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Old 04-25-07, 12:04 PM   #1
cranky old dude
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O00hh what a rotten day!

How can life be so grand one week, and so tough the next?

Sorry, this is not bicycle related...but I've gotta vent.....

Our 21 year old daughter, who's in her fourth year of a five year College and lives at home, broke-up with her boy freind of four years last week. Three days later she announced that she was taking delivery on her new motorcycle this Tuesday (last night). We got kinda concerned. What new Motorcycle? She says it's a Yamaha R6. We got real concerned. We explained that we understood the advantages of motorcycles, but we firmly believe she should start out on a smaller Cruising style bike (200cc range), and as her skill level increased she could upgrade. She countered that she had no problem handling the Kawasaki that she co-owned with her ex boy freind. WHAT KAWASAKI ??? It turns out she's been riding since late last summer, unknown to us, and she's confident that she knows what she's doing. I just scrounged up close to $1,000 to repair the rear then front brakes on her car...."Oh, that's what that scraping noise was!" And now she's buying a $9,000 motorcycle, against our wishes. She's going to California for a six-month co-op in June...and she intends to ship the bike out there and back. That's another $1,000. She's obviously been planning this for a while. I firmly believe that had she not broken up with her boy freind, we never would have known a thing (no place to hide the bike with him out of the picture). She hasn't even got her Motorcycle license yet.

O.K. so I know enough to put my wallet away...from now on she can pay her own way. I feel like I've been taken advantage of (not only financially, but I feel like she played us like a fiddle). She assumed we wouldn't approve. I guess I'm extremely gullable and stupid. However, she's our daughter and we love her dearly. I'm certain she's going to seriously hurt herself and there's nothing I can do to prevent it. I'm really struggling with changing from the protecting parent role to the advise giving bystander in our daughter's life, especially since she's so headstrong and seemingly unwilling to heed any of it. It's also difficult for me to determine if my feelings are truly warrented, or if it just seems that way from my perspective. My wife just sits there and stares at me...not much help from her right now. This isn't at all like Father Knows Best was on TV. Has anybody else been thru anything similar to this, or am I the only idiot dumb enough to get dupped this way? How did you cope? How should I cope?

Last edited by cranky old dude; 04-25-07 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 04-25-07, 12:50 PM   #2
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I'll guess that you weren't duped, but that this is a larger/more dramatic version of what has happened before. Like most of her peers, your daughter doesn't seem to know the value of money - probably because she hasn't been taught it.

Love her, but don't contribute to her money mismanagement. When she gets in trouble, offer to help her with making a budget, but don't give her any money (she needs to know this now, so it won't be a surprise). It would be like giving a drunk a drink.

Good luck.
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Old 04-25-07, 01:03 PM   #3
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BTDT and it hurts everytime! After helping three children through college and just paying off the last college parent loan we had, my oldest daughter that lived with us just after her 1st divorce and just moved out after 3 years back under our roof, decided that she needed a loan from us. We said no way, no how. We had put aside much of our savings to try and get the kids through school and did what we had to do. The money we had coming in needs to go into OUR nest egg and not HER safety net.

It was a tough thing to do, and she still has not learned from it.

Good Luck Dad!

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Old 04-25-07, 01:03 PM   #4
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Sounds like your Daughter is an adult and can make her own adult decisions. Wish her luck, encourage her to take an MSF course and advise her to get her license, a good helmet, and some good insurance.

Then start socking away all the money you would have been spending on her for your retirement, vacations, or toys. She can help with this process "Daddy, I need $1000.00 for xyz", "Sorry honey, we can't afford that, but thanks for reminding me to make a deposit in our special empty nest dividend account."

The time has come for your relationship to change. You are fortunate that she has stepped up and helped you all make the transition. She will always be your Daughter, and there may be some times you will help her in the future. But now is a good time to be contented with your accomplishments and to begin planning your future.

I left home at 17 and went into the U.S. Army. When I came home and went back to college I was an adult in my parents eyes and we have treated each other accordingly ever since. Take this opportunity to make the transition while she is away. Consider moving her stuff into another room where she can stay when she is "visiting".

You got a Daughter to 21 that sounds like she's prepared to take on the world. Congratulations, well done!


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Old 04-25-07, 01:06 PM   #5
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I can sympathize with you. I went through similar expenditures with my adult daughter. I bought her 2 new cars that were "totalled in accidents" but turned out they were seized resulting from drug violations... her "travel oriented absence" turned out to be a drug rehab "vacation". In due time and LOTS of grief and stress, she has turned around and is now a district manager of a large retail chain.

Albeit a Yamaha R6 would not be my first choice, the R6 is a nice scooter......I prefer Triumphs. IMO the smaller (200cc) "starters" are more dangerous that one with suficient power to "get out of the way" from rapidly approaching danger (other vehicles). I rode a 305cc Honda Superhawk from Tampa, FL to San Francisco and additional power would have been beneficial on multiple occasions on the trip....... and everyday riding. When a car/truck comes barreling at you from a freeway on ramp, you need ample punch to avoid simultaneous occupation of the same spot. I have had s few motorcycle oriented injuries (broken leg and arm) but I have also been injured (embilical hernia, broken arm, broken collar bone) while performing home improvemnt and yard work projects.

Distractions (bicycling and hobbies) help. I hate feeling/being helpless but one's options are limited with adult children. It helped to remember that I was very headstrong and "adventurous " in my younger days....

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Old 04-25-07, 01:49 PM   #6
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I guess I'm extremely gullable and stupid.
No...You're just the parent of a teenager. Gullable and stupid only comes in when you keep the checkbook open after finding out these kinds of antics. Welcome to the club.
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Old 04-25-07, 02:47 PM   #7
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My good wishes for you and your daughter.

As I was reading, I thought of my son a few years ago. I raised him and had him in a school to become a sound engineer, and I ended up leaving his mother. He was attending school that I was paying for the loan on (indirectly as part of my agreement when my ex-wife and I seperated pending the divorce), and I wasn't invited to the graduation... His mother got thanked when he was on stage... I got nothing but the thoughts of how I could have put the money to better use.

I spoiled him, and I got what I deserved because of that. His younger brother is just as spoiled, but cost me a little less.

When I think about the things I bought for them for 20+ years, while I did without things I would have loved to have, I just feel like I wasted so much...

So, yeah... I agree with one of the earlier comments, sometimes the kids help you to let go.

If a kid can buy a $9,000 motorcycle without consulting someone who is voluntarily supplying money to them, then the voluntary funds should stop!
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Old 04-25-07, 03:03 PM   #8
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Wow. As a parent of three and maybe four children (adoption in progress) I can't imagine anything more painful. I'd rather be diagnosed with prostate cancer or something.

I think the British term for this phenominon is KIPPERS or something, standing for Kids In Parents Pockets Eating Retirement Savings. At least it's not just an American happening.

Best of luck.
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Old 04-25-07, 03:23 PM   #9
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We've all, as parents, (most likely) been through it, are going through it or are going to go through it to one degree or another. I believe it's part of parenting, to get back some of the grief we caused our own parents when we were that age. Hopefully we all (kids and parents) survive it unscathed physically and mentally, and can look back on it with a sense of humor some day. Good luck.
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Old 04-25-07, 03:24 PM   #10
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Tough love is a hard deal.

As a father of four, I tell all my kids that my money comes with strings attached. We only have so many family assets and they have a responsibility to use them correctly. They can't make foolish choices and expect me to bail them out. And, by the fourth year of college they are pretty much going to be on their own.

Our oldest was a third year student whose grades dropped below the acceptable level, and he dropped out of college. We told him not another dime, and when his car broke down I offered him his choice of several bicycles that were in the garage.

It took him about five months to figure it out, and it really hurt because he would come over to the house in the middle of the day, when no one was home, and eat. One day he ate up our dinner (in the middle of the day) and I told him if he did that again I would change the locks.

Eventually he realized what a dead end road he was riding. He joined the reserves, then came back and finished college with a 3.5 gpa (amazing how living in a tent in the South in the summer can motivate you) and moved to the big city. He got called up after 9/11, did one tour overseas, then came home, met a girl, married her, and now they both teach school and are working on their masters. He is also a youth leader in his church and community. He volunteered for another year overseas but there are no active slots available with his unit (think what that means). I could not be more proud of him.

His younger brothers saw how serious we are and, as of this writing, have exercised good judgement.

It has been stated here that if she has the money for a motorcycle, you don't need to be supporting her while she spends her money for things you don't approve of.

Have faith that you've raised her with good values. But cut the purse strings. Totally. Let her sell the motorcycle if she needs money. Tough love hurts on both ends. Have faith in how you have raised her.
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Old 04-25-07, 08:13 PM   #11
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Dude, that's nothing. Be thankful, be very very thankful that you have a daughter that is strongwilled. Be prepared to accept her as an adult and treat her that way. Then she'll stop decieving you and not before. Help her financially at school according to original plan and let her deal with the rest of it. And be thankful that she's strongwilled and finishing school and not stressing over losing a boyfriend.
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Old 04-25-07, 08:39 PM   #12
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As the father of two post-teenage children, I can relate to the situations described in some of these posts.

As well, I can relate to the most profound truth which is our brother Stapfam's signature line.... insanity is hereditary... you get it from the kids.
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Old 04-25-07, 08:41 PM   #13
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I'm a bit like Terriman here. I have a married 24-year old son and a graduating 22-year old daughter. I love them and hate them growing up and away BUT THAT WAS MY JOB FROM THE DAY THEY WERE BORN! We have great relationships and I fear my Klutzy son on his 750 Honda. I can say nothing as I have 300,000 M/C miles and a CB-750 and an 1100-F in the garage.

I paid for his MSF riding course and he agreed it was a great thing. I suggest you pay for the course and make this one of your last gifts to your daughter for a while.

It's the money expended more than the fact that she bought a bike that would bug me. If she didn't have the cash, she should have bought a USED bike. The R-6 is an absolute jewel. Though blindingly fast, the throttle only goes as far as the rider will let it. It has brakes that work and it doesn't wobble. Beer significantly degrades all its performance parameters.

Love 'em. Don't say anything you can't take back. Quit supporting her unless you have an ironclad agreement regarding school costs. Then, honor it.

Just my opinion.

Best wishes.

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Old 04-26-07, 12:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrierman
Dude, that's nothing. Be thankful, be very very thankful that you have a daughter that is strongwilled. Be prepared to accept her as an adult and treat her that way. Then she'll stop decieving you and not before. Help her financially at school according to original plan and let her deal with the rest of it. And be thankful that she's strongwilled and finishing school and not stressing over losing a boyfriend.
This was my reaction to the OP.
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Old 04-26-07, 04:32 AM   #15
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Thank you all for your thoughtful input. Lots of great perspectives offered up. All of your insights plus the revealation last night that my wife new about this purchase for over a month (She chose to keep it all a secret and to spring it on me less than 24 hrs. prior to the delivery of the bike), has enlightened me to my fate.

I'll must continue to try to maintain a good relationship with my daughters, dutifully bring home my paycheck to the wife, shut my mouth and ride my bikes. I can't expect much more from my self because after all, I'm just a mere man!

Thanks for putting up with my confused rants.
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Old 04-26-07, 05:52 AM   #16
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Yes, I'm the "Bad Cop" at my house too. It is a blessing to have a spouse that the kid(s) can confide in to help ease through the transitions of life. I'm afraid my gruff exterior is sometimes a real impediment when it comes to sensitive issues.

Besides, who would've expected "Team Estrogen" to *not* gang up on you? If it was a Son the situation might well have been reversed.

Just grumble menacingly and be glad you aren't having to work through this transition alone. Then, when the Grandkids come by, you can spoil them rotten and send them right back home!

Think of it! You can become the "Go To Guy" when Mother (and Grandmother) say "NO" you say "I don't see why not!". What Fun!!
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Old 04-26-07, 06:04 AM   #17
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Here is a little different perspective.

On February 8, 1986, we received a phone call from a hospital in Baton Rouge, LA. Our beloved and wonderful son, on his 21st birthday, had been injured in a sporting competition, and was totally paralyzed from the shoulders down. Thus began a journey for all of us made even more difficult because his younger brother had been born profoundly developmentally disabled. Not at all your typical, normal expected family development.

I suspect everyone on this forum knows the story of how we made it through those 21 years, and I shan't bore participants by repeating it once more again. Suffice it to say that, even though he remains totally paralyzed, he is married to a fellow lawyer, graduated from Stanford Law School, and they have a nationally known civil rights law firm and speak and have cases all over the country. Their firm is receiving a prestigious national award in San Francisco on May 17 and my wife and I shall travel there to participate in that ceremony. However, we still continue to fight for the rights and appropriate treatment and programs of his brother, and I still spend many hours weekly - I have formed a couple of organizations that are currently working with some members of the Colorado legislature on new funding for programs - on advocating for his betterment.

Be thankful and joyful for what you DO have. Your daughter will learn to fly on her own, and this is just a bump along the road. You have done your best, which is all any of us can do. She needs to be pushed out of the nest and fly on her own. I suspect her actions are an unconscious attempt to get you to do just that.

Good luck.

And bicycling is a great way to get rid of the frustration.

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