oh baby baby – bringing up the next generation

28 11 2008

My daughter’s school friend (we’re talking private skool gurls, dahling) got her first car recently. A VW convertible. New. For god’s sake, are these parents serious?

I can’t talk I suppose. My first car was a convertible too. A Mini Moke. It was a slightly battered little beast of a thing, handed down from my older brother, who’d bought some whopping, throbbing… motorbike.

That Moke took me from Sydney to Newcastle, Canberra, Brisbane, the Outback… I was always on the road to somewhere, mostly with a moke-load of mates. These were road trips to end all road trips… all done at what felt like a ripping pace thanks to the furiously flapping canvas cover. Except they took forever. The journey was the thing…

Yes, it was a bit dodgy in the rain. And parents these days would be horrified about their daughters taking such an insecure beast of a machine out at night, on long lonely roads, sometimes alone – and without a mobile phone.

But a VW convertible? Now there’s a high maintenance woman in the making. Why do we do it to our kids? How are they going to cope with the reality that they can’t – and usually don’t – get everything they want?

As parents, we need to learn the ‘no’ word. And use it. Often. Without backing down, without listening to the pleading and considering the poor darlings feelings about being the odd one out. That’s called character building.

My daughter had a bit of a whinge about the heap of junk her dad bought as a shared first car for her and his stepson. She said it would be so embarrassing turning up at school where all her friends had sports cars and convertibles.

My response: Oh well. It’s wheels and it’s free. Be graceful and accept the gift gratefully. Besides, it’s kinda retro (she said nostalgically).

Now she’s driven it a bit, she’s loving driving… And after she drove it to school, I noticed a slight change in attitude (I quite like the shape of it, mum. It goes really well, mum).

Apparently, her friends all admire her retro cool. Gee, who would’ve thought?

Elle x

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One response

28 11 2008
Diana Rupert

Wow! Your daughter’s friend really got something! I buy something useful instead of the expensive things. Today’s life is much difficult than yesterday.

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