Bruce Sallan: Potential lessons abound today, as we're living through the worst financial crisis of my and my boys' lives. My boys will gain wisdom from this. So will I. Things often taken for granted will no longer be. I will live the life I preach and take the same, at times, harsh medicine I'm asking them to swallow.
The other day I was helping my younger son set up his computer. He inherited my old one. I looked around his room and realized the extraordinary amount of "things" he possessed and that he'd known no other way of living. There was a TV, DVD player, two or three portable video game devices, an "old" and "new" cell phone, and more boxed DVD sets than they carry at Blockbuster. And, now, his own computer, albeit a "used" one. Nah, the lessons they'll learn will serve them well.
My son's Bar Mitzvah will no longer take place at Staples Center in L.A. with limos for everyone (just kidding about the limos). Allowance now is definitely earned, not a given. There are real chores for the boys to do. Don't do the chores; no allowance. Wow, like the real world. I'm not happy about giving up my daily chai latte, but I know this is going to be good for my boys.
My boys now get their books and DVDs from the library. We order them online and they wait till they come in. Imagine that, delayed gratification. Eating out is now limited to special occasions and our housekeeper now comes every other week. The boys now know what a vacuum cleaner is! We go to the market only when we have a full list of items to buy. The AC doesn't go below 78, the heat doesn't go above 65, and showers aren't endless anymore. It's a beginning to the end of their childhood, and the beginning of their mature-a-hood. I hope. But, what do I know, I'm just a guy.
|Bruce Sallan gave up his showbiz career a decade ago to raise his two boys, full-time, now 13 and 16. His internationally syndicated column, A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW, is his take on the challenges of parenthood and male/female issues, both as a single dad and now, newly remarried, in a blended family. Join Bruce's A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW fan page at Facebook. To contact Bruce, visit his new website brucesallan.com.|