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(Over) Indulgent Dad: Why Are You Spoiling Your Child?

So Dan. . .  I’m driving our daughter to the library when she receives a text from her dad and exclaims, “What?” “OMG!” “I don’t understand.” I ask her what just happened and she says, “Daddy just bought me four tickets to the L’il Wayne concert. DAN – WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? Should you and I have talked about this first? It’s not her birthday; it’s not graduation. I know you don’t want to be spoiling your child, but this overindulgence is exactly what will do it. And how are you going to explain this to the other kids?

So Mindy. . . Sometimes you have to grab those mundane daily opportunities, such as the passing comment from a teenage daughter who casually says she would love to see L’il Wayne, and turn them into a life lesson. Today, I demonstrated prominent lessons from high school literature, lessons of “joie de vivre” (joy of life), and “carpe diem” (seize the day/ moment), to our children.

Clearly, you don’t understand the complexities of the father-daughter relationship. I’ve always felt that a few minutes of elevation from “Tolerated, Out-of-Touch Father” to “Coolest Dad Around” was a bargain at any price.

The mistake here might be in the delivery. Obviously, the text with Mom around was a tactical error. The optimum environment would have been when Devan was surrounded by her friends. That would have given me the maximum bang for our buck (or couple hundred bucks as it were).

In truth, I agree that this situation should have had a parent discussion, prior to purchasing the tickets. But, as a Dad, I am constantly reminded that the view in hindsight is much clearer.

OMG!!!! I cannot believe Dad bought me L’il Wayne tickets! I barely uttered the wish and Dad made it come true! Dad may have his bad moments, but this unbelievable and unexpected present definitely makes up for all of those lapses in judgment. And just think, if this is what he got me just as a random gift, I can’t imagine what I will get for my birthday or my graduation! I mean what’s next? I hope it’s a car!

Now all I need to figure out is which three lucky friends I will take to the concert! I can see the cat claws coming out now; everyone is going to want to come with me. Hopefully this won’t backfire and make some uninvited friends mad. The last thing I want to deal with is a whole bunch of drama. Seriously, I am going to have enough problems just figuring out what I am going to wear to the concert.

Another plus to these tickets: I bet my brother is going to be so jealous when he finds out!

Wow. Come on! Devan’s freaking out about going to the L’il Wayne concert because Dad gave her a bunch of tickets, and I’m like, “Alright Dad, where’s my ticket?” And he pulls me aside and starts spewing all this garbage, “Devan deserves a little treat every once in a while. You were just at a concert…”

Yeah. 2 months ago at Coventry, Dad. And, hey, the Grog Shop is fun and all, but it pales in comparison to those tickets that Devan is currently crushing in her hands and waving around her head. She’s like some screeching bat that keeps flapping in my face. I’m going deaf! And I want to see L’il Wayne! SO BAD! I’m stuck watching her taunt her friends with those three tickets.

It’s so unfair.

I better get a nice surprise soon, or I don’t even know what I’ll do. Spoiled brat. I can tell that Mom agrees with me. I mean, it’s obvious Devan doesn’t deserve them. And I could really use something to cheer me up, you know? When all I see is school and snow… Well, this would have been just what I needed.

Nice life lesson here, Dad. Next time I want something that costs a few hundred bucks for me and my friends, I’ll let you know. Because now that you did this for Devan, good luck trying to say “No” to me when I want expensive presents out of the blue. So what’s next, Devan wants a 3D TV in her room, she gets that, too? Yeah, I don’t think so. I’m with Mom and Amnon on this one, totally unfair.

I like Lil’ Wayne, too. So where’s my hundred dollar ticket? Oh, you only got one for your little girl? Yes, I see now. Because she did…well last week she…she’s been doing well in school and…yeah, what did she do to earn this again that Amnon and I haven’t done? I think the correct answer would be nothing at all. Don’t worry though; I’ll remember this the next time I want something from you and Mom.

So Dan, now I understand your point. But next time can we just discuss it before you do it?

Mindy Gallagher is the Social Media Manager for Your Teen Magazine. She is the assistant coach for the girls’ lacrosse team for Solon High School in Ohio.

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