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Very important poll for you - no, really!

So, I love doing polls, because I actually learn a lot about my flist and the world around me. *cue flutes and scampering bunnies* But really, I do. And I love when people realize that I'm just a wonk with a keyboard and don't get all bowed up about accuracy, etc., as if I am being scientific or academic in any way. HINT: I'm not. I'm just a curious journaler with a thirst for knowledge.

There's a problem I've been faced with recently, and I'm interested in the general/median opinion on this particular subject. Hang in there with me.

Parent A gives Child C a vehicle for their birthday, a vehicle that is fairly new, energy efficient, and well maintained. Child C cannot drive car without an adult for several more weeks due to a quirky state law, but Child C often wants to practice their driving throughout the week. Parent A has their own vehicle, albeit an inefficient car, gas-wise.

The problem: Parent A continually takes Child C's car to work, to run errands, etc. because "it's energy efficient and it's just sitting there," often not asking permission because they "bought it." This leaves Child C without the opportunity to practice their driving with Parent B.
Poll #1918724 When is a Gift not a Gift?

Parent A taking car as they will is:

absolutely acceptable; they paid for it.
6(4.6%)
absolutely acceptable; it's energy efficient and that's the bottom line.
4(3.1%)
problematic, but not wrong.
16(12.2%)
wrong; a gift was given, ergo unlimited access isn't implicit.
37(28.2%)
wrong, without asking permission regardless of the "gift" status. One should always ask, that's the only valid issue.
68(51.9%)

*belly rumble*

Nachos.
30(20.1%)
Fancy sandwich, duh!
33(22.1%)
SOUPS.
19(12.8%)
Hangy boogers n flies.
2(1.3%)
tacos. Always tacos.
36(24.2%)
anything edible at this point just consume!
29(19.5%)


I want to stress that Child C is INCREDIBLE grateful and gracious about their gift, so ixnay that from the discussion.

IN OTHER NEWS: I want to remind the public at large that at Hey, Don't Judge Me, we exist to be a place where fans can happily and safely talk about things we love. Not that people can't be critical, just don't be a dick about it. HAVING SAID THAT, my writers work very hard and for NO MONEY at what they do. And if someone leaves them a jerky or hateful comment (especially when it's clear that person is just furthering their agenda without even bothering to understand my writer's POV) they will be called out publicly, and then they will be banned.

I want people to feel safe when they get into discussions. I want people to have ONE PLACE on the internet where they can love things without fear of being made fun of or attacked for loving something in a fannish way. More than that? I want my writers to feel safe expressing their fannish love. That's the whole point.

So for all of you that respect that (either by joining in or staying away) THANK YOU.

Comments

( 40 comments — Leave a comment )
shadowvalkyrie
Jun. 12th, 2013 04:53 pm (UTC)
Ah, the smell of parental dominance displays in the morning...
stoney321
Jun. 12th, 2013 04:57 pm (UTC)
Ha. More spousal dominance than parental. :)
cindergal
Jun. 12th, 2013 05:01 pm (UTC)
We recently bought a "new" used car for cindergirl's use, but made it clear to her that it is not her car, it is our car that we will let her use at our discretion. :-) Because that's just how we roll - and we have another kid that will be driving it in a year or so, too. BUT, if it had been a gift, then it would be her car, IMO, and that's that. However, I can see cinderhub very much resembling Parent A in that scenario. ;-)
stoney321
Jun. 12th, 2013 05:09 pm (UTC)
I think the way you handled the car is fantastic, actually. This particular car for #2 was given to her, to be HER car. (Her brother doesn't have access to drive it, explicitly stated.)

It's making #2 very unhappy to not have access to it to practice during the day, and I don't know that she feels like she can say, "But you gave it to me?"

I'm of the mindset that a gift given is just that: a gift. THANK YOU for your input!
... - enigmaticblues - Jun. 12th, 2013 05:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
... - stoney321 - Jun. 12th, 2013 05:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
sdwolfpup
Jun. 12th, 2013 05:24 pm (UTC)
I think what matters is talking with Child C about what the car actually means and the child and the parents laying down the ground rules so that everyone agrees. It sounds like it was given as a gift TO the child and for the child to "own," so it's the child's car, which means Parent A is in the wrong here for just randomly taking it without ever asking. Especially if Child C needs to practice! But if those rules are laid out and all parties agree, then I wouldn't have a problem with it. It's just a matter of actually defining who has primary "ownership" of the use of that car and then that person gets to decide who gets to use it when.
stoney321
Jun. 12th, 2013 05:55 pm (UTC)
Yep. I think a family meeting to reestablish what the rules were (and what will be agreed upon) is in order.

<3
entrenous88
Jun. 12th, 2013 05:24 pm (UTC)
I'm still in dazed-zone right, with my brain consumed by FOG,, so I checked off the last two just to cover all my bases (and mess up science).

But basically, if the car was given outright to belong entirely to the kid, I don't think Parent A should drive that car at all *unless* it's a matter they've discussed and pre-arranged with the Kid (that the Kid agrees it's fine whenever OR only in particular cases when asked first). But basically just that, it's the kid's car, it's theirs whether they can use it or not, and anyone else using it is pretty much due to the kid's generosity and beneficence, and not something taken for granted or even expected to accompany a rote asking for permission.

Sorry. I CAN'T BRAIN! And yet I still have opinions. *cries*
stoney321
Jun. 12th, 2013 05:56 pm (UTC)
And I basically agree with you 100%! I'm a believer in a gift given is precisely that: the other person's to have and do what they will.

I think you have brained quite well here, actually!! <3 <3

And now I bake cookies in your honor, because who doesn't want cookies baked in their honor? THEY'RE COOKIES! <3
... - entrenous88 - Jun. 12th, 2013 11:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
altyronsmaker
Jun. 12th, 2013 06:48 pm (UTC)
I must have grown up in a harsh environment. If my parents had had the money to get me a car, I'd have known from the get go that they would have the discretion as to how it would be used. It might be mine, but they paid for it, and if they needed it, they would certainly use it. I grew up knowing that nothing (except my clothes) belonged to me until *I* paid for it myself.
stoney321
Jun. 12th, 2013 06:54 pm (UTC)
That's how I grew up, too. Frankly, that's how my husband grew up. We're in a position financially where we can provide a car to our straight A, hard working, very considerate child because a) with my son's health issues, it would be TREMENDOUS to have another driver around and b) she's looking for a job

The point is that someone was given something outright, told it was theirs, and then that same person is handwaving it.

It's fair that you have a different perspective on this, that's the point of the poll. (But it did make me feel like I needed to defend getting her a vehicle.)
... - altyronsmaker - Jun. 12th, 2013 07:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
... - stoney321 - Jun. 12th, 2013 08:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
... - stoney321 - Jun. 12th, 2013 08:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
fiveandfour
Jun. 12th, 2013 07:15 pm (UTC)
It's kind of funny how the people we feel most comfortable with (family or otherwise) are the ones for whom we do the least as respects honoring the Golden Rule. It's even more extreme when it comes to the parent-child relationship: behaviors which are usually "right" or "wrong" get all muddled up because of the relative power each person in the relationship owns.

In this case, I know as the parent who bought the car, I would *absolutely* be tempted to go with the "I bought it" logic and want to use the car when it was going to be just sitting around anyway.

However, some recent events and pondering for my own family brought me to the conclusion that because a child's model for all relationships is the one that exists with his or her parents, the fair thing to do is not abuse that power differential.

I would be pretty steamed if my husband took my car without advance notice (I've got *stuff* in there - what if I need it?), especially if it were newly mine and I was still in the honeymoon phase, so why would I not think a kid would feel any different? Once a child reaches a certain age, provided that there aren't issues that would preclude it (health, disciplinary issues, immaturity, etc.), it seems only right to demonstrate the same respect for their point of view and feelings as I want demonstrated for mine.

Plus, if I want my child to take ownership of her possessions - treat them with respect, maintain and clean them, deal with the negative aspects of owning that thing and not just enjoy the positive aspects - I think that sense of ownership can be severely undercut if I exercise rights of imminent domain with little to no recognition of her rights as the property owner.

So. I think it's wrong to take without asking, though I certainly understand the mindset of the parent.
stoney321
Jun. 12th, 2013 08:18 pm (UTC)
"because a child's model for all relationships is the one that exists with his or her parents, the fair thing to do is not abuse that power differential"

I want to have that tattooed across my heart.

Basically, everything you've said here is plus 1, *click* like, hugging it to my bones in agreement.
... - kuzu_no_ha - Jun. 13th, 2013 01:05 am (UTC) - Expand
dovil
Jun. 12th, 2013 08:26 pm (UTC)
Child C needs to piss all over the car inside and out to assert territorial rights.
stoney321
Jun. 12th, 2013 08:43 pm (UTC)
this is why I keep you: straight, to the point, and easy to do. Just like your mom. Wait, that's my mom.
calliecat
Jun. 12th, 2013 09:56 pm (UTC)
I know this isn't quite the point... but the reason I answered like I did was because my first thought was - why doesn't parent B just take parent As car for test drives when Parent A is in child Cs car? The point being that Child C just needs to learn how to drive - what does it matter what car she learns in? Now once child C is a fully licensed/insured driver - all of this changes and everyone should obviously get permission from child C before taking her car.

Edited at 2013-06-12 09:57 pm (UTC)
stoney321
Jun. 12th, 2013 10:07 pm (UTC)
:)

Because Parent A'a car is a giant, huge truck and Child C needs to practice driving in a normal sized vehicle that she'll be taking her exam in. Child C has been driving my SUV, but it's not easy for a first time driver to handle such large vehicles.
canuckpagali
Jun. 12th, 2013 11:02 pm (UTC)
Here's my view.

In some families that car might be viewed as the child's asset. In others, regardless of gift status, the car might be considered a family asset.

If it's viewed as the child's asset, then the child determines how it is used.

If it's the family's asset, then the family needs to decide on the rules for its use.

If clear rules haven't been established, then people who wish to use it need to consult with their fellow family members prior to each and every use of the asset. If no family members are available for consultation at the time someone wants to use it, too bad so sad, the car stays in the driveway. Absence is not consent.

I have sympathy for your plight, because I have an otherwise wonderful spouse that tends to automatically and impulsively put energy conservation above other considerations. He's also rather terrible at consulting others. He's been slow to understand why this is a problem but, over time, is starting to get better. But it's taken a lot of persistence on my part.

If this is getting to be a serious thorn in the side then, in all seriousness, I suggest sitting everyone down and setting some rules. In writing.


Edited at 2013-06-12 11:08 pm (UTC)
stoney321
Jun. 12th, 2013 11:24 pm (UTC)
"If clear rules haven't been established, then people who wish to use it need to consult with their fellow family members prior to each and every use of the asset. If no family members are available for consultation at the time someone wants to use it, too bad so sad, the car stays in the driveway."

And tonight we are sitting down and writing up a contract after hammering out details that are fair to all concerned so there will be no confusion. :)

<3 Thank you!
... - canuckpagali - Jun. 13th, 2013 01:12 am (UTC) - Expand
bienegold
Jun. 12th, 2013 11:03 pm (UTC)
If it's getting in the way of planned practice time, that's a problem, but otherwise meh.
bienegold
Jun. 13th, 2013 01:07 am (UTC)
I should note that we always treated cars as semi-communal property, so my opinion may be very invalid.
rocketlaunching
Jun. 12th, 2013 11:27 pm (UTC)
I think Child C deserves another present for taking this issue with grace.
stoney321
Jun. 12th, 2013 11:29 pm (UTC)
(Child C is such a good kid, I swear. I seriously lucked out with that one.)

<3
pyro_semi
Jun. 12th, 2013 11:40 pm (UTC)
Maybe when Parent A goes to run errands Child C can tag along and be the designated driver? That way Child C is getting the practice they want and Parent A is getting stuff done.
stoney321
Jun. 12th, 2013 11:42 pm (UTC)
Ha, Parent B has been doing that very thing! Parent A is taking the car to work, to golf, to run errands...
elizardbits
Jun. 13th, 2013 01:34 am (UTC)
where is the option for SEND THE BABBYS TO THE WORKHOUSE

IT WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR DICKENS

stoney321
Jun. 13th, 2013 01:40 am (UTC)
BECAUSE IT'S NOT AN OPTION LIZ THEY JUST GO TO THERE.

If they want to eat, they fucking do.
lissysadmin
Jun. 13th, 2013 04:04 am (UTC)
Stoney, I think you are one of those people who are absolutely incapable of being unfair, even when your loyalties are SO apparently divided. <3 I do hope for your sake that your Family X members are able to move to more generally acceptable and mutually sympathetic positions on this subject. And bring on the fancy sandwiches! (And sometime, you must divulge the Poll numbering system - over 1 million 900 thousand polls? I am exhausted just thinking about it.)
stoney321
Jun. 13th, 2013 05:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, I can be unfair! If it's about my kids, I go all Mama Bear to the point of not seeing reason (which is why I wanted to get a general consensus on this topic, to make sure I wasn't blinded by my adoration of my kids).

A conference didn't happen last night, so I'm making sure it happens today when all parties return from the day's activities. I want everyone to be in complete agreement as to how this should be handled so there's no animosity over the summer. <3

(Wait, I don't understand what you're asking re: poll numbering?)
Poll numbering - lissysadmin - Jun. 13th, 2013 08:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Poll numbering - stoney321 - Jun. 13th, 2013 09:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
poshcat
Jun. 13th, 2013 06:21 pm (UTC)
You've already received some excellent advice, but here's my two cents anyway (although we have no more pennies in Canada, so I'll have to scrounge a couple American ones from the bottom of my purse).

Mr Posh would do exactly the same thing, and I would react the exact same way as you...although my kids would not be quite as willing to stay quiet and accept it, I do believe. At this point I don't bother to say anything to Mr Posh, as I've come to the conclusion that he's like a child himself and has to learn from the natural consequences of his actions rather than from me nagging him. Therefore, when the girls don't respect him because he doesn't respect them, when they yell at him because he yells at them, when they give him the cold shoulder when he wants hugs and love because he's unloaded his dripping sarcasm when he chose not to control his temper...then what does he expect to happen???

When they were little I protected the living daylights out of them from his anger, damn the consequences to my marriage. Now they're older and I just talk to them afterward about their dad's temper, and point out that he loves them to bits (which he does). So far, they're philosophical, if not somewhat bitter.

Haha, it seems I have no advice after all. Um...get everyone on the same page, no matter what that page may be. Also, drink more.
( 40 comments — Leave a comment )

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