I am trying to understand how there is no oil in my sons car?

That is a bit extreme, Yosemite, but consider some parents who took it to the opposite extreme:

The only child of a very wealthy couple enrolled in my school in 9th grade. His 8th grade transcript was so horrendous that I phoned the out-of-district elementary school in order to determine if he had actually graduated from 8th grade. When they verified that they had given him a diploma, I gave the boy a stern warning that he had to change his ways if he was going to succeed in high school. Mommy Dearest looked on without commenting or supporting my statements.

For the next 4 years, he failed at least one course every year, and barely passed everything else–despite having decent academic ability. In total, he spent more time in my office than any 5 students, combined. The problem with his lack of performance was that his parents continually showered him with every conceivable material object that a kid might want, and their gifting was unabated no matter how poor his grades were.

When he was 16 1/2, I called his parents into my office and informed them that they were at a crossroad, so to speak. Because Sonny would soon want to drive, I advised them to not give him a car unless and until his grades improved. Mother’s response was, “But I already ordered the BMW!”

Not skipping a beat, I then turned to father and asked, “Doesn’t your shipping company have warehouse facilities?” He proudly expounded on the size and scope of his facility.

So, I gave them the solution. Take delivery of the Bimmer, park it in the warehouse, and take Sonny there periodically to view it. Have Sonny sign a behavioral contract stating how many hours per week he could drive with somewhat improved grades, how many hours per week with greatly improved grades, how many hours per week if he achieved honor roll status, etc. And, I mentioned that the car keys should remain in the business’s safe until such time as Sonny began to produce the grades of which he was capable.

I assumed that they had implemented my suggestions, but then his grades stayed in the same valley as they had always been. A few months later, he missed school for a couple of days as a result of injuries in an auto accident. He had wrecked his brand-new 3-series while cutting school.

Yup! You guessed it. They had given him unrestricted access to the car, despite still producing pizz-poor grades.

So, I summoned the parents to my office once more, and tried to impress upon them that they needed to keep him walking and riding the school bus if he was ever to give them the grades that they wanted.

Mother’s response?
"I already ordered the replacement BMW."
At that point, I asked them to leave so that I could attend to other matters.

Some people are apparently beyond help.

VDC, I loudly applaud your approach. Unfortunately, educators can only have limited if any real influence in cases like the one you’ve described. An even sadder statement, most don’t even bother to try… and some who do get sued. Or worse. Yesterday on the news there was an item about a teacher who took a cell phone from a student who refused to turn it off in class and the teacher was badly beaten.

Ironically, as I write this, the Aaron Hernandez trial is on TV in the background. He wasn’t a child of privilege, but he was certainly a child of lack of parenting.

Thanks, TSM.
God knows I gave that school district and the kids every bit of effort that I could over those 35 years, and luckily most of the parents appreciated it.

I could go on with a LOT more details on the student and parent whom I detailed above, but suffice it to say the parents ignored every suggestion that I made, and the student never acted on any of my advice or accepted any of the help that was offered. The parents continued to indulge his every desire, and…he failed to graduate.

I believe that the mother actually attempted to bribe me, but I couldn’t prove it. After reporting to higher authorities on what she had said to me, I was advised to keep my communication with her in written form, and only to meet with her if there was at least one witness.

When I retired, I retained copies of my written correspondence (a file at least one inch thick)…just in case. I think that, at this point, I can probably dispose of those old papers.

And, just to keep things on an automotive theme, he is probably still driving around in a BMW purchased by his parents. Or–who knows?–maybe by now they have bought him an Aston-Martin!

I learned about the consequences of abusing equipment at a very young age. I had set up daredevil ramps in the yard and was practicing being a thrill show driver with my bicycle. I would also ride along and pull the front wheel up. My neighborhood friend didn’t have a bicycle and I was teaching him how to ride. He was going along pretty well until the front fork snapped and the front wheel went one direction and my friend and the bicycle went the other direction. My friend was really upset that he had broken my bicycle and ran home and got his mom. She came back ready to pay for the damage but my dad saw it differently. I was the one in trouble for the way I had ridden the bicycle that weakened the front fork. I was without the bicycle for a month while I saved for a new fork.

@VDCdriver You must be on a pretty even keel. I don’t know how you can maintain any composure at all when dealing with people like the ones you referred to with the problem child and the enabling parents.

Several episodes of things like this and I’d be headed for a mountaintop in the Himalayas… :frowning:

@VDCdriver The difference between my generation (I am 73) and many students in today’s generation is if I didn’t master what I was,supposed to learn it was my fault. Today many students and,their parents believe that it is the school’s fault if the student fails. Sometimes I wonder whether anyone today takes personal responsibility.

Moving forward always check the oil every few fuel fillups and top if needed.

It will avoid these situations.

Quoting @Triedaq

“Today many students and,their parents believe that it is the school’s fault if the student fails. Sometimes I wonder whether anyone today takes personal responsibility.”
That , Triedaq is the problem with the “No child left behind” program. (Also known as “No teacher left standing”).

Just to keep this automotive in nature, it is safe to note that I am a former auto shop teacher from back when there were points and dwell meters.

That , Triedaq is the problem with the "No child left behind" program. (Also known as "No teacher left standing").

BULL…the problem with parents blaming the school has been around long, long, long before the No-Child-Left-Behind.

I’m not a big fan of the no-child-left-behind act…but it has nothing to do with parents blaming schools. I have relatives that have been teaching for over 50 years…I heard the stories of parents complaining back when I was in school.

“You must be on a pretty even keel”

However, I usually rewarded myself with a stiff shot of Johnny Walker Black as soon as I got home from the controlled chaos that I dealt with on most days. That helped me to stay sane…mostly.

"Sometimes I wonder whether anyone today takes personal responsibility."

Based on what I observed on a daily basis over those 35 years, I long ago came to the conclusion that society’s biggest problem is the widespread failure to accept responsibility for one’s own actions.

Quoting @ Treidag
"Sometimes I wonder whether anyone today takes personal responsibility."

I don’t think this is a recent phenomenon. I remember this being an issue when I was in high school some 50 years ago. I think we see it more because of the internet.

I noticed a change in accepting responsibility for one’s actions by college students from the time I began my career in 1965 until I retired in 2011. The students I had in my earlier years were much better at meeting deadlines for assignments as a group. I will say, however, that the classes I taught my final semester before my retirement were outstanding.

Just to keep this thread on an automotive theme, I think it is important to point out that corporations–like people–also need to take responsibility for their own actions and inactions.
That–of course–applies to GM and the other auto makers.

A few years ago, The US Supreme Court affirmed that corporations have the same rights as people do, and Mitt Romney cheerfully reminded a potential voter in 2012 that, “Corporations are people, my friend”.

If corporations are equal in rights to individuals, then I think it is reasonable to believe that they also have to take responsibility for their own actions and inactions. If they are not held to the same level of accountability, then that would mean that they actually have more rights than people do.

I wonder if the OP is reading any of this.

I hope he’s reading this thread to his son.
But I doubt if he is. The sad part is that unless his son gets a sense of responsibility from somewhere, unless he’s given advice and guidance and allowed to suffer the consequences when he ignores it, his son is doomed to a future of major car problems. All preventable.

If the OP is not reading this, it is your fault, not his… :slight_smile: