Buckling your kids

If you have kids or transport some in your car, at some point you had to buckle one of them into the car. Eventually they’ll get to the age where they want to do it themselves.

At this point, you’re stuck with either doing it for them while they scream and yell at you saying “I wanna do it! I wanna do it!” or sitting there in the car for 10 minutes while you wait for them to buckle each piece. With any luck they’ll give up and let you finally help them.

Assuming you let them do it themselves, a day will come where you hop in the car and count on them to do their part. You’ll start driving to your destination, and at some point turn around and find out that THEY NEVER BUCKLED THEMSELVES UP!

Face it, this has happened to you. You’ll probably feel like a failure at this point. Or you’ll blame your kid and tell them “if you’re not going to do it then I’ll do it for you every time.” Or you could take the scared straight approach – “if we were in an accident you would have went through the windshield”. (That’s especially effective at our house since it happened to my wife when she was younger and has the scars to prove it. If only she pulled out the pictures.)

The point is that you will make mistakes with your kids. Along the way, you’ll assume that you’ve screwed them up for good. Hopefully you didn’t (you probably didn’t), but only time will tell.

(Of course, we’re perfect parents, which means that nothing described in the post above has happened to us personally.)

Photo by treehouse1977

Can you do good, and make good money?

A while ago I was scanning Facebook and saw a video a friend of mine posted. Her brother modified a Jeep-like kid’s vehicle to be remotely controlled for the son of someone he knew. Their son had a handicap that kept him from being able to drive a vehicle like this in the same where their brother could.

I’m not that surprised that he was able to develop this type of thing. The guy who did it is incredibly creative and resourceful.

The first thing that came to mind was that he should make more of these vehicles and sell them. I figured there were tons of parents out there with children with similar conditions and would love to have something like this.

Do you know what filled my mind next? Guilt. I felt guilty that I could take a nice gesture like what he did and turn it into a money making opportunity.

Then I thought about it more. Should I feel guilty for thinking that way?

Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that I shouldn’t. I thought that this incredible act could end right there with the one modified Jeep, but if someone were willing to pay for another one, why should it stop at one?

What if he were able to make a healthy profit modifying things like this for kids who need them? Would that tarnish the good work being done? I don’t believe so.

Let’s think this through a bit. Let’s imagine for a minute that he starts making these and people are interested in buying them. He’s doing this on the side, but can’t keep up with the demand on his own. So he may quit a job that isn’t that fulfilling and start making these full time. Eventually he ends up hiring an extra person or two with his profits and expands the business. He continues to turn a nice profit and is able to use some of it to give some of these vehicles to children’s hospitals and others who could use them.

I know I made a lot of assumptions there. The point is not that he should do any of these things, but more to point out that someone can truly do something good, and make good money while they’re doing it. If you’ve got the right mindset and good intentions, you can do good works, while making good money doing it.

Photo by State Farm