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Graduation gift question for HS Senior

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  • Graduation gift question for HS Senior

    Our son is graduating from a FISD school next week. He's overall, a good kid but has given us some trouble in last 2 yrs. Petty theft (had to hire lawyer, a couple speeding tickets, doing dumb stuff), etc. My issue is he feels entitled, thought we haven't spoiled him. I did buy him a small sports car for $18k and paid it off, that's it, other than the iPhone he really doesn't have much. He's asking for a huge graduation gift, his friends are getting "thousands" in cash, trips, etc so he says. We would never do that, but I'm actually thinking NO gift other than the gift of life. We spent $5k on an attorney he refuses to help pay back and also paid his traffic fines. I've got other kids in college & HS and he used a lot of our resources. Any thoughts, am I a "BAD" parent for just saying congratulations, welcome to the rest of your life?

  • #2
    I don't think there is anything wrong with no gift, especially since he has been draining your resources for awhile it sounds like. When he asks why he isn't getting one you can let him know his attorney fees are his gift! Good luck with whatever you decide. Hopefully he will mature sooner rather than later and lose some of that entitlement. It's one of my greatest fears for my own kids, entitlement and lack of contentment.
    Christine

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    • #3
      From and adult POV I agree 100%. If not giving him cash, I would at least have a party for him or take him out to dinner at his choice of restaurant.

      In USA we put a lot of emphasis on graduating High School and is seen as major milestone in ones life. Sounds like you have pretty good kid, Cash is always an appropriate gift for a teenager.

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      • #4
        I agree with you - why should a child think he is entitled to a gift for attending school (which is his job). Is he going to college? That is a bigger gift of them all. Don't remember giving sons a graduation gift from HS - a house party and maybe something they needed for college but that's it. None of them got a 'gift' when they graduated from college since we paid for their education to better prepare them for life. Isn't that gift enough!!
        Looking back you should have let him take responsibility for his traffic tickets instead of just paying them for him. When our oldest got a ticket when in college, we paid it but he had to paint the insides of our kitchen cupboards to pay us back. Never got another ticket or maybe never told us about one!!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by FlowersFromMyHome View Post
          I agree with you - why should a child think he is entitled to a gift for attending school (which is his job). Is he going to college? That is a bigger gift of them all. Don't remember giving sons a graduation gift from HS - a house party and maybe something they needed for college but that's it. None of them got a 'gift' when they graduated from college since we paid for their education to better prepare them for life. Isn't that gift enough!!
          Looking back you should have let him take responsibility for his traffic tickets instead of just paying them for him. When our oldest got a ticket when in college, we paid it but he had to paint the insides of our kitchen cupboards to pay us back. Never got another ticket or maybe never told us about one!!
          Well, we paid his ticket though he was working, but we took away his car for 3 months.

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          • #6
            You are the parent, YOU ARE THE PARENT! You got him a car for Jimney Crickets sake....A CAR! Regardless of what he says other kids are getting...you are his parent it's your decision. Do for him whatever you want to do regardless of what the "Jones next door" are doing. He is graduating H.S. not College, Police or Fire Academy, boot camp or trade school, etc. I appreciate in today's day that people emphasize this as some feat of greatness...it is but a small milestone in a much larger picture of hopefully successful future endeavors. If you said that he is top of class or struggled through school because of learning challenges working twice as hard to achieve his goals then maybe I can see something a bit more grandiose. Otherwise a dinner/party/card (with some $) seems more then fine...especially because you already bought him a car free and clear. Again, you are the parent so the decision is yours. Best of luck and congrats!

            "WHATEVER YOU ARE, BE A GOOD ONE" - ABRAHAM LINCOLN

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            • #7
              I think we all see entitlement in different ways. You say he "only" has an iphone and an $18k sports car and "refuses" to pay you back for helping him get out of trouble. I see that as entitlement. I'm sure that wasn't your intention but until kids truly feel the struggles of real life and consequences, they will continue to think they deserve whatever they want. My oldest just finished his freshman year in college. While we did buy him a cheap car, he has worked since 15, paying for his insurance, gas, fun money, 1 speeding ticket, fraternity, etc. He's now home for the summer working 12 hour days at a moving company because he so appreciates the $15 an hour plus tips. If your son refuses to help pay for you bailing him out then you get to refuse to give him anything for graduating, and that's being a GOOD parent! Congrats on getting him through this milestone!

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              • #8
                Has he had a job of any sort? Has he contributed to his own bills, even if just 10%?

                I certainly think it's every parent's right to buy things for their kids. Generally speaking, though, people appreciate what they have when they have done something to earn it.




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                • #9
                  What did you decide!? I'm curious! I love everyone's input!
                  Christine

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