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    1. #1
      Member sicklyscott's Avatar
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      Your thoughts on your child's involvement / interest in cars

      I was talking to a couple friends the other day and we had a healthy debate regarding our children's interest in our automotive hobby. I have the opinion that I'd prefer my daughter not be interested in cars. I have seen a lot of questionable behavior in the younger automotive enthusiast crowd when it comes to behavior and life choices and I'd really like my daughter to be above that. The group however corrected me in saying that's more up-bringing and trust then it was the hobby bringing them down. I think I have revised my thoughts by wishing my daughter appreciates cars first before getting into the whole scene. I'd really like my daughter to go to car shows with me and enjoy looking at cars, understanding what makes each one special, listening to the owners stories, and ultimately respecting it as a machine and a weapon.

      I've read stories about some of you with mother/father daughter/son projects and am curious if you fear the hobby could take your offspring for a rough ride.
      Last edited by sicklyscott; 06-16-2017 at 11:17 AM.
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    2. #2
      Member atomicalex's Avatar
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      Uh, some of us are moms.

      Find my thread about my son and the whole Fiero thing that morphed into an MR2. He's going to suffer a bit, but in the end he'll learn engine work and sheet metal and I'll get to teach him some of it. I don't really care about what others are doing, this is his deal and I'm glad he's into it and not worried all that much about me tagging along. I pay for stuff here and there and generally gently push him in this direction or that or explain and advise when necessary.

      Will he get hurt? Not any worse that I did.
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    3. #3
      Member Chris_V's Avatar
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      As cars are major purchases with major costs involved with repair and maintenance, it behooves us to teach our children as much as we can about them so that they know at least the basics of repair, operation, and maintenance, not necessarily to do it themselves (though trouble shooting a broken down car in the middle of nowhere and maybe changing a tire themselves or whatever is important) but to make sure that they are not ripped off by repair shops overcharging them or misdiagnosing things. And it may be sexist, but I think it's even more important for daughters to be taught these things for those reasons.

      You may say "Well, that's what AAA is for." And I humbly and heartily disagree. AAA is just another tool in the arsenal for if you break down, but it should not be the ONLY tool.

      And I agree that how they treat their cars and act is a matter of upbringing and not as much peer pressure as you might think, as proper upbringing can mitigate a LOT of peer pressure.

      Another thing that mitigates peer pressure is sweat equity. If a kid has a lot of time and effort into building the care they are going to drive, they take MUCH better care of it and are less apt to wrap it around a tree or light pole, as they might with a car they were merely given (or had rented for them). My kid is only 24 now and his high school vehicle was a '79 Chevy hot rod pickup that he and I built together. he survived driving that truck daily and moved on to a BMW, then a WRX STi, and now a couple more BMWs. He's never crashed a car.
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    4. #4
      My son is a millenial, no use for cars..I failed as a parent.
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    5. #5
      Member NeverEnoughCars's Avatar
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      By the time I get around to having kids I doubt there will be much of a reason to get them interested in personal powered transportation.
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    6. #6
      Member Surf Green's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by sicklyscott View Post
      I have seen a lot of questionable behavior in the younger automotive enthusiast crowd when it comes to behavior and life choices and I'd really like my daughter to be above that.
      You were steered correctly that it's largely upbringing. Typically girls that act like they have daddy issues have those daddy issues because they didn't have appropriate father figures.

      Teach her right, and she won't gravitate towards the idiots. She'll be right there next to you pointing and laughing at them.
      My daughter doesn't have the same interest in cars as I do, but that doesn't mean she won't learn the important basics.
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    7. #7
      Member GLI Dan's Avatar
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      Full Disclosure: Not a father.

      Knowledge is power in my opinion. In my personal experience there were plenty of kids in high school and college who had zero understanding of how a car worked but still hooned around like idiots. I myself definitely drove well beyond what any person should do on a public roadway but there are few here among us who have not had younger and dumber days. The difference was that I didn't race and I respected what I had, where as the kids who were gifted the SRT-4's, Daytona Rt and SRT Chargers and BMWs etc always had something to prove. There was also the small tuner crowd where most of them drove like shmucks aside from one who was a very reserved individual.

      Basically, regardless of hobby it boils down to the values instilled in the person. If they are taught to be responsible in all facets of life, it will spill over into anything they do. Being knowledgeable about the activities they are engaged in just enhances a persons ability to better and more effectively assess any situation they may find themselves in.
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    8. #8
      Member BluMagic's Avatar
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      My daughter is still just a toddler but loves going in my car to pretend to drive, pretending to work on the wheels with her screwdriver, and laying underneath it when I am. It is one of the handful of things that will entertain her longer than 5 minutes


      I could care less about what the rest of the world is doing, scenes, or cultures. Those things aren't in the garage with me, and anything constructive that my daughter likes to do I'm going to support.

      Cars in my opinion are one of the best teaching platforms for knowing limitations, problem solving as well as admitting mistakes and correcting among others. So as long as I can keep her engaged I think there will be some valuable lessons.

      Honestly I'll do anything it takes to influence her thinking that real respect doesn't come from being a hood ornament.

    9. #9
      Senior Member Sporin's Avatar
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      My son hasn't been the least bit interested in cars (and he hated offroading ) but I took him with me to test drive (then buy) the Miata and he's been jawing about it and researching ever since. I think it might be the thing that gets him interested in the hobby. For me, it's a great tool to teach him to drive standard (a must imo) and it's a good car to wrench on and get into the hobby.

      Though I certainly will guide him where I can, what direction his auto-tastes run is as up to him as everything else. Would I be disappointed if he got into stuff that I didn't like? Sure, but it's up to him to like/dislike whatever he choose, as long as he's being safe and smart about it.

      My wife and I already had a plan in place to make sure he learns how to change a tire, do basic maintenance and trouble shooting. Living rural, there's no waiting for AAA sometimes, you need to be clever enough to take care of yourself. Or to find the resources you need. I think that is essential for every driver, no matter what age or gender.

    10. #10
      Member P Q's Avatar
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      I would like my future child to be involved with cars just as I was with my father, be it my son and or daughter. I would hope they take up the car hobby, but as a hobby, not as something to be used as tool for "cool points" or for the "hey look at me" attitude.

      I agree with what has been said with the current "scene" and how the people/kids act with it. Its deff more how the child was brought up I feel.
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    11. #11
      Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sporin View Post
      Though I certainly will guide him where I can, what direction his auto-tastes run is as up to him as everything else. Would I be disappointed if he got into stuff that I didn't like? Sure, but it's up to him to like/dislike whatever he choose, as long as he's being safe and smart about it.
      'Zactly.

      As some of you know, I have a standing offer with my kids. When they turn 15 I'll help them build a car... If they so choose. My elder is leaning towards a Miata at this point, Sporin. I'm good with that. (This doesn't mean I'm footing the bill entirely, mind you.) If they don't want to, that's okay. If one of them gives up halfway through I'll probably finish it and keep it/sell it. (I'd keep a Miata!) I'll be in the garage in my spare time by that point anyway.

      Also, I'd love to pass on what I have learned, as I don't know who's going to understand antique cars in just a few years.
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    12. #12
      Geriatric Member Hostile's Avatar
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      I wish my dad had been interested in cars.

    13. #13
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      I'm not a parent, yet. But I feel the only way to get my child to notice my hobbies would be through the passion i put into my hobbies. This idea is based off my upbringing with older cousins that were into the lowrider scene, my father who taught me how to properly wax a car and such. Honestly, that's all it took for me to enjoy the automotive scene more passionately. I could probably say I've exceeded my family's automotive passion at this point, but all it took were a couple of magazines and sitting with older relatives as they talked about cars.

    14. #14
      Senior Member Sporin's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Hostile View Post
      I wish my dad had been interested in cars.
      My dad loved cars, he had been a mechanic for many years. But again, we were poor so he mostly drove pieces of crap that he was always trying to keep running. So I got from him a lot of mechanical how-to knowledge, but not a lot of car appreciation. That developed in me, on my own, as I got older and started buying car magazines and such.

    15. #15
      Member 2 doors's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Hostile View Post
      I wish my dad had been interested in cars.
      My dad and uncle are interested in cars - Matchbox cars, and Hot Wheels and model trains and all that. I tagged along as they pursued their hobby when I was a kid. Then I got interested in real cars. When they die and I inherit all that stuff it's getting sold so I can buy a sports car.

      As for my kids (both girls), they have no real interest in cars. They have some car spotting games when we go driving: punch buggy, big butt trucks (dually pickups) and dead car (Jeep Renegades- they think the X tail lights look like the Xs for eyes drawn on cartoons).

      My youngest (8) will sometimes come out when I'm working on a car and ask what I'm doing and I'll tell her and she'll help for a few minutes, but it doesn't last long. I took them both to the indoor kart track a few weeks ago. They had fun, but they aren't the next Danica Patrick or anything.

    16. #16
      Geriatric Member Hostile's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sporin View Post
      My dad loved cars, he had been a mechanic for many years. But again, we were poor so he mostly drove pieces of crap that he was always trying to keep running. So I got from him a lot of mechanical how-to knowledge, but not a lot of car appreciation. That developed in me, on my own, as I got older and started buying car magazines and such.
      Yea, I didn't even have that. He taught me basic stuff like changing a flat and changing oil but I took it upon myself to learn how to replace my break pads in my first car.

    17. #17
      Member rich!'s Avatar
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      hard to think if the kids will actually be driving in 10 years. i like to assume they will. right now, around 10 y/o for the boys is to get a project car; simple like a Jeep to fix up and work on over a few years. my old man bought me a broken beetle @ 14 to keep me out of trouble
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    18. #18
      Member sirswank!'s Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by 2 doors View Post
      As for my kids (both girls), they have no real interest in cars. They have some car spotting games when we go driving: punch buggy, big butt trucks (dually pickups) and dead car (Jeep Renegades- they think the X tail lights look like the Xs for eyes drawn on cartoons).

      My youngest (8) will sometimes come out when I'm working on a car and ask what I'm doing and I'll tell her and she'll help for a few minutes, but it doesn't last long. I took them both to the indoor kart track a few weeks ago. They had fun, but they aren't the next Danica Patrick or anything.
      I'm exactly where you are, man. one of mine helped me swap out my winter tires, once. they liked riding in the old convertible, until it got too windy. they would tolerate cruise nights for about 30 minutes. they still try to drive the powerwheels they've grown out of.

      maybe when they get older, it'll be different. or, maybe I just failed as a father to properly instill these interests in them when they were younger.
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    19. #19
      Member MontoyaF1's Avatar
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      My daughter is five, and as soon as she could talk she could name the car brands just by looking at the badges on the trunks, and could even occasionally pick them out based on shape alone.

      Her enthusiasm for cars has diminished only slightly as orca whales and Paw Patrol have taken over, but she still likes going to auto shows, and she still likes to help me change oil and tighten screws.

      My thoughts are these:

      1. Moderation in everything
      2. Abiding by rule #1, it is okay for your daughter to like "girly" stuff like fashion if that is what she wants
      3. Having interests and skills in things non typical of young girls, such as cars, airplanes, etc. helps her to grow up with the confidence that her value as a human being is more than her physical appearance
      4. Based on #1, your daughter doesn't need to join a Fast and Furious crowd to be a car enthusiast, and as you experience automotive culture together, take the time to teach her the difference between healthy hobby involvement vs. unhealthy
      Last edited by MontoyaF1; 06-16-2017 at 12:45 PM.
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    20. #20
      I don't really care one way or another. I just request that he doesn't show any interest in being an a-hole. So far though, he seems pretty set on that one. He is a toddler, after all. Massive a-hole.

      When it comes to cars, he currently likes to run laps of the house making engine noises and drifts his toys into the dogs. They aren't smart enough to get out of the way, so it happens repeatedly. So, maybe he'll like Mustangs. He really does seem to enjoy making his trucks and walker oversteer (didn't learn that from me... I'm not that irresponsible in the car), and right now he's loudly going through the gears, complete with the correct change in pitch with each shift, in his crib. He also giggles when I get on the throttle in the G35. He'll sometimes watches as I work on the cars, which is probably good for something.

      If he's like me though, he'll enjoy cars and all, but like bikes more. His favorite thing, aside from being an a-hole, is to go on rides in the bike trailer... so long as we go fast.

    21. #21
      Quote Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
      My son is a millenial, no use for cars..I failed as a parent.
      It has nothing to do with him being a millennial and everything to do with your failure

      Signed,
      Millenial car guy.

    22. #22
      Member Rockerchick's Avatar
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      No kids yet but I do have a 5-year old sister. She likes to play with Hot Wheels, etc. and my husband and I got her a battery powered car for her birthday last year that she loves to tool around in. My dad and husband even made her a "garage" under their steps for her to park it in She likes watching auto racing some too - NASCAR, NHRA, F1, IRL, etc - its all watched at their house. Which is how I grew up as well. My dad raced stock cars locally so cars and racing were definitely in the family.

      We have her over for weekend sleepovers on occasion. Haven't had her in the garage yet - she's usually got play dates lined up and stuff. But before too long I plan on getting her out there to start learning. She will definitely know how to do basic maintenance on a car when she's old enough to have one (hopefully before that though!). She did get a toy tool set for Christmas one year and we asked if she wanted to help us on our cars. She grabbed the tool set, stood up and said "Let's go!". She hasn't shown a huge interest in cars like that otherwise though. But she does love my husband's GLI because its red and it "goes fast". She's shaping up to be a little speed demon and has no fear so we'll have to keep that in check in 10 years time!

      Once we have our own kids, I'm sure we'll take them to shows and get them involved in projects in the garage. I'd love for my sister and any future kids to be into cars. But its not everyone's thing either. My biggest thing is making sure kids know how to do basic stuff on their car, whether they are an enthusiast or not - oil changes, change a tire, etc.
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    23. #23
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      Working on cars with my dad is one of my favorite things to do. My son is super into them now and just finally told me the other day that he thinks older cars are cooler than newer cars, he's 6. He likes to hang out with me when I work on stuff and I let him sit on my lap and drive around in the neighborhood. I want him to be into cars because he can focus on that, and if he gets obsessed with them he can dump all his money into them instead of some type of drug habit. I think just being a father for them and not trying to be their best friend all the time will keep them from acting like an *******. I mean all teenagers are *******s, but you just want to keep them from being the kind that end up in jail or dead because of bad decisions.

    24. #24
      Senior Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Hostile View Post
      I wish my dad had been interested in cars.
      Same here. My dad figured he was too good for that. Wouldn't even change a wiper blade.

      I always showed an interest in cars. My dad hated it. Which is probably why I started hanging out with the boys and wrench on cars as a teenager. The more my dad hated it, the more I did it.
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    25. #25
      Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Rockerchick View Post
      No kids yet but I do have a 5-year old sister. She likes to play with Hot Wheels, etc. and my husband and I got her a battery powered car for her birthday last year that she loves to tool around in. My dad and husband even made her a "garage" under their steps for her to park it in She likes watching auto racing some too - NASCAR, NHRA, F1, IRL, etc - its all watched at their house. Which is how I grew up as well. My dad raced stock cars locally so cars and racing were definitely in the family...
      Nice.

      I'm hoping to instill it in the kids, but I don't know yet. Both claim to want to build a car with me, but I think one might actually take me up on it. Life is weird, though. It's quite possible the other one will (instead of).
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
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