Author Topic: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?  (Read 8014 times)

MrDelane

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #150 on: April 19, 2017, 07:44:39 AM »
I'm not certain you'll ever be able to guide your children's passion (and I know that isn't what you're saying, but recognizing that is an important thing).  But what you can do, as others have suggested, is guide their values through example.  Being 'mustachian' is not necessarily about going into a STEM field - it is about being conscious of the consequences of your choices today on your future.  Focus on being transparent about money, teaching them about investing, banking, credit and the importance of living below their means.  Teach them about savings rates and the power of a high income combined with a high savings rate.  They will connect the dots, they will see the risk and reward... and eventually they will decide for themselves if their passion is worth the risk or not.

In the same way many here have different asset allocations because we all have different risk tolerances, many here went into different career paths because we had different interests as well as risk tolerances.

...

My point is - I wouldn't focus so much on the specific career path or interest, because it will most likely be very much out of your control.  I would put my focus on the core values that you hope to instill in your children, and support the particular choices as well as you can.

« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 02:11:27 PM by MrDelane »

MrMonkeyMoustache

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #151 on: April 19, 2017, 07:46:47 AM »
Given that I got my BS in this field, I am pretty sure I do have more knowledge in it than you.
And this is where I make my exit. Your entire post is based on a logical fallacy. The volumes of studies on the subject back up the claims that being raised by a single parent, whether or not it's due to poverty, is not an ideal environment for raising a child.

It doesn't mean I hate single mothers, or think they can't be successful. It's just going by AVERAGES. I don't see at all why my claims about single parent households are being objected to. There's a long list of studies proving it.

And I know I did use the word afterwords, but I wasn't trying to suggest they were actual studies. I said in that post, "while I can post the actual studies themselves all day". Now, do I consider myself an expert in the field? Obviously not. But to suggest that single parenthood is ideal for the kid (because the only alternative is that it's not) is ridiculous.
That is not a true statement.  Single parenthood is not the causal factor for lower success rates for children.  Poverty is and single parenthood is correlated with poverty.  You don't seen to understand the difference between the two and as I stated before, research article that account for income show no difference in success based on parent structure assuming a support structure.  You keep stating false statements and THAT is why I said you were either ignorant or willfully so.  Or I could say you are liar, that is another option.
I've read studies that DO find statistically-significant outcomes when income is considered. If you have studies that claim otherwise, I'd be interested in seeing them. I'll give them a read, and see what they have to offer. I'd be willing to admit that I was wrong.

But even if what you're saying is true, that these are linked to poverty (which I know they are), but not single parent households, single parent households are still linked to poverty, which leads to those outcomes. So either way you skin it, whether it's due to poverty or not, the end result is that under single parent households, kids have worse outcomes.

MrMonkeyMoustache

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #152 on: April 19, 2017, 08:01:29 AM »
And I know people in this thread believe I'm trying to control my GF and control my future kids. That's not at all what this thread is about. Just like with the original idea in the OP, and with my talk about single mothers, I KNOW I can't control a kid, so I'm just looking for ways to effectively get through to them so that their chances of success are as high as possible.

That's also why I like to discuss these things so far into the future. For example, I truly feel like the ideal environment for a child is one with a loving mother and father. I'd never subject my child to a divorce. So I discuss these things. Make sure me and my GF are on the same page. I want to increase the odds of success, that's all.

lhamo

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #153 on: April 19, 2017, 08:20:49 AM »
Somehow I can't pull myself away from this thread.

Mr. MM, can I make a suggestion?   Here and over the next few years, you (and your kids) might benefit from you developing your storytelling skills.   You have had some challenges in your young life -- growing up in a rough environment with a single parent, making a poor choice about where to go to school and how to finance it, buying the wrong car, etc.   Those experiences have contributed to your strongly held beliefs about what kind of education track and career path your future kids should follow.  You try to back it up with a bunch of talk about averages and trends, but to be honest it isn't very compelling.   

Give us (and your kids) the back story.  Something that will keep them on the edge of their seats, waiting to see what happens on the hero's journey.  It will be more interesting, and probably more effective.   For example, if you end up getting your police officer job, I can envision you driving down the highway with some kid in the back of the car who is headed down the road to trouble.  A good story about how you turned your own life around that builds rapport between you and helps him see you actually care about people may help stop his slide.  Maybe you become his mentor, follow up with him, make sure he stays in school.  The story is the hook, not the statistics or generalizations or other forms of talking down to him (which are just more likely to make him dig his heels in).

If you want an example of how compelling a good story can be, hop over to WhiteTrashCash's journal -- I probably don't agree with him on a lot of issues, but boy, that guy has got me interested in his story/perspective because he is a master of narrative.  And has a really good story to tell.  I will always point anyone I run into who is struggling to his journal, because it is like a beacon that says "you can do this, you can overcome the challenges and make a better life for yourself."

Give it a try.  I'd personally like to hear more of your back story.  What was the deal with football and the student loans?   Tell us more about your friends who ended up involved in drugs and crime -- why did they go that way and you didn't?  What were the challenges you faced growing up with a single mom?   Why are you interested in pursuing a career as a police officer, and how does your other goal of getting a computer science degree interface with that?   I think if you tell us some of these stories it may help to create a better/less antagonistic environment for you on the forum, AND you will get good practice in framing this stuff so that when the time comes to talk honestly and openly with your future kids about your hopes and dreams for them, it will come from a place of deep understanding of yourself and empathy with others facing similar decisions. 

I just read your last post.   Take this one as advice about how to be more effective in your communication -- with us, with your GF, with your future kids, with others you may want to influence in the future.   I think you will be much more effective in building rapport and empathy with your interlocutors (and thereby being more likely to influence their thinking and their behavior) if you step back from the facts and figures and talk about averages, etc. and focus on the experiences that have led you to these deeply held beliefs.
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NoStacheOhio

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #154 on: April 19, 2017, 08:44:09 AM »

and i don't think there are negative consequences to one parent households as it refers to a gendered presence.
usually, a one parent household suffers from a scarcity of tangible resources: energy and money.
There are quite a few psychological effects of being raised by a single parent. It is also associated with all kinds of negative behavior. Definitely not something to aspire to.

A. as the child of a single parent, go fuck yourself
B. as the parent of an extremely strong-willed young child, this whole thing is LOL

Why do you say that? No need to resort to personal attacks. I said not ALL single parents. It'd be pretty stupid for me to suggest all single parents, as I was raised by one. The statistics do not lie. Being raised by a single parent, ON AVERAGE, subjects you to higher dropout rates, incarceration rates, and drug use rates.

I can understand people disagreeing with me. That's fine. But there's no reason to be getting all riled up and telling me to fuck myself. I've clashed with people, but have yet to make a single personal attack.

Because you made a sweeping, unqualified generalization about an entire class of people. Telling you to go fuck yourself isn't an attack on your character either. You're clearly out of your depth, but don't know it. This isn't me riled up, slightly amused maybe.
The first step is acknowledging you have a problem, right?

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MrMonkeyMoustache

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #155 on: April 19, 2017, 09:06:49 AM »
Somehow I can't pull myself away from this thread.

Mr. MM, can I make a suggestion?   Here and over the next few years, you (and your kids) might benefit from you developing your storytelling skills.   You have had some challenges in your young life -- growing up in a rough environment with a single parent, making a poor choice about where to go to school and how to finance it, buying the wrong car, etc.   Those experiences have contributed to your strongly held beliefs about what kind of education track and career path your future kids should follow.  You try to back it up with a bunch of talk about averages and trends, but to be honest it isn't very compelling.   

Give us (and your kids) the back story.  Something that will keep them on the edge of their seats, waiting to see what happens on the hero's journey.  It will be more interesting, and probably more effective.   For example, if you end up getting your police officer job, I can envision you driving down the highway with some kid in the back of the car who is headed down the road to trouble.  A good story about how you turned your own life around that builds rapport between you and helps him see you actually care about people may help stop his slide.  Maybe you become his mentor, follow up with him, make sure he stays in school.  The story is the hook, not the statistics or generalizations or other forms of talking down to him (which are just more likely to make him dig his heels in).

If you want an example of how compelling a good story can be, hop over to WhiteTrashCash's journal -- I probably don't agree with him on a lot of issues, but boy, that guy has got me interested in his story/perspective because he is a master of narrative.  And has a really good story to tell.  I will always point anyone I run into who is struggling to his journal, because it is like a beacon that says "you can do this, you can overcome the challenges and make a better life for yourself."
Excellent post, and I can't say I disagree with any of it. I want my child to understand my story (even if it's not as great as others'), and be able to learn and grow from it.

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Give it a try.  I'd personally like to hear more of your back story.  What was the deal with football and the student loans?
Alright. I have no problems telling my story. Long read, here it goes. Basically, had debilitating social anxiety disorder all throughout my life. Didn't really have any friends, and often skipped school just because it was so overwhelming. Football gave me a purpose. I'd go to school and suffer just so I could play football, and hopefully go to the next level. Ended becoming really good friends with a lot of the guys, and my proudest moment was when I was named the team captain my junior year. It was all great. 5 games in, and I was already locked in as the all-conference pick at my position (LG). Then suddenly, halfway through that year, I tore my left ACL and MCL. It sucked, but I came back. I worked my butt off, and moved on. Going great again. At least for me. My school hadn't won a single game the entire time I'd been there. Until the 8th game of my senior season. We were up by just 2 points late in the game, and I was playing NT. It was 4th and 3, and it was the other's team last chance. I ended up making the stop to seal the game. I felt AWESOME. Until I tried to stand up. The pain was worse than anything I've ever had in my entire life. The trainers went over to do the Lachmann test on my left knee. Nothing. Then they got a depressed look on their faces. I now did it to my other knee. Tore my right ACL, MCL, meniscus, bruised a bone, and a micro fracture of my femur. After the game, asked my coach, "I'm never going to play football again, am I?" And then coach said, "no son, I'm sorry, you're not." I cried all night, and quickly fell back into depression. Started missing school again, and my anxiety got worse than ever. I missed my final exams, and my final GPA went from being a 3.7 at the start of my senior year to a 2.3 by graduation. I went from being 5'11" 185 to 296 pounds. I sat at home and just played video games all day. Then I got a call from a powerhouse D3 college that said they'd give me a chance. I quickly got on it, and started working out again. Didn't care that it was a private uni, and didn't care about the cost. Just about football. My depression was still there, but I finally had a purpose again. I was so excited to finally get into my first college football game, it was amazing! The first play, our QB threw an INT, I, a 296 pound man, ran down the safety at the 15 yardline or so, and forced and recovered the fumble. Most important play I've ever made, even though we still won by about 50 points.

All was well the next few games, got a few plays here and there. Then, I had to make the phone call. "Mom, don't freak out..." Right knee again, cyclops lesions, torn meniscus, partially torn MCL, and developed osteoarthritis. Thought for sure my playing days were over. Quit the team, and dedicated my time to building myself back up. Ended up losing 93 pounds that year, getting all the way down to 203.

Transferred schools the next year to a D2 school, didn't play sports, and kept my head down. Did alright my first year. Second year, social anxiety was at its peak. I literally went to maybe 5 classes combined for both the Fall and Spring semesters. My college GPA was demolished, just like my HS GPA was. I dropped out, and started working full-time, having no real path or purpose.

It was at that time, I started to really discover myself. I started to be more outgoing, and I learned to communicate with people. I knew that working at a minimum wage job was not the life for me, so I decided to go back to college 2 years later. More than that, I joined their football team in 2013. At that point, it wasn't even about playing anymore, it was about proving to myself that I could still do it. I ended up making the team, and quit shortly after, as playing was never my goal. I still think about what would happen if I didn't quit, but it just wasn't what I wanted to do anymore. It was more about showing those that said I couldn't do it that I could.

Switched my major to Computer Science the next year, and that's where I'm at now. It took a lot of research, and plenty of frustrating night of wondering what my true passion was, but, needless to say, I've made the right decision. I absolutely LOVE programming. It's awesome.

Now, I have gotten back to about 285, but I'm no longer sad and depressed about it. I know quite a bit about dieting and lifting, and have begun a routine and diet plan that will have me slowly, but surely, getting back down to where I know I can be. It's not an if, it's a certainty that I'll get back down to 205.


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Tell us more about your friends who ended up involved in drugs and crime -- why did they go that way and you didn't?
To be honest, I'm not quite sure. I was a pretty bad kid when I was 10 or 11, but despite all of my friends being in gangs and doing drugs, I never once had the desire to touch them. I guess it was from seeing how crazy it made my father. I think what ultimately made them flip was pressure. In south Florida, it's sort of like prison in some areas. If you're not in a gang, you at least better be friends with one. Random white boys not associated with gangs would often get jumped just for being white. That kind of pressure made a lot of kids cave. Even in a wealthy area (Palm Beach County).

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What were the challenges you faced growing up with a single mom?
Not as much as many, honestly. My mom made a good living, and we had a lot of familial support. She gave us anything we ever wanted, and more.

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Why are you interested in pursuing a career as a police officer, and how does your other goal of getting a computer science degree interface with that?
Seeing what gang warfare and poverty did to my friends was a real big motivating factor. Another is that I believe I'd be good at it. I can see other peoples' perspectives very well, so I can come into high-adrenaline situations, and really calm things down. Have always been able to do that. Most of all, I like the structure and rules. I like being able to make important decisions that have impacts on real people.

Computer Science doesn't really have to do with my decision to become a police officer. I want to do both, honestly. But I would not mind segueing my degree into computer forensics.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 09:11:19 AM by MrMonkeyMoustache »

lhamo

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #156 on: April 19, 2017, 09:21:44 AM »
Thank you.   Very interesting backstory, and I think it helps to provide some useful perspective on what you dream about for your kids.  I like you better already!  I think your reservations about the risks of chasing your passion also make a LOT more sense in the context of your football story.   

You may not want to go into it here, but some more thinking/writing about your relationship with/perspective on your dad and his challenges, how you managed to keep your head down/shit together in a gang-dominated culture, and how your mom pulled you guys through what sound like some challenging circumstances might also be good to explore.

I'd also be really interested in hearing more about your mom.  I bet her story is interesting, and something your kids could also learn from.

And how did you end up in WV from Florida?
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LiquidLen

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #157 on: April 19, 2017, 09:26:09 AM »
just get them to be already financially independent by 18 (like everyone can if they learn to be frugal from a young age and put every penny they make into the stock market) and he can pursue his dreams to be a fashion blogger/trailer park minimalist fan fiction music composer and be done with it. no?

Rimu05

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #158 on: April 19, 2017, 09:32:30 AM »
Wow - just wow.

First up - I have a totally useless, crappy, pointless, yet fun degree. I make 20% more than my engineer husband, who is also 13 years older than me, so cool it on what does and doesn't make money. Opportunities open up all over the place, and they don't always stem from having a STEM (haha!) degree.

Second - my parents had extremely strong opinions on how I was going to live my life. Sure, they didn't FORCE me to do anything (note the crappy degree) but their full-on expectations of me drove me nuts, and I was out of there as soon as possible (18 years old). I've since moved 13000 miles away and see them once every 5 years, if that. THAT is what attempting to turn your kids into something they aren't does.

So, seriously, good luck.

Heaven's this.

There's nothing worse than being forced to do something you don't want. All it does is breed resentment. Especially, if it is from your parents. I am glad my mom let it go during my second year in college because prior to that, my sister and I absolutely hated living with her and we both could not wait to get away.

Eventually, emotions exploded and my mom eased up. Which greatly improved our relationship because prior to that, I pretty much considered her a stranger. I've read my High School diary and it was very dark.

Plus, in the end I still pursued my useless degree anyway. Funny thing though is what I do now has nothing to do with my degree.

Reading Op's post made me think he should change the title to how to get my future children to hate me.

Plus, I'm highly amused poster doesn't think he's being controlling yet here he is trying to dictate the future of his unborn kids...
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 09:41:36 AM by Rimu05 »

Pigeon

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #159 on: April 19, 2017, 09:42:25 AM »
Interesting that you didn't really feel like you were on the right path until you found computer science, which you happen to love. 

Does it not occur to you that the same general concept might be true for your  kids, but that they could have abilities in a field that is not STEM, but is something completely different?

For example, one of the degrees you say you will not support is biology.  Many people go into biology not because they want to work as a BA/BS level biologist, but because it gives them all the necessary pre-reqs to go on to medical school, dental school, physician assistant school, physical therapy school, etc.  Yes, there is a high cost to the professional programs, but if they are done wisely, they can lead to very lucrative careers well able to serve the grad school debt load and save big bucks. 

Are those people always making a horrible choice?  Would you really consider your child a failure if they became a cardiac surgeon or an orthodontist? A medical illustrator?  A CPA? A sales or HR manager?

tyort1

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #160 on: April 19, 2017, 10:06:10 AM »
Man, you're back story is crazy.  Amazing that you made it through that relatively intact.

The very, very best thing you can do for your kids is simply make sure they don't grow up in that horrible environment.  You became 'hard' to survive that shithole.  But because of that, your kids don't have to be.  Your struggle and triumph will allow them to be 'not-hard'. 

The best things you can do, IMO, are:

1. Live in a non-shitty area
2. Become FI and let your kids see how that works
3. Honor who they are as people

Kids are going to make mistakes.  As you yourself know, sometimes you don't learn something until you experience it for yourself.  Your kids will be exactly like that.  Best you can do is be open and honest with them, and set a good example with your own life. 
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 10:51:15 AM by tyort1 »
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Laura33

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #161 on: April 19, 2017, 10:14:55 AM »
. . . .

Wow.  This is a hell of a story, and it really helps explain why these issues are so important to you and why you think the way you do.  Can I make one suggestion, based on my own experience?  I am reading a lot of fear and insecurity in this history -- you never had an easy road, and even when you thought you had a path, the door closed in front of you, time and again, and you had to fight and keep fighting to keep your head above water.

One thing that type of life experience can breed is a very rigid way of thinking/viewing the world -- because, in your experience, life is full of landmines and pitfalls, and you have to do everything Just Right to make it through.  It is a very logical and natural response to life as you have experienced it.

I think what many people here are trying to say, in different ways, is that in reality, there are many ways to succeed in life, and that once you escape from poverty, the options for a good life open up tremendously.  Your kids won't be starting from where you did, and so you don't need to cling so tightly to The One True Path as you see it or risk your kids falling into penury.  You have already taken the most important lessons from your experience:  work hard; don't ever give up; don't have kids before you are emotionally and financially stable; etc.  All of these lessons will give your kids a leg up in life that you never had -- and they get that before they're even born! You can afford to relax the grip just a bit and trust that your kids will have a gentler experience of the world than you did, with more opportunities open to them.  In fact, the most frustrating thing about having kids is likely going to be their complete taking for granted all of the advantages that you worked your butt off to provide them (ask me how I know). :-)

I am saying this from my own direct personal experience, FWIW; I grew up poor, and that gave me a pretty specific view of what the world was all about and what I needed to do to make damn sure I would never be poor again (internships?  Yeah, right -- I need a JOB, that pays MONEY, so I can pay my bills and continue in school).  But now I look at the world my kids live in, and I realize that it is completely different than the world I inhabited -- and, in fact, that I myself had a variety of opportunities around me over the past 25 years that I just didn't even see, because I was too scared to veer from my chosen path. 

Your life, and your kids' lives, will be much better if/when you can let go of all of the pressure of having to get things Just Right and trust that you -- and they -- are strong enough and hard-working enough and smart enough to make it through whatever life hands you.
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partgypsy

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #162 on: April 19, 2017, 11:24:16 AM »
MMM made more from his blog (a rather artsy pursuit) than his STEM career...

baboom.

This thread really struck me, because you and your girlfriends views really mirrored my parents, and I also still have that conflict in me. My mother nutured our artistic creative sides and let us take lots of classes and camps. My father while wanting to be a writer or a lawyer, ended up in business because he felt that was the best way to earn money and be a provider.
I likes both the arts, writing, and science. Yes I ended up getting a PhD and work in research. My Mom was happy as long as we were happy and succeeded in something we enjoyed. My father is still somewhat disappointed; even though I'm "smart", I make less money than his friends children who went into business (money is still his measuring stick for success). Myself? I guess in some ways I wish I made a conscious choice early on that I never wanted to stop writing and doing art, and I should have just done a focused degree in a field that paid well, so I would have had more time/money to ultimate do more in the creative field. Instead I tried to not do art but it makes me a less happy, colorless person.

While you articulated your concerns better in your later posts, I also have to reiterate, that you can't force your children to change their inner nature. When I was teaching undergraduates, I saw the students who were in pre-med because essentially their parents wouldn't accept anything else. Many of them had internal conflicts, doing what their parents wanted but ultimately not what they wanted. Some of them graduated and then did something completely different. Some changed majors and some even dropped out of college even though they were bright and motivated in other areas. Don't be that dick parent. It will give them insecurities they don't need and harm your relationship with them.

You also don't know what kind of kid(s) you will have. My oldest is like me, a natural book learner and does well in academics (but despite my encouragement would rather be a writer than go into STEM). My youngest has rather severe learning disabilities. She will need to find a way other than STEM type job to succeed. But knowing her personality she has a good chance at that. The main thing is, I'm trying to teach my kids to know that they have unconditional love from me, basic life living skills (aka grooming, picking up after themselves, homework and other habits), and third the value of money. Of course I would prefer them to make more than less, it doesn't matter if they make 30K a year or 200K a year, that they learn the life skills to be a self-sufficient adult and have a life worth living. Because Mommy and Daddy won't be around forever.
 
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 11:54:32 AM by partgypsy »

Laura33

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #163 on: April 19, 2017, 12:04:04 PM »
OK, one more thing: recognize that your perspective right now is limited to your own experience, which is largely focused on early-career, entry-level options. This means that you have up-close-and-personal experience with the skills and education that can get you into a reasonable-paying door, but you don't have that same knowledge of the skills and education that help people succeed once they do get their foot in the door.  IME, that is less STEM and more business and people skills. 

E.g., my DH is your kids' perfect role model -- E.E., got paid to go to grad school, got hired right out of school, always made a decent professional income, when he lost one job picked up another quickly, etc.  For the first 10-12 years of his career, he increased his earnings by about 50% -- not bad!  But then @12-13 years ago, he shifted from the R&D role to a business role (i.e., instead of developing the tech, he brings in contracts to sell what they are inventing).  In the second half of his career, he has easily tripled his income, if not more.  And the thing that has held him back from the seriously big bucks is that he doesn't have an MBA or a "real" business background -- the guys he works for now think he's "too" technical!

DH and I have both been successful in our respective fields (one STEM, one liberal arts).  But both of us now wish we had taken more business and basic accounting type courses in school.  If you want to move beyond being a widget, you need to know more than the widget job.

Tl;dr:  "Follow the money" may be a more appropriate path for long-term economic success than "get a STEM degree."
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ooeei

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #164 on: April 19, 2017, 12:36:28 PM »
I've met more than one business owner who is not super math oriented who is extremely successful.  One owns a business that makes promotional products. He's a great salesman, and understands all the math, but really his people skills are what makes him money.  He's worth well into the millions and he employs about 20 people.  Another one comes to mind who is a motivational speaker, again he uses math fairly often, but it's hardly what I'd call a STEM career.  He clears around $400k/year, this is his second career after real estate building. 

Teaching the basics (and sometimes beyond basics) of finance and how money works will serve someone well in whatever pursuit they have.  They might even be better off going into a non STEM field, as much of their competition won't be as analytically driven.  A likeable, passionate salesman is worth their weight in gold, and is much harder to find than a good accountant or engineer. 

4 years ago when I was 24 I would've agreed strongly with your initial premise that STEM is the way to go.  The more people I meet, the more I realize STEM is a great way to be a successful employee.  It often takes a different kind of person to be an employer, as STEM types tend to be more risk averse, myself included.  If you want to make $50-$150k/year and don't really care about what you do, STEM is a no brainer.  If you want to make $500k+, want to own a business, or are really passionate about something, you've got plenty of other skills to learn that are equally/more important.

Have you priced out what it costs to have a good photographer come take pictures of things for your catalog at work?  It's EXPENSIVE, corporate photographers can make some serious coin.  The same goes for wedding photographers, graphic designers, and all sorts of other specialties that have to do with advertising.  As my boss put it (sold his business years ago and now works for fun), there's a lot of money floating around out there, you've just got to find a way to get in the path of some of it.

You've just spent your whole life in this bubble where STEM is the path to success, and it is in a way.  It's the least risky way to make a reliably good amount of money with relatively low commitment.  It's efficient and risk averse.  Not everybody wants to live that way.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 12:42:09 PM by ooeei »

SisterX

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #165 on: April 19, 2017, 12:36:45 PM »
That was a fascinating, good story. Thank you for the background!

Now I'm going to tell you a story. A mom I know (yes, someone I actually know IRL) has a daughter. Starting in middle school this daughter said that she wanted to be an artist. She has a passion for painting, drawing, and photography. No, she wouldn't have been happy with designing things on a computer and doing her fun stuff on the side. She's a tactile person and really, really likes the artsy side of these pursuits.

Her mom could have taken your proposed approach and said, "Well, that's not good enough. I'm not going to pay for that/support that." Instead, when she realized that this was really what her daughter wanted to do, she began helping her find ways to build a portfolio. Yep, starting in 7th grade this kid began thinking about ways to launch her professional career. Her mom took her to the library to get books about photography and art, sent her articles from people who'd done well in such careers, helped her find mentors, got her lessons, things like that. I'm sure it cost a boatload of money, but I'm also certain there are ways to make it cost less. And if this is something important to both the parent and child, it's worth spending money on, correct?

When it came time to pick colleges they looked at a lot of liberal, artsy colleges. The daughter ended up getting accepted to both of her top choices and then had to choose. She chose the one that would be both a better fit for her personality AND does a better job of helping their students find contacts and network for after graduation. Because that's how people find work these days, in any field. While she's going to school, the daughter is continuing to build up her portfolio. She's working summers doing internships and wedding photography to make money while also learning a lot.

Now, if her parents had taken your approach, this is not the path this girl would be on. And I can tell you that she would both be unhappy and resentful of her parents. Instead her mom supported her and figured out ways to make her successful in her chosen field. She has not emphasized money, she has not decided that since her daughter likely won't be the next Big Artist that she can't make any money off of it. She has been supportive and encouraging, and helpful. She did not try to "mold" her daughter into something the daughter isn't. She didn't try to push her into another field because "it would be more lucrative". She gave her daughter the tools to be successful no matter what she does. And that is fucking great parenting.

Does that help illustrate what we've been trying to say to you here? The problem is not what degree kids get, or your girlfriend's way of thinking. The core problem is that your thinking of what, exactly, is the problem is the problem itself. I'm sorry you didn't have anyone to mentor you the way you needed. I'm sorry you didn't have the resources to get all the help that this girl did. However, your mistakes are part of who you are now. You learned some good lessons. We're trying to help you refine those lessons.

What do you think makes a successful parent and why? I consider myself a success as a parent if I give my child all the tools she will need as an adult. That's it. That is my whole job right there. What she does with them, whether she's happy or successful or Mustachian or not, those are her choices. I cannot decide for her what choices she makes. What she chooses to do for her life is just that, what she's choosing for her own life. I can guide and I can advise, I cannot make her choices for her. The fact that you want to make these choices on behalf of your as-yet-unborn children is what's throwing up a lot of red flags for us. That's not parenting, that's a dictatorship. If you want your kids to be successful, give them all the resources and tools you can.

And read parenting books. They really are helpful, if only to gain another perspective. And since you say you like to plan way in advance, consider it part of your planning. I can say that many of my own ideas have evolved plenty since meeting my own kid and realizing I had to throw many of my ideas and expectations out the window. I didn't realize how many of those I had until she came along. Parenting does not go well with dogma.

firelight

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #166 on: April 19, 2017, 01:21:57 PM »
Just read through this entire thread and I should say I was a bit like the OP a few years back in that I wanted my kids to choose STEM because a) it's fun, b) it's a far easier and portable skill that makes easier money in current circumstances. I also had this idea of paying for education only if it's a STEM degree. Fast forward a few years, more experience and two kids later (very young kids now), I'm starting to realize that kids will just learn from what they see and that everyone has different paths to success and happiness in life. No one path is better or easier than the other.

I still struggle with the notion that I'll pay for a non STEM degree because my kid wants it but I'm working on changing my perception and being ready to help my kid with what they need to find their path of success and happiness.

My major influence came from my family. They didn't pressure us kids overtly to get into STEM but the culture I grew up sent very strong messages that arts was useless. So both my sister and I chose STEM. I took to it like duck takes to water (guess I was lucky) while my sister is the artist of the house and still struggles with her choice of STEM. I'd rather see my kids successful and happy in any field than struggle in STEM.

Both my husband and I are in STEM but some times I wish one of us had the artistic bend to improve our quality of life a lot more.

Would I still love it if my kids took STEM? Definitely since that is the path I took and that is where I can help them a lot (advice, contacts, etc). I do get them a lot of STEM related toys to show them it is fun. Their teachers take care of showing arts is fun. So we have a balance. If my kid says she wants to get an arts degree, would I oppose it? Nope, I'll just make sure she has a viable plan to work it out. Am I paying for it? Yes, I'm working on it.

So OP, give it time and experience and you'll realize that being happy and successful is not tied to just STEM degrees (though that is what most of us in STEM think, simply because we succeeded in it). Till then, keep your mind open and you'll have a great relationship with your kids.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #167 on: April 19, 2017, 01:27:58 PM »
...

This is a great example of why so many people are pushing back.

I went to a small high school and have a small group of friends that I keep in touch with. Sure, some are STEM degrees, but others aren't STEM and doing great:

(1) Friend went to Miami (Ohio) and majored in interior design. She now owns her own business in Manhattan and is doing crazy well.

(2) Great friend majored in graphic design at Ohio Northern. He now lives in Brooklyn and has an amazing portfolio doing independent contract work for logos and branding.

(3) Two friends majored in "strategic communications" at Ohio State with me (my undergrad major). Both are now in San Francisco making $100k+ doing PR.

(4) Multiple friends that majored in communications or some general major are now in sales and absolutely killing it--like making $120k+ here in NE Ohio, which is probably more than the senior partners at my law firm.

(5) Twin brother is a teacher.  He bakes cookies on the side.  He has already saved enough to buy a house in cash.

(6) Older brother is a police officer.  He has his own financial issues, but he at least makes a solid income.

(7) Roommate from college majored in journalism.  "Dying field" they say.  He is a prolific college football writer and actually just got a job offer to write copy and run social media for one of the biggest companies in the Midwest.

I'm not making this up--I was just going through my contacts in my phone and I got through "G."  I could go on and on and on about just people in my small circle of friends.

Maybe OP would be best served if others posted similar success stories.
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Pigeon

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #168 on: April 19, 2017, 01:32:37 PM »
I work at a university, and I do see people studying some fairly useless things career-wise, and I also see some who are suddenly surprised that having a PhD in Sociology (that wasn't fully funded) doesn't mean people are knocking at your door looking to hire you.  So as far as that goes, I can see the OP's fear to some extent.  Still, there are many, many entry level jobs that just require a college degree, and people with degrees do tend to earn more over the course of their lives than people who do not have degrees.

One thing we did with our kids was to encourage them to think about and explore careers, and think about how careers might be connected to their education.  We had them look at the Occupational Outlook Handbook to get some idea of salaries, working conditions, educational requirements and job prospects.  They've shadowed people in different jobs while they were still in high school.  They are aware of the value of internships.  I don't think those are bad things to do, without trying to shoehorn them into degrees that they hate.

Apples

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #169 on: April 19, 2017, 01:36:13 PM »
OP, I think you are focusing on the wrong points of emphasis for your hypothetical future children.  Based on your posts in this thread, you seem concerned with career choice, money-making ability, and whether or not you'll support your children's interests if they go beyond hobby-level.  Aka, the what they're going to do.  But based on your backstory, I think the more important thing is the how.  I am very grateful that staring in my early teens my parents, especially my dad, starting having conversations with us kids about long-range planning and the lesson that I am the person who cares the most about me (and my health, money, bills, happiness, etc.).  I am the person that can make life long and happy, and a career choice more lucrative or less lucrative.*  Basically, the conversations were what the poster above was talking about with the woman and her artistic daughter and teaching her daughter to actively pursue-not just her passion, but building it into a career.  There's a difference, and one I think you're getting at.  Her daughter wasn't just going to photography classes b/c she liked them...she was also looking to learn specific skills and new things that would make her a better at x and more marketable.  It seems that you regret the amount of focus you put on football in your life, since it didn't really lead to a career of any sort (and I'm uncertain if you thought it would, realistically?).  Would you regret it less if the adults in your life had had more conversations with you about the chance of a career path, seeing what football-adjacent career paths there are, or what your other aptitudes are that might be better options?  The choice isn't A.  fully support all child's wants in regards to a sport/music/art, which it seems you are worried your GF wants and B. talk them out of anything that doesn't have a clear path to future $$ and isn't STEM or Top 100 Money-Making Majors for College, or etc.  There's options C, D, and E that fall in the grey area in between.  My dad would have supported almost any college major, if we kids could come up with a cohesive way that would lead to a sturdy career path.  If the major of choice didn't do that, he'd want to know what our plans were to help make it one - jobs with professors, internship opportunities at specific companies, xyz extracurricular, and encourage us to talk to someone in the field to find out what life looks like after graduation during sophomore/junior year.

I will also say that I have several friends who were happy their parents got divorced.  They didn't like the actual divorce, but 1-2 years later they found life much better.  So divorce is not all bad.

*This is not wishing oneself into money, or magicing a bad career choice into a good one.

Khaetra

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #170 on: April 19, 2017, 02:01:10 PM »
Maybe OP would be best served if others posted similar success stories.

I'm much older and STEM wasn't around when I was in school (neither were personal computers, cellphones, etc.), but 10 years ago I retired and am very FI.  How did I do it?  Flipping burgers.  Seriously, that's what got me started was flipping freaking burgers!

I grew up watching Julia Child, Graham Kerr, etc. on PBS and wanted to become a chef.  My mother (who I did not have a great relationship with) thought it was stupid and I should be a waitress because "you'll meet nice people".  My aunt thought it was stupid because "women should be secretaries".  My father was too ill to really give a shit either way.  Long family story made shorter, I was kicked out at 14, moved in with some friends and their parents and started working at McD's at 15.  The owner of the McD's also owned a diner in town and at 16 he gave me a job in the kitchen there as prep help.

I worked and saved for two years and with a little help from friends, went to culinary school, graduated and landed a good job in California.  Sadly the place closed after five years, so I moved back to Florida.  I got a job as sous-chef for a fancy place on the beach.  While working there, I could already see mismanagement happening and so could the head-chef, so one night while having after-work drinks we came up with the idea of starting our own catering company.  The restaurant folded weeks later, we both took out loans and started business and were very successful for 10 years.  He decided he had had enough, so we sold the business for a  good profit (each of us got $750K) and I invested almost all of it.  Some former clients contacted me asking if I would cater some of their smaller private events, which I did for a few years before hanging up my coat for good.  I still do some private events, but only because I enjoy the people who ask me to do so and they are easy to work with.

So, no high school diploma, only my passion and culinary school and my net worth is over $2 million.

rpr

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #171 on: April 19, 2017, 02:06:52 PM »
^^^ khaetra -- great story. Thank you for sharing.

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #172 on: April 19, 2017, 02:16:25 PM »
Here are my random observations and thoughts after reading the whole thread, my advice for the OP, some keys things that make a good parent.
∑         Averages and statistics and statics are about the general population.  They can serve as a piece of information to help you make decisions for raising children, just like parenting books are generalities.  Successful parenting is about taking this knowledge and seeing how it applies to your specific situation or child.   See your child as an individual and treat them as such, averages and statistics donít mean a thing if your child is not the exact demographic or personality described in the study.
∑          Trying for force a child into STEM who doesnít enjoy it, or have the aptitude does not add to success.  One can fake enjoying something but if it goes against your own nature, you spend a lot of time unhappy and trying to find yourself.
∑         Take some time to define what success means.  You view is narrowly defined by $.  I see why when I read your back ground story.  Financial security is supposed to an enabler to achieve a goal, not the goal itself.   You are defining STEM as the goal.  Is it really?  Or is it that you want your child to be able to be sustain a lifestyle that will make them happy?  There is a huge difference.
∑         A job as a parent to is to teach and guide a child to be the best version that the child can be.  It is not mold them into what we would like.  A good parent will help the child see what his or her skills are (not what we want them to be), and try to make the best out of it.  It may be artist, it may be STEM, who knows.  A child when grown should feel they met their own potential, not their parents dreams.
∑         The first priority of a parent is the relationship, trust, and respect, and then they can give advice and guide, but a parent has let the child make the final decision.
 

badassprof

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #173 on: April 19, 2017, 02:21:52 PM »
On the more story front: here's mine and my partner's.

I'm the first in my family to go to college. When I started college in the late 1980s, I thought I had to earn a degree that would lead to a specific job.  I thought I would become a teacher. Then, I got ambitious and thought maybe a lawyer? But I was always really good at writing and at reading and analyzing literature.  A few professors at the large state school I was at encouraged me to think about pursuing academia. It seemed a pipe dream (and honestly, the field has changed pretty significantly since I first started graduate school: we've gone from 75% tenure track jobs in the humanities to 25%). Nonetheless, I was one of the lucky ones. Got a full ride to an ivy league PhD program and a tenure track job immediately after graduate school. Where I teach now is my second job. I love it and while there are many in the bay area that make more than me, I make a bit over  100,000, which isn't bad for an English professor, I suppose.

My partner's story.  He was a very successful touring musician for many years. In his mid-20s he started looking around at the folks who were 10-20 years older than him and still on the road and realized that wasn't what he wanted. He took a job in biotech that he found on craigslist, making significantly less than he made as a full-time musician.  But, it was the mid-1990s and in San Francisco--if you were smart and hardworking, you could work your way up, which is what he did. He now is in senior management and makes around 160,000 a year between salary and bonus. With a B.S. in music and no graduate school whatsoever.

Obviously, there is a lot of luck in both of our stories: we were in the right place at the right time, and we both got opportunities.  But I think if you keep your eyes open, they are still there, particularly in large urban areas that are always looking for creative people. I have a friend with a PhD in medieval studies who runs a big software company in NYC. Another was the official philosopher for Google.

The point is that pursuing your passion won't lead necessarily to a lucrative career. But nor will a STEM degree necessarily either. Sadly, I've seen that side of the equation too many times too. The key is to be open to different modes of learning and different opportunities. Flexibility and curiosity can be some of the most in-demand job skills.

lhamo

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #174 on: April 19, 2017, 02:45:25 PM »
Another was the official philosopher for Google.

OMG -- I sure wish my son could meet this person!   He loves programming, but is already conflicted about whether to focus on research, which he thinks he will enjoy/is better suited to, or go into industry, which is more practical/where the money is more of a sure thing.  He also is a total math geek and loves philosophy/ethics.   I am encouraging him to explore all these areas.   One of his areas of interest is AI, and my argument was that companies are going to need people on staff who aren't just good technically in those areas, but who also can think through the ethical/social ramifications of the products and technologies they are developing.
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badassprof

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #175 on: April 19, 2017, 03:05:57 PM »
There are some AMAZING AI programs out there, I know, ones that really focus on liberal arts. It is out of my field, but my partner and I have a friend who works in AI (who also, by the way, is a heck of a fiddle player) who did his degree at Rochester, I think? Stanford, too, has some interesting programs that marry technology and humanities. They have an innovation program that is particularly interesting and cutting edge and really interesting work is coming out of their Science, Technology and Society Program

https://sts.stanford.edu/major-sts


I'm not sure what part of the country you're in, but an internship can be a wonderful way for students to get firsthand knowledge about what is really out there professionally. When we're in college it is so hard to imagine the possibilities in the world of work.  (At least I couldn't).  It reminds me of how high schoolers first feel  when they go to college: they can't conceive that one can study all the subjects available in college.

badassprof

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #176 on: April 19, 2017, 03:07:21 PM »
Oh, just saw you are in Seattle!  I'm not as familiar with what is happening up there, but I have a friend who is a dean at the University of Washington. I could ping him for some information.

badassprof

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #177 on: April 19, 2017, 03:14:25 PM »
PS:  Not to run this thread into a different direction, but ihamo, tell your son to look into MIT too if he is college-aged (although maybe he's post-college already)? They have some amazing technology/STEM programs with a humanities/humanist bent.

lhamo

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #178 on: April 19, 2017, 03:20:21 PM »
Thanks.  He's already at the UW -- he's only 15 but got admitted through the early entrance program.   Will be applying to the CS major this summer, and probably will get in (high GPA, especially in pre-reqs and math).   Probably will double major in math and maybe also minor in philosophy.  He'll definitely be looking into internships, and MIT/Stanford/Cal Tech are likely targets if he decides to continue on to grad school, though if he is happy here and finds good profs to work with he may stay at the UW, especially for his MS.  Program here is also top-notch, expanding and should have lots of opportunities in the future.

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badassprof

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #179 on: April 19, 2017, 03:25:24 PM »
Terrific!  Sounds like a very smart and thoughtful young man.  I hope he does pursue the philosophy minor.  Supportive professors are the most important thing. Some fetishize schools--they can be important, especially for grad school. But a supportive environment is the most important. I'm excited for him!

NeonPegasus

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #180 on: April 19, 2017, 03:54:28 PM »
I didn't read through the whole thread but I think I picked up most of the major points.

Here's a little bit about me - I am a mom of 3. I am married to a welder. I paid for my private school college degree by getting shit tons of scholarships. I worked my ass off to graduate summa cum laude with a Spanish degree, Creative Writing minor and having completed a Business Preparatory program.

I have always been frugal. Despite being pretty dang smart, I never really knew what I wanted to do. I thought knowing a foreign language would help me and wanted to improve my writing and business skills. Spoiler alert - I never managed to get a decent job or even get a single promotion because I valued employment stability over career growth. And it didn't help that I still didn't know what I wanted to do.

My husband was raised by upper middle class parents, both of whom had Master's degrees. He tried to go to three different colleges - one for art, one for music and one for construction. He left all three and told his parents that he had to quit wasting their money - college wasn't for him. He took a series of shitty jobs where he got to work with his hands. He refinished countertops, worked as a surveyor and finally landed a gig as a welder where he found his niche.

When we married, he was making maybe $12/hr. We learned to get by on one income because we never knew when he would get fired, laid off or quit (seriously rough employment situations - including bosses who threw hammers at him). I kept my shitty but stable jobs to ensure we would eat. By 2005, after yet another layoff, he decided to be self employed. His dad, who had long since given up on him going to college, gave him the best gifts he ever could have - with the remainder of his college fund, he bought DH a used Dodge Dakota truck so he had a reliable work truck and also gave him a check for $10k to get the business started.

12 years later, DH charges $65/man hour for work. After being the main breadwinner for 8 years, I quit my shitty job to work full time for our business. It took a long time to come to terms with it, but my calling is to boss people around and manage things. ;) We have a full-time employee and he makes $21.50/hr and we are able to provide a retirement plan and paid vacation for him. We have a 10 week lead time for all new work and get multiple inquiries a day. Our business supports us, our 3 kids, another person's livelihood and is helping us to save for FIRE.

So, TLDR, a man with no college degree + a woman with a fairly useless degree have managed to build a business that supports us and others and is building wealth for us.

I do sympathize with your concerns about kids spending money on a useless degree. I think that is the very reason double majors were invented. ;) I support my daughters following their dreams as long as they have a backup plan. The rest is up to them. I can't find their way for them and I can't tell them who they're supposed to be.

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #181 on: April 20, 2017, 11:45:38 AM »
I can't find their way for them and I can't tell them who they're supposed to be.

So true!  My brother (a Major in the military) did just what OP suggests.  He would only pay for a course approved by him.  His daughter, bless her heart,  tried to do it but ended up dropping out before finishing.   His son, OTOH, went to military university and got paid to go.  Both are fine kids.
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MrsWhipple

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #182 on: April 20, 2017, 03:06:05 PM »
Maybe OP would be best served if others posted similar success stories.
I got a STEM degree and then started writing romance novels instead of doing STEM stuff. I made over a million dollars within three years and early retired. My math degree is for funsies only and while I don't regret it, it certainly wasn't necessary to my success.

I'm not going to make my kid go to college; heck, I won't even make her go to school if she doesn't want to - I'm looking forward to unschooling. The future is crazy and success isn't a defined path of education any more.

gaja

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #183 on: April 22, 2017, 04:49:06 PM »
The numbers and scope of the studies are statistically significant. There is, of course, no way to say with 100% accuracy that something is CAUSED by another thing, but ignoring the VOLUMES of studies that corroborate these claims, when in this very thread I was told to not ignore psychology studies, is hypocritical.
There is a very clear correlation between the number of light bulbs in a country, and the fertility rates. This does not mean that more light in a house causes less children to be made.

. . . .

Wow.  This is a hell of a story, and it really helps explain why these issues are so important to you and why you think the way you do.  Can I make one suggestion, based on my own experience?  I am reading a lot of fear and insecurity in this history -- you never had an easy road, and even when you thought you had a path, the door closed in front of you, time and again, and you had to fight and keep fighting to keep your head above water.

One thing that type of life experience can breed is a very rigid way of thinking/viewing the world -- because, in your experience, life is full of landmines and pitfalls, and you have to do everything Just Right to make it through.  It is a very logical and natural response to life as you have experienced it.

I think what many people here are trying to say, in different ways, is that in reality, there are many ways to succeed in life, and that once you escape from poverty, the options for a good life open up tremendously.  Your kids won't be starting from where you did, and so you don't need to cling so tightly to The One True Path as you see it or risk your kids falling into penury.  You have already taken the most important lessons from your experience:  work hard; don't ever give up;

Maybe OP would be best served if others posted similar success stories.
The future is crazy and success isn't a defined path of education any more.

I agree with the two above. Very few people stay (happily) in the same job for 40 years anymore. The best education is the one that gives you skills you can use to build different carriers as you and/or the world change. My biology related STEM education does this, my husband's IT/programming education doesn't. When I found myself with a boss I couldn't stand, I quit on the spot and had a new job within the month. My husband needed to find something different to do, but couldn't get a single interview outside the programming world. My brother is a successfull musician. He planned to be a teacher, but ended up getting so many (and well paid) gigs that he barely made it through college. If he wants to change paths, he can easily get a teacher's certificate. Or he could use his extremely large contact list, languages and people skills to do something completely different.

I have had some good talks with my girls (9 and 10) about this topic already. My oldest dreams about inventing stuff, while the younger currently talks about art/drawing. A few high schools in our area offer a dual type high school, where you can walk out with a trade certificate (e.g. electrician or builder) AND all the basis you need to get accepted right into university. A lot of the businesses they cooperate with will also offer extended job training and scholarships. I think it would be perfect for the older one, if she can handle the workload. For the youngest, this type of school would be a nightmare. I have no idea where she'll end up. She could probably be a decent graphic designer, maybe something to do with light and sound, maybe some type of digital stuff. Who knows, maybe she'll go into medicine or something new that doesn't exist yet.

I agree that plans are needed. But unlike the OP I'm not satisfied with the optimal plan. What I'm stressing with my kids is flexibility: "Good plan. If that doesn't work out: what is your plan B? Plan C? And if that backfires; what will you do?" My cousin has a very inspirational story, that I've imprinted on my kids: He dropped out before high school, and became a fisherman. After earning good money at sea, he went back to school and became a skipper. After a few years travelling around the globe, he got an engineering degree and went back to travelling to oil fields, now with a wife and young kids. When the kids were ready for school, he moved back home, and after som years as a consultant, he got into research, moved to administration, and now is head of the local university.
Travelling southern Norway, Iceland and the Faroes in an electric car: http://travelelectric.blogspot.no/

Case

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #184 on: April 23, 2017, 06:49:36 PM »
Basically, me and my GF have already decided we want to get married and have kids someday. I'm pretty Mustachian, and she's starting to try to be, but I REALLY want my kids to be. I understand that a big part of that is career choice. Sure, you CAN retire early by working at a $30k job. But you can retire much quicker working at a $130k job. Here's where our differences kick in.

She's a very liberal, artsy person that believes you should follow your passion, and you can be anything you want to be. I'm more of the Mike Rowe/Red Foreman/Bernie Mac conservative. I believe that you should bring your passion with you, not follow it, and you'd be stupid not to bring it to a STEM field.

I want my kids to be successful. The thing I fear more than anything is my GF influencing our kid to get like an art degree or something, and the kid never being anything more than a Starbucks manager.

I'm not saying I'll force my kid to go into any particular field, because you can combine just about ANY interest/hobbies with STEM fields, but I absolutely refuse to pay for, or support, a useless degree (I have a whole list).

Hell, I'd even be proud if my kid decided to forego college, and use those 4 years to make a bunch of money, get 4 years extra of experience, and not waste money on tuition by learning a trade.

Basically, my GF thinks an 18-year-old KID (let's be honest, 18-year-olds are NOT adults) should be given free reign to ruin their life by getting a $60k art/history/etc. degree. I think that I'll need to knock some sense into that little shithead, because making $30k/year is not enough.

How do you traverse such a polarizing situation? My GF and I will probably never agree on this, but I absolutely want to do everything in my power to ensure my child either learns a trade, or gets a STEM degree (that's not biology).

What are some things I can do to instill in my child the importance of finance, and making a good decision with career choice? How can I start to convince my wife that a little authoritarian parenting ("tough love") may be what's needed after high school?

I understand that you're passionate about pragmatism, having your children make efficient choices that give them the best probability of financial success, etc...

But I think you may be missing out one important detail:  you come across as a raging, fucking asshole.

You think you have it all figured out, but the world is complex, and you haven't even figured out how to handle a proper relationship with the woman you think you might marry and have children with.
Yes, STEM jobs tend to produce people with higher salaries.  No, it doesn't mean everyone should go into STEM.  Some people simply aren't a good match.  Some people might not be a good match for STEM or trade jobs.  What if your child's passion is outside of those areas?  You might force them into a field where they are never able to shine.  They might repeatedly fail at STEM.  They might live a miserable life because they were passionate about something else, but followed their asshole father's high pressure advice/instructions.  It's possible they would be no good at STEM, and not world-class in the arts, but the arts made them truly happy.  Money isn't everything; it helps, but it and FIRE are not the be-all-end-all for everyone.

I'm sorry that you made some life choices that you regret, but I strongly caution you to think that you have it all figured out right now, because you absolutely don't.  A lot of us have choices we regret to some degree, or have life paths that could have been chosen more optimally.  I have a STEM job; the money is good; it has worked out fairly well.  It's not all puppies-and-rainbows.  Competition is stiff.  I'm one of the lucky ones.  There are lots of people who struggle in STEM.  If I could re-do everything, I would have gone with a BS in engineering rather than a PhD in science; or maybe a programming degree.  This is primarily borne of the idea that these routes are more optimal in terms of money making potential.  But then again, re-doing your life will fundamentally change who you are.  I chose science because i had a passion for it and it was a relatively good match for me.  Maybe engineering or programming wouldn't be.  Maybe I'd be ready to FIRE early, or maybe I'd crash and burn because it was a poor match.

Life is complex.  When and if you have children, hopefully you will have matured by that point.  Teach them about the benefits of a STEM career, give them the knowledge to make wise choices, empower them.  Then let them figure out what is the best life path to make them happy.  I can only hope that as a parent you will want them to choose the path that gives them the most overall happiness, not just the path to the most money or the path that you wish you had taken. 

*edited to tone down the rage
« Last Edit: April 24, 2017, 04:21:17 AM by Case »

Case

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #185 on: April 23, 2017, 06:54:29 PM »
I mean, people are so soft and sensitive these days that I've heard people say that spanking and even making your child do pushups is abuse. Are you kidding me? I got hit with a ruler hard as hell when I did something wrong. It didn't emotionally scar me, or whatever other crap people will try to convince you of. It instilled discipline in me.

When my kid is bad, I probably won't spank, but that kid will be doing wall sits and pushups. Sorry, little Johnny, the real world won't tell you that they understand why you were bad, and it's okay. You mess up, you deal with the consequences.

Nothing wrong with taking a negative (a bad action by a kid), and turning it into a positive (exercise).

Yea, seriously.  Look how you turned out!

Look at this situation:
Your goal is to instill discipline, and teach the kid either to like working out or to turn negative into positive.  So you have them do pushups as a form of punishment.  You know what the consequence will be?  Your kid will associate punishment with push ups!

eddie

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #186 on: April 23, 2017, 08:58:00 PM »
I like this thread.  Lots of good opinions.  I really liked the firmware-software analogy someone made early in the thread and the comment about telling your story.

Pushing your child into a specific field is likely destined to fail.  Teaching and modeling to your kids good values, work ethic, the value of a $, and good personal finance skills are probably more important to build a good foundation for their adult life, regardless of the career they pursue.

My parents were both classical musicians and pushed my younger brothers and I into lots of musical pursuits.  Piano, choir (church & school), violin (my brothers)...  We'd have to give concerts at my grandparents nursing home and church when we visited them.  Middle brother and I did not like it.  He and I rebelled more and more and got into sports, the youngest stayed highly involved in music/creative pursuits.  Middle brother and I both joined the Marine Corps reserve out of high school.  Our parents weren't too happy about that one either.  I have a B.S. in Finance and am in sporting goods sales, the middle brother didn't go to college and is a safety supervisor at an oil refinery and we both make $50-70k/yr.  Nothing crazy, but enough to reasonably contribute to our households.  My youngest brother makes way more $ than both of us combined as a self employed creative.  He dropped out of college after 2-3 years while pursuing a dance major.  He's self-published a few books and travels the world doing workshops, vacationing, and promoting himself.

Once you have enough income to support your family, more $ doesn't necessarily make one more successful.  Managing your resources is crucial as well as the work/life balance.  My wife and I had our first child last year and we definitely want to teach her about $, work ethic & good values.  My wife and I will be more enthusiastic about paying for fields of study that have good job prospects, but getting her through her first 4-5 years of adult life debt free while gaining a skill set she's passionate about will be our top priority.  Our daughter is only 8 months old, but I can already tell she is going to be strong willed.

FrugalFisherman10

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #187 on: April 24, 2017, 10:57:06 AM »
I got hit with a ruler hard as hell when I did something wrong. It didn't emotionally scar me, or whatever other crap people will try to convince you of.
You sure about that?

Your ranting here tells me nothing less.

Your rhetoric is so strong I don't see how you can miss what others are seeing in your posts. It's like you are trying to imitate some comical version of a different era, completely detached, and hardened, father in a movie.

Also, please STOP using this word 'success' to mean 'having a lot of money.' Until you get the difference, you and your children will likely lead very. poor. lives.

Buy a ticket to a third world country immediately. Like yesterday. you need some perspective bro. Consider a woman in a remote region of a war torn country in Africa who sees the beauty in living life itself, taking care of her children and teaching them the things of the land, how to cook, fix their clothes, care for an injured friend, find some food, run a local trade, and does so gladly, with a bright smile and true aching joy in her heart for children to have the best future possible for them. All with only a day's worth of wages to her name at any given time. Do you consider her successful?

FrugalFisherman10

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #188 on: April 24, 2017, 11:28:30 AM »
Somehow I can't pull myself away from this thread.

Mr. MM, can I make a suggestion?   Here and over the next few years, you (and your kids) might benefit from you developing your storytelling skills.
Also, this was a great post and suggestion.

I haven't read the whole thread but can tell you are starting to come around by telling your story as lhamo suggested.

Zamboni

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #189 on: April 24, 2017, 09:38:23 PM »
OP, the football story puts a lot of what you have written into perspective. My own son loves football and now derives a lot of his identity from it (even though he has only played 2 seasons.) It is the first thing in his life where he is among the best at something to a dominant degree. It might not last, as you note. But for now, it gives him purpose, and pride, and friendship, and a reason to want to go to school . . . . school that he otherwise generally loathes.

If it had been entirely up to me in the first place? He would not be playing football. It's dangerous, and I watched a lot of friends get permanently hurt in college. He is extremely smart and I don't want his brains to get scrambled with concussions. I expressed my concerns to him, but I am glad I did not stop him from playing (my parents never let my brother play.)

Quote
Keep in mind they might also say, "fuck you, I hate STEM." It really isn't for everyone, in the end.

I am a STEM professor at an expensive, prestigious university. Parents with children at my school probably couldn't be prouder of their children. But, a few students sit in my office and weep every year . . . they very much do not want to disappoint their parents (almost always it is their dad), but they also do not share their goals.

One young man just sat there silently, tears streaming down his face, meeting after meeting, because of disagreements over college major choices. In the end he intentionally flunked out . . . and it was really intentional so his Dad would get the message. He told me he was going to do it, and he really felt it was his only option. 

Another young lady literally couldn't keep her food down. She'd invite me to lunch because she needed someone to listen to her hopes and dreams and fears about her future, and then she'd have to run to the restroom because she'd start to vomit up her food due to anxiety about disappointing her parents. Again, she didn't want to do what her Dad wanted her to do.

Please, don't do this to your future children. You will want the best for them, and what you are describing becomes a curse for many young people.

Sometimes, actually most of the time, you will be wise to let your future kids follow passions . . . and I want you to reflect on the fact that, where I work with my fancy degree in STEM, every single coach & trainer for the football program probably makes more money that I make. It doesn't matter what they majored in at all. Some of them probably majored in sociology or art.

Unique User

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #190 on: April 25, 2017, 07:30:15 AM »
Basically, me and my GF have already decided we want to get married and have kids someday. I'm pretty Mustachian, and she's starting to try to be, but I REALLY want my kids to be. I understand that a big part of that is career choice. Sure, you CAN retire early by working at a $30k job. But you can retire much quicker working at a $130k job. Here's where our differences kick in.

She's a very liberal, artsy person that believes you should follow your passion, and you can be anything you want to be. I'm more of the Mike Rowe/Red Foreman/Bernie Mac conservative. I believe that you should bring your passion with you, not follow it, and you'd be stupid not to bring it to a STEM field.

I want my kids to be successful. The thing I fear more than anything is my GF influencing our kid to get like an art degree or something, and the kid never being anything more than a Starbucks manager.

I'm not saying I'll force my kid to go into any particular field, because you can combine just about ANY interest/hobbies with STEM fields, but I absolutely refuse to pay for, or support, a useless degree (I have a whole list).

Hell, I'd even be proud if my kid decided to forego college, and use those 4 years to make a bunch of money, get 4 years extra of experience, and not waste money on tuition by learning a trade.

Basically, my GF thinks an 18-year-old KID (let's be honest, 18-year-olds are NOT adults) should be given free reign to ruin their life by getting a $60k art/history/etc. degree. I think that I'll need to knock some sense into that little shithead, because making $30k/year is not enough.

How do you traverse such a polarizing situation? My GF and I will probably never agree on this, but I absolutely want to do everything in my power to ensure my child either learns a trade, or gets a STEM degree (that's not biology).

What are some things I can do to instill in my child the importance of finance, and making a good decision with career choice? How can I start to convince my wife that a little authoritarian parenting ("tough love") may be what's needed after high school?

Because you run the very real risk of alienating your children and ruining your relationship with them.  Maybe some kids do "ruin their lives" with useless degrees or maybe they just regret those choices.  Many others don't.  I see lots of others posted alternate perspectives so I'll give you one more.  I grew up lower income in a dysfunctional family and failing school district and, but managed to get a fancy liberal arts degree from a school that is always in the top 20 schools in the US.  I graduated with loans and intended to take a year off before entering a PhD program.  A professor convinced me that the chances of getting a tenured position were slim in my chosen field of anthropology, so I worked for a few years in the advertising business which was fun, but low paid.  Then DH and I spent 14 years in a ski town working 6 months out of the year in various businesses we started.  We finally left 8 years ago because we realized that even though we'd been having fun, we'd never be able to retire.  So 8 years ago found us with little "real" job experience, a decent amount of savings due to selling our overpriced ski town house (plus an amazing stroke of luck, similar to winning the lottery), DH with no degree (he was a chef with a culinary apprenticeship, not normal for the US) and me with a "useless" degree.  We took crappy and I mean crappy jobs to start.  His was manual labor and mine was commission only.  8 years later, we both have great jobs, I make just over $100k and he makes just under.  We're set to retire in 4-5 years as long as we can work out healthcare and college for DD doesn't kill us.  Did I make mistakes, hell yes.  Could anyone have told me what to do when I was 17 and starting college?  Doubtful.  I'm not going to even touch the authoritarian stuff except to say my stepfather sounded like you.  I COULD NOT WAIT to get away.  It ruined my relationship with my mother for decades. 

Khaetra

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #191 on: April 25, 2017, 11:40:18 AM »
Before anyone else responds, according to this thread the OP is no longer a member of the community...

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/tattoo-or-paying-off-loan-yolo!/

NoStacheOhio

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #192 on: April 25, 2017, 12:02:11 PM »
Before anyone else responds, according to this thread the OP is no longer a member of the community...

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/tattoo-or-paying-off-loan-yolo!/

Does that mean we can unlock the Trump thread?!?
The first step is acknowledging you have a problem, right?

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/digging-out-of-a-hole/

SisterX

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #193 on: April 25, 2017, 12:34:20 PM »
Before anyone else responds, according to this thread the OP is no longer a member of the community...

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/tattoo-or-paying-off-loan-yolo!/

Does that mean we can unlock the Trump thread?!?

Please god, no. That's been my train wreck thread recently. I stopped posting but I couldn't stop reading it and shaking my head. Getting pretty darn tired of watching other people beat their heads against a brick wall trying to explain things to people who just don't want to understand.

Gin1984

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #194 on: April 25, 2017, 12:44:18 PM »
Before anyone else responds, according to this thread the OP is no longer a member of the community...

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/tattoo-or-paying-off-loan-yolo!/

Does that mean we can unlock the Trump thread?!?

Please god, no. That's been my train wreck thread recently. I stopped posting but I couldn't stop reading it and shaking my head. Getting pretty darn tired of watching other people beat their heads against a brick wall trying to explain things to people who just don't want to understand.
But it was useful.  I could get all the crazy shit the GOP and Trump are doing in one place and there was no issues until the OP caused a problem.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk


YoungInvestor

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #195 on: April 26, 2017, 05:18:26 AM »
I'm diverging a bit here, but who's saying that STEM will still be the way to go 20+ years from now? Machine learning is already tackling these jobs and I wouldn't be surprised if the number of programmers and engineers needed 20 years from now was reduced.

I'm not necessarily right, but I do think that arguing over the career choice of someone who's not even born is pointless.

In any case, I don't think you would follow through with what you're saying. If your hypothetical kid doesn't like maths and shows promise in something else, you'll have changed your mind by the time he or she is in middle school.

Embok

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #196 on: April 26, 2017, 09:39:11 AM »
At my 35th college anniversary from an elite liberal arts college, I put together a panel of alumni to talk about what they had done professionally and personally. 

Most of the graduates in technical or STEM fields were still working in their major fields, and had done well, but had reached the top of the pay range for their jobs.  The ones who had done the best were those who loved their work.

However, most of the most successful businesspeople -- and virtually all the CEOs -- were English or Econ majors.  While an economics degree aligns obviously with business, an English degree appears not to do so.  However, it seems the English major (at least from my college, which is very rigorous intellectually) can lead to great success in business, as the abilities to read critically, think analytically and write clearly are needed in virtually every business, and are rare.

I am a female English major with a law degree.  I have earned mid to upper six figures in the last third of my career.  Most years I have earned 3 - 5 times as much as my husband, who is also a lawyer, placed higher in law school than I did, but is focused on a specialty involving computers and software that does not attract nearly as much money. 

He wanted our kid to major in something practical, so she turned herself inside out to try to major in computer science.  It was not for her, but first she made herself miserable, hurt her gpa, and had a depression that required therapy before we convinced her to instead major in something that played to HER strengths, rather than doing what my DH wanted her to do -- she wanted so badly to please him. 

She is now happy, has recovered her gpa and her confidence, has earned awards in performance arts, and is about to graduate from her elite college with an English degree.  She will no doubt make less money for the first five years after college than a kid who is in STEM, but I'm sure she will find a way to make plenty in the (creative)  business she plans to go into, because she has excellent analytic and communications skills, a great work ethic, and the confidence to make decisions, plus great personal thrift.

To a large extent, when you are a parent,  you have to accept kids as they are, and guide them, but they already want to please their parents, so if anything one needs to expressly give them permission to be imperfect and to follow their own paths in life, rather than pushing them to follow your ideas for their lives.

In my opinion, kids learn a lot from their parents both from what the parents say and what the parents do.  Sharing your background and your story - the good and the bad - with your kids will help them understand what drives you,and, importantly, that you are not perfect (most children think their parents are perfect, and that makes it difficult to differ with one's parents as one grows up).  Ultimately, a parent wants his or her child to grow into a functional independent adult who can navigate the world without the parent.  That requires independent thinking by the young adult; and that means the young adult cannot worry about being cut off emotionally by the parent.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 09:59:13 AM by Embok »

NoStacheOhio

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Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
« Reply #197 on: April 27, 2017, 11:22:58 AM »
Before anyone else responds, according to this thread the OP is no longer a member of the community...

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/tattoo-or-paying-off-loan-yolo!/

Does that mean we can unlock the Trump thread?!?

Please god, no. That's been my train wreck thread recently. I stopped posting but I couldn't stop reading it and shaking my head. Getting pretty darn tired of watching other people beat their heads against a brick wall trying to explain things to people who just don't want to understand.
But it was useful.  I could get all the crazy shit the GOP and Trump are doing in one place and there was no issues until the OP caused a problem.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk

I'm tempted to start a Trump thread redux, but I feel like that's toes-over-the-line ...
The first step is acknowledging you have a problem, right?

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/digging-out-of-a-hole/