February 14, 2008

Parental Predicament

Question:

If I buy my 13 year old an iPod and he turns around and sells it on the playground, does that make me an accomplice in a black-market enterprise?
Does this not bode well for any future career not involving the movement of illegal goods?
Is he showing initiative in planning to upgrade, or stupidity in letting his plans slip out before he made the new purchase?
Can I trust him to walk his little brother to the park, or will he come back with a fistful of pesos?

Seriously, the dilemma I find myself on the horns of is this: who gets the money? I know it was a gift, but a) my feelings are hurt, and b) I could use that coin! And since he forgot about tax, doesn't he owe me a little extra?

I don't mind giving him the $ back after he's earned enough for the model he really wanted, but I don't want it wasted away on fritos and video games (kids these days...)

Any ideas, suggestions, helpful hints...?

10 comments:

Jill said...

Is the little entrepreneur in possession of the iPod, or is this something you promised him? I think you can amend the deal to include the following disclaimer:

"The deal is that I am getting you an iPod. You are not allowed to sell it. If you do, you must give me all of the money you earned from the sale. If the money you earned is less than what I purchased the iPod for, then you will do XYZ until the money is recuperated. And you will be grounded from Doritos until 18."

But you have to admire the industrial spirit.

Slim said...

i don't think the money is the real issue here. I think you should express to #3 how his actions made you feel. You gave him a gift you thought/knew he would enjoy, it was costly, and he sold it as though it meant nothing. Tell him that at the very least, he could have mentioned to you that he would prefer something else and you would have returned it for your money back and let him save up the difference for an updated model. Openness, honesty, and I FEEL statements are in order.

But what the hell do I know? I'm fumbling blindly as my step-daughter enters the emotionally unbalanced puberty years. There are some positives to only having boys who sell their ipods...

Murphy's Mom said...

Murphy recommends taking a nap. Murphy ALWAYS recommends a nap.
Good luck!

JK said...

Um SiL, this not a "Mommyblog" so there should be no discussions of feelings -- when I used that "f-word" in the post I was being macho-isticly sarcastic. I fe-oops, I think he needs to learn a lesson in poor business decisions and looking a gift dad in the mouth...

and you know you have my strongest sympathies and fervent good thoughts for the whole pre-teen daughter deal...

Slim said...

Oh, sorry, I didn't realize that we were going the macho route. In that case tell the ungrateful brat that next Christmas is gonna be REAL light on the gift front and heavy on the guilt and reminders of evil deeds. And that he owes you an Ipod because, as the purchaser and parent of a minor, you get first dibs on the item before he can to sell it to the highest bidder.

And your sympathies are very much appreciated.

Table Talk said...

Have you read Frank Cotteril Boyce's 'Millions'? It gives a whole new dimension to the notion of playground enterprise.

Thanks for coming over to visit.

Wonderer said...

LOL to this post!

As a survivor of three teens, I believe that my voice should count higher than most others on this matter: Smack the shit out of him.

As to the other advice: a nap would be good... like, for ten years. When you wake, you MIGHT be lucky enough to have survived the teen years also ... because a playground entrepreneur is the LEAST of your worries, dude. Condoms, fast cars, drugs (legal or otherwise) & such should be looming in your vocabulary.

P.S.
Real advice: Never take advice from anyone except your gut (and maybe your own mother). He'll grow up fine. Nice folks breed nice folks.

JK said...

Wonderer, thanks for the nightmares. I suppose it coulda been the pizza, beer, and mixing episodes from seasons 3 & 4 of "Lost"... but "condoms, cars, & drugs" did nothing for my heart condition either...

Livvy U. said...

A present is a present, is a present! You can let him know you don't go out and sell things other people have given you without a little bit of grace time in between - but you can't take it back, in whatever form!!

If the macho in you can let a little chink through in the armour, he might be amazed to discover you have feelings!

Really I just came to say hello.
Hello x

JK said...

livvy -- again with the "feelings" ! Sheesh...
I'm trying to raise (rear?) good strong men here to take care of my future daughters-in-law, I can't waste time on silly things like emotions...

Anyway, I did not take the money, I did not punish him for his actions, I just make sure I mention/listen to/leave out on the counter where he's sure to see my iPod every chance I get... and say things like "hey, did you hear the new... oh, sorry." ;)