buy for them over and over again and you'd think they would listen, not in a million years. My younger boy has so many toys and he destroys them all, books we buy for him are found dog-eared, scribbled on and torn in a matter of weeks. And the thing that really drives wifey up the wall is when she asks them what happened to their stuff, they just shrugged and say,

'I don't know, I found it that way.'

Yeah, we have this little invisible goblin in the house going around destroying all their stuff! It stupefies me why they can't value their stuff. Some of the things we buy for them are not cheap. A watch we bought for my elder boy for Christmas was lost in a matter of months and he doesn't even know how he lost it. A replacement watch that was given to him had the strap and a couple of other things broken not too long as well.

I wonder if they really know that we actually have to use real money to buy them these stuff. I remember back when I was a kid I used to value all my stuff. I have comics that are still in mint condition from the time of my secondary school days. I used to take care of all my stuff and would treat them like they were gold or something. You wouldn't find me destroying or taking apart all my toys. I'd scream bloody murder if any of my cousins even as much as mishandled any of my property.

Even up to this day, I take great care of my stuff, sometimes to the point of 'over-caring' for it, for want of a better word. A watch wifey gave me 9 years ago is still in excellent working condition and I use it for work everyday at that, but give my boys a watch and you can be sure it's either going to be broken or lost in a few months time.

That's one reason why this morning we bought this really cheap unbranded watch for the older boy that only cost RM10.00! It's not that we don't want to buy him a good and decent watch. At least if he loses or destroys (which we know he will) this one, we both won't feel so 'heart sick'. I guess we both should start looking for anything that is on cheap sale if we're ever going to buy them stuff, at least until they learn to really value their stuff. It sure would save us a lot of money!
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42 comments:

  1. i remember mom gave me a wrist watch when i was going for form 1..sort of to signify that i am venturing into teen-hood...but i broke it in less than 6 months. and that was the last wrist watch ever given to me by mom - for free. :)

    i think, it is normal that at this stage, kids do not know the value of their own property. unless of course it is something they really like or have gotten it with much effort.

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  2. I think it happens everywhere... you will only know to value stuff if you pay for it by yourself.

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  3. It is a struggle everywhere I think....teaching children the value of a hard earned dollar. And I havent been consistent with teaching this lesson this with my own children. I remember my father, who grew up very poor, used to say.... "what is mine is yours...." I think that's the underlying value we should teach... that the value of money is tied in with compassion and generosity.
    This isn't a one sided thing is it? I see it as an important value we need to pass onto our kids. So, as I purchase something new for my son or daughter, I want them to know that they too can do the same for someone else..... it is a "pay it forward" kind of thing.

    What is mine is yours.....

    One of the activities we do as a family every year at Christmas time is to decorate the local soup kitchen where many people living in poverty will go for their Christmas dinner. It is a fun activity, but an eye opener too for all of us.

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  4. I think that is a universal problem, here in Brazil too. Erick, eleven, broke his school backpack, I bought a new one. Stern words, "Break that one and you use plastic supermarket shopping bags!" Ah, he still has the second backpack more than a year later.

    AV

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  5. Carol - LOL! Right now, that's the last watch they're going to get until they show me they can take care of things.

    Well, I hope these two boys do finally start learning about the value of things.

    And by the way, just what did you do to break you watch in 6 months la? LOL!

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  6. Terra Shield - That's true. But in the meantime until they start to actually earn their own money, both wifey and me are going to be forking out some good money for their stuff ...

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  7. Awareness - 'A pay it forward' kinda thing. I like that. I wish I could instill that kind of thinking in my two boys.

    Granted they're still at an age where money comes from mommy and daddy and they're not too bothered how it gets to them as long as they get it.

    That soup kitchen activity is a noble thing, kids sometimes need to see how lucky they are compared to some of the other kids out there.

    I don't really know if we actually have something like that over here but I'm going to find out and if we do, I'll definitely bring the boys to help out. It will teach them to really appreciate things.

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  8. Argentum Vulgaris - 'Break that one and you use plastic supermarket shopping bags!' ... that's more or less what my wife said to my elder boy ... LOL!

    I'm going to have to get a new knapsack for my son and I really don't know how long that one will last ...

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  9. Its just the case of having too much too easily. Kids dun need to work for their stuffs nowadays. You could try and let them do chores in the house... to earn something they want... or tell ur elder kid that he is going to use the Giant green bag to school if his backpack gets torn again.. how cool is that ;)

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  10. Yes! my kids are like that too..their toys won't last a day..! Today you buy, the next day, the toys will be broken into pieces..
    Maybe if we stop buying them stuffs, they will learn to value whatever they have??? HAHAH like dreaming pulak..

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  11. Kids these days dun value money. I know I'm not the most "caring" person on earth for my valuables but at least I know how to take care of em. I have this auto 1 day being depressed day if my stuff got stolen/lost. Not the most healthy thing to do but that's how shitty it feels.

    I remember when I was younger, mum would tell us stories about how hard money was earn during her days. She had to help her mum sell nasi lemak during her days. Certainly make me value money more.

    Your son certainly is like my younger brother. I remember when he was younger, dad would get him toys and he would break it. Well not really break it. More like experiment on it and make a new gadget out of it. @_@"""

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  12. Anny - Yes, I think you're absolutely right. Kids these days have things so much easier than the old days (and that doesn't mean I'm old, ok? LOL)

    Let them do chores in the house? ROTFL! They always end up fighting when we asked them to do chores and that in turn will get wifey all riled up instead. Better for us to just do the chores ourselves.

    I'm collecting plastic bags already :D

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  13. Kadusmama - Good to know wifey and me are not the only ones suffering this 'buy today break/lose tomorrow' syndrome ... hehehe ...

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  14. Maslight - LOL! My kids just love to disassemble their toys and see if they can transform it into something else entirely and that's normally the way they ruin their toys ... siggghhh ...

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  15. I think it's the TV lah. Really bad influence. It's true. Money has no value now to kids. They don't know how hard you have to work to just beli something small. Apa lagi now prices all naik!

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  16. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Macam lah I am a mom myself! Hahahahaha

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  17. I was kinda bad as a kid also. Now kerja baru sedar how hard it is to gumpul money nie.

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  18. Children these days tot ipods and what nots that some of us adults don't even have the luxury of owning. I met someone's nephew (between the age of 12 or 13) using a Canon 500d (one step up from mine) that was just introduced to the market recently. Heard one of his classmates using a Canon 5d costing more than RM10k!

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  19. Oh, my kids are like that too, esp the younger one! I tell them they think I'm printing money. Just this year, both my sons lost their mobile phones. The younger one lost his new one again within days!! Sigh, I thought it is because I don't scold them enough but it seems that after all the scolding from your wife, the kids are still the same.

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  20. if they are over 5 yrs old.. u start them off doing simple chores (its not child labour)... so they know they have to pull their weight around the house.
    I torture my nephew to do things now.. but he's 17 already.. he's been pampered all his life till i came home.. hahahaha.. but i dun nag la.. urmm.. u cud place one kid upstairs and another downstairs to do chores.. hehehehee.. house chores shud be fun and a family thing :D even pebbles can help out ;)

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  21. have u ever wondered... the "fighting" part was their diabolical plan to get out of doing chores? hehehhehehe... they got u laa... *LOL*

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  22. Rozella - Yes, that idiot box is probably the number one cause!

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  23. Rozella - Urrmm, didn't I read somewhere in your blog the word pregnant was mentioned? LOL!

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  24. Rozella - Yeah, once you have to earn your own money you will realize the value of it ...

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  25. Mei Teng - I know kids who have way more expensive mobile phones and way better car than I ever will have!

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  26. BT - No amount of shouting helps. Wifey thinks maybe we should just stop nagging them and if they break or lose something, then they'll just have to save up to but it again. That way, they just might, and I use the word might very loosely here, learn something ...

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  27. Anny - Kesian your nephew, kena dera from you ... LOL!

    But it doesn't work for my kids la, we end up having to supervise them even more if we ask them to do household chores. Maybe it's their ploy of acting like as if they can't do chores to avoid even more housework ... LOL!

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  28. Anny - LOL! That's exactly what I was thinking too :D

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  29. He's really pampered.. trust me.. hahhahaha.. a little bit of hardwork won't really hurt a 17 yr old kiddo :)
    i dun torture him that much.. its his exam year :)
    after his SPM.. i will torture him fulltime la from scrubbing the floor to painting the house la.. hahhahahahahhaha

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  30. Anny - Hahaha ... Can you also send him to my house to help out?

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  31. send to ur house ka? kasi exchange laa.. u send Pebbles to me bole? hahahhahhaa.. if his mom is reading this.. habislaa saya...

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  32. exchange kids ka nick and anny?? hehehehe

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  33. dont heart sick la Nick.. maybe the kids need more teachings

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  34. Anny - Ok, that sounds like a fair deal ... LOL!

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  35. Fyzal - LOL! Now you make it sound like we're doing a dog trafficking business ...

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  36. Fyzal - You're absolutely right. They really do need to learn to value property la ...

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  37. Boys are rough, and they break things a lot. But, I've tried my best to teach my own son to take better care of his stuff, because I cant replace whatever he damages!

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  38. I think I learned to appreciate my stuff when my dad made me work for what I want. If I want a CD of my favourite band, I'd have to achieve certain grade for my exams or I'd have to help them out at their restaurant washing dishes for a few weeks. From that I learned that money don't come easy and get to experience the hard work that my parents had to do to support the family. I'm forever grateful!

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  39. Meleah - Yeah, unfortunately boys are of the rough species :D It's coming to a point where it's getting expensive replacing all their stuff.

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  40. Samantha - Your dad was a wise man. Maybe I should start making them work for what they need, that just might instill a sense of responsibility in the. Then again, I might as well sell snow to the Eskimos ... LOL!

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  41. I know what you mean about kids...one time I was out at the store with them and they wanted everything. When I would make an excuse "I don't have the money for that right now" they would say "just use your credit card..."

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  42. Liggy B - Hahaha ... good things my kids have figured out about asking both wifey and me to use credit cards just yet, but soon I suppose ...

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