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10-19-2011, 10:49 AM #1
I feel like I have failed my children ( feel cheated too)
I feel like I have failed my children. Have finances limited their opportunities? It feels like a road opens up only to find out it is a toll road and the price is to high so the road is closed. It feels like this happens time and time again.
Buddy comes home all excited about the extra credit assignment for pre-engineering. Making a hoover craft(board) you can ride on. He starts researching (hubby does too) Buddy discovers that leaf blowers work the best. Hubby discovers Buddy might need two of them. Hubby says there is no way we can trade $200 ( in leaf blowers we would need to buy) for 30 points extra credit. The air left the room and I know I felt heavy. Buddy is going to try and team up with someone or a few more to make a hover craft (I'm not sure if that will bring costs down or not) I also feel cheated and feel that the children at least Buddy have been cheated because my dad would have loved to do a project like this with Buddy. He might have even had everything Buddy would have needed plus some actual engineering practice to help guide him a long. But Dad is no longer alive to help enrich Buddy.
Buddy also bring home a fundraiser for the next orchestra trip summer after next. But he has decided not to go as he would have to fly and he didn't like doing it last time. Hubby talked with me and he thinks we have to get the children out more. He knows this will be hard on our already strained fiances but he feels we have to for their own good. I don't see how though.
Buddy in 3.75 years will be off at college and unless he gets great scholarships his choices will be limited as he will need to go local and live at home.
I feel like I have failed my children because of finances. That some how I have limited their opportunities and they have limited their ability to become all they can be.
It truly feels like roads to great opportunity open up and then are closed due to the high toll. Will they every get where they want to be? Will they ever be able to go as far as they can? Will they be able to succeed? Did the choices we made taht we thought would help them end up hindering them instead? Have I/we failed them?
- 10-19-2011, 11:01 AM #2
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No, you haven't failed them. Though not all of the opportunities are there, you have made the most of the opportunities that have arrived.
I have a friend who grew up on welfare along with his brother. My friend worked hard, got scholarships and used all grants and financial aide available to him. He put himself through school and became a chemist. He worked for good firms (international level), developed ideas and eventually started his own business.
His net worth was probably into 7 digits before he turned the age of 40.
His brother did not work hard, he took the handouts and gave the whoa is me speeches. He has no degree, took no advantages, and took no opportunities. I don't even know if he had a job the last time I spoke with my friend.
If you have taught your children to work hard to succeed, that nothing in life is a given, to bounce back against adversity, to think outside the box, then you have NOT failed as a parent.
Kudos to you for doing so well with the adversities you have faced.10-19-2011, 11:04 AM #3
Imagine they will get there. They might just have to work a bit harder but if they want it bad enough their dreams will come true. Limited income kept me from being able to get my children all that they wanted. At times like with Buddy and his project I felt less than awful because I couldn't give them those needs.
....but if they want it they can do it. My son and daughter are the perfect example of this. They applied and fought for every scholarship and grant they could get all the way through school. They did go locally to college and live at home but in the end they still have the same degree as if they went to a big expensive college.
...and because they did things the way they did them they graduated debt free. My son even went on and got his Master's degree debt free. He applied and got an assistantship which paid for his classes. He finished his MBA in August and before he even graduated he got an interview and was hired immediately at a local bank. My daughter is doing her student teaching and will graduate in December.
I'm just saying all this so you'll know it is possible. Don't ever give up or think your not doing all that you can. You are giving them the most important things...your love and guidance. Hugs10-19-2011, 11:10 AM #4
I know you feel that way but don't let that feeling limit your children. My parents couldn't afford many things for us, yet most of us still got high grades, two of us (that I know of) got scholarships, and four of us have varying levels of college degrees up through Masters. The rest have obtained qualifications through other means and are doing just fine.
One of my brothers took 10 years to get through college because he worked until he had money to pay for several semesters then went to school, and worked part time, until money ran out. Repeat until graduation. Now works for $55K/year.
I have another brother who has gone to technical schools and obtained certification, then gone to college and stopped because of finances or because he failed or whatever. He works for a Walmart Distribution center now doing manual labor and makes a good wage - no debt except a mortgage. He is going back to school to finish up and get certification in CAD and design because he has an idea for a new car engine. He is 40.
Don't forget. College isn't everything either. HP, Apple, and many other companies started as ideas and a workshop in a shed or garage and by people who had never been to college or were dropouts. They also didn't necessarily have a ton of money either.
If your children are interested in things, encourage them to still do the research even if the practical side is out of reach at the moment. Encourage them to find the means themselves to raise funds if they need them.
And with 4 years (approximately) to college for your boy, you still have plenty of time.10-19-2011, 11:17 AM #5
I have often felt this way, but recently was challenged by a friend to stop looking at what we can't do and start focusing on finding all the things we can. For example we can't afford to send our kids to this educational concert put on by the local philharmonic, but I found several free concert series put on by local churches and several concerts that will be free at the local college. We will go to those instead. Buddy may not be able to build the hovercraft, but maybe you guys can figure out some other projects you can do with him to enrich his education. This will also teach him to pursue educational opportunities and make the most of what is available. Lessons like those really help kids to succeed.10-19-2011, 12:10 PM #6
In no way have you failed your children. They had the most important thing~ parents that love and care for them. Sure it would be nice to have $ for all the other opportunity's but many many people don't. Very poor people grow up and flourish as adults. People with deplorable parents grow up and flourish as adults. Also people with every opportunity as a child and the best parents ever can grow up to be bad people in bad situations.
My point is as children grow up they choose what they want out of life and go after it regardless. I hope that all came out right.
One of the most successful people I know came from a welfare, drug addicted mother, no known father and bounced in and out of foster care. Your kids are going to do great!!!10-19-2011, 12:19 PM #7
You have definitely NOT failed your children. If anything you've made them stronger and better at survival/adjusting to reality. Nothing is consistent and guaranteed. You're teaching them to think outside the box while everyone is just following the herd. Society likes to put pressure on everyone to do things in a specific order and way.
Just keep plodding along and afford what you can, when you can. Sometimes we just have to go without. The world is full of opportunities, doesn't meant you have to seize them all nor at once.
*hugs*10-19-2011, 12:23 PM #8
~Where does your ds go to school? I would write a letter to the administration and complain about the prohibitive cost of the project and ask for a lower cost extra credit project.
If that didn't work, I would write letters to the local papers. Extra credit shouldn't be available just to those who can "afford" it.
I've felt like the world was a close toll road in the past as well. Now I feel like, even if those roads had been opened, I'd still be the same person and still have the same values and lifestyle.
When it really comes down to it, no road is closed for anyone determined enough to get through. Money can't buy determination!~10-19-2011, 12:26 PM #9
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I agree with everyone else. You are giving him skills he needs to function in the real world. That will take him way farther in life than building a hovercraft will.
Also, what about building a small one? Like squirrel-sized or ladybug sized? It would be cheaper, not quite as fun though. He would still get the experience of building one but it would still be in the budget.
I would talk to the teacher and see if he can turn in his small one instead of a big one. Not every student in the school will be able to afford to build one and extra credit shouldn't be based on someone's income.10-19-2011, 12:28 PM #10
We all do the best we can.... My DD is going on a class trip to D.C. next year. She has to earn it. Not all of it, but she is working hard to help pay for the trip. Is your DS old enough to look for some odd jobs (mowing lawns, etc...)? Is there any financial aid available on the extra credit project? That seems like a pretty expensive for extra credit.. Yikes! Maybe you could look on freecycle for some of the parts he needs?10-19-2011, 12:39 PM #11
Psst, huge amounts of credit card debt, God forbid a medical or household emergency which you haveNOfunds for, and foreclosure on their beloved house due to BAD MONEY MANAGEMENT is failing your kids.
Stuff happens and you are trying VERY hard to be prepared for when it does! That is not failing them!
Not being able to indulge in every opportunity that knocks, but teaching them it will keep knocking is not failing your kids.
Huge hugs to you. You can do this, don't falter now and don't blow all your hard work over this.
Hm. I should edit this. Because even if you did screw up financially, royally, majorly, if you loved your kids you still didn't fail them except that you probably taught LOUSY money skills. *grin*
Last edited by krbshappy71; 10-19-2011 at 12:51 PM.10-19-2011, 01:35 PM #12
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Poo Pooing on the fact you can't buy 2 leaf blowers for a freshman year extra credit project is strange to me. If anything you are teaching him to respect his money, and to not be so frivolous. There are plenty of things in this world that people are worrying about like how they are going to pay the light bill or put food on the table. Plus kids have a warped sense of reality. They know that stuff appears not realizing everything you had to go through to get it. It's a life lesson for him to see where your priorities lie (which is the well being of your family). I think you could dig up that money, but something else would not get paid.
I wouldn't stress over it too bad. I bet a lot of kids in his class won't participate in this project.10-19-2011, 01:53 PM #13
Wait a minute!!!!!!!
If only parents with the funds to give their kids everything they want are "good" parents, then my folks were abysmal failures & those are fighting words.
There was always food on the table & a roof over my head - but more importantly there was always someone there I could depend on. No matter what I did or how badly I messed up, I knew without a doubt that my mom & dad loved me & would continue to do so - not because they told me, but because they SHOWED me. They were there to encourage, to push, to help me succeed & sometimes to let me make my own mistakes.
On the other hand, I love the idea of making a tiny hover craft. What a fabulous idea - what a way to think outside the box! That alone should qualify for extra credit.10-19-2011, 01:54 PM #14
The engineering electives are interesting in the fact that they are part of a pilot program, so it is a new this year program and I'm sure it still has some bugs to be worked out.
If you pass all three electives and choose to go to certain Universities, then the University lets you skip some pre requisite engineering classes as they are confident you have already learned it.
So the program is quite rigorous and intellectually demanding.
I'm sure they are not thinking about the cost. It would not cost much if you had the tools on hand. We just rake our leaves not blow them. Thinking about seeing if he can find some one who might lend a leaf blower ( might be hard during leaf season though) Also thinking about if our air mattress blower might work.
Buddy really wants to do this so I think he will try hard to find a way.
Currently brainstorming ideas and looking for a team.10-19-2011, 02:04 PM #15
They have a long list of requirements for the one for extra credit
- Have a calculated co-efficent of kinetic friction that is less than 0.1
-be propelled by on board means that do not touch the ground
- have a steering mechanism that allows the device to change directions without anything on the device touching the ground
-if powered by electricity, draw no more than 20 Amps of electrical current
-Have as part of it's load a current pre-enginerring student that helped construct it. ( the little guy in class will be in high demand I believe)
-Have a documented log of the construction that includes date, what was done and by whom.
So it is very much a thought lesson not just a construction lesson. Which is why I am feeling like a failure as it is educational and we have always encouraged experiments like this.
Last edited by imagine; 10-19-2011 at 02:17 PM.
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