Klast wrote:Sheltering them from the consequences of their actions could be seen as preventing the child from learning the lesson of that experience.
That's exactly what I was trying to say, even though I didn't give that great of an example. Well, an incomplete example. But shit man I hope there's no bad blood because I personally have been enjoying this discussion and your remarks kind of confused me. I can tell neither of us is a stranger to this particular argument, and believe it or not I'm usually arguing your side, mostly because it makes intolerant people uptight.
Maybe I'll post the story of my daughter's journey through life some time in the epic stories thread but the short version is that I'm a good parent by most people's standards. The only people I know (including my daughter's therapist) who don't think I'm a good parent is some christians I know that think I'm turning my children into Godless heathens even though I tell them I believe there is a God. I don't take them to church which means I'm bad.
But I will post one part of the story; one that tested the limits of my own belief system and resulted in my daughter learning a painful lesson. The short version: We make an absolute shitload of money selling our house in California (summer 2004?), and me in my delusion decide that it's a good idea to give the 17 year old a brand new car. Will Rodgers once said that the best way to make someone trustworthy is to trust them, even though my gut feeling told me she wouldn't appreciate it. So I gave her my car, and made her put in in her name on her 18th birthday because, uh, it's not mine any more. So she starts hanging around with the wrong crowd here in Spokane, and she does some stuff that gets her booted from the house. You don't call your mommy a cunt and the old man an assole and expect them to support you at age 18.
So here's the meat of the story: She's living wherever it is that she's living, and we tell her that it's now her responsibility to pay for her insurance. First life lesson: You don't get so say "Mom your a fucking cunt, oh by the way can you pay GEICO for me?" Doesn't work that way. The answer is "We've taken you off the insurance, feel free to call back when you're pleasant."
So she's holding this over my head. I've already made the mistake in giving her the car. That train has left the station. But her rationale is that if I stop paying the insurance and anything happens to the car, then I'm the one out 15,000 bucks. I tell her no, I already have a replacement car, she's the one taking the bus to where ever it is she lives and works. She seems to think it's some joke or game. I just knew that shortly after taking her off the insurance that she would do something stupid and lose the car, and fate didn't disappoint. It was the end of a chapter of her life, and a defining moment in my relationship with her. Homeless, jobless, no car, no friends because she alienated them too. She showed up at our door a humble wretched creature, which was at least an improvement over the snotty me me me person who was shown the door 6 months previous. She got the lesson: The world doesn't owe you shit.
Now she lives with us, has a good job, she's engaged to a good guy, and she's got a nice little jeep that she saved up the down payment on. She has enough in the bank to get her own apartment and she's excited about living on her own and a little scared of making the step. She still lapses into the angry 15 year old but those episodes are very short lived. She's even starting to sound like me. I tell the kids that they all have an "I get it" lightbulb over their heads and that the old man can always tell which kids get it, and now she's starting to see it too (now that she gets it duh).