The Money Mustache Community

Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 12:55:53 PM

Title: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 12:55:53 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?
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 01:24:46 PM
You need to chill.  I would never have children with you with that extremely inflexible (and unrealistic) set of demands.  STEM is great.  The world also needs artists, and who the fuck are you to tell anyone, especially your child, that making any amount of money "isn't enough"?  You can instill financial responsibility in a child without: 1) being a demeaning asshole, and 2) teaching them that your respect is contingent on their profession/earning potential.
Who am I to tell them? Well, their father. I think I pretty much have that right. I won't FORCE them into anything, but there's no way in hell I'm financing an art degree.

Me and my GF being FIRE is not enough, I want my kid(s) to be as well. And you don't become FIRE by getting a degree that won't really get you anywhere.

Besides, the world certainly does not need artists. They make pretty things, and that's great, but there is no inherent need for them.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Sailor Sam on April 17, 2017, 01:25:51 PM
MrMonkeyMustach, I'm sure what you're trying to convey is that you really want your potential kids to have long, happy, and fulfilled lives. Just like any parent, or potential parent. That part is really good.

But in the interest of reducing the amount of misery in the world, I'd urge you to broaden your definition of success.  The first step isn't to ask the forum how to win the argument with your girlfriend, it's to examine your own consciousness. Parents can overlay a lot of software into their kids, but if you create too much conflict with the firmware you'll create huge problems. This part is really bad, and smacks of some pretty strong hubris.


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).

"Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black."

-Henry Ford

Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 01:29:19 PM
MrMonkeyMustach, I'm sure what you're trying to convey is that you really want your potential kids to have long, happy, and fulfilled lives. Just like any parent, or potential parent. That part is really good.

But in the interest of reducing the amount of misery in the world, I'd urge you to broaden your definition of success.  The first step isn't to ask the forum how to win the argument with your girlfriend, it's to examine your own consciousness. Parents can overlay a lot of software into their kids, but if you create too much conflict with the firmware you'll create huge problems. This part is really bad, and smacks of some pretty strong hubris.


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).

"Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black."

-Henry Ford
I understand that. And the LAST thing I want is for my kid and/or GF to resent me, or rebel against me. That's not my goal at all. I just understand that, of all the successful artists and historians in the world, the chance of my kid being one is VERY low. On the other hand, getting, say, a Computer Science degree, the chance of my kid being successful is very high.

Of course, I am willing to compromise a bit, but if I feel as if compromising too much will cause my child to live a less-than-prosperous life, I will not.

I believe career choice should be about OPPORTUNITY, and you should learn to love your career, not choose a crappy one because it sounds cool.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Orvell on April 17, 2017, 01:35:58 PM
Small reminder that the world is interesting and beautiful because people *make* it that way, and emphasize it, and work to do so.
The arts aren't superfluous, they're a part of the reason we enjoy our environments (park design, architecture, sculpture, horticulture) and stories are literally what make us human, and are being made every day (poetry, novels, comics, TV, and movies). The arts are a big world, not just reserved for fine painters and poets who don't receive (often) their just deserts in pay.
It's true that the outcome from the arts is varied. Some make good money. Some don't. But please don't pretend that your potential child will be a sad sack for going into a field like the above. :) They might make the world more beautiful, or make it more understood, or even just live the life they want to lead and not one like yours.
You are thinking about this as a purely dollar-for-dollar transactional choice, and it's not that way for everyone. This board is full of people who treat dollars like workers, but in the end, we're all just humans trying to live our lives. And for some, making $30K/year and doing what they want *is* enough, contrary to your post. Your life will not be their life, their father or not. I am not, for example, following in the path my parents likely wanted. However they're supportive-- emotionally, and they were supportive financially through college--, and I support myself now and save a good chunk of change toward FIRE... despite my useless degree. ;)
Oh, and also?
I'm happy. :)

I'm not a parent, but I think you need to drastically change your mindset on your potential (!) children's success. Success is leaving the nest safely, supporting themselves, and being happy. There are literally tens of thousands of avenues to that. You can pay for their college, or not. That's up to you and your GF. Just don't expect them to follow Your Path and use funding college (or lack thereof) as collateral to force their hand towards Your Path... as it's not going to go the way you hope.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: rubybeth on April 17, 2017, 01:41:10 PM
Woo, boy, I bet you'd think my degree is pretty crappy. :P But guess what, the world does need people who are really fuckin' awesome at artistic pursuits. And if you're genuinely good at it, you can make butt tons of money. Look at violinist Joshua Bell (millionaire). Look at Richard Branson (dyslexic billionaire). Look at the many entertainers and artists who make plenty of money following their passion.

The thing is, you can't know what kind of kid you'll have. You also can't know what the job market will be like in 20+ years before you even reproduce. Maybe yoru kid will be a genius and be able to write code, or maybe they'll be an incredible opera singer and make millions of people weep at the beauty of their voice. You kind of have to be okay with whoever your kid will be--because you don't get to pick, and you might be surprised and delighted with a child who doesn't fit your ideal mold. You absolutely don't have to pay for your child to get a college degree that you don't agree with--but you can be clear about that without being an asshole.

The deal with my parents was that they'd pay for state university if I lived at home. I was willing to do that, and then went on to get a graduate degree on my own dime at the university of my choice. Once your child is closer to adulthood, you'll have a better idea of how to coach them for potential careers that might fulfill them, as well as earn them a solid income. Also, your child will be, surprisingly, a separate human being from YOU, and so will have their own ideas of what will fulfill them. FIRE may or may not do that for them.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 01:45:39 PM
C) Target end result
B) (Steps to take)??
A) Where you are now

C) Kids make intelligent decisions about career planning
B) Educate your kids about how to make great, rational choices that are fulfilling
A) Planning to direct your children and use financial incentives (and/or parental support provision/restriction) to (all but) force decisions

The question everyone but you (MrMonkeyMoustache) has, is how you can get from A to B.

A is "I'm in charge. That's why!" It's bad for employees, bad for kids and bad for humans in general! Intrinsic motivation comes from within. Personal fulfillment and satisfaction comes from making your own choices without fear of retribution especially from your parents.

Have you read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People? He talks a lot about what has and hasn't worked as a parent, including an example very similar to yours, where a parent really wanted their kids to go to a specific college, and the kid kept fighting it... and eventually the parents took a step back, changed what they were doing, and showed their kids love and support no matter what choices the kids did which opened the door to even being a part of the decision-making process!

Don't convince. Don't force. Be a great example. Listen more than you talk. Guide, sure - definitely guide them. Definitely help them learn how to direct their money and efforts and times towards things they'll really value in life. But don't try to make their decisions for them before they're even born.
Well, I don't subscribe to, "I'm in charge, that's why!" I subscribe to, "Daughter, you can either design dresses by hand, and make nothing, or design them in CAD and make a good living. Don't be a dumbass."

Obviously, I can't FROCE them, but I see nothing wrong with trying to convince them. I don't think people quite understand what I'm saying. I want my child to do something they love. But I also understand that you can BRING your passion with you. You can LEARN to love a job that pays well and you're great at.

I simply fear paying for my child's $100k sociology degree, and watch as they (most likely) work a minimum wage job for the next 50 years, and never truly see the importance of financial fortitude. Maybe it's just the way I was raised. My family has always had strong beliefs about acquiring wealth, owning property, and establishing the family's legacy. I don't really see anything wrong with that mindset.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 01:51:00 PM
Woo, boy, I bet you'd think my degree is pretty crappy. :P But guess what, the world does need people who are really fuckin' awesome at artistic pursuits. And if you're genuinely good at it, you can make butt tons of money. Look at violinist Joshua Bell (millionaire). Look at Richard Branson (dyslexic billionaire). Look at the many entertainers and artists who make plenty of money following their passion.

The thing is, you can't know what kind of kid you'll have. You also can't know what the job market will be like in 20+ years before you even reproduce. Maybe yoru kid will be a genius and be able to write code, or maybe they'll be an incredible opera singer and make millions of people weep at the beauty of their voice. You kind of have to be okay with whoever your kid will be--because you don't get to pick, and you might be surprised and delighted with a child who doesn't fit your ideal mold. You absolutely don't have to pay for your child to get a college degree that you don't agree with--but you can be clear about that without being an asshole.

The deal with my parents was that they'd pay for state university if I lived at home. I was willing to do that, and then went on to get a graduate degree on my own dime at the university of my choice. Once your child is closer to adulthood, you'll have a better idea of how to coach them for potential careers that might fulfill them, as well as earn them a solid income. Also, your child will be, surprisingly, a separate human being from YOU, and so will have their own ideas of what will fulfill them. FIRE may or may not do that for them.
Well, obviously, if they're a world-class singer or artist, I won't stop them. But, if they're like almost every other person on the face on the Earth, they'd be chasing fairy tales. I'm not saying to give up on your dreams, or to "settle", but you should also have a sense of realism. If you're a good, but not great singer, you're an idiot if you sell your truck to buy a plane ticket to LA to be on American Idol. If you're a good writer, but no Shakespeare, don't bother trying to make a career out of it.

Now, I think passions SHOULD be followed regarding hobbies, and you always hope that a kid's passion is also in-line with a well-paying career, but if not, I think it's my duty to lecture some sense into them about the real world.

The world is full of artists and writers working at Starbucks. Same can't really be said for the vast majority of STEM majors.

Of course there's always more to it, I DO define part of success as having a lot of money. It makes life so monumentally easier and more fulfilling that I don't see why someone SHOULDN'T aspire to it.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Heroes821 on April 17, 2017, 01:55:37 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?

Well in a recent post a few weeks ago you mention that you were early 20s, 22? 24?  If you are going to vehemently state that 18 year olds are not adults and even when raised to be responsible and with financial literacy, then maybe you should think back that 18 was not that long ago for you. 

I would recommend reading the book Rich Dad Poor Dad.  Also check out MMM's post covering jobs that make over $50,000 a year.  Hell read the most recent post about MMM's wife's Etsy shop.

While I agree that going for a BA in liberal Arts is probably not the Fastest route to FIRE or just FI. MMM's wife through self taught soap and jewelry making made $100,000+ in a year.

Rather than saying "Dearest Daughter if you want to live a happy fulfilled life, pick a job your not interested in so you can be FI ASAP and then do things you enjoy after a decade of being miserable" lets think along the lines of "If you want to design dresses by hand, lets me explain to you how manufacturing and raw material cost affects the prices of what you design and how starting your own business allows you to put more money away before taxes than if you work for someone else!" 
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Orvell on April 17, 2017, 01:58:33 PM
Again: because your future and not-yet-existent children might be different from you. And wanting them to see the world your way will not make it so.

Also, the world is not entirely black and white when it comes to success outside of STEM. There are plenty of actual careers in the arts. And by "actual careers" I mean W-2 ones, not just freelancing. Orchestras have people playing in them, for money! And people teach weaving lessons, and paint murals, and write songs, and design chairs.

I'm glad to hear you'd support them having hobbies that aren't monetarily productive. Would you pay for lessons for those hobbies? Supplies? i.e. violin lessons for a kiddo, or voice lessons? Paint easels? Or would that be 'not a good return on dollar investment' because they would be 'hobbies?'
That's something you and your GF should probably discuss, too.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 02:03:19 PM


Well in a recent post a few weeks ago you mention that you were early 20s, 22? 24?  If you are going to vehemently state that 18 year olds are not adults and even when raised to be responsible and with financial literacy, then maybe you should think back that 18 was not that long ago for you. 
24. And yes, I know it wasn't too long ago, which is why it's hits so close to home for me. I made the same mistakes I'm talking about in this thread, and I don't want my child to do the same. I followed my passion, but it led nowhere. It was a waste of money, and put me in a huge financial hole.

Quote
I would recommend reading the book Rich Dad Poor Dad.  Also check out MMM's post covering jobs that make over $50,000 a year.  Hell read the most recent post about MMM's wife's Etsy shop.

While I agree that going for a BA in liberal Arts is probably not the Fastest route to FIRE or just FI. MMM's wife through self taught soap and jewelry making made $100,000+ in a year.
I've read both. And I understand it's not IMPOSSIBLE to be success doing careers like that, but those are the fringe exceptions. The vast majority of people that pursue those passions as careers end up broke and in debt. I just want my kid(s) to be successful.

Quote
Rather than saying "Dearest Daughter if you want to live a happy fulfilled life, pick a job your not interested in so you can be FI ASAP and then do things you enjoy after a decade of being miserable"
I definitely do NOT want that. I just understand that, for every passion that leads nowhere, there's probably a satisfying STEM job in that field that leads to greater things.

Quote
lets think along the lines of "If you want to design dresses by hand, lets me explain to you how manufacturing and raw material cost affects the prices of what you design and how starting your own business allows you to put more money away before taxes than if you work for someone else!"
And I will certainly try to teach them that stuff. Being your own boss is extremely liberating. I hope to one day achieve that goal. But even then, the vast majority of businesses will not succeed. It's just life. I want to improve the odds of my child's success as much as possible.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 02:06:05 PM

Of course, you can raise them all along with certain values, and you can help them work out the numbers for themselves. "If you pay $100k for a degree, and you make $20k/year after taxes, and you spend $19k/year just on living expenses, you won't have choices that you could have. Travel, freedom of time, etc..." Maybe, if you raise them just right, they'll say "daddy, I really want to be an artist, but I also like design enough to make money designing for a corporation, and since you taught me how to do so much for myself, I realized I can work for corporate for 10 years, and save up enough that I can do whatever kind of art I want for the rest of my life, and no one will get to decide anything for me ever again!"
This is all I'm looking to do. I want to instill them with those values. I just would be new to the whole parenting thing, and was not sure how parents here managed it if they did.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Heroes821 on April 17, 2017, 02:12:08 PM
I've read both. And I understand it's not IMPOSSIBLE to be success doing careers like that, but those are the fringe exceptions. The vast majority of people that pursue those passions as careers end up broke and in debt. I just want my kid(s) to be successful.
I


I think that's great that you read those already and are well away of the poor decisions of youth, I didn't find this stuff out till 27/28.  The bolded above I find especially important because we are NOT the vast majority.  We are Mustacians. We lead by example.  If you can teach the financial literacy that you have obtained to your children they can pursue almost anything and succeed at it because they will know that they need to of things outside of their goal.  They will understand how their employees ($$) need to be working for them. 
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 02:14:36 PM

I'm glad to hear you'd support them having hobbies that aren't monetarily productive. Would you pay for lessons for those hobbies? Supplies? i.e. violin lessons for a kiddo, or voice lessons? Paint easels? Or would that be 'not a good return on dollar investment' because they would be 'hobbies?'
That's something you and your GF should probably discuss, too.
100%. I'd highly encourage it, and go to every practice/game/concert/etc. My GF agrees. We both think that children should always have hobbies they're passionate about that we both support to the fullest extent.

But, where me and my GF differ is thinking that your career choice should be based on those passions. I simply believe that you can learn to love a career you're good at. I was never passionate about programming until I got good at it, for example. Now, that doesn't mean my kid HAS to go into programming. Not at all. I just think that, for most every hobby a kid has, there's usually a bunch of low-paying careers attached to it, and some much better STEM careers.

For example, if I have a kid who is SO passionate about theme parks and recreation, sure, they could study tourism. But they'd be better off, for example, designing the rollercoasters at those parks. If you're passionate about art, sure, you can major in it. But you could also becoming a graphical user interface designer, and be much better off.

Love animals? Sure, you could be a desk assistant at an animal hospital. But, you'd be much better off being an animal surgeon.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Orvell on April 17, 2017, 02:19:32 PM
MrMonkeyMoustache, this last post of yours was great. I think you didn't clearly articulate any of that in the beginning post-- it was your way or the highway, and your way was money, and the highway was living in a shoebox while you wept for them, and there was no middle ground.
In this post, you're clearly expressing that their passions can be molded into STEM careers (or other high dollar careers), not set aside for them. That's rad, and I think something your kids will benefit from hearing (if and when they exist.) :)
Keep in mind they might also say, "fuck you, I hate STEM." It really isn't for everyone, in the end. Sure as hell isn't for me.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: missundecided on April 17, 2017, 02:27:32 PM


Well in a recent post a few weeks ago you mention that you were early 20s, 22? 24?  If you are going to vehemently state that 18 year olds are not adults and even when raised to be responsible and with financial literacy, then maybe you should think back that 18 was not that long ago for you. 
24. And yes, I know it wasn't too long ago, which is why it's hits so close to home for me. I made the same mistakes I'm talking about in this thread, and I don't want my child to do the same. I followed my passion, but it led nowhere. It was a waste of money, and put me in a huge financial hole.


Sometimes, learning for yourself that such and such is a waste of money and/or led to nowhere IS the best lesson. Then you reevaluate where your priorities are. You can't stop your potential children from making mistakes, even if it's the same mistakes you yourself made. Have trust in your ability to guide your children as they grow up, and trust that they will eventually land on their feet--even if it's not the way you want them to.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 02:35:28 PM
Humans aren't code.
YET!
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: rubybeth on April 17, 2017, 03:06:28 PM
Humans aren't code.
YET!

:( Kids aren't machines. You also don't know if you will have a kid who is disabled in some way and won't be able to ever have "a career" in the traditional sense. You might, but you might not.

I think you totally missed the point of my post, too. You can expose your kid to a lot of different things, but they are ultimately NOT YOU and will therefore do things that YOU DON'T LIKE or DON'T AGREE WITH. If that's a challenging concept, I suggest you wait a while to have a baby.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Laura33 on April 17, 2017, 03:11:35 PM
OK, so, my first advice is to chill.  Your kids will learn more from what they see you do, day in and day out, than from anything you tell them.

Second, believe me when I say you have absolutely *no* idea what kind of kid you will get.  When I think back to what I assumed my kids would be like, and how I would raise them and train them and this and that, well, I can only laugh at my own hubris.  My kids came out of the womb who they are; there is no power on this earth that was going to change that.  The most humbling thing about parenting is realizing how little power you actually have to "mold" your kids in the ways you want and to keep them from making the same dumb-ass mistakes you did.  If you have an artistic kid, you cannot turn that child into an engineer, no matter how much you try; all you get is years of pain, a terrible relationship with your child (who is smart enough to know that Daddy doesn't love him because he isn't good enough at science/math), and a total crash and burn. 

Kids are going to be who they are, so what you need to do as a parent is to take the time to really learn who that is -- not who you want them to be, but who they are down deep, what their strengths and weaknesses are -- so you can then help them build on those strengths and convert them into useful, employable skills.  E.g., if you have an artistic kid, don't force them away from the arts, help point them toward "art that pays," like graphic design, working for advertising agencies, etc.  Broaden your own view of what is an "acceptable" field, so you can help your kids navigate to areas that make the most of their talents while still paying reasonable wages.  Yes, "follow your passion" is bullshit.  But it is true that your kids are most likely to succeed by building on something that they are already good at and enjoy, vs. something they can be marginally adequate at with a lot of effort.

And please do not assume that just because you learned to love something because you stuck with it, the same will be true for your kids.  Your kids will be many things, but they will not be you, and what worked for you may not work for them at all.  There are many, many people in this world for whom being forced to stick with something they don't like is a version of hell, and who will not learn to like it no matter how good they get at it.  I am one of those people.  Grit and resilience are awesome characteristics to build, but for many people are insufficient to fundamentally change what they enjoy.

Finally, always remember that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.  Your posts do tend to come across as authoritarian, as you are the dad, and you know best, and it is their job to listen to your advice and do what you say.  All I can say is that most kids who have any kind of a backbone rebel against that kind of approach.  So, you know, if you want to push your kids into the arts, the best way to do that may be to shove STEM down their throats.  Listen again to what some of the earlier posters said:  your goal cannot be to raise kids who make a certain specific decision -- it must be to raise kids who know how to make good decisions.  But the only way kids can actually learn how to make good decisions is to be given the freedom to make some bad ones along the way -- preferably long before they are being asked to borrow $200K for college.  The more headstrong your kid, the more you need to back off, provide education and guidance, and then let them go.  I think of myself as sort of like rubber bumpers along the side of the road -- my kids may bounce around six ways from Sunday while they figure things out, but as long as they are heading in the right direction and I am keeping them on the road, then I'm doing my job. 

Oh:  and have a little humility about your ability to identify the Jobs Of The Future, too.  There were a lot of trades going begging during the last housing bust, and there are a lot of petroleum engineers looking for work right now.  And some of us former English majors have -- miraculously -- managed steady employment and jobs well into the six figures.  I know, go figure. 
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: honeybbq on April 17, 2017, 03:17:35 PM
Once you have children, you may realize that squashing their dreams and channeling them away from their calling is harder than you thought.

You don't have to finance their choices, but you do have to respect them if you want to keep a relationship with them.


My spouse and I both have PhDs in STEM fields. But my daughter (so far) loves art, art, and more art. We try to do math and science with her, but her fallback seems to be the arts. It's the way she came. She's still young, and maybe she'll change her direction. I don't know what she'll eventually do with her life. I hope she can earn enough to pay the bills and have a happy existence. But the last thing I'm going to do is take away her art supplies.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: marty998 on April 17, 2017, 03:38:49 PM
MMM made more from his blog (a rather artsy pursuit) than his STEM career...
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: badassprof on April 17, 2017, 03:45:30 PM
I guess the head scratcher for me is that you don't even have kids and you are already worrying about what they will and won't do? I get it: I teach at a liberal arts school, and some majors seem more lucrative than others. But that said, I have a PHD in English and my partner a degree in music, and we make close to 300,000 a year. Go figure.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: historienne on April 17, 2017, 05:11:19 PM
Who am I to tell them? Well, their father. I think I pretty much have that right.

Parenting is going to offer you lots of opportunities for personal growth in this regard. 
(ie: Lol at the idea that this is remotely how functional parent-child relationships work).
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: human on April 17, 2017, 05:19:19 PM
Jesus Christ you want to control the life of a kid that doesn't even exist yet. You aren't even married and you're talking about what degree your kids should have? Get a grip!
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: scantee on April 17, 2017, 05:20:36 PM
What is it you like about your girlfriend, your artsy, passionate girlfriend? Why are you with her if you find key aspects of her personality so off-putting? I assume you actually DO like those qualities in her, otherwise you'd have ended the relationship by now and found a yourself a conservative computer programmer. Since you do love the creative qualities in your GF, why is it so hard to imagine loving similar qualities in your own children?
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 05:50:03 PM
What is it you like about your girlfriend, your artsy, passionate girlfriend? Why are you with her if you find key aspects of her personality so off-putting? I assume you actually DO like those qualities in her, otherwise you'd have ended the relationship by now and found a yourself a conservative computer programmer. Since you do love the creative qualities in your GF, why is it so hard to imagine loving similar qualities in your own children?
I never said I couldn't love those qualities. Obviously I do, or else I wouldn't be with my GF, as you said. But, as my previous post suggested, I think that they could find much better STEM-related careers to go along with their passions.

Again, using the theme parks example. Sure, you could make next to nothing running some rides at a theme park. Or, you can design the rollercoasters and make quite a bit.

If you love theater, for example, rather than waste your time and money trying to make it on Broadway (a foolish pursuit), you could become an acoustical engineer.

Just saying that STEM-related paths offer FAR more lucrative careers, while still not straying from really any of your passions.

I mean, I'm VERY passionate about all things powerlifting. I love everything about it. But, as I learned the hard way, an exercise science degree is absolutely useless, and would lead me nowhere other than perpetual debt and struggle. However, since learning to program fairly well already, I've started on a path to creating a very unique and sought-after fitness app that I believe will change the online fitness game. I'm finding a way to combine my pragmatic major with my biggest passion.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: dhc on April 17, 2017, 05:54:04 PM
What is it you like about your girlfriend, your artsy, passionate girlfriend? Why are you with her if you find key aspects of her personality so off-putting? I assume you actually DO like those qualities in her, otherwise you'd have ended the relationship by now and found a yourself a conservative computer programmer. Since you do love the creative qualities in your GF, why is it so hard to imagine loving similar qualities in your own children?
I never said I couldn't love those qualities. Obviously I do, or else I wouldn't be with my GF, as you said.

Do you, though? Or are those just things about her that you're OK with because you love other things about her?

If you two are so far apart on the careers your way-in-the-future children might theoretically have, what else are you this far apart on? I can think of about 50 things related to marriage and raising children that most people (including, I'd argue, most Mustachians) would consider more important than this, so if this is the only thing you're on opposite pages about, great. The way your OP comes off, though, you two don't sound very compatible in the first place. I'm a bit confused about why you're asking for arguments about this rather than looking for a new girlfriend who shares your values (and saving her from a life spent with someone who doesn't want his children to grow up to be like her).
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 05:58:40 PM
What is it you like about your girlfriend, your artsy, passionate girlfriend? Why are you with her if you find key aspects of her personality so off-putting? I assume you actually DO like those qualities in her, otherwise you'd have ended the relationship by now and found a yourself a conservative computer programmer. Since you do love the creative qualities in your GF, why is it so hard to imagine loving similar qualities in your own children?
I never said I couldn't love those qualities. Obviously I do, or else I wouldn't be with my GF, as you said.

Do you, though? Or are those just things about her that you're OK with because you love other things about her?

If you two are so far apart on the careers your way-in-the-future children might theoretically have, what else are you this far apart on? I can think of about 50 things related to marriage and raising children that most people (including, I'd argue, most Mustachians) would consider more important than this, so if this is the only thing you're on opposite pages about, great. The way your OP comes off, though, you two don't sound very compatible in the first place. I'm a bit confused about why you're asking for arguments about this rather than looking for a new girlfriend who shares your values (and saving her from a life spent with someone who doesn't want his children to grow up to be like her).
Yes, I do actually love those things about her. And it's pretty much one of the only big things we disagree on (besides politics by a mile, lol).

We both want to make a lot of money, retire early, and raise our kids in a loving environment. Sure, we'll definitely have times where we disagree with each other's parenting. For example, I think that parenting essentially IS indoctrination, so trying to at least mold your kids, within reason, shouldn't be frowned upon. But, for the most part, I don't think we'll have too many issues. Mainly just me being of the tough love mentality.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: spjulep on April 17, 2017, 06:06:11 PM
I agree with everyone who says to slow your roll. Hopefully, over the next 20 years, you will gain some patience and understanding that you can't control the world, especially your kids. That said, you can certainly introduce and model the idea that there are trade-offs in career choices, that there's more to people than their careers, and there are creative ways to build your passions into more traditional or accessible career choices.

It actually places a lot of pressure to say that people should find their one true calling and spend all day every day focusing on it. My life would have been easier if I wasn't always chasing the perfect job that perfectly fulfilled me, and just understood I could do something that I was good at and that I enjoyed well enough. It's actually quite liberating to accept that I don't have to drop everything to pursue what I think is a life passion (and maybe ends up being a phase), and that I am free to build out other parts of my personality outside of work.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Laura33 on April 17, 2017, 06:54:02 PM
For example, I think that parenting essentially IS indoctrination, so trying to at least mold your kids, within reason, shouldn't be frowned upon. But, for the most part, I don't think we'll have too many issues. Mainly just me being of the tough love mentality.

Oh, fuck no.  Fuck, fuck, fuck no.

Please go read some books on child development/take some parenting classes before you have kids.  This approach works well for approximately 1% of kids.  The rest find it very difficult to see the "love" behind all of the "tough."
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 06:59:38 PM
For example, I think that parenting essentially IS indoctrination, so trying to at least mold your kids, within reason, shouldn't be frowned upon. But, for the most part, I don't think we'll have too many issues. Mainly just me being of the tough love mentality.

Oh, fuck no.  Fuck, fuck, fuck no.

Please go read some books on child development/take some parenting classes before you have kids.  This approach works well for approximately 1% of kids.  The rest find it very difficult to see the "love" behind all of the "tough."
I said indoctrination, not brainwashing, if that's what you were thinking.

1 :  to instruct especially in fundamentals or rudiments :  teach

2 :  to imbue with a usually partisan or sectarian opinion, point of view, or principle

Nothing wrong with that. I don't usually buy into the child development books. Sure, they can have some good information, but look at where it's gotten us. A bunch of spoiled, coddled kids that are incredibly entitled, and don't work hard a day in their lives. Plus, to be honest, I don't particularly see the social sciences as concrete sciences. We're only just beginning to scratch the surface of neuroscience as it is.

I'm not sure what the issue is. I'm not saying I'm going to brainwash my kid. But I also won't coddle him, and not give him tough love. Sometimes your kid needs to know that he was a dumbass when he did something stupid. It's not abuse, and it's a valid parenting style.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 07:03:56 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).
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Khaetra on April 17, 2017, 07:21:57 PM
Although I hate to say it, I really hope you never have kids.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 07:29:29 PM
Although I hate to say it, I really hope you never have kids.
For what reason? I'll always be there to love and care for them, and I'd NEVER abandon ship on them. I honestly believe I'd make an excellent parent, and would only want the best for them.

Is it because I want my child to be pragmatic, so that they can be financially successful? Or because I want to instill certain important values in my children? Or because I believe exercise is a good punishment?

You can criticize my beliefs all you want, but I don't see why I'd make a bad father.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Sailor Sam on April 17, 2017, 07:30:05 PM
MrMonkey, buddy, you're kind of coming across as an arrogant asshole. Maybe you intend it, maybe not. Either way, the quality of answers you're getting are gonna shift rapidly from 'trying to help' to 'smackdown.'

You've given us a lot of examples of how you're going to hold this potential kid to your definition of discipline and success. Care to give us some examples of overt love you intend to show them?



Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 08:18:44 PM
Let's project out 20 years from now.   You and your wife are FIREd and have a solid, but not ridiculously huge stash to fund your modest retirement.   You have enough in your kid's college fund to pay for 4 years of undergrad at a state school.   You have given your kid/your wife ample exposure to your philosophy about career/major choice.

Despite your position, kid applies to and is admitted to the film department at USC (let's assume this is still a top program).   Kid has already produced several short films, and has won a couple of regional awards and been nominated for (but has not won) national awards.    The USC offer comes with a partial scholarship, but that plus what you have in college savings is not enough to cover the full cost.   Your wife and kid are willing to work to cover the difference (no loans needed).

What do you think you would do in a situation like this?
First, I'd HIGHLY encourage him to pick a cheaper option. I may try to convince him to go down a different path (depending on just how good he and those regional awards are), but if he insisted, I can't FORCE him. I'd let him work for it, probably hook him up with a trade apprenticeship job to help pay for it. But I definitely would not go into massive debt if he wouldn't be able to make a decent career out of it.

Instead, as I stated a few posts ago, I'd highly encourage him to major in a STEM-related field that closely mirrors the much-worse-paying film major.

With that said, I hope that situation never presents itself. At the very least, I want to instill a sense of responsibility in my children from a very young age. I will try to teach them the Mustachian way to avoid expensive universities, and to pay out-of-pocket, as loans can really take a toll on your finances in the long-term.

Hell, if I'm still in WV at the time, WVU is only $7k/year, easily doable for a kid working even part-time. And that's without scholarships or anything.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: BlueHouse on April 17, 2017, 08:47:46 PM
So you were raised in a family that instilled the values you want for your child, yet you did not make the choice you would want your child to make. Instead, you followed your passion and regretted it. So clearly, the way you were raised didn't get you the results you want. But you still seem to think that method is superior to whatever your gf has in mind.
It's sad that you seem to have so much contempt for your GF at this early stage. I think you need to grow a little before moving forward in any relationship. (Sorry.  Go reread your posts if you don't know why I say this)

Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Vibrissae on April 17, 2017, 08:52:03 PM
Or because I believe exercise is a good punishment?

Sure, make your kids hate the idea of exercise. That's a plus. :P

Seriously, you're coming across rather like a drill sergeant here, not a parent. Advice is great--my parents gave me lots of advice. And teaching kids responsibility? Awesome! But odds are pretty good your kid is going to make plenty of mistakes, just like you did, and all your advice and molding and discipline and whatever isn't going to do a damn thing to stop them. It might even make them run like hell in the opposite direction. That doesn't mean you have to fund their mistakes, of course, or shelter them and spoil them until they're a bunch of whiny, entitled brats. But don't break your heart--or theirs--trying to push the river.

Out of curiosity, do you spend a lot of time with kids? Or are you just picturing what you think kids are like?


Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 08:52:29 PM
So you were raised in a family that instilled the values you want for your child, yet you did not make the choice you would want your child to make. Instead, you followed your passion and regretted it. So clearly, the way you were raised didn't get you the results you want. But you still seem to think that method is superior to whatever your gf has in mind.
It's sad that you seem to have so much contempt for your GF at this early stage. I think you need to grow a little before moving forward in any relationship. (Sorry.  Go reread your posts if you don't know why I say this)

They didn't raise me the same way I want to raise my kids. I just said that I was raised with certain values. I never said I'll use the same method. Also, I don't have any contempt for her, we just disagree on one issue. Not sure how that implies contempt.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 08:56:35 PM
Or because I believe exercise is a good punishment?

Sure, make your kids hate the idea of exercise. That's a plus. :P

Seriously, you're coming across rather like a drill sergeant here, not a parent. Advice is great--my parents gave me lots of advice. And teaching kids responsibility? Awesome! But odds are pretty good your kid is going to make plenty of mistakes, just like you did, and all your advice and molding and discipline and whatever isn't going to do a damn thing to stop them. It might even make them run like hell in the opposite direction. That doesn't mean you have to fund their mistakes, of course, or shelter them and spoil them until they're a bunch of whiny, entitled brats. But don't break your heart--or theirs--trying to push the river.

Out of curiosity, do you spend a lot of time with kids? Or are you just picturing what you think kids are like?
If done properly and without the drill sergeant mentality, kids wouldn't grow to hate exercise. That's always a falsehood pushed by people. Now, if you make your kid run 5 miles for doing something minor? Yeah, he'll hate you, if he doesn't pass out and die, or get rhabdo. But I've been training people, from newbies to serious lifters of all ages, since high school. It's one of very few areas where I consider myself to be competent (the others being programming and football coaching). I definitely would not overdo it. I know better than that. Because overdoing it IS abuse.

But doing it in moderation is not, and I'm confident it would not lead to a child that resents exercise, but actually WELCOMES it.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: BlueHouse on April 17, 2017, 09:06:42 PM
Oh, mr monkey, please try your theories out on cats first, because I believe they will show you how successful your plan will be. By the time you get to children, I am sure you will just love them for who they are and you'll be happy for them to be happy. Maybe you will want to be reminded of this conversation, so maybe you should print it out and stick it in a parenting book  to look back on in future years and see if your thoughts have changed. Good luck to you and your future monkeys.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Sailor Sam on April 17, 2017, 09:08:50 PM
So you were raised in a family that instilled the values you want for your child, yet you did not make the choice you would want your child to make. Instead, you followed your passion and regretted it. So clearly, the way you were raised didn't get you the results you want. But you still seem to think that method is superior to whatever your gf has in mind.
It's sad that you seem to have so much contempt for your GF at this early stage. I think you need to grow a little before moving forward in any relationship. (Sorry.  Go reread your posts if you don't know why I say this)

They didn't raise me the same way I want to raise my kids. I just said that I was raised with certain values. I never said I'll use the same method. Also, I don't have any contempt for her, we just disagree on one issue. Not sure how that implies contempt.

Annnnnd, were into pure smackdown.

We see contempt because we're able to read between the lines of what you're posting. Because of our fancy humanities degrees, and a smattering of age bringing wisdom. May your life bring you some, in the interest of your potential children.

Sheesh.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 09:15:24 PM
So you were raised in a family that instilled the values you want for your child, yet you did not make the choice you would want your child to make. Instead, you followed your passion and regretted it. So clearly, the way you were raised didn't get you the results you want. But you still seem to think that method is superior to whatever your gf has in mind.
It's sad that you seem to have so much contempt for your GF at this early stage. I think you need to grow a little before moving forward in any relationship. (Sorry.  Go reread your posts if you don't know why I say this)

They didn't raise me the same way I want to raise my kids. I just said that I was raised with certain values. I never said I'll use the same method. Also, I don't have any contempt for her, we just disagree on one issue. Not sure how that implies contempt.

Annnnnd, were into pure smackdown.

We see contempt because we're able to read between the lines of what you're posting. Because of our fancy humanities degrees, and a smattering of age bringing wisdom. May your life bring you some, in the interest of your potential children.

Sheesh.
Why pure smackdown? Because I'm defending myself from the allegation that I hold contempt for my GF? Couldn't be further from the truth. She completes me. Wouldn't want anyone else.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Hoglet121 on April 17, 2017, 09:22:31 PM
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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: letired on April 17, 2017, 09:23:33 PM
Protip:  STEM != $$$$. I have done 2 (TWO!!!!!) STEM degrees, one bachelors and one masters and it wasn't till I was well over a decade into my career that I started making over $50k. I'm still not over my goal of 100k. If I get there sooner than 3 years, it'll be from a side gig or an exceptionally good job switch or three.

As for the rest, maybe appreciate that there are a lot of people who are a) (sometimes significantly) older than your (relatively) youthful 24 and b) have actually had and reared children trying to give you advice on how interacting with small developing humans works.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 09:27:50 PM
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.
Again, never said people can't be successful with non-STEM degrees. Also never said STEM was guaranteed success. I'm just playing the numbers. And the number suggest you're much better off majoring in a STEM discipline.

That's not controversial, or crapping on other majors or careers. No need to get offended or anything. Just stating that people who major in STEM are, ON AVERAGE, far better off.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Sailor Sam on April 17, 2017, 09:29:30 PM
So you were raised in a family that instilled the values you want for your child, yet you did not make the choice you would want your child to make. Instead, you followed your passion and regretted it. So clearly, the way you were raised didn't get you the results you want. But you still seem to think that method is superior to whatever your gf has in mind.
It's sad that you seem to have so much contempt for your GF at this early stage. I think you need to grow a little before moving forward in any relationship. (Sorry.  Go reread your posts if you don't know why I say this)

They didn't raise me the same way I want to raise my kids. I just said that I was raised with certain values. I never said I'll use the same method. Also, I don't have any contempt for her, we just disagree on one issue. Not sure how that implies contempt.

Annnnnd, were into pure smackdown.

We see contempt because we're able to read between the lines of what you're posting. Because of our fancy humanities degrees, and a smattering of age bringing wisdom. May your life bring you some, in the interest of your potential children.

Sheesh.
Why pure smackdown? Because I'm defending myself from the allegation that I hold contempt for my GF? Couldn't be further from the truth. She completes me. Wouldn't want anyone else.

I'm perfectly willing to believe that's true. The problem is the tone you're using in your writeups isn't showing us, you're readers, the loving and respectful part of your relationship. All were getting is that your GF is artistic, but paradoxically you'd do any thing in your power to prevent your GF from encouraging those same traits in her own children. Can you see why we're reading contempt into your relationship?

I mean, dude, you're getting just a metric tonne of negative feedback. I admire you for taking it pretty well, but you're certainly not listening to those with experience, either. I've got some stories to tell about indoctrination and what it does to the brain, but your previous responses make me think you'd just brush me off. So, what do you want from us? You trolling?
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 09:30:28 PM
Don't get me wrong, I understand I'm young and have plenty to learn, but I guess I'm being so defensive because some are taking my words to mean something completely different than what I said, and also because people are saying things like I'd make a terrible parent and I have contempt for my GF.

Obviously I won't respond nicely to comments like that. A few posters have respectfully disagreed, and I didn't respond to their posts in any confrontational manner.

I guess I'd boil down my concerns to this:

In the vast majority of fields, there are low-paying jobs that one acquires with certain majors the vast majority of the time. There are far better jobs in the same exact fields that can be had with STEM majors. As I said earlier, the roller coaster example, the animal hospital example, and my own personal example. Obviously, I want the best for my kid. It'd make their life a hell of a lot easier to not be constantly broke.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Hoglet121 on April 17, 2017, 09:34:21 PM
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.
Again, never said people can't be successful with non-STEM degrees. Also never said STEM was guaranteed success. I'm just playing the numbers. And the number suggest you're much better off majoring in a STEM discipline.

That's not controversial, or crapping on other majors or careers. No need to get offended or anything. Just stating that people who major in STEM are, ON AVERAGE, far better off.

You need to have a really hard look at your numbers, because actually, pay in many STEM areas is awful, especially at non-managerial level. The averages are swayed by some very large exec salaries. Do more homework on the actual salaries of most STEM graduates for at least the first 10-20 years of their careers - it's not pretty.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 17, 2017, 09:37:49 PM
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.
Again, never said people can't be successful with non-STEM degrees. Also never said STEM was guaranteed success. I'm just playing the numbers. And the number suggest you're much better off majoring in a STEM discipline.

That's not controversial, or crapping on other majors or careers. No need to get offended or anything. Just stating that people who major in STEM are, ON AVERAGE, far better off.

You need to have a really hard look at your numbers, because actually, pay in many STEM areas is awful, especially at non-managerial level. The averages are swayed by some very large exec salaries. Do more homework on the actual salaries of most STEM graduates for at least the first 10-20 years of their careers - it's not pretty.
Depends on what STEM majors your talking about. A couple of engineering disciplines? Yeah, I agree. Biology. Definitely. Computer Science? Not so much. They start pretty high. Usually around $65k or so. Electrical engineers make quite a bit as well.

And if you take out the outliers (the top 1% of the 1%) for all majors, the numbers are skewed even more in the favor of STEM degrees. Again, not saying anything is guaranteed to succeed or fail, but I'd bet my kid would have a better chance of being successful as an electrical engineering major than as a history major. I don't see what's wrong with that. I want to protect my kid from making a costly mistake that could easily affect the rest of his life.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Hoglet121 on April 17, 2017, 09:46:16 PM
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.
Again, never said people can't be successful with non-STEM degrees. Also never said STEM was guaranteed success. I'm just playing the numbers. And the number suggest you're much better off majoring in a STEM discipline.

That's not controversial, or crapping on other majors or careers. No need to get offended or anything. Just stating that people who major in STEM are, ON AVERAGE, far better off.

You need to have a really hard look at your numbers, because actually, pay in many STEM areas is awful, especially at non-managerial level. The averages are swayed by some very large exec salaries. Do more homework on the actual salaries of most STEM graduates for at least the first 10-20 years of their careers - it's not pretty.
Depends on what STEM majors your talking about. A couple of engineering disciplines? Yeah, I agree. Biology. Definitely. Computer Science? Not so much. They start pretty high. Usually around $65k or so. Electrical engineers make quite a bit as well.

And if you take out the outliers (the top 1% of the 1%) for all majors, the numbers are skewed even more in the favor of STEM degrees. Again, not saying anything is guaranteed to succeed or fail, but I'd bet my kid would have a better chance of being successful as an electrical engineering major than as a history major. I don't see what's wrong with that. I want to protect my kid from making a costly mistake that could easily affect the rest of his life.

What's wrong with it is it's your kid's life, not yours. Your reasoning is comendable, but providing a loving home in which your kid feels secure and able to grow is actually the most important thing you can do for them. You are missing the point entirely.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: snacky on April 17, 2017, 10:05:35 PM
I have parents who took your approach to parenting. Their earnestly held convictions were the bedrock of all their life and parenting choices. Likely many of us were raised like that; it's not uncommon.

Now hands up all of us who have a good relationship with those parents!

Nobody? Hm.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: badassprof on April 17, 2017, 10:08:31 PM
Lots of ink spilled  on this thread, but I imagine there may be some hyperbole here on monkey's part? And of course, ideas will change--how many of us adhere to all the beliefs we had in our early 20s?  Experience, travel, diversifying one's circle--these tend to change one's perspective.

I suggest continuing to live your life in the way you see fit and try not to worry yet about what you will or won't do with imaginary children you haven't had, let alone what you might do with those children when they reach college-age.  Seems like there are bigger fish to fry? Why get in a tiff with you GF over something so theoretical?
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Sailor Sam on April 17, 2017, 10:10:07 PM
Don't get me wrong, I understand I'm young and have plenty to learn, but I guess I'm being so defensive because some are taking my words to mean something completely different than what I said, and also because people are saying things like I'd make a terrible parent and I have contempt for my GF.

Obviously I won't respond nicely to comments like that. A few posters have respectfully disagreed, and I didn't respond to their posts in any confrontational manner.
Yeah, okay, that part is rough. Some of what's happening is that there is a certain element on any internet forum that's going to judge you and be aggressively assholeish about it. It's not an admirable part of humanity. 

You don't get a total free pass, though. Some of the language you've used has obviously caused a lot of alarm bells to be rung. Every single experienced parent who's responded to this post has suggested, with varying degrees of tact, that your planned approach to child rearing needs refinement. Every single one.

Under that weight, eventually you have to consider the parable about encountering jerks all day, and you being the common denominator in each encounter. Here, your planned approach to training a child is being universally being discouraged. It's the common denominator. Consider that.

I guess I'd boil down my concerns to this:

In the vast majority of fields, there are low-paying jobs that one acquires with certain majors the vast majority of the time. There are far better jobs in the same exact fields that can be had with STEM majors. As I said earlier, the roller coaster example, the animal hospital example, and my own personal example. Obviously, I want the best for my kid. It'd make their life a hell of a lot easier to not be constantly broke.

Agreed. We all want to see our smooshie little babies grow into happy and financially stable people. I can assure you, in a deep, heartfelt, and truly sincere way that financial stability can be found outside STEM degrees. It's not difficult, or astonishing, or even unusual. Happens every day.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: stashja on April 17, 2017, 11:44:08 PM
Having worked In humanities research in various top universities, including Oxford, for almost 20 years, I am aware of many, many dropouts from STeM majors whose academic disasters resulted from studying something their parents mandated, for which they therefore had no independent desire. Free will is a very strong temptation, especially for kids who have always been controlled. I am also aware of several such students who, having failed some milestone of stem education, fearing parental (well, paternal) disappointment, committed suicide. Would you rather have a rich kid or one who outlives you?
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Khaetra on April 18, 2017, 04:34:37 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.
Again, never said people can't be successful with non-STEM degrees. Also never said STEM was guaranteed success. I'm just playing the numbers. And the number suggest you're much better off majoring in a STEM discipline.

That's not controversial, or crapping on other majors or careers. No need to get offended or anything. Just stating that people who major in STEM are, ON AVERAGE, far better off.

But you're playing the numbers for TODAY.  You do not have a kid TODAY.  There is no guarantee that in the future STEM will be where the money is.  None.  The market could be oversaturated to the point that there are no jobs available, or if there are they pay McDonalds wages.  Maybe we finally decide that good quality teachers need to be paid really well.  Maybe your kid might want to be an EMT and that's where the money's at.  We don't know what's going to happen 20+ years from now and that's something you need to consider.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: marty998 on April 18, 2017, 04:55:38 AM
Hmmm... in 20 years time when all the STEM fields have been automated and robotised...

I wonder if the only fields left with any earning capacity will be the arts and social sciences. I'm certainly betting it to happen - I don't expect there to be as many accountants around in 20 years time, which is another good reason for me to FIRE.

Oh... politicians. There'll always be politicians.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: rockeTree on April 18, 2017, 05:12:44 AM
Seriously had no idea that there was so much demand for the tiny fraction of humanity interested in designing roller coasters!

I teach in an engineering school and kids who are there because daddy won't pay otherwise are a) unhappy and b) not very successful. Your a+ sociology student may have better prospects than a c student chemical engineering grad who can't tell the interviewer why they're excited about the gig.

(I have a hard sci phd and my college dropout partner makes more than I do).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Cranky on April 18, 2017, 05:20:04 AM
You influence your kids by living a good life with the values you truly believe in.

If you are happy and frugal and interested in things in life, both as work and outside of work - your kids will want those things, too! Kids rarely learn from what you tell them they should do, but they are watching you, all the time. So, live your life, and your kids can figure out if that is working for you.

If your kid wants to be a poet, help him/her figure out how to make that happen. College educations come with all sorts of price tags. My poet child went to a really, really good college for less than it would have cost to send her to our state university, and she is gainfully and happily employed with that English degree. She's very sensible with her money, too.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 18, 2017, 06:20:33 AM
Seriously had no idea that there was so much demand for the tiny fraction of humanity interested in designing roller coasters!

I teach in an engineering school and kids who are there because daddy won't pay otherwise are a) unhappy and b) not very successful. Your a+ sociology student may have better prospects than a c student chemical engineering grad who can't tell the interviewer why they're excited about the gig.

(I have a hard sci phd and my college dropout partner makes more than I do).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
The demand for the designing of roller coasters was not really my point. My point was that, for the vast majority of hobbies and interests, there are usually rather low-paying jobs, and then much higher paying jobs. The latter are usually STEM jobs. For example, someone designing dresses with a computer will probably make much more than someone that does it by hand, ON AVERAGE. Someone who, for example, designs the acoustic environments for theaters probably will make much more than the actors/singers, ON AVERAGE.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: desk_jockey on April 18, 2017, 07:26:39 AM
[Again, never said people can't be successful with non-STEM degrees. Also never said STEM was guaranteed success. I'm just playing the numbers. And the number suggest you're much better off majoring in a STEM discipline.

That's not controversial, or crapping on other majors or careers. No need to get offended or anything. Just stating that people who major in STEM are, ON AVERAGE, far better off.

Not that I completely disagree with you on STEM, but this and your early comment with an example of a CIS degree made me want to point out one thing:  you're making a decision based on what you observe today.   If you were talking about your 17 year old children who are preparing for college, then I think it would be pretty reasonable advice.   But your talking about your theoretical children that are 25+ years away from beginning their careers. 

Who knows if programmer job is a path to success in 30 years.  I would guess they would do very well if they are in the top 3% of their profession but if they are average they may find themselves bidding for contract jobs against bots and everyone else in the world to scrape out a below average living.   If you're planning their future 25 years out, maybe you should steer them towards something less easily outsourced to another part of the globe.   How about plumbing?   
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: john6221 on April 18, 2017, 07:32:14 AM
Talk about a way to raise a messed-up kid with Dad issues.

Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on April 18, 2017, 07:41:49 AM
Other people are brushing over this with wonderful prose, but I'll just come out and say it: I would fucking hate you if you were my dad.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: rubybeth on April 18, 2017, 07:44:34 AM
OK, so, my first advice is to chill.  Your kids will learn more from what they see you do, day in and day out, than from anything you tell them.

Second, believe me when I say you have absolutely *no* idea what kind of kid you will get.  When I think back to what I assumed my kids would be like, and how I would raise them and train them and this and that, well, I can only laugh at my own hubris.  My kids came out of the womb who they are; there is no power on this earth that was going to change that.

You sound like such an awesome mom, Laura33! I'm not a mom but I strongly agree with you on all of your posts. You have a lot of wisdom. I'm sure my mom would agree with you, too--she was the primary parent for me and my sister, and we couldn't be more different. I majored in English and at 28 completed my graduate degree in library science, and my sister knew what she wanted to be at age 15 and majored in communication disorders and immediately got her graduate degree to be a speech language pathologist. Plot twist: guess who makes more money? :)

What is it you like about your girlfriend, your artsy, passionate girlfriend? Why are you with her if you find key aspects of her personality so off-putting? I assume you actually DO like those qualities in her, otherwise you'd have ended the relationship by now and found a yourself a conservative computer programmer. Since you do love the creative qualities in your GF, why is it so hard to imagine loving similar qualities in your own children?

Thanks for this excellent post, scantee!  I was telling my husband (a marriage and family therapist in training) about this thread and my advice to the OP in it, and he agreed with me and brought up what you said, too. You wrote it much better than I could have, though.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 18, 2017, 07:45:23 AM
[Again, never said people can't be successful with non-STEM degrees. Also never said STEM was guaranteed success. I'm just playing the numbers. And the number suggest you're much better off majoring in a STEM discipline.

That's not controversial, or crapping on other majors or careers. No need to get offended or anything. Just stating that people who major in STEM are, ON AVERAGE, far better off.

Not that I completely disagree with you on STEM, but this and your early comment with an example of a CIS degree made me want to point out one thing:  you're making a decision based on what you observe today.   If you were talking about your 17 year old children who are preparing for college, then I think it would be pretty reasonable advice.   But your talking about your theoretical children that are 25+ years away from beginning their careers. 

Who knows if programmer job is a path to success in 30 years.  I would guess they would do very well if they are in the top 3% of their profession but if they are average they may find themselves bidding for contract jobs against bots and everyone else in the world to scrape out a below average living.   If you're planning their future 25 years out, maybe you should steer them towards something less easily outsourced to another part of the globe.   How about plumbing?
Plumbing is fantastic. I truly wish more people would give the trades a fair shot. Plenty of opportunity there. In fact, for many people, I think the trades are a better option than college. Namely, people who won't really succeed in a STEM major.

The numbers definitely add up for those looking to be FIRE. Instead of getting into a bunch of debt and having no work experience for 4 years, you'll have 4 years of work experience, zero debt, skills that you can use outside of your career and will save you money, and 4 years of pretty decent pay.

If I could do it all over again, I would have taught myself to program, and foregone college in pursuit of either being a plumber, an electrician, or a pipe welder (probably welder if I was single, plumber if in serious relationship).
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: historienne on April 18, 2017, 07:55:02 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.

This claim is...not convincing, given the level of emotional acuity that you are currently displaying.


More on topic, I have three degrees (BA, MA, PhD) in the humanities.  I teach history at a private university.  Obviously I don't buy into the idea that STEM degrees are the golden road.  But really - I make 80k/year in a MCOL city to do work that I love and am passionate about.  My life is pretty great.  Yeah, I probably won't retire early, and I'm smart enough that I could have chosen a different career path that would have let me do so.  But that's a tradeoff that I've been happy to make.  And it might be one that your kids would make as well, if only they weren't crippled by anxiety about disappointing their father's arbitrary career demands.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Villanelle on April 18, 2017, 08:10:17 AM
And how does your future wife feel about spanking?  About being "less soft"?  It seems like you guys are miles apart on a lot of pretty basic life philosophy and it's best to hash this stuff out before you are married and before you have kids, because the fundamental incompatibilities get worse, not better, as life progresses.   I'm not going to judge the content of your philosophy, but it seems like you guys are miles apart, and it doesn't seem like you are willing to compromise very much.  Unless your girlfriend is willing to basically abandon her approach, how does this work?  How do you truly envision your daily lives?  Junior hits his brother, after having repeatedly been instructed to leave him alone.  Your then-wife wants to sit him down and talk it out, and make the boys hug.  You want to put junior over your knee.  Who gives up?  How do you feel if it's you?  How do you feel the day your daughter says she wants to be just like her mom, and has decided to skip college to try to make a go at being a painter?  Your wife is delighted and supportive.  How does that conversation go?

Please truly think about these things.  You can steer your kids somewhat, but outside influences and nature play a huge role, and so will your wife.  So picture specific issues, and see if there are ways for it to actually work between you and your girlfriend, and please be realistic and don't just assume it will all sort of work out, especially if what that means to you is your girlfriend will do 80% of the changing and compromising.  Is she going to be out posting on an artist's message board almost the same thing, asking how to make her boyfriend more artistic?   
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: woopwoop on April 18, 2017, 08:24:36 AM
As someone with a STEM degree, I've actually read through the studies on spanking because, you know, evidence based parenting is important to me. Guess what the evidence shows?

Or, you know, you could go ahead and blindly follow your intuition that hitting your kids is a great idea. But as a STEM-minded person, of course you want to make the right, scientific decision for your kids, right? Please read some research on this shit before having a baby.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Anatidae V on April 18, 2017, 08:38:38 AM
I thought I'd reply to your original post, keeping in mind what I've read in your follow-up comments, Mr Monkey Moustache.

For starters: I think you've confused averages and generalisations with specific circumstances. It's a common mistake. In this case, you've confused "average earnings from a STEM degree" with "what a specific unconceived human will be able to earn with a STEM degree in 25 years time given their unique personality and skill set".

Being moustachIan means, as I generally see it defined, using as few resources as possible, while having the most fun. For some this is working their butts off and then living off the proceeds; for others, working part-time to cover their costs and a bit for saving, then spending the rest of their week or year gloriously free; for yet others, knowing they can follow their passion even though paying careers in their field generally max out at $30k/y because they adore their work, and are frugal enough to also bring up the 7 kids they always wanted at that level of income :)

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 you've taken a narrow definition of potential options as the One Way. It's awesome that you want to retire ASAP! To help your kids do it, I totally agree that helping them work out their unique skills and how to wrangle a pile of cash from it is a great idea! But as others have said, you'll need to really help them think outside the box and delve into every possible option. Business degrees are not STEM, but you can make a bunch more money with them! And if they choose that, awesome. If not, that's OK too. They might be thrilled flipping burgers and volunteering at a zoo during the week!

Quote
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.
Art degree =/= Starbucks manager. In fact, if a kid of mine wants to do STEM, I'll be strongly encouraging the addition of Arts to their curriculum because the most successful ones I've seen in engineering and science have double majors. I wish I'd added some to my degree, but I followed my passion straight to engineering with no deviations...
Quote
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?
To traverse such a polarising situation, take a deep breath and think of how much you love her and yourself. Recognise there's nothing wrong with any path, though they may be hard. Consider agreeing not to pay for college at all, instead of only paying for what you think would be worthwhile. After all, if it's lucrative they'll be fine, and if it's not they will get to make their own mistakes and learn and grow for them.

My parents encouraged us to look at our skillset and passions, and work out if we wanted to try for a job that would support a passion, or a job that used things that were our passion - but they never suggested we try for something that was not our skillset or passion. You can't guess what your kids natural mix will be :)

You might be projecting your own difficult learning opportunity onto a theoretical person.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 18, 2017, 08:41:24 AM
As someone with a STEM degree, I've actually read through the studies on spanking because, you know, evidence based parenting is important to me. Guess what the evidence shows?

Or, you know, you could go ahead and blindly follow your intuition that hitting your kids is a great idea. But as a STEM-minded person, of course you want to make the right, scientific decision for your kids, right? Please read some research on this shit before having a baby.
And please read the thread before replying. I said in this very thread that I probably would not spank.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Mezzie on April 18, 2017, 08:45:17 AM
Your original post reminds me of exactly why I didn't marry my ex oh-so-many years ago.

Wanting your kids to be financially secure is one thing: you can teach them how to manage money, how to avoid frivolous purchases, how to buy quality products that last, how to pay bills on time, how to avoid consumer debt, etc. Most of that will not even have to be directly taught; if you're open about your finances and provide a good example, the message will get across.

Being open about money will also give them a good idea about what certain lifestyles cost. I am very grateful that my parents valued being happy over anything else and that I learned from them how to live on little. That gave me the confidence to follow my passion (heaven forfend!) despite the risk because I knew I was smart enough to get by and I'd work hard no matter what if my plan A didn't work out.

Plan A DID work out, with a humanities degree no less. I make more money than I ever imagined (and more than many in the STEM fields, I might add), but what really makes me happy is what I DO.

Think about accepting the fact that what makes you happy (FI, early retirement, high income...) may not be what makes your children happy. Successful and happy need not be mutually exclusive, it's true, but it is possible for your hypothetical children to be successful by your terms yet very, very unhappy and unsatisfied.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 18, 2017, 08:52:25 AM
Recognise there's nothing wrong with any path, though they may be hard.
I agree with the rest of what you said, but I cannot agree with this. People can call me closed-minded or an asshole, or a terrible parent, but if all someone aspires to be is a burger flipper in their life, I have absolutely zero respect for them, and I 100% believe that it is the wrong path.

I certainly will not teach my kid(s) that burger flipping is enough. No, I won't tell them that their art career or history major will never be good enough, but I will definitely tell them that they shouldn't be flipping burgers their whole lives. People were meant for far more.

@Mezzie I would not force them into any field and make them unhappy. That's not what I'm saying at all. I'm just a staunch believer that you work for money, and you do activities for happiness. Now, if both happen to line up, great! But if your only passion is basket-weaving, you're much better off being an electrician, and doing basket-weaving as a hobby.

I think people are thinking the absolute worst, like I'll degrade them and scream at them until I get my way. Not at all. But I certainly want to teach them that just because you're passionate about something doesn't mean you don't suck at it.

Chase opportunity, and bring your passion with you. Passion for a specific thing isn't just something you're born with, it's cultivated. I believe that you can become passionate about anything you work hard and get good at.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Laura33 on April 18, 2017, 09:03:28 AM
And how does your future wife feel about spanking?  About being "less soft"?  It seems like you guys are miles apart on a lot of pretty basic life philosophy and it's best to hash this stuff out before you are married and before you have kids, because the fundamental incompatibilities get worse, not better, as life progresses.   I'm not going to judge the content of your philosophy, but it seems like you guys are miles apart, and it doesn't seem like you are willing to compromise very much.  Unless your girlfriend is willing to basically abandon her approach, how does this work? 

This x 1000.

My DH has about 10% of your attitude, and I am middle-of-the-road as a parent (i.e., I am not a lax mom who thinks her precious snowflakes can do no wrong; in parenting-speak, he tends toward "authoritarian," and I test out as "authoritative").  I'd say we are about 90% aligned in how we manage our kids.  And yet we have come closer to divorce over the remaining 10% than over anything else.  Seriously.  We have been through job losses, moves, depression, infertility, family deaths, and just about every possible stressful situation, and we have gotten through them all as a team.  But when 3-yr-old DS lost his shit and refused to put on his coat, and DH yanked his arm to force it on him, I grabbed DS and told DH to back the fuck off, that we were going to counseling, and he was learning some parenting skills, or I was out of there.

My one and only ultimatum in 20+ years of marriage.  No one fucks with my kids.  Ever.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: badassprof on April 18, 2017, 09:08:11 AM
Just have to say it again (and to myself  too since I'm posting for the third time and, even though I've been on this forum since 2012, I'm a mini mustache, that is how often I post)  but why don't we just let this thread go? It is clearly hyperbolic. MM doesn't have kids, let along college-aged kids. He is in his early 20s declaring loudly what he will do with said kids with a GF who may or may not be the mother of these imaginary children. I understand this hits a nerve for folks: as a professor at a liberal arts college, I see these parents all the time, and imagine some folks are responding in the ways they are because it hits a similar nerve. But this whole thing strikes me as troll territory.  Okay, off to teach Shakespeare!
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 18, 2017, 09:09:18 AM
And how does your future wife feel about spanking?  About being "less soft"?  It seems like you guys are miles apart on a lot of pretty basic life philosophy and it's best to hash this stuff out before you are married and before you have kids, because the fundamental incompatibilities get worse, not better, as life progresses.   I'm not going to judge the content of your philosophy, but it seems like you guys are miles apart, and it doesn't seem like you are willing to compromise very much.  Unless your girlfriend is willing to basically abandon her approach, how does this work? 

This x 1000.

My DH has about 10% of your attitude, and I am middle-of-the-road as a parent (i.e., I am not a lax mom who thinks her precious snowflakes can do no wrong; in parenting-speak, he tends toward "authoritarian," and I test out as "authoritative").  I'd say we are about 90% aligned in how we manage our kids.  And yet we have come closer to divorce over the remaining 10% than over anything else.  Seriously.  We have been through job losses, moves, depression, infertility, family deaths, and just about every possible stressful situation, and we have gotten through them all as a team.  But when 3-yr-old DS lost his shit and refused to put on his coat, and DH yanked his arm to force it on him, I grabbed DS and told DH to back the fuck off, that we were going to counseling, and he was learning some parenting skills, or I was out of there.

My one and only ultimatum in 20+ years of marriage.  No one fucks with my kids.  Ever.

I think a lot of people are taking their bad experiences and projecting them on to me, like others are accusing me of doing. I never said anything about physically harming my kids, or just being a downright jerk. Just a disciplinarian.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Laura33 on April 18, 2017, 09:21:38 AM
I never said anything about physically harming my kids, or just being a downright jerk. Just a disciplinarian.

My husband never intended to physically harm his kids or be a jerk, either, and was embarrassed at himself once he calmed down.  But because he thought of himself as disciplinarian, kids who refused to respect his authori-tay pushed his buttons like nothing else.

But you missed the larger point.  It's not about who's right or wrong, or whether he is too firm or I am too soft.  It is about how even minor differences in parenting philosophies can come close to breaking a marriage.  Please have these conversations with your GF before you get married, and certainly before you procreate. 
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 18, 2017, 09:25:56 AM
I never said anything about physically harming my kids, or just being a downright jerk. Just a disciplinarian.

My husband never intended to physically harm his kids or be a jerk, either, and was embarrassed at himself once he calmed down.  But because he thought of himself as disciplinarian, kids who refused to respect his authori-tay pushed his buttons like nothing else.

But you missed the larger point.  It's not about who's right or wrong, or whether he is too firm or I am too soft.  It is about how even minor differences in parenting philosophies can come close to breaking a marriage.  Please have these conversations with your GF before you get married, and certainly before you procreate.
We do have these conversations. I'd never go into parenting without us at least coming to some kind of consensus. People think that it's my way or the highway. I never said, nor implied that. I'm willing to compromise, but not all the way. I still do believe that the disciplinarian style is the best parenting style for raising well-adjusted children. I'm willing to be a bit more lax, but I'm not going to start reading HuffPo Parenting Tips 101, and start telling my kid(s) that it's okay they broke the vase.

Of course, as people have mentioned, I'm thinking far into the future, but I like to plan for it. Anticipate the shortcomings of the plan before it happens, so I can refine it, and not learn by making costly mistakes that effect my kids' futures.

Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: snacky on April 18, 2017, 09:30:34 AM
What irks me is that it sounds like the OP is asking how to be his future kids' sole influence. He doesn't want their mother to have any sway in the areas of education and career, or possibly even general life philosophy. If her liberal, artsy ways are so terrible, why have kids with her? Would having kids that take after their mother be so tragic? This seems fucked up to me. Fundamentally disrespectful of who she is and unloving.

Buddy, that's not how this works. Assuming you do half the parenting, you will get to have maybe 15% influence over your kids' opinions and tendencies. That leaves 15% for your entirely equal coparent and the rest is society and the personality your kid will be born with. Fellow parents will probably agree that the 15% estimate is generous. Many men do less than 50% of the daily work of parenting, and so that influence is diminished.
I'm the sole caregiver to my kids, and at most I have 20% influence over them in these big picture ways. If I want someone to boss around and train I get a dog. Fellow humans don't exist for me to use for a re-do of my own youth, correcting my perceived mistakes.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: frugaliknowit on April 18, 2017, 09:35:22 AM
You are "putting the cart before the horse".

I would suggest you focus on your relationship with your potential wife.  If and when you have children, discuss the particulars then.  I don't think you need to discuss every last detail about how you want your kids educated NOW...
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: nessness on April 18, 2017, 09:36:54 AM
You do realize that being an acoustic engineer is absolutely nothing like acting in the theater, right? Or that designing GUIs is nothing like being an artist?

I work in STEM, but I know a lot of people in artistic fields - photography, clothing design, opera, etc. Some are making a decent living, others are scraping by, but I don't think any of them would be happier working in STEM.

Please wait a few years before having kids. Actually, please take a long hard look at whether you even want kids, since what you seem to want is little carbon copies of yourself, rather than living, breathing human beings with their own passions, talents, and personalities which may or may not have anything in common with yours.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 18, 2017, 09:40:45 AM
You are "putting the cart before the horse".

I would suggest you focus on your relationship with your potential wife.  If and when you have children, discuss the particulars then.  I don't think you need to discuss every last detail about how you want your kids educated NOW...
I mean, I don't HAVE to, but I want to have some general guidelines I can follow. I don't think planning ahead would be a bad idea. I want to have a good idea about how I'll teach, how I'll discipline, how much flexibility I'll give the children, etc.

@nessness Well, I've already said that I was raised to believe that work is for money, hobbies are for fun. Hopefully both line up, but don't be a dumbass and throw away opportunity because something else might be more fun.

Sure, I'd love NOTHING more than to be the greatest running back to ever play in the NFL. But this is real life. Passion =/= talent. Find a field that you're passionate about AND it pays well. Passion means nothing if you're barely scraping by.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: humbleMouse on April 18, 2017, 09:52:16 AM
Wow, you sound like a shitty person.

Lots of your responses are filled with things like, "Not many people are really good at art stuff, and it's foolish to pursue being on broadway."

You obviously have not spent much time with artist people or just highly motivated people in general.  You sound like you are projecting your own insecurities about not being really good at something. 

Have some hope and dreams for fucks sake.  Human beings are incredible and can achieve great things with perseverance and hard work.  You sound like you are too afraid to even try to do great things, and you are projecting this fear upon this forum and your future children.

Also, if your girlfriend is actually an artsy open minded person who disagrees with your likely dumb political view, she is going to dump you well before you can have any kids. 
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on April 18, 2017, 10:02:33 AM
Other people are brushing over this with wonderful prose, but I'll just come out and say it: I would fucking hate you if you were my dad.

+1
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 18, 2017, 10:08:43 AM
Wow, you sound like a shitty person.

Lots of your responses are filled with things like, "Not many people are really good at art stuff, and it's foolish to pursue being on broadway."

You obviously have not spent much time with artist people or just highly motivated people in general.  You sound like you are projecting your own insecurities about not being really good at something. 

Have some hope and dreams for fucks sake.  Human beings are incredible and can achieve great things with perseverance and hard work.  You sound like you are too afraid to even try to do great things, and you are projecting this fear upon this forum and your future children.

Also, if your girlfriend is actually an artsy open minded person who disagrees with your likely dumb political view, she is going to dump you well before you can have any kids.
I never said it's foolish to chase Broadway. But, if you're a terrible actor it is.

If I'm Michael Jordan, I'll pursue basketball. If I barely made the JV team, I'd be stupid to pass up viable opportunities to try to play basketball.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: SisterX on April 18, 2017, 10:21:57 AM
So. Dudebro. All I want to say to is, oh. Oh sweetie. No. That's not how parenting works. At all. This is not even how marriage works.

I want to say this in the most compassionate tone possible, because I find your lack of understanding just sad. At this point I'm rooting for your girlfriend to break up with you. You claims to love and respect her but, honestly, I'm not certain you quite understand the meaning of those words. You respect her but you're going to do everything you can to undermine her as a parent? You're going to denigrate not just what she does but part of who she is? You're going to try to force onto hypothetical future children the idea that their mother is lesser because she's artsy, and they're not allowed to be like her? Oh, I know you're going to argue and claim that's not what they're doing, but it is. That is exactly what you're doing, by prioritizing one narrow set of fields above all others. You're ignoring all of the advice in this thread, and indeed even all of the research that says it's not what degree you get it's who you are that counts. Who you are as a parent matters. Who your kids are, and who they want to be, matters even more than that.

Until you are willing to put the happiness of kids above yours, no matter what you think, please do not have any children. You will be doing them a disservice and, frankly, it won't be the path to your own happiness. You will be an unhappy parent, and unhappy person in general, if you do not let go of some of your rigidity of thinking. Of all the things I've done in my life, parenting has required the most creativity and flexibility. It is hard even when you love your kids and accept them for who they are. It is hard even when you're, as Laura33 said, on the same page as your partner at least 90% of the time. Nothing in your life will (or maybe even should) challenge you as much as being a parent. Are you ready for that? No? Then take time--a lot more time--to let your thinking evolve. Read a lot. Parenting books, even ones you disagree with, can be very illuminating. But don't just read them, read novels too. Barbara Kingsolver's "The Poisonwood Bible" might be a good place to start. The dad in that sounds very much like the kind of parent you want to be.

At the very least, reading more might give you slightly more appreciation for the arts. These people had something to say. Did it make them gobs of money? Maybe not. Did it make them happy, or bring them contentment? Almost certainly. Did it add something to all of humanity? Certainly. Are those things worth doing for their own sake? You might not think so, but your kids might. And that is something you'll have to learn to deal with.

As it stands, I would recommend that you not have kids, don't even get married. Maybe see a counselor or therapist and learn about yourself. You have quite a lot of growing up to do, and plenty of emotional intelligence to learn, before you even think about bringing another life into the world.

If I want someone to boss around and train I get a dog. Fellow humans don't exist for me to use for a re-do of my own youth, correcting my perceived mistakes.

+1 Your kids are not a template for you to impose your will on.

I'm done. Good luck with life, OP. You sound like you're going to need it.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: humbleMouse on April 18, 2017, 10:24:53 AM
What is it you like about your girlfriend, your artsy, passionate girlfriend? Why are you with her if you find key aspects of her personality so off-putting? I assume you actually DO like those qualities in her, otherwise you'd have ended the relationship by now and found a yourself a conservative computer programmer. Since you do love the creative qualities in your GF, why is it so hard to imagine loving similar qualities in your own children?
I never said I couldn't love those qualities. Obviously I do, or else I wouldn't be with my GF, as you said. But, as my previous post suggested, I think that they could find much better STEM-related careers to go along with their passions.

Again, using the theme parks example. Sure, you could make next to nothing running some rides at a theme park. Or, you can design the rollercoasters and make quite a bit.

If you love theater, for example, rather than waste your time and money trying to make it on Broadway (a foolish pursuit), you could become an acoustical engineer.

Just saying that STEM-related paths offer FAR more lucrative careers, while still not straying from really any of your passions.

I mean, I'm VERY passionate about all things powerlifting. I love everything about it. But, as I learned the hard way, an exercise science degree is absolutely useless, and would lead me nowhere other than perpetual debt and struggle. However, since learning to program fairly well already, I've started on a path to creating a very unique and sought-after fitness app that I believe will change the online fitness game. I'm finding a way to combine my pragmatic major with my biggest passion.


> I never said it's foolish to chase Broadway. But, if you're a terrible actor it is.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Laura33 on April 18, 2017, 10:25:45 AM
I mean, I don't HAVE to, but I want to have some general guidelines I can follow. I don't think planning ahead would be a bad idea. I want to have a good idea about how I'll teach, how I'll discipline, how much flexibility I'll give the children, etc.

Well, you've gotten a lot of feedback here, from people with kids, recommending less focus on the "discipline" part and more focus on the "flexibility" part.  You've just chosen to disregard it in favor of defending your preferred approach.  Which puts me basically in accord with lhamo:  I'm not sure you actually wanted advice on how to do those things; you wanted people to confirm that your approach is correct. 

So, good luck to you.  And I mean that sincerely, not in a snarky way.   
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: zarfus on April 18, 2017, 10:26:40 AM


Well in a recent post a few weeks ago you mention that you were early 20s, 22? 24?  If you are going to vehemently state that 18 year olds are not adults and even when raised to be responsible and with financial literacy, then maybe you should think back that 18 was not that long ago for you. 
24. And yes, I know it wasn't too long ago, which is why it's hits so close to home for me. I made the same mistakes I'm talking about in this thread, and I don't want my child to do the same. I followed my passion, but it led nowhere. It was a waste of money, and put me in a huge financial hole.

Quote
I would recommend reading the book Rich Dad Poor Dad.  Also check out MMM's post covering jobs that make over $50,000 a year.  Hell read the most recent post about MMM's wife's Etsy shop.

While I agree that going for a BA in liberal Arts is probably not the Fastest route to FIRE or just FI. MMM's wife through self taught soap and jewelry making made $100,000+ in a year.
I've read both. And I understand it's not IMPOSSIBLE to be success doing careers like that, but those are the fringe exceptions. The vast majority of people that pursue those passions as careers end up broke and in debt. I just want my kid(s) to be successful.

Quote
Rather than saying "Dearest Daughter if you want to live a happy fulfilled life, pick a job your not interested in so you can be FI ASAP and then do things you enjoy after a decade of being miserable"
I definitely do NOT want that. I just understand that, for every passion that leads nowhere, there's probably a satisfying STEM job in that field that leads to greater things.

Quote
lets think along the lines of "If you want to design dresses by hand, lets me explain to you how manufacturing and raw material cost affects the prices of what you design and how starting your own business allows you to put more money away before taxes than if you work for someone else!"
And I will certainly try to teach them that stuff. Being your own boss is extremely liberating. I hope to one day achieve that goal. But even then, the vast majority of businesses will not succeed. It's just life. I want to improve the odds of my child's success as much as possible.
Would you go so far and say you... Learned from your mistakes?

I hope some day you are blessed with children if you want them, and that you may learn what a joy it is to watch them succeed and fail and get up again all on their own.

Isn't the whole point of FIRE to be able to live your life with the luxury of not having to worry about money? Who gives a shit if that's when you're 28 from a STEM degree or 54 from an art history degree of they both brought a lifetime of joy? Keep your mind and heart open my friend.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 18, 2017, 10:31:27 AM
I mean, I don't HAVE to, but I want to have some general guidelines I can follow. I don't think planning ahead would be a bad idea. I want to have a good idea about how I'll teach, how I'll discipline, how much flexibility I'll give the children, etc.

Well, you've gotten a lot of feedback here, from people with kids, recommending less focus on the "discipline" part and more focus on the "flexibility" part.  You've just chosen to disregard it in favor of defending your preferred approach.  Which puts me basically in accord with lhamo:  I'm not sure you actually wanted advice on how to do those things; you wanted people to confirm that your approach is correct. 

So, good luck to you.  And I mean that sincerely, not in a snarky way.   
I'm not trying to disregard anything. I've said in this thread that I know I'm young and have a lot to learn, and I know I'll have to compromise a bit. All I've said is that I'm not willing to compromise ALL of my beliefs. I don't want to give them TOO MUCH flexibility, for example. The only people I feel like I've disregarded are those who either misrepresent
what I'm saying, or personally attack me.

Those who didn't all received non-snarky replies from my end.

I'm just trying to let you guys know that I am, in no way, suggesting I'll be an absolute dictator and emotionally abuse my kids. Not at all. I won't force them to go into anything, or talk down about them or their mother. I'd never do that. But that's what people are thinking.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Gin1984 on April 18, 2017, 10:34:37 AM

I'm glad to hear you'd support them having hobbies that aren't monetarily productive. Would you pay for lessons for those hobbies? Supplies? i.e. violin lessons for a kiddo, or voice lessons? Paint easels? Or would that be 'not a good return on dollar investment' because they would be 'hobbies?'
That's something you and your GF should probably discuss, too.
100%. I'd highly encourage it, and go to every practice/game/concert/etc. My GF agrees. We both think that children should always have hobbies they're passionate about that we both support to the fullest extent.

But, where me and my GF differ is thinking that your career choice should be based on those passions. I simply believe that you can learn to love a career you're good at. I was never passionate about programming until I got good at it, for example. Now, that doesn't mean my kid HAS to go into programming. Not at all. I just think that, for most every hobby a kid has, there's usually a bunch of low-paying careers attached to it, and some much better STEM careers.

For example, if I have a kid who is SO passionate about theme parks and recreation, sure, they could study tourism. But they'd be better off, for example, designing the rollercoasters at those parks. If you're passionate about art, sure, you can major in it. But you could also becoming a graphical user interface designer, and be much better off.

Love animals? Sure, you could be a desk assistant at an animal hospital. But, you'd be much better off being an animal surgeon.
Lol, I don't think you know the cost of becoming a vet.  It is rewarding but not that profitable.  My aunt is a vet tech and often was doing better than the vets that hired her because of lack of student loans.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: john6221 on April 18, 2017, 10:36:59 AM
This thread should be renamed "How to manipulate my GF because I'm a narcissist who thinks he knows the only path to success."

Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Sailor Sam on April 18, 2017, 10:44:49 AM
^ That's not necessary. The kid is being dogmatic and inflexible, but he IS here and he's taking the criticism fairly politely. The lessons being offered might sink in eventually, but not if we act like assholes back. Be the bigger man.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: rubybeth on April 18, 2017, 11:08:36 AM
I never said anything about physically harming my kids, or just being a downright jerk. Just a disciplinarian.

My husband never intended to physically harm his kids or be a jerk, either, and was embarrassed at himself once he calmed down.  But because he thought of himself as disciplinarian, kids who refused to respect his authori-tay pushed his buttons like nothing else.

But you missed the larger point.  It's not about who's right or wrong, or whether he is too firm or I am too soft.  It is about how even minor differences in parenting philosophies can come close to breaking a marriage.  Please have these conversations with your GF before you get married, and certainly before you procreate.
We do have these conversations. I'd never go into parenting without us at least coming to some kind of consensus. People think that it's my way or the highway. I never said, nor implied that. I'm willing to compromise, but not all the way. I still do believe that the disciplinarian style is the best parenting style for raising well-adjusted children. I'm willing to be a bit more lax, but I'm not going to start reading HuffPo Parenting Tips 101, and start telling my kid(s) that it's okay they broke the vase.

Of course, as people have mentioned, I'm thinking far into the future, but I like to plan for it. Anticipate the shortcomings of the plan before it happens, so I can refine it, and not learn by making costly mistakes that effect my kids' futures.

I don't believe you're really looking for advice. If you were, you would be internalizing what all of the experienced parents in the thread are saying and thanking them for their wisdom. But you're not. You're arguing with them and saying why you think they are wrong, and getting into nitpicky side comments.

I'm officially done with this thread.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: golden1 on April 18, 2017, 11:17:49 AM
Quote
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.

My first gut instinct is to say something pretty harsh, but I will dial it back for the sake of civility.

Really?  This is what you "fear more than anything"? That actually has me a bit speechless. What if your child is sick, or has a disability?  No one thinks it can happen to them but this board is full of people who have these children, who they would not trade for anything. 

I would recommend you think long and hard about WHY you want to have children.  You are bringing human beings into the world, not robots or automatons who exist to fulfill your dreams or what it means to be a success.  I guarantee if you go down this road with the attitude you seem to have, you will end up a) miserable yourself or b) making your child miserable or c) both. 

And next time you go to Starbucks, remember that a) someone has to do this job (Mike Rowe would absolutely REAM you for what you said above BTW) and it has value even if it isn't well paid.     

Other food for thought.  There is a distinct possibility that many of the currently lucrative careers will either be not as lucrative by the time your kids get to that age or b) automated away entirely.  I have seen it in my generation with certain professions.  You have very little idea what will be considered valuable in 20-30 years and neither do I. 

Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Pigeon on April 18, 2017, 11:19:45 AM
I had a father who was pretty much exactly like the OP.  He badgered me into getting a STEM degree.  I did fine in college, but didn't really want to do it as a career, despite Dad's wishes.  I do something completely unrelated, have  a very good job that I like a great deal, make good money and have outrageously good benefits.  It took years of being miserable in my STEM job to get into something I like.

My non-STEM siblings have all done quite well for themselves, too, even my sisters with their language degrees and my brother with his philosophy degree.

But we all had a very strained relationship with my father, who while perhaps well-meaning, really just didn't get it.  I have to say, there weren't tons of tears when he died recently.

I have one kid who wants to major in CS.  While that's fine, I do worry about the job forecast in that field as the projected job outlook is significantly worse than most in terms of having a large negative growth, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: john6221 on April 18, 2017, 11:22:04 AM
^ That's not necessary. The kid is being dogmatic and inflexible, but he IS here and he's taking the criticism fairly politely. The lessons being offered might sink in eventually, but not if we act like assholes back. Be the bigger man.
As the son of a narcissist, my answer to you is, Nope.

Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Cookie78 on April 18, 2017, 11:26:46 AM
Wow, you sound like a shitty person.

Lots of your responses are filled with things like, "Not many people are really good at art stuff, and it's foolish to pursue being on broadway."

You obviously have not spent much time with artist people or just highly motivated people in general.  You sound like you are projecting your own insecurities about not being really good at something. 

Have some hope and dreams for fucks sake.  Human beings are incredible and can achieve great things with perseverance and hard work.  You sound like you are too afraid to even try to do great things, and you are projecting this fear upon this forum and your future children.

Also, if your girlfriend is actually an artsy open minded person who disagrees with your likely dumb political view, she is going to dump you well before you can have any kids.
I never said it's foolish to chase Broadway. But, if you're a terrible actor it is.

If I'm Michael Jordan, I'll pursue basketball. If I barely made the JV team, I'd be stupid to pass up viable opportunities to try to play basketball.

Haha. Funny!!!

http://www.newsweek.com/missing-cut-382954

"In 1978, Michael Jordan was just another kid in the gym, along with 50 or so of his classmates, trying out for the Emsley A. Laney High School varsity basketball team. There were 15 roster spots. Jordan—then a 15-year-old sophomore who was only 5'10" and could not yet dunk a basketball—did not get one. His close friend, 6'7'' sophomore Leroy Smith, did. The team was in need of his length. “It was embarrassing not making the team,” Jordan later said. He went home, locked himself in his room and cried."

Guess he should have given up. :(
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Gin1984 on April 18, 2017, 11:27:51 AM
I mean, I don't HAVE to, but I want to have some general guidelines I can follow. I don't think planning ahead would be a bad idea. I want to have a good idea about how I'll teach, how I'll discipline, how much flexibility I'll give the children, etc.

Well, you've gotten a lot of feedback here, from people with kids, recommending less focus on the "discipline" part and more focus on the "flexibility" part.  You've just chosen to disregard it in favor of defending your preferred approach.  Which puts me basically in accord with lhamo:  I'm not sure you actually wanted advice on how to do those things; you wanted people to confirm that your approach is correct. 

So, good luck to you.  And I mean that sincerely, not in a snarky way.   
I'm not trying to disregard anything. I've said in this thread that I know I'm young and have a lot to learn, and I know I'll have to compromise a bit. All I've said is that I'm not willing to compromise ALL of my beliefs. I don't want to give them TOO MUCH flexibility, for example. The only people I feel like I've disregarded are those who either misrepresent
what I'm saying, or personally attack me.

Those who didn't all received non-snarky replies from my end.

I'm just trying to let you guys know that I am, in no way, suggesting I'll be an absolute dictator and emotionally abuse my kids. Not at all. I won't force them to go into anything, or talk down about them or their mother. I'd never do that. But that's what people are thinking.
Most abusers would never think what they are doing is abuse.  Yet, you'd like to ignore research into the field of child behavior and frankly it sounds like ignoring all psychology and follow what you want to do even when you are getting people, with experience, saying don't do that.  I'm with SisterX on this. 

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Proud Foot on April 18, 2017, 12:59:53 PM
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.

As I have read through this thread a few times I feel like you are defining the success of your children as financial success. 
Quote from: MrMonkeyMoustache
Sure, you CAN retire early by working at a $30k job. But you can retire much quicker working at a $130k job.
Quote from: MrMonkeyMoustache
I'd even be proud if my kid decided to forego college, and use those 4 years to make a bunch of money
Quote from: MrMonkeyMoustache
because making $30k/year is not enough.

You want to instill the importance of finance and making a good decision with career choice? Teach them about importance of finance through how you manage your money and allowing them to observe you making financial decisions.  The career choice is a little different.  When it is time for them to be looking at colleges and career choices help them research and be realistic about career options within their area of interest.  I wouldn't discourage their interests and point them to STEM without helping them in that regard. There is a vast difference between someone majoring in art and working for an marketing firm than one who tries to sell their original works.

Quote from: MrMonkeyMoustache
I subscribe to, "Daughter, you can either design dresses by hand, and make nothing, or design them in CAD and make a good living. Don't be a dumbass."
Which medium you use to design has no bearing on how successful you are.  And using CAD to design a dress, IMO, is still considered an "art" and not STEM.

Quote from: MrMonkeyMoustache
For example, if I have a kid who is SO passionate about theme parks and recreation, sure, they could study tourism. But they'd be better off, for example, designing the rollercoasters at those parks.
What if they are passionate about theme parks and recreation because of the experience aspect of it? I believe there is a lot more opportunity for the hospitality/tourism aspect of theme parks than designing rollercoasters.  There were only  188 new roller coasters in 2016  (https://rcdb.com/r.htm?ot=2&op=2016) with only 175 new ones scheduled for 2017, and this is worldwide. I don't know how many people or companies are involved in the design but I would guess a lot less than are involved in the operations for the locations those went into (and I don't mean the employees you actually see when you visit). 
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: acroy on April 18, 2017, 01:22:57 PM
Fun thread!
A lot of similarly programmed MMM-ers beating on you OP, good job keeping your cool.
DW and I swim very much against the, ahem, current current re: kids. And most other things. We have significant experience with small kids, and no experience with big kids (yet, aside from being one), so take below in that context.

A few thoughts
- Kudos to OP for thinking ahead
- Kudos to Op for wanting to get GF on same page.
- OP obviously respects and loves GF: OP considers her DW material, and OP wants to be on the same page with her. These are acts of respect and love, duh.
- #1 parental duty is guide the kid's development into a good adult. The hard part is defining 'good'. Many people incorrectly define 'good' as 'happy'. Incorrect. Also, define 'happy'. It is difficult.

The approach we are guiding our kids into (and the approach I took myself, and my parents before me, and....) is that the job is a way to support yourself, to bring in the moolah. Any extra benefits that go along with it are side benefits. Nice, and to be taken into consideration, but not the main purpose of employment. So, try to be quite rational about it. Look at what fields/jobs are in good demand and pay well, and what you have aptitude in. Find a match, and go for it.

Any individual person generally has both aptitudes and passions. Things you are good at, and things you like. Often not the same thing! Additonally, each person has their own personality. For simplicity we'll say introvert/extrovert.

So, learn the person (what they are good at, what they like, what kind of person they are) and find good job fit! What a wonderful time it is to be alive, we have so many choices for employment. few of us have to dig in the earth all day every day to survive. Luxurious really.

Case Study: OP's future daughter (we'll call her Sarah)
Sarah is
- very good at math, but dislikes learning it, and ambivalent about using it
- loves the guitar and is reasonably good at it
- is neither a wallflower nor a party animal. Runs medium-warm.

A good career choice for Sarah would be something technical, using her ability to use math. Possibly finance/accounting, engineering, pick one. She will learn perseverance and fortitude (mental badassity) from forcing herself to learn the topic. Once learned, it is easy for her, so she will have a competitive advantage: her job is easy. She can do it quickly and efficiently. Also, she will largely be surrounded by introverts, while she's relatively outgoing - again, a competitive advantage. She will be well liked and known in her organization and will be promoted rapidly.  On the side, financed by her excellent job, she can play guitar as much as she pleases, joining the local music scene.

YMMV. Good luck!
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 18, 2017, 01:40:41 PM

What if they are passionate about theme parks and recreation because of the experience aspect of it? I believe there is a lot more opportunity for the hospitality/tourism aspect of theme parks than designing rollercoasters.  There were only  188 new roller coasters in 2016  (https://rcdb.com/r.htm?ot=2&op=2016) with only 175 new ones scheduled for 2017, and this is worldwide. I don't know how many people or companies are involved in the design but I would guess a lot less than are involved in the operations for the locations those went into (and I don't mean the employees you actually see when you visit).
I mean, no two fields will ever line up exactly alike. And yeah, I understand that make probably isn't booming. My point was more that there are higher levels in many fields that can attained with some form of STEM education.

And again, I'm definitely NOT against people following their passions, I just don't think it should be your default career choice. Unless it's a pragmatic career, of course, in which case, that's awesome!

For example, if I have a son and he's a talented opera singer, but maybe not at the level he may need for where he wants to go with it. Rather than majoring in theater or a similar field, maybe he could find a way to indirectly get involved in the field, so he can hedge his failure risk a bit. He could work as, say, an acoustic engineer without having to worry about not being good enough to actually sing on stage. Doesn't mean he couldn't try out. And if he made it, great. If not, he'd have a great backup.

If my goal was to be the next David Gilmour, that doesn't mean I should major in music. With a large chance of failure, I'd probably be better off choosing a more lucrative career that had less risk, but allowed me the funds to, say, afford private guitar lessons, and get to the point I'd need to be to live off of it.

I don't know if what I'm saying makes sense. I still 100% want my children to follow their passions. Just if they're pretty unlikely to succeed by following their passions, there are always roundabout ways of doing things while hedging your risk.

Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: vivophoenix on April 18, 2017, 01:49:30 PM
guys,  this is also the same poster, who thinks people that do not make enough money in their home state, should move to a new state and be homeless.

we know what type of person he is, instead of hoping for his growth, it's easier to ignore him. i feel like he does not currently have the capacity to understand and take your advice on children rearing and dating and marriage.

the real question is: what would his GF think of this thread?

if she's his everything and ready to be his wife, she will find this acceptable.

but if I found a thread, in which my bf asked, for the best way to convince my future children to value nothing I have dedicated my life to, we would be over.

i think the poster is a snake in the grass, and clearly, those ruler blows caused more damage than he realizes.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 18, 2017, 01:54:01 PM

but if I found a thread, in which my bf asked, for the best way to convince my future children to value nothing I have dedicated my life to
Good thing you didn't find any thread like that.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: vivophoenix on April 18, 2017, 02:00:27 PM

but if I found a thread, in which my bf asked, for the best way to convince my future children to value nothing I have dedicated my life to
Good thing you didn't find any thread like that.


so are you just moving from ' I'm young and have a lot to learn, and I know I'll have to compromise a bit." to being snarky and defensive?


would you show this thread to your GF guilt free with zero expectation of hurting her feelings?
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: TravelJunkyQC on April 18, 2017, 02:05:38 PM
My mother was born in post-war France from Polish parents. According to them, she should have been, at most, a teacher (because she was a woman). She has a PhD in astrophysics from Stanford. My father was born in a middle-class Canadian family, his father was in the military and his mother didn't work because she took care of the children. Education was important, but they couldn't help him financially and wouldn't have wanted to considering he could have gotten a decent job with a regular simple degree. He has a PhD in mathematics also from Stanford.

They are millionaires several times over. Yeah, okay, they're in the STEM fields.

They are proof that your children are going to do and be whoever the f*** they want.

They would have liked us to be STEM as well, because it's something they understood.

Instead, my sister is a cheesemaker with her own business, I majored in Anthropology but now work in comm. and PR.

They paid for our education (a "useless" degree according to you).

Now I put aside over 50% of my salary, make good money, have real estate, and will otherwise be able to FIRE quite early. With a "useless" degree and a non-STEM job.

There is one reason why I was able to accumulate good money with a "useless" degree. And it has 100% nothing to do with the degree.

It's because my parents taught me about money, how it works, what credit means, what is a mortgage, what is compound interest, etc.

That's it.

Teach your children to understand finances. If they do, they will make the right choices for them and they WON'T BE BROKE.

You can be broke with a STEM job and 100k salary. And you can be rich with a Anthropology degree, PR job and 50k salary. One isn't "easier" than the other if you don't know what the f*** you're doing with the money coming in anyway.

The path to wealth has strictly nothing to do with your degree, and everything to do with your grasp on the concept of money.

Teach them to grasp finances, and they will live a good life.

Tell them how to live their life and they will cut you out of it before the end.

I understand where you're coming from, because my partner (an engineer with a PhD) thinks the same way as you. We have many discussions, as you and your GF do, about raising our children and paying for their education according to our standards. But I would have been miserable and felt cornered if my parents had stated that they would only pay for my degree if it was a subject of their choosing. Instead, they said, "we'll pay for your undergrad, but anything beyond that is on you." As such, I knew what I was getting into and I was responsible for myself as soon as I finished my degree. But more importantly, as I said above, how transparent they were with me in terms of their own money management and setting financial priorities gave me a far better edge than anything else. And because of that healthy relationship, I have always felt I could count on them for advice. Including career advice - even if it isn't STEM. Don't count that influence out; it's important.

As I see it, I think STEM people tend to build more wealth because they are more apt to be interested in the mathematical implications of personal finance and optimization. Not the other way around. Correlation doesn't necessarily imply causation. Perhaps personalities that are drawn to the STEMs are also drawn to financial optimization.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: LadyStache in Baja on April 18, 2017, 02:07:52 PM
Hi Monkey, you know it's funny. People on this very forum are very quick to say "stupid idiots who found themselves having kids with incompatible people blah blah this is something you should talk about BEFORE you get married" and now these same people are saying "whoa buddy chill out, you haven't even had kids yet."  You just can't win!

So regarding your question. Kids and humans in general, learn by imitation. Full stop. They will see you and your values (and your wife and her values) and they will absorb them through osmosis. As long as you don't lecture them, or push them, or walk around like you're god's gift to children everywhere, they will probably respect you and even want to be like you.

In order to help them understand your point about making smart career choices, you need to have the kind of relationship with them where they can come to you with their problems. As you'll soon find out (once you have kids and if you have any self-awareness) that kind of relationship doesn't blossom with authoritarian parenting.  I was like you before kids! I thought I had to teach them the way. Then I realized that I just need to nurture my relationship with them and they'll WANT to find out what I think, and they'll WANT to take my advice.

So, my best advice to you is to read this book: "How to Talk so Kids will Listen & Listen So Kids will Talk" https://www.amazon.com/How-Talk-Kids-Will-Listen-ebook/dp/B005GG0MXI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492545611&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+talk+so+kids+will+listen+and+listen

Don't worry, it's not coddling, or permissive parenting. But it is about how to create the kind of relationship with your kids where they'll look to you for counsel when making important decisions in life! 

Read it now, it's also great for learning how to communicate with other humans in your life, even adult humans. So it'll be good help to get your concerns expressed to your gf.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 18, 2017, 02:15:12 PM
Hi Monkey, you know it's funny. People on this very forum are very quick to say "stupid idiots who found themselves having kids with incompatible people blah blah this is something you should talk about BEFORE you get married" and now these same people are saying "whoa buddy chill out, you haven't even had kids yet."  You just can't win!

So regarding your question. Kids and humans in general, learn by imitation. Full stop. They will see you and your values (and your wife and her values) and they will absorb them through osmosis. As long as you don't lecture them, or push them, or walk around like you're god's gift to children everywhere, they will probably respect you and even want to be like you.

In order to help them understand your point about making smart career choices, you need to have the kind of relationship with them where they can come to you with their problems. As you'll soon find out (once you have kids and if you have any self-awareness) that kind of relationship doesn't blossom with authoritarian parenting.  I was like you before kids! I thought I had to teach them the way. Then I realized that I just need to nurture my relationship with them and they'll WANT to find out what I think, and they'll WANT to take my advice.

So, my best advice to you is to read this book: "How to Talk so Kids will Listen & Listen So Kids will Talk" https://www.amazon.com/How-Talk-Kids-Will-Listen-ebook/dp/B005GG0MXI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492545611&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+talk+so+kids+will+listen+and+listen

Don't worry, it's not coddling, or permissive parenting. But it is about how to create the kind of relationship with your kids where they'll look to you for counsel when making important decisions in life! 

Read it now, it's also great for learning how to communicate with other humans in your life, even adult humans. So it'll be good help to get your concerns expressed to your gf.
Great post. The bolded. That's what I want more than anything. I want them to truly be able to see me as a good source of advice, as I saw my grandfather's advice.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: vivophoenix on April 18, 2017, 02:18:04 PM
but you also want them to ignore your once and future wife? you aren't trying to convince your GF to be mustachian. you are trying to convince her to let you dominate your kids' futures.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 18, 2017, 02:22:44 PM
but you also want them to ignore your once and future wife? you aren't trying to convince your GF to be mustachian. you are trying to convince her to let you dominate your kids' futures.
No, I'm not at all. I speak out heavily against kids being raised without both a motherly and fatherly figure around. Why would I subject my kid to all of the negative consequences associated with lack of either?
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: vivophoenix on April 18, 2017, 02:31:16 PM
but you also want them to ignore your once and future wife? you aren't trying to convince your GF to be mustachian. you are trying to convince her to let you dominate your kids' futures.
No, I'm not at all. I speak out heavily against kids being raised without both a motherly and fatherly figure around. Why would I subject my kid to all of the negative consequences associated with lack of either?

because you want that motherly figure to parrot what you think?

that and having a wife doesn't mean you have a motherly figure, just like not having a wife does not mean you don't have a motherly figure. ( so many negatives in one sentence)

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.

Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 18, 2017, 02:34:23 PM

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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: vivophoenix on April 18, 2017, 02:37:08 PM

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.


i am unaware of any negative effects.

but i have the first-hand experience of being told by one parent to never grow up to be like the other. 
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 18, 2017, 02:40:31 PM

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.


i am unaware of any negative effects.

but i have the first-hand experience of being told by one parent to never grow up to be like the other.
Well, there are a myriad of psychological effects that can take place (too many to mention in this post), but some behaviors single-parent households DO effect, in very statistically-significant ways:

-Increased drop-out rates
-Increased drug and alcohol usage
-More aggressive behavior
-More incarcerations

The list can go on and on. Being raised by a single parent, ON AVERAGE, leads to far worse outcomes than just about anything else. Again, I'm saying ON AVERAGE. I already know some single parents will get offended and think I'm talking about ALL single parents, much like liberal arts majors have done ITT. I'm not.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: vivophoenix on April 18, 2017, 02:44:01 PM

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.


i am unaware of any negative effects.

but i have the first-hand experience of being told by one parent to never grow up to be like the other.
Well, there are a myriad of psychological effects that can take place (too many to mention in this post), but some behaviors single-parent households DO effect, in very statistically-significant ways:

-Increased drop-out rates
-Increased drug and alcohol usage
-More aggressive behavior
-More incarcerations

The list can go on and on. Being raised by a single parent, ON AVERAGE, leads to far worse outcomes than just about anything else. Again, I'm saying ON AVERAGE. I already know some single parents will get offended and think I'm talking about ALL single parents, much like liberal arts majors have done ITT. I'm not.

did those studies also tease out whether the parent could afford good child care during work, did it also adjust for income, and education level?

did it tease out environmental factors like the neighborhood or a divorce due to the same bad behavior listed above?

or even the amount of parental involvement a one parent household can typically give?
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: vivophoenix on April 18, 2017, 02:45:02 PM
either way, you have received a lot of good advice. GL with your future wife's, future kids, and their future careers, and their future earnings.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: honeybbq on April 18, 2017, 03:05:29 PM
You are "putting the cart before the horse".

I would suggest you focus on your relationship with your potential wife.  If and when you have children, discuss the particulars then.  I don't think you need to discuss every last detail about how you want your kids educated NOW...
I mean, I don't HAVE to, but I want to have some general guidelines I can follow. I don't think planning ahead would be a bad idea. I want to have a good idea about how I'll teach, how I'll discipline, how much flexibility I'll give the children, etc.

@nessness Well, I've already said that I was raised to believe that work is for money, hobbies are for fun. Hopefully both line up, but don't be a dumbass and throw away opportunity because something else might be more fun.

Sure, I'd love NOTHING more than to be the greatest running back to ever play in the NFL. But this is real life. Passion =/= talent. Find a field that you're passionate about AND it pays well. Passion means nothing if you're barely scraping by.


That's the thing. You don't get to pick your child. What you THINK should work, or what worked with YOU will not necessarily work with your child.

I grew up in a strict military household so you can imagine how I was raised, and I LAUGHING at the idea of making my 5 year old do wall sits and planks as punishment as you suggest.

You will have to see what works with your child and how to reach them. You will have to learn to adapt. A preconceived notion is going to do nothing but inhibit your relationship with them, and continuing to not change with your child will lead them to resent you.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Pushkina2 on April 18, 2017, 03:37:35 PM
Good luck to you, OP. I'm going to leave it at that.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Tiger Stache on April 18, 2017, 03:46:48 PM
Find another GF. You're wasting time worrying about your future children's incomes.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Ann on April 18, 2017, 04:27:24 PM
First, I would like to say I am pleased and surprised OP has stuck with the thread thus far.  Some commenters have been quite rude.

I, for one, AM glad you are discussing these things in advance.  It is obviously something you care about, and I think it is important that you and your future wife be on board with how you approach children and finances. 

Second, OP you say it isn't "my way or the highway" but that it not how you are presenting yourself.  You are saying you are willing to pay for a college education, but ONLY with a pre-approved list of majors.  This DOES actually sound like a "my way or you're on your own" mentality.  I think this is the part you will have to let go.  You and your partner can decide whether you will pay for any amount of college, but I think you will have to trust your child to make a decision and live with the consequences.  You can set an example and discuss your opinions, but I don't think it would be wise to reject too harshly if they do not follow the exact path you choose. 

I do appreciate that you seem to recognize this decision would need to be made in tandem with your partner.  If you are saving money together for college, it would likely cause a lot of strife if one of you suddenly decided to cut off funding if the kid declares an English major sophomore year.  Honestly, the first time I read your initial post I thought you WERE saying you would unilaterally decide to control the money that you and your wife saved.  Then I realized the whole point of the thread was to convince your future wife, so that probably isn't so at all.

Be a role model.  Help the kid explore practical applications to his/her interests and talents.  I think by the time they are 18, however, you are going to have to let them make some mistakes.  Even mistakes that have consequences.

I think going $117,000 into debt for my education started me on the path to MMM.  I'm not that mustachian, but am far better than my friends.  If I didn't have the external pressure of debt, I may not have done so much research/reading and worked so hard to pay off that huge, over-whelming debt.   I definitely could have done it better, but it worked out well in the end.


Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: dhc on April 18, 2017, 04:34:44 PM
would you show this thread to your GF guilt free with zero expectation of hurting her feelings?

This. I'm not super worried about your kids, because you don't have them yet. But please, show your girlfriend this thread. It's very possible many of us (myself included) have misread your tone and she'll just say "well, that's my Mr Monkey - not very good at expressing himself, a little bit hard-headed, but trying to figure out the best solution for something he cares about, which I love about him." If so, great!

On the other hand, it's possible your approach to this will cause her rethink just how sure of a thing marriage and children are for the two of you. I know that doesn't sound like a good thing now since you're crazy about her, but if the two of you aren't compatible you're going to figure out eventually. Better to to do it before it involves divorce and splitting custody.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: JoRocka on April 18, 2017, 04:45:18 PM
Sad that the arts are 'useless'to you.

Also secondly sad that you seem to think giving money for and education gives you the rights to a person's life path. You want a say in how the money is used. Then you use it. And keep it. Giving education is a gift. Not an ultimatum to hold over your child's head. That's fucked up.

Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk

Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: surfhb on April 18, 2017, 05:08:39 PM
24 years old, unmarried with no kids.....

I pretty much stopped listening to your opinions on this particular subject after that.   LOL
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 18, 2017, 05:10:37 PM
24 years old, unmarried with no kids.....

I pretty much stopped listening to your opinions on this particular subject after that.   LOL
Not saying I'm right about anything said in this thread, but saying I'm wrong due to those things is a logical fallacy.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: surfhb on April 18, 2017, 05:19:11 PM
24 years old, unmarried with no kids.....

I pretty much stopped listening to your opinions on this particular subject after that.   LOL
Not saying I'm right about anything said in this thread, but saying I'm wrong due to those things is a logical fallacy.

Hmm...well you may be right.    Add 15 years, marriage and kids and we will see.    But, thinking you or your life will be any where near the way it is now after 15-20 years, a wife and kids is just plain.....immature thinking ;)
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Tyson on April 18, 2017, 05:47:24 PM
For example, I think that parenting essentially IS indoctrination, so trying to at least mold your kids, within reason, shouldn't be frowned upon. But, for the most part, I don't think we'll have too many issues. Mainly just me being of the tough love mentality.

You are simply wrong about this.  Kids are who they are and you cannot make them 'better' or different than what they are.  The only thing you accomplish by trying, is to screw them up. 

Let me repeat that - parent's can't improve their kids, but they sure can f- them up. 

That's the choice you have.  Hope you make the right call.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Fi(re) on the Farm on April 18, 2017, 06:12:56 PM
okay, I can say this because I'm a grandmother with a successful kid and I'm a secretary and my husband mows grass for a living - hey asshat, you can push your kid into whatever you want - my mom is a math phd but I grow shit and save 75% of my income without college. You cannot have children and put that kind of pressure on them. Really? This is what keeps you up at night? Do you want your kids to come home on holidays? We all want our children to be successful but success is not always measured in what you can see.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 18, 2017, 07:44:56 PM
hey asshat
Stopped reading there. I'm all for criticism. But why waste my time with personal attacks?

@Janie I won't disagree with you there. I 100% agree.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: deborah on April 18, 2017, 10:20:40 PM
There appear to be a couple of presumptions here that are somewhat incorrect.

We are in the MMM forum. Sure MMM was STEM. However, one of his basic premises is that you get your finances in order, and then RETIRE EARLY. His emphasis appears to me on living a happy, non-disruptive-to-the-planet lifestyle that you have earned by getting your finances in order, and not botting off others (this is an Australian term meaning to cadge, and is applied to anything from cigarettes to being dependent on someone else).

So, it seems to me that you may not have absorbed very much of the MMM message. You want to bot off your parents by living with them, rather than standing on your own feet, managing your lifestyle within your own income. Yet you think that you are more Mustashian than your GF.

So let's pretend we are not on the MMM forum, and you want your kids to be rich, and we will get onto the second presumption you appear to be making...

I have learnt through my life that the majority of people who are in any sort of rich list are not STEM (just look at any list you can put your hands on). Have you looked around you at who is rich and who isn't? I know a number of wealthy people (self-made millionaires), and not one of them (apart from MMM - whom I have met a couple of times, so I guess I should include) did a STEM course, or had a STEM career. So it appears to me that your basic premise (that STEM = money) is wrong. If you are STEM, the exercise should convince you that your premise is flawed.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: BlueHouse on April 19, 2017, 04:21:11 AM
You claims to love and respect her ... but you're going to do everything you can to undermine her as a parent? You're going to denigrate not just what she does but part of who she is? You're going to try to force onto hypothetical future children the idea that their mother is lesser because she's artsy, and they're not allowed to be like her? Oh, I know you're going to argue and claim that's not what they're doing, but it is. That is exactly what you're doing, by prioritizing one narrow set of fields above all others.


This. This is why I said you have contempt for you gf. If you think any future children won't see the contempt in your eyes, your face, and your heart, you are mistaken. This is how children learn, by watching others. And they will either learn to treat their mother (and other women) as worthless just as dear old dad taught, or they will rebel and hate you for treating her so disrespectfully.

If you don't see that this thinking is completely disrespectful to your partner, then you need to look harder. You must respect your gf, her choices, her contributions, as equal. Whether or not they bring in as much money as you do. Lucky for you, she seems willing to do the same for you.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: NoStacheOhio on April 19, 2017, 06:35:40 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
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 19, 2017, 06:43:57 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.

While I can post the actual studies themselves all day, if you don't believe me, just take a look at what even the very liberal California government says:

http://lib.post.ca.gov/Publications/Building%20a%20Career%20Pipeline%20Documents/Safe_Harbor.pdf

70% of gang members, high school dropouts, teen suicides, teen pregnancies and teen substance abusers come from single mother homes.
63% of suicides nationwide are individuals from single-parent families.
75% of children in chemical dependency hospitals are from single-parent families.
More than half of all youths incarcerated in the U.S. lived in one-parent families as a child
Thirty-seven percent of families led by single mothers nationwide live in poverty. Comparatively, only 6.8% of families with married parents live in poverty, according to data from 2009 compiled by the Heritage Foundation.
Consider these dire statistics from single parent households:*
➲  63% of youth suicides (Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of the Census)
➲  90% of all homeless and runaway children
➲  85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders (Source: Center for
Disease Control)
➲  80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger (Source: Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26, 1978.)
➲  71% of all high school dropouts (Source: National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)
➲  75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers (Source: Rainbows for All God`s Children.)
➲  70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions (Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988)
➲  85% of all youths sitting in prisons (Source: Fulton County Georgia jail populations, Texas Department of Corrections 1992)
*U.S. Census Bureau, 2009-2011 American Community Surveys, 2012 Condition of Children in Orange County, America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2012 by Jonathan Vespa and Jamie M. Lewis
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Anatidae V on April 19, 2017, 06:52:16 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.

While I can post the actual studies themselves all day, if you don't believe me, just take a look at what even the very liberal California government says:

http://lib.post.ca.gov/Publications/Building%20a%20Career%20Pipeline%20Documents/Safe_Harbor.pdf

70% of gang members, high school dropouts, teen suicides, teen pregnancies and teen substance abusers come from single mother homes.
63% of suicides nationwide are individuals from single-parent families.
75% of children in chemical dependency hospitals are from single-parent families.
More than half of all youths incarcerated in the U.S. lived in one-parent families as a child
Thirty-seven percent of families led by single mothers nationwide live in poverty. Comparatively, only 6.8% of families with married parents live in poverty, according to data from 2009 compiled by the Heritage Foundation.
Consider these dire statistics from single parent households:*
➲  63% of youth suicides (Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of the Census)
➲  90% of all homeless and runaway children
➲  85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders (Source: Center for
Disease Control)
➲  80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger (Source: Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26, 1978.)
➲  71% of all high school dropouts (Source: National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)
➲  75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers (Source: Rainbows for All God`s Children.)
➲  70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions (Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988)
➲  85% of all youths sitting in prisons (Source: Fulton County Georgia jail populations, Texas Department of Corrections 1992)
*U.S. Census Bureau, 2009-2011 American Community Surveys, 2012 Condition of Children in Orange County, America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2012 by Jonathan Vespa and Jamie M. Lewis
Hang on, though, is that correlation or causation? Because the way you talk about it, it sounds like it's the cause, which isn't exactly right.

Also since you want to be an influencing and trusted advisor in your child's life, and liked the idea of "how to listen so kids will talk", I recommend delving a bit further into parenting books - there's quite a range out there of very good ones, and I'm finding them generally applicable to dealing with adults as well!
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 19, 2017, 06:58:57 AM
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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Gin1984 on April 19, 2017, 06:59:37 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.

While I can post the actual studies themselves all day, if you don't believe me, just take a look at what even the very liberal California government says:

http://lib.post.ca.gov/Publications/Building%20a%20Career%20Pipeline%20Documents/Safe_Harbor.pdf

70% of gang members, high school dropouts, teen suicides, teen pregnancies and teen substance abusers come from single mother homes.
63% of suicides nationwide are individuals from single-parent families.
75% of children in chemical dependency hospitals are from single-parent families.
More than half of all youths incarcerated in the U.S. lived in one-parent families as a child
Thirty-seven percent of families led by single mothers nationwide live in poverty. Comparatively, only 6.8% of families with married parents live in poverty, according to data from 2009 compiled by the Heritage Foundation.
Consider these dire statistics from single parent households:*
➲  63% of youth suicides (Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of the Census)
➲  90% of all homeless and runaway children
➲  85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders (Source: Center for
Disease Control)
➲  80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger (Source: Criminal Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26, 1978.)
➲  71% of all high school dropouts (Source: National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)
➲  75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers (Source: Rainbows for All God`s Children.)
➲  70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions (Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept 1988)
➲  85% of all youths sitting in prisons (Source: Fulton County Georgia jail populations, Texas Department of Corrections 1992)
*U.S. Census Bureau, 2009-2011 American Community Surveys, 2012 Condition of Children in Orange County, America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2012 by Jonathan Vespa and Jamie M. Lewis
When you post information I can't help but wonder if you are ignorant or willfully ignorant.  Someone already addressed this but maybe you need it laid out more obviously.  Single parenthood is correlated with lower income.  Lower income is correlated with the above issues.  It has nothing to do with the genders of the parents involved nor truly with single parenthood.  If a single parent has the money and the time (or a support structure like involved friends or extended family) the issue above are no more than the average two parent family.  And in regards to gender, multiple studies have shown that child of gay parents have equal or better outcomes than children of straight parents.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: chrisgermany on April 19, 2017, 07:00:53 AM
Most kids do not follow the words of their parents but imitate their behavior.
So try to become a model for your future kids.
If they see you making good decisions they will learn how to make good decisions.
If they see you taking one step at a time and following your goals they will learn how to ....
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 19, 2017, 07:04:38 AM

When you post information I can't help but wonder if you are ignorant or willfully ignorant.  Someone already addressed this but maybe you need it laid out more obviously.  Single parenthood is correlated with lower income.  Lower income is correlated with the above issues.  It has nothing to do with the genders of the parents involved nor truly with single parenthood.  If a single parent has the money and the time (or a support structure like involved friends or extended family) the issue above are no more than the average two parent family.  And in regards to gender, multiple studies have shown that child of gay parents have equal or better outcomes than children of straight parents.
And the studies mentioned took income into consideration. Stop being so condescending. Just because you don't like the outcome of a set of statistics doesn't mean they're not valid.

Regarding being raised by gay parents, I never once mentioned that. Clearly you have a bone to pick, and it's not with me, since I couldn't care less about that issue.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: deborah on April 19, 2017, 07:05:21 AM
I notice that you have avoided answering my post.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 19, 2017, 07:10:26 AM
I'm perfectly fine continuing to discuss issues with people. At the very least someone (me, you, or whoever) might take something positive away from it and learn something.

But if this will devolve into "my studies are valid, but if you post them, they're not", then this conversation is pointless.

@deborah I can't always get to everyone's posts, there's a lot of them, and I take time to type out my answers as best as I can. Regarding what you said, I'm not all-in on being Mustachian, particularly on the lifestyle aspect, and I'l fully admit that. My interest in being Mustachian is solely about FIRE. Whatever floats your boat.

And yes, I understand very well that most of the 1% in the world aren't STEM majors. And, yes, I know successful people that aren't STEM majors. But looking at the 1% is looking at the outliers. It's like taking a look at a running back that average 1 yard per carry for 24 carries, and then breaks off a 99 yard run. Sure, he's now run for 4.92 ypc, but that was just inflated by one exception to the rule.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: deborah on April 19, 2017, 07:17:33 AM
I think that mot of the 20% (or wherever you want to draw the line) are not STEM either. Look around you. There are plenty of pretty successful people who don't even have a degree. And remember that the level of money earnings have nothing to do with FIRE abilities - just look at Arebelspy and his wife.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Gin1984 on April 19, 2017, 07:24:14 AM

When you post information I can't help but wonder if you are ignorant or willfully ignorant.  Someone already addressed this but maybe you need it laid out more obviously.  Single parenthood is correlated with lower income.  Lower income is correlated with the above issues.  It has nothing to do with the genders of the parents involved nor truly with single parenthood.  If a single parent has the money and the time (or a support structure like involved friends or extended family) the issue above are no more than the average two parent family.  And in regards to gender, multiple studies have shown that child of gay parents have equal or better outcomes than children of straight parents.
And the studies mentioned took income into consideration. Stop being so condescending. Just because you don't like the outcome of a set of statistics doesn't mean they're not valid.

Regarding being raised by gay parents, I never once mentioned that. Clearly you have a bone to pick, and it's not with me, since I couldn't care less about that issue.
You ignored half of what I said and no, the majority of work regarding single parenthood did not originally consider income and/or support structure.  Given that I got my BS in this field, I am pretty sure I do have more knowledge in it than you.  And I am not being condescending, or at least no where near where I could be.  You are either ignorant or willfully so, when you compare research into the field of child psychology with huffington post articles.  Either you don't understand the difference between peer reviewed data and a news article or you are willfully ignoring the difference.  Those are the two options based on your behavior on here.
And the reason I included the gay parents bit was also your statements on here, see post 115.  You said
Quote
I speak out heavily against kids being raised without both a motherly and fatherly figure around. Why would I subject my kid to all of the negative consequences associated with lack of either?
So I corrected the ignorant statement that you require both a motherly and fatherly figure around.  Two good male or female role models have been shown to be just as well, if not better.
And no, the data you showed was not studies that took into account income.  In fact what you posted was no study at all, it was a  data from a census survey.  Again, showing either ignorance on research into this field or a willful ignorance. 
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 19, 2017, 07:25:14 AM
I think that mot of the 20% (or wherever you want to draw the line) are not STEM either. Look around you. There are plenty of pretty successful people who don't even have a degree. And remember that the level of money earnings have nothing to do with FIRE abilities - just look at Arebelspy and his wife.
And I agree with that. People can definitely be successful without a STEM degree. I will readily admit that. I'm just going off of averages and high-paying employability in their fields.

And yes, there are also many people that are successful without a degree. If I could go back, I would outright skip college and get into pipe welding, electrical work, or plumbing. The trade unions are basically on their knees pleading to have more skilled tradesmen. I'd be delighted if my kid decided to be a plumber. I know millionaire plumbers, and quite a few that EASILY rake in 6 figures.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Gin1984 on April 19, 2017, 07:26:36 AM
I'm perfectly fine continuing to discuss issues with people. At the very least someone (me, you, or whoever) might take something positive away from it and learn something.

But if this will devolve into "my studies are valid, but if you post them, they're not", then this conversation is pointless.

@deborah I can't always get to everyone's posts, there's a lot of them, and I take time to type out my answers as best as I can. Regarding what you said, I'm not all-in on being Mustachian, particularly on the lifestyle aspect, and I'l fully admit that. My interest in being Mustachian is solely about FIRE. Whatever floats your boat.

And yes, I understand very well that most of the 1% in the world aren't STEM majors. And, yes, I know successful people that aren't STEM majors. But looking at the 1% is looking at the outliers. It's like taking a look at a running back that average 1 yard per carry for 24 carries, and then breaks off a 99 yard run. Sure, he's now run for 4.92 ypc, but that was just inflated by one exception to the rule.
Again, it is not about the fact that your studies are invalid but that you are not posting studies.  Or understanding why they are not actually studies. 
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache on April 19, 2017, 07:30:04 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Gin1984 on April 19, 2017, 07:39:44 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrDelane 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.

Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: NoStacheOhio 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: MrMonkeyMoustache 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.

Quote
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.


Quote
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).

Quote
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.

Quote
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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: LiquidLen 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?
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Rimu05 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...
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Pigeon 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?
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Tyson 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. 
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Laura33 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: partgypsy 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.
 
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Laura33 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."
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: ooeei 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: SisterX 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: firelight 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Pigeon 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Apples 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Khaetra 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: rpr on April 19, 2017, 02:06:52 PM
^^^ khaetra -- great story. Thank you for sharing.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Plugging Along 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 don’t 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 doesn’t 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.
 
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: badassprof 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: badassprof 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: badassprof 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: badassprof 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: badassprof 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!
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: NeonPegasus 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Cannot Wait! 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: gaja 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Case 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
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Case 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!
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: eddie 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: FrugalFisherman10 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?
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: FrugalFisherman10 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Zamboni 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Unique User 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. 
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Khaetra 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!/
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: NoStacheOhio 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?!?
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: SisterX 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Gin1984 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

Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: YoungInvestor 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: Embok 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.
Title: Re: How To Convince GF To Be More Mustachian For Future Children?
Post by: NoStacheOhio 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 ...