Kids bad, Dad sells gifts on ebay

Discussion in 'Community' started by Roger1, Dec 24, 2004.

  1. Roger1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2002
    Kids naughty, so dad sells their gifts on eBay

    Allan Turner
    Houston Chronicle
    Dec. 23, 2004 05:51 PM

    HOUSTON - 'Twas the week before Christmas, and chaos did reign. The kiddies were squabbling. Oh, what a pain! Their language was shocking, their demeanor obscene. But to correct them was useless, you know what I mean?

    So to the computer, Dad sprinted so spry. "There's going to be order, or you'll regret it," he cried. Then typing and clicking like wee, tiny elves, he summoned up eBay, determined to sell.

    Enough with the poetry.

    There's not much laughter today at the home of a Pasadena information technology specialist who has decided to auction off his kids' Christmas presents - and possibly dismantle the family tree - because the youngsters, ages 9, 11 and 15, have been naughty, not nice.

    "One thing we teach around this house," said the man, who asked that his name not be revealed, "is that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people."

    In Christmas' context, bad people get switches or lumps of coal - or lose the presents they want the most.

    "BAD CHILDREN get no Nintendo DS. Santa will skip our house this year," the man announced in his eBay posting to sell three DS systems with PictoChat and Metroid. Also offered were three games for use with the system. "No kidding. Three undeserving boys have crossed the line. Tonight we sat down and showed them what they WILL NOT get for Christmas this year. I'll be taking the tree down tomorrow."

    As the auction wound down Thursday evening, bidding was up to $255 - below the minimum price the man had set. Across the eBay site, 540 others were selling Nintendo DS items.

    "If you don't buy them, we'll return them to the store," the seller known online as magumbo2000 reported on the site.

    "These are normally really good kids," he said. But in a single day, he added, the boys fought one another, used vulgar language and gestured obscenely. The family discord has been in progress for about two weeks, said the man, attributing it, in part, to the laxness of previous discipline.

    "It seems like we'd say what we were going to do, then bend and back off a little," the father, 41, said. "We'd ground them for a week, but they'd really be grounded for three days; we'd take away video games, but they would still watch television. ... It decayed to the point that groundings don't work, putting them in their room, timeouts don't have any effect."

    The man said he and his wife announced the possible punishment in a family meeting earlier this week.

    "We told them to think about what kind of brothers they were being, how they were treating their parents and what kind of men they were going to grow up to become," he said. "We told them they were destroying each other and the calm and peace in the household. It had to stop."

    The boys pledged to reform, he said, but were back at their rowdy ways early the next morning.

    "When two of them were together, they'd get along great," he man said. "But as soon as the third comes in, it's immediately two against one."

    The next evening, a second family meeting was held to announce that the top level of presents - about $700 in video games - would be sold on the computer auction site. The oldest boy, the man said, responded with a challenge to carry out the threat.

    "My first thought was, 'Oh, (expletive),' He's telling me to prove it. What are you going to do then?" the man said. "You can't just let the tail wag the dog. If this has a positive long-term effect, and it makes them better people, that's all that counts. I'm certainly not a vindictive, mean, evil beastie of a person."

    The boys' mother noted the children increasingly have been disrespectful to her, their father and each other.

    "We're on a very limited income," she said, "and we scrimped and we saved. You have no idea how hard it was to get these games for the boys, but I did and I was treated like crap. ... It really crushes me, but we felt like we had to take a stand.

    "I kind of prayed that they (the toys) didn't sell on eBay."

    Lane Coco, a Ph.D. social worker at Depelchin Children's Center, suggested that the embattled parents may have stumbled into an "ultimatum situation" in which everyone loses.

    "Perhaps they should have planned some kind of activity," she said. "It sounds like the kids were bored with school being out. ... Sometimes parents let things go by the wayside, they're lax, then they really come down with something very harsh. It's really not fair to the children, or to them. They usually feel pretty lousy about what they've had to do."

    Coco praised the family for its joint meetings, and suggested the parents might have asked the children for ways they could better get along.

    "It sounds like the children are at a developmental stage where there is a lot of picking at one another and sibling rivalry," she said. "Making the youngest one the odd man out - that's not unusual at all."

    With the situation in its present state, Coco suggested another family meeting in which the parents could assure the kids of their love.

    "Maybe he could salvage the presents, take them off eBay," she said. "Get the kids to work with them, rather than fighting with one another. Try to form alliances with the children rather than coming off with this off-the-top-of-the-charts disciplinary thing."

    One solution might be to have each child choose one of his gifts to give to a homeless child.

    "That takes the spotlight off how bad they are, and turns it into something more in line with Christmas," Coco said.

    The father said his wife has been in tears since the final showdown.

    "I don't do it outwardly," he said, "but I'm crying on the inside."

    Tears or no, he said, if the kids don't settle down, he will auction off the next tier of toys - a bicycle, fish tank and karaoke machine.

    Although the man contacted the Houston Chronicle, promoting the tale as a "human interest story," he adamantly refused to be identified.

    "In a city of 4 million people," he said, "do you think I want to be a Grinch?"

    HEHE. I bet this teaches his kids to behave

    edit: mods, I put this in the wrong area. Can you please move it when you get time? :eek:
  2. sgarringer macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2004
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    I think maybe the kids are a little spoiled. $700 in video games? When I was a kid I would have killed even for the "second tier" of presents. My parents were on limited income too -- one year I got a box of cereal. And no, I didn't complain. Thats all they could afford. Although not every year was that poor, I can't think of a single time my parents spent more than $100 on christmas.

    And believe it or not, the best present I recieved was 256KB of ram (6 DIMM memory chips) for my Tandy 1000... or maybe it was the full size ISA 1200bps modem I got, although that was a mixed blessing for my parents, many hundreds of missed phone calls because I'd be playing Tradewars or LORD on the local BBS...
  3. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    It sounds as though there is a problem with parental control of the children. A parent needs to be a parent and not a friend. Discipline is a good thing, it will teach respect. This drastic action will only cause deeper wounds to occur.
  4. quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    What the kids did at the 2nd meeting were inexcusable. But, the issue in question here is sort of not getting the right punishment IMO. I think it was a bit harsh. You should expect them to fight each other. Grounding work. What these parents did wrong was they grounded the kid in only one department. You need to ground them to the rooms only getting out for food and school. If they have a computer in the room or/and a TV take it away. Have nothing in the room but, the bare necessities.
  5. aethier macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2003
    Montréal, Canada
    well they got what they deserved. luckily i appreciate my parents and don;t mouth off like a moron, so i will never know if they would ever do such drastic actions...

    will suck for the children having to explain to their friends why they didn't get anything for christmas

  6. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    ebay was awesome this week, I sold a bunch of my stuff and the post office lines weren't that bad either.

    this is a good story, i've been out to meals so many times over the past week and theres always some kids just not behaving, ITS A RESTAURANT. Its the little things and I have a feeling these kids will get presents in mid january.
  7. 5300cs macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2002
    Oh PLEASE, I think I'm going to vomit.

    'Afirm your love' what a load of horse hockey. I doubt the kids care about that, they just want their presents. Time to lay down the law; a good smack to the head would do wonders for them.

    $700 in gifts is ridiculous for kids who have no respect. Time to get 'em tube socks or something.
  8. redAPPLE macrumors 68030


    May 7, 2002
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    i ask myself, where have been the "good ol' spanking" go?

    does that count as cruelty nowadays?
  9. liketom macrumors 601


    Apr 8, 2004
    banned if you in the UK ,silly i know i remember getting the slipper when i was a little sh** but hell ebay was not around then !
  10. OnceUGoMac macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    The parents sound like pansies and the kids are spoiled as a result. I remember getting the G.I. Joe aircraft carrier when I was a kid and feeling bad, because I know it must have cost my mom a lot of money. All I want for X-Mas is a spicey chicken sandwich from Wendy's. :D
  11. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    You can tell I don't have kids...

    Because I'd rather keep the gifts, and sell the kids on eBay.
  12. urban1985_ macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2004
    Burnaby, British Columbia
    Most I ever got for Christmas was a Sega Genesis. After that, my dad refused to buy me anything related to video games. I had to pay for my own Playstation and games lol. I thought I was spoiled.

    I agree with the idea that the kids should work for their gifts. Selling it straight off the bat would only make kids feel angrier towards their parents. Kids don't understand the whole point of punishment, I know I didn't. I was just mad lol.
  13. stubeeef macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004
    I would probably make the kids go with me and watch as the presents were given to needy and appreciative children. That would have demonstrated the true meaning of giving and Christmas.
    Then gone home and had a 2 page list of chores.
  14. pckilla macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2004
    700$ and second tier of gifts?...doesnt sound like a tight budget to me. :rolleyes: im only 17 but i remember my the most expensive gift i ever got was a sega genesis and that wasnt even from my parents but my grandparents...i dont think my parents have really ever bought me anything over 40$ but i was always happy with whatever i got...these kids sound a bit spoiled but its sounds unfair to just allow something to go on and on and then just lay a huge punishment into kids.i think this will just end up worse :(
  15. pckilla macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2004
    that sounds like a much better punishment... ;)
  16. shadowfax macrumors 603


    Sep 6, 2002
    Houston, TX
    seems like you're losing money selling stuff on eBay, but whatever.

    I think this is a very good thing. the kids are not JUST at a stage of development where they are more prone to bickering and such. People are inherently depraved. We do horrible, mean things to each other, and it's parents' jobs to teach and punish children to raise them up properly. Punishment, even rather harsh punishment, does not have a negative effect on kids, when it's administered with genuine love and care. A lot of people who'd be horrified by something like this don't realize there's a difference between my dad, who spent lots of time with me, teaching me and helping with school, talking with me, reading fun books to us kids, and, of course, spanking me when I was a disrespectful little brat (and other harsh punishments), and some drunk-ass bastard who doesn't give two s**ts about his kids and beats them when they back-talk or make noise. This man clearly loves his children. I think they'll learn from this, eventually. I know from personal experience that they may resent it for a good long while. I wouldn't expect them to be immediately/sincerely remorseful about being brats, but I think it will come later.

    I think Christmas gifts to children really should reflect your approval of your children's behavior, as well as the love you have for them. When your kids behave in such a fashion, without remorse, it's a very natural thing to do to revoke the rewards you'd planned to give them. Besides, it's not like these kids are getting out of christmas empty handed.

    On a side note, I love how these clearly upper middle class people think they suffered in any way to save up for these christmas presents. Even my buddy whose dad makes a 400 G's a year wouldn't scoff at a lavishing of gifts like that. Maybe he should take the money he makes off eBay and put it into a college fund for his kids. That'd be a great alternate present to $700 of silly games. Gosh, I think that's almost a present in itself, withholding video games from the kids. Spoiled indeed, what the heck do you do with $700 of video games? sit in front of the TV for 3 weeks straight (till classes start) and turn into lardasses? that's disgusting. 3 boys 9-15 should be out at the park beating the crap out of each other playing football or something.
  17. Col. Panic macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2004
    As a parent you really have to follow through on your threats. Otherwise your kids won't respond to them. If you ground a child for a week and let them off after 3 days it teaches them that you don't mean what you say. I have to give this father credit for actually going through with the punishment. Even if the toys didn't sell. I wonder if he intentionally put the reserve high so they wouldn't sell?
  18. palusami macrumors regular


    Nov 4, 2004
    san jose, ca
    $700 in toys? those little rats are spoiled! i barely spend a quarter of that for my son, and most of his gifts are clothes or other things that he needs. i'm glad to hear that they're following thru on their threat but it sounds like these parents may have gotten themselves into this mess in the first place by spoiling the little terds.
  19. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    I don't feel one bit sorry...for the dad. Far as I'm concerned, "he should be boiled in his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart." The parents are classic examples of bad parenting, and the dad is taking out their own failures on the kids.

    Kids are rambunctious. They go through phases you don't like, especially at the ages mentioned above. If you don't follow through on the lesser threats, if you can't handle them without resorting to these extremes, you shouldn't be a parent.

    If you're a parent, you don't set out ridiculous ultimatums that you'll either have to wimp out or follow through on. The right way to handle this was to take the most expensive presents back to the store, give the kids "lesser" presents, and tell them, at an appropriate time, "We were thinking of getting you a Nintendo, but you guys haven't obeyed us very well lately. Maybe if your behavior improves you'll get one next year."

    What the father did isn't going to make the kids more obedient; it's going to embarrass them and make them hate him. I'd guess the family isn't going to get over this for a long, long, long time.

    And to take down the Christmas tree as well? Well, that's just vindictive. By all means, let's spoil all of Christmas...for the wife, too.

    We have a couple of control freaks in our family who don't let their kids be kids at all. Everything the kids do is scrutinized and criticized. Sounds like the dad might be one of these. Not saying the kids don't get out of hand, but again, they're kids. He'd better learn how to handle them better than this.
  20. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    A very sad twist, a man didn't get any gifts from his parents. He felt depressed and sign himself into the hospital. The next day he signed himself out, walked to his parent house and burned it down. :(
  21. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    Wow. That certainly is the flip side. Thank God nobody got hurt.

    Just a hunch, mind you, but I'd say that guy has "issues". :rolleyes:
  22. Macmaniac macrumors 68040


    LOL, those kids got PWND;) Shows em there dad wasn't screwing around, brat children don't deserve new toys. Thats my philosophy. :D
  23. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a


    Dec 11, 2004
    Gotta agree with you here
    & liketom I got the slipper too, but I was at boarding school and probably deserved it.
  24. rueyeet macrumors 65816


    Jun 10, 2003
    I don't feel the least bit sorry for the kids; if only the "top tier" of gifts was worth $700, they're probably still getting more than they deserve with the "next tier", even if the bulk of the $700 was probably the three Nintendo DS systems themselves. And if the oldest kid--who theoretically should have been in the best position to know better--actually dared his dad to put his presents up on eBay, then he's getting what he asked for.

    But the parents are definitely at fault too. You never, ever, make a threat to a kid that you aren't willing to see through. Where discipline is inconsistent, kids don't learn that things work in certain ways, and that they can't just expect to be terrible brats and still have the world handed to them on a silver platter. My mom would have separated my sister and I, and made us sit without TV or games or anything to do until we both figured out that misbehaving wasn't going to get us anywhere, and the more we misbehaved, the longer we'd have sat. No two ways about it, no "off early for good behavior", none of that wishy-washy "affirmation of love" by short-changing punishments.

    I like the idea of taking the kids to give the Nintendo DS systems to charity (and deducting them from the dad's taxes to recoup the financial loss). :)
  25. realityisterror macrumors 65816


    Aug 30, 2003
    Snellville, GA
    i found that oddly amusing... even more so considering he had just said part of the reason he was selling the presents was 'vulgar language'..


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