Putting away childish things: Should you?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Shockwave 75, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. Shockwave 75

    Shockwave 75 Master of the Rules.

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    I was watching this parenting show this morning and one of their regular guests, a Doctor by trade, was talking about his experiences before and after having kids. And he used that famous quote about "putting away..." and how he found that to be true after he had kids. That he felt it neccessary to abandon all the things he loved in his youth because he was a father now.

    Now, I don't have kids yet, but my wife and I are avid collectors and fans of various things (TF's and Star Trek foremost), and I think the notion that quote puts forward is wrong. Soul-crushingly wrong.

    Let use my father as an example.

    In his youth he was and avid collector of comics and sports cards and memerobilia. In fact when he was young almost all he ever read was comics and my grandmother became concerned (this was in the 50's and 60's). But when she spoke to the school counciler he told her that it was fine that he read comics. That comics expose their readers to just about as many new words and concepts as regular books. Very forward thinking during the time when "Seduction of the Innocent" was published. This also explains why I never got a hard time for my love of comics.

    But I digress.

    Sometime when my father was growing up he obviously "out-grew" these things, probably during his teen years as so many of us do, even myself for a time. And he never really reconnected with them until much later in his life, and I can tell that he is much happier now because of it.
    For years he was a miserable sod, and I don't blame him. Get up, go to a job that he grew to hate, come home, eat, sleep, repeat. But somewhere along the line he found his inner child again and now he has a rec-room full of some very impressive sports memerobilia, and he just seems to enjoy life again.

    Because of his example: "Get up, go to a job that he grew to hate, come home, eat, sleep, repeat." I have endevoured to never fall into that trap. I never want to lose my inner child because I feel that it will help me to better relate to my future children. Something my father and I never really did until the last 10 years or so.

    I realise that my collecting will probably get scaled back (not that I really buy that much now) due to the childrens needs. But I firmly believe that miserable parents make miserable children. All modern family experts seem to agree that parents shouldn't put their needs or their relationship aside because of the kids. When they do they come to resent their children. And I don't want to resent my children

    If you put away childish things, how can you ever relate to your child? Maybe I'm wrong.

    Do any of you have kids? How do feel about this?

    Am I on to something or am I just talking out of my ass?
     
  2. Dark_Convoy

    Dark_Convoy Old Bastard Veteran

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    I have 4 sons, and I still collect toys, comic books, watch cartoons play video games and eat captain crunch - my sons and I bond with this stuff, we watch cartoons together, we talk about new toys coming out, we play video games and I take them to the comic shop with me.

    I am still very much a "father" - I lay down the law and enforce rules when necessary, give out groundings and time outs for bad behavior, I'm not one of these "I'm your friend not your dad" kind of guys, but we do have fun doing what would be considered childish activities, and we are a pretty damn happy and close knit family.
     
  3. Joe Moore

    Joe Moore Is Not Jim... Administrator

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    Excellent thread topic.

    Currently, my wife and I don't have kids. However, with my father, he always kept current with things that I liked. Be it toys or video games and it helped me connect to him. He understood why I liked the things I liked as a kid and even came to partake i nthose activities. Especially video games. Having my father enjoy games as much as I do helped a lot in my childhood. It made our conversations easier. I remember having some pretty important talkes come during session of Tecmo Bowl and later Madden and NHL. If my father had abondoned his enjoyment of games from his youth, we would have had one less thing in common.
     
  4. My03Tundra

    My03Tundra LOVES TO EDIT POSTS!!

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    I don't have any kids, but between my brother and I, my nephews are exposed to both Star Wars and Transformers. He (my brother) may've grown out of collecting Star Wars for the most part, but he enjoys seeing his two boys playing with toys like he had as a kid.

    It is almost transferance in that what a father enjoys, he tries to pass onto his kids. In some areas he will succeed, others he may fail. I HATE sports for the most part because I was never physically able to play. My father and mother never pushed me and that is what matters. Expose your children to what you like (as long as it is APPROPRIATE for a child), but don't force them.
     
  5. Ruination04

    Ruination04 8 Years Old Since 1984!

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    I have a daughter and one baby on the way. I "grew up" and got rid of my toys and stuff. I re-connected some years back. Getting rid of that stuff was the worst mistake of my life.
     
  6. BowB4Prime

    BowB4Prime arse dimples

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    ummm i never knew my dad, and dont have kids yet.... but my mom collects mickey mouse toys and firetruck and other emergency vehicle type toys.... and they encourage me collecting my toys at 25 coz there are far worse things i could be doing
     
  7. Cruellock

    Cruellock Disney Villain

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    It's a hobby. If you give up your Transformers or comics, what else are you going to do ? We've all got to do something to pass the time and keep ourselves happy, no matter if you have kids. My dad collects sci-fi books, and still has most of the ones he had when he was a kid.
     
  8. Shaun_C

    Shaun_C The REAL One True fan Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    See that's depends on what you're giving up. Was he SPECICALLY talking about toys, cartoons, videogames, etc. Or was it more of a general statement? And I think I know the show you're talking about. It's "The Mom Show" on Life Network isn't it?

    But anyway it depends on what you give up and to what extent it affects your life or the lives of your loved ones. Having outside interests is healthy but not if you go to the point of overkill. Or in some cases counterproductive

    For instance what if what this doctor as a youth loved all night parties and what not. As a husband and father he'd obviously have to give it up.

    But I don't think he's saying "Give up your interests" Maybe for the first few years of the kids life maybe, but once the kid's old enough (ie pre school, Kindergarten) why not have a little time to yourself. I know a guy over here who before he had kids used to be massive. He was 220lbs and pretty massive, he was telling me not to long ago that because of the kids and alternating work schedules with the wife. That he doesn't have as much time to exercise as he'd like. But now his kids are nearing the age to go to school. So he's starting to get back into it.

    I hope you see where I'm going with this. I personally think what he said's up for interpretation. As I interpret it differently then you did
     
  9. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    I kinda spent the past summer going through the "OMG growing up" ordeal and trying to come to grips with it and, not surprisingly, I still feel the same way I did before I realized that I would have to deal with the burdens of home-ownership, organizing a wedding and etc.:

    1. If I manage my finances intelligently, I'll have a few dollars now and then to enjoy my hobbies.
    2. If I spend too much time with my hobbies, my professional life, school and relationship will suffer.
    3. If I spend too much time with my professional life or school, my ability to enjoy myself and remain clear of mind will suffer.

    I think the "put away your toys" ideology is useful for people like, say, Brodie from Kevin Smith's Mallrats or Tom Green's character in Freddie Got Fingered.If you're trying to convince an older son/daughter that it's time to grow up, move on and move out, maybe that's the last approach you take: Stop playing with these toys and getdafuckout there!

    However, I don't think it's the first or the best approach to being a parent and maintaining a hobby. "Putting away your toys," metaphorically, brings with it suggestions of burden, in my opinion; If you're closing up the box on the hobbies, enjoyment and fun of your childhood and packing it away, who are you? Doesn't a person's character, as an adult and rounded person, come from how they were raised and encultured?

    I think Dark Convoy's saying a lot by saying he still enjoys stuff with his kids. That has resounding impact in a child's life - if a parent can demonstrate to his children that he sympathizes with or appreciates their interests, it has to help foster more interest in that subject or interest. Even before kids hit that "Mom & Dad like it, so it's uncool" phase (which seems to be the social product of like-minded age groups; school kids or friends) they grow up with either one or both parents showing them and telling them about hobbies, interests or priorities.

    Finally, one of the nicest things about parents passing on a message of "I enjoy this" to kids is that it can also help aim the children in the right direction, at least in terms of which media to pursue. For example, even if it does center around giant robots beating up each other, most episodes of Transformers deal with basic messages about acceptance, understanding, personal strength and belief in one's self. If I saw my kids watching Transformers (or, we'll extend the example to, say, the Justice League, Batman, Star Trek, Jimmy Neutron, Fairly Odd Parents, Spongebob, etc. ) I'd say, "Yeah, enjoy the show." I wouldn't use the shows to supplant my own role as a parent, but they would cement my own communication with my son/daughter.

    My Dad enjoys his job - he doesn't hate it, but he's expressed amazement and befuddlement about the customers, occasionally - but he remained relatively reserved about the things he enjoyed with me, with the exception of Star Trek. He and I bonded over Star Trek in such a major way. Now, I didn't grow up to be a die-hard "I grok Spock" trekkie as a result of that, I just realized that Star Trek: The Next Generation resounded pretty strongly with the messages my parents were sending to me.
     
  10. Shockwave 75

    Shockwave 75 Master of the Rules.

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    Yes it was.
     
  11. Spekkio

    Spekkio Master of War

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    Don't have kids...but I can say this: I really wish, for their sake, that my parents had goddamn hobbies. 'Nuff said.
     
  12. Liokaiser

    Liokaiser Super Mod

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    Excellent thread topic. I have two sons, and I still collect transformers. Actually the first thing my youngest tells me in the morning is what transformer he wants to play with. I play baseball, football, hockey shit I even do karate and act like a Power Ranger with my boys. But like DC said I am still "dad" and dad must be obeyed no matter the cost.
     
  13. Blunticon

    Blunticon The Oddjob

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    I think we all go through this fase at some point in life and do reconnect with them later on. I know im growing up and have even more responsibilties, but I will always be a kid at heart and collect the things I love, like Transformers even if my girlfriend makes fun of me.. I think it helps with interactions with kids to be a kid at heart and builds imagination.. And Like you Liokaiser I play Power Rangers with my nephew and Transformers and all that good stuff and im 28..
     
  14. Elvin Pena

    Elvin Pena <b><font color=red>CyberCon is #1!</font></b> Veteran

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    Great topic!

    As a father I’m thrilled with the fact that I can come down to my son’s level and enjoy the things that he does. We can sit there and read his books, watch cartoons, play hide-and-go-seek, and have an awesome time. I think I’m able to do these things, not only because I love my son dearly, but because I’m very much still in touch with my inner child. Even my wife at times just looks as us and says that she’s got two kids in the house. I intend to keep it that way.

    Don’t get me wrong though, like DC already mentioned, I lay down the law if and when it needs to be done. My son will have plenty of friends on his life but he’s only going to have one father that will give him the guidance he needs.

    I somewhat disagree with this statement. Don't get me wrong, a husband/father has no business partying non-stop like he's single. On the other hand there's nothing wrong with occasionally getting away to unwind. IMO, as long as things are done in moderation and you don't loose sight of what's really important in your life, it's all good. If that means going out with the guys, having a blast, and coming back home in the wee hours of the morning then it's cool. Of course, it also helps to have a very understanding wife. :p 
     
  15. Team Jetfire

    Team Jetfire Pop-POP!

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    Great topic and I really think that you have the right idea.
    I have 2 kids (Boy and Girls) and never once have thought that I had to give up the things that I love. Sure I don't collect everything anymore, but it is a really fun way to grow up with my kids. And on that note I a soo looking forward to bringing my son to the Movie next year for his birthday.

    On the other hand my father (and mother) are deeply against my collecting toys. Not sure why, but they always wanted me to use the money for something useful. My wife is my biggest supporter though. Her thought is that I don't drink (too much), smoke, or do drugs. There could be worse things.

    When you have a family you have priorities (ops_was_ had made a couple really good points) and a long as you are doing your best to raise that family, your lifestyle is nobodies business.
     
  16. Shaun_C

    Shaun_C The REAL One True fan Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Since you're refering to my statement, now that I read it and your reply together. I notice that I didn't take into account moderation. Now the problem is in defining that moderation. As that's totally subjective and can cause some "interesting discussions"

    But then again that's where the Communication part of a relationship comes into play.

    You know this reminds me of an episode of Dr. Phil I saw once with the toy collector who spent more time and money on his collection then with his wife and kids. You know the one, the guy who spent upwards of 3K a month and stayed up all hours of the night cruising Ebay
     
  17. Elvin Pena

    Elvin Pena <b><font color=red>CyberCon is #1!</font></b> Veteran

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    I don't watch Dr. Phil, so I wouldn't know but I get the gist of what you're saying. I see we're getting off topic with this discussion so I'll leave it at that.
     
  18. chocula78

    chocula78 Satellite Systems Engr TFW2005 Supporter

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    This is a great topic to discuss on this site (not sure if this is the right are to post it though). I am young and soon to be a college graduate. I collect Transformers and my parents, being the strong corporate personalities they are, think it's great that because they are worth so much $$$ (My dad was shocked when I explained my diaclone Sunstreaker was worth over $100). I collect them cause they are just fucking cool.

    I remember an episode of MTV's True Life titled "I have weird parents." One of the stories they followed was about a father and son, and the father was a die hard Star Wars nut. MTV followed them to a SW convention across the country (requiring a plane trip) and the father wore a Jedi outfit the whole way. The son was embarassed to all hell (he was about 18), but the kid saw how SW made his father happy and the father's enthusiasm began to rub off on his son. By the end of the episode the son was decked out as a storm trooper and he and his father were reenacting scenes from the movies. If that isn't father-son bonding I don't know what is.

    My GF knows how happy TF's make me and she is JEALOUS of the reaction I have to news of a new toy or more movie rumors. She WISHES she had something like that. Besides, if she ever bitches about the number of TF's I have, I just remind of the number of shoes she owns.

    If toy collecting makes you happy and you are still fulfilling your obligations as a father/husband/son/employee, why would you ever stop?
     
  19. ams

    ams Generation All Veteran

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    As with any hobby, if it begins to become the central focus of your life to such a degree that other critical areas (family, work, finances) begin to suffer, there's a problem.

    If you have the priorities in your life in order, and you have normal, functional relationships with the people around you, why should it be strange if you enjoy continuing to collect something you have valued since you were a child? A lot of us have responsible adult lives but enjoy an occasional diversion to relax.
     
  20. Kittie Rose

    Kittie Rose Banned

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    I agree. There's no reason why most of the things that change with age actually do. It's all to do with roles enforced by society and it's very vicious. It's all conservative nonsense and people challenging your maturity to make you conform to rather dull preconcieved notions of what you should be.

    It's like women cutting their hair short after a certain age. Can anyone explain this logically? No. It's a "conservatism", a traditional notion that causes people to conform to it without really questioning why it's there. If someone dresses outrageously, maybe really gothishly or hippie-like, they'll be told to "grow out of it". It's impossible to actually "grow out" of a way of dressing with age - it makes no sense. It's possible to want a change- but why is the change always to go straight in whatever is the current society norm? This is why teen rebels get so hung up on conformity. And quite frankly, they're about right. There's no greater social evil than lack of critical thinking in your life choices.

    When you have kids, you'll have time and money constraints, but there's no real reason why your interests should change, they just may have to be shifted in preference to work better with your life. People will look for any opportunity to mould you into something that's easier on their way of thinking.

    Did anyone else nearly cry in that scene from the 40 Year Old Virgin where he was told to grow up? I was upset that was the direction the movie was going in, but it took a turn otherwise towards the end which I liked.
     

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