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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Just Say No

This letter at YWN is mind-boggling: [emphasis added]

...

My issue however is what has been going on recently with both girls AND BOYS alike as far as brand name clothing is concerned. Many of us do not realize that many sixth and seventh grade girls are going to school with $175 knapsacks. Sweatshirts that run $75 a piece, and can’t be worn more than once a month. I recall being in school and wearing the same pair of school shoes all winter. Now the girls need their Ugg boots ($110), and three pairs of shoes.

Many high school boys are now wearing ties that I am told run upwards of $150. That is correct…..$150. Their glasses (and g-d forbid you should only have one pair) are all designer names many of which I have never ever heard of. Belts can run over $200 and yet somehow so many of these yeshiva bochurim have them.

I know that many of you are going to comment that you need to learn to be mechanech your kids and learn to say NO. I know all about it. A few months ago YWN posted an article (HERE) about the cost of seminary and most of the comments (ludicrous in my opinion) were how this parent didn’t understand how to say no. My guess is that many (not all) of these comments came from people who are not in the “parsha”.

We need to understand the ENOURMOUS pressure that is put on these kids in school by their friends and classmates. It is easy to sit back and be an armchair NO NO NO parent. If I had a daughter… I would tell my son… If you are able to and it doesn’t backfire, great. Consider yourself very lucky. But many of us do not want our children to be outcasts and want our children to be happy. With all that is going on with children at risk today, the number one priority you hear from the people that deal with this is to make sure your children are happy.

I don’t have a good answer to the problem and while I am inclined to say no, and my gut tells me to say no, it breaks my heart to see unhappy children.

Any advice?

First commenter there said it well: Just say: No!

What's ridiculous about this letter is that she completely discounts saying "No" - even calling it ludicrous - and yet still has the audacity to complain about the problem. If you're completely unwilling to be a parent or do what is obviously necessary, then don't complain about the problem.

{I'd never heard of $200 belts until Squooshball mentioned it when we stopped by their house last year - how insane is that?! I'm still wearing the same $10-15 belts I've had for a few years, and they're holding up just fine. My grandmother even told me last night that recently, my nephew's pants were falling down, so she gave him a shoelace to use as a belt. Much cheaper. I say sell the belt and invest in something thats price is low because of the market.}

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