Parents, Teach Your Children Well

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119
http://actvra.in/Nxk

I was thinking about an old Crosby, Still, Nash and Young song today while doing a little property management maintenance.  The song, "Teach your children" kept running through my mind.  Why?  Two reasons. 

One, the house under our care has four college students in it.  They don't know anything about life andTeenager taking care of themselves. They don't know how to change a light bulb, use a rotary dimmer, mow the grass, and a host of other things.  It's stunning.  I have a great deal of dread for them if they leave the classroom and don't end up in their chosen profession right away.  They will starve.

Second, we had an issue with the washer there.  So, I decided to replace it.  Before Thanksgiving, I bought a washer and dryer and had them delivered.  The day after Thanksgiving the company delivered them, and I received a call.  The delivery man (an early 20 something) decided they wouldn't fit in the house.  Really?  I asked my son, "Did they measure everything?"  "Yes."  "What are the dimensions of the units?"  He gave them to me.  "What are the door and opening dimensions?"  He gave them to me.  It seemed reasonable that they wouldn't fit.  They took them back to the store.

I was out of town so I couldn't confirm anything.  When I returned, I went to the house, measured everything and then went to Home Depot to measure the appliances.  The dryer would be a squeeze, but the washer would fit.  There was a catch though.  You had to put the washer on the basement landing, pull the bottom out until it was lying flat on its side and then slide it down the stairs.  It went right in.

When I went back to Home Depot to pick up my appliances, I learned they had sent them back to the factory.  Geeze!  I was only out of town for 5 days.  They reordered them and asked when I would like the delivery.  I said, "Never."  "Why?"  I told them their deliverymen had no vision.  They were victims of functional fixedness.  They could only see one way to deliver an appliance.  This appliance delivery was going to take finesse.  They didn't have any.

Once, I traveled 4 hours to reset a GFI receptacle for one of my tenants in the Tidewater area.  I told him (a 20 something student) how to reset it, and he was sure it wasn't that.  I also promised him that if I drove to Virginia Beach and reset a breaker or receptacle, I was not going to be happy.  I did, and I wasn't.  My maintenance guy took over those kinds of calls shortly thereafter, but it made me wonder, "What do kids learn today while they are with their parents?" 

Changing a light bulb should be home education 101.  Resetting a GFI breaker may be more advanced, but barely.  Tracking down where a leak is only takes a set of eyes and a little snooping.  Mowing the grass only takes a decent mower and a little energy.  Moms and Dads, teach your children well.  One day, somebody else will have to deal with them.  I did tell the boys in Virginia Beach to never call me again unless the house burnt down.  I explained to them that I am not their dad or mom, and I really don't care if their bathroom receptacle works if they can't push a button.  They never called again. 

Parents, teach your children well.  Their landlord doesn't care if they are on Broadway, or if they can defuse a bomb or they can create a fossil fuel free rocket that will take men to the moon.  He/she does care if they can turn a rotary dimmer and cause the lights to come on, and they know not to put chicken bones in the food disposal.

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,597,237
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors - Austin, TX
Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale

Hi Mike,

OMG this is hilarious..you can tell these dudes never practiced some father son time going through a "honey do list!!"

December 27, 2012 04:23 PM #3
Rainmaker
776,606
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

That's for sure, Dorie.  Totally clueless.

December 27, 2012 04:26 PM #4
Rainmaker
534,236
Mark Loewenberg
Keller Williams of the Palm Beaches - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
PA 561-214-0370

yes show and tell is a wonderful route of the parent's job to teach children

December 27, 2012 05:21 PM #5
Rainmaker
776,606
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Amen, Mark. 

December 27, 2012 05:25 PM #6
Ambassador
832,440
John McCormack
Albuquerque Homes Realty * www.AlbuquerqueHomes.com - Albuquerque, NM
AlbuquerqueHomes.com

AMEN... Preach it Mike!

December 27, 2012 06:28 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,253,386
Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner
BuyersAgentPortland.com | (503) 810-7192 Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% o... - Portland, OR
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results

This is a great one Mike.  I hope I taught my son well.  I think I did . . . Yeah, I remember dating a guy a few years ago that didn't know his flathead from his philip's -- 'nuff said!!  Makes you wonder all right.

December 27, 2012 07:08 PM #8
Rainmaker
606,036
Sussie Sutton
UTR Texas Realtors - Pearland, TX
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.

My own daughter comes up with some stunning statements. I keep asking where has she been all my life and has she not learned any thing from me. This year I bought her a cook book. Now that is a scary thing.

December 27, 2012 07:11 PM #9
Rainmaker
975,427
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Pasadena Real Estate Representation 818.516.4393

Hi Mike -- a fun yet sad post.   I remember selling a home to a first time homebuyer who called me and told me the house was perfect except the seller had taken the garden hose with him and now he couldn't water the lawn --- you know what -- he didn't know where to buy a hose?   I gave him directions to the Home Depot and told him that's where he should be a "regular".    

December 28, 2012 12:15 AM #10
Rainmaker
776,606
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

It's sad, John, but a little humorous. 

I hear you, Carla.

Uh oh, Sussie.  Hopefully she'll take to it like a fish to water.

Too funny, Michael. 

December 28, 2012 01:44 AM #11
Rainmaker
950,321
James Dray
Wise Custom Realty - Bentonville, AR
AR., MO., or OK. I can find the home for you.

Morning Mike give me someone with common sense over someone heavy with book learning but no clue of the real world.  Not that there is nothing wrong with book learning (political correct)

December 28, 2012 04:04 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,006,156
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Mike.  Functional fixedness.  I love it.  Kids coming out of high school have no idea how to balance a check book.

December 28, 2012 04:07 AM #13
Rainmaker
776,606
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

I hear you, James. 

That's sad, Conrad, but I see it all the time.  Oy!

December 28, 2012 05:18 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,395,246
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Extremely funny, but so sad at the same time, because it is so true.  These kids don't know a damn thing!  I see this kind of stuff every day Mike.

December 28, 2012 05:45 AM #15
Rainmaker
776,606
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

It is frightening, Roger.  They will be in charge one day.  Yikes!

December 28, 2012 06:22 AM #16
Rainmaker
496,599
Amanda S. Davidson
Living A Dream Real Estate - Alexandria, VA
Your Northern Virginia Realtor

Mike- This post made me laugh! It makes me think of my Dad teaching me how to change a tire. I wasn't allowed to drive until I could do it by myself with no questions asked. I used to moan and groan when my parents made me learn things like this but, it was a good call on their part. Common sense isn't so common these days!

December 28, 2012 07:03 AM #17
Rainmaker
776,606
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Your parents are smart, Amanda.  

December 28, 2012 08:41 AM #18
Rainmaker
204,504
Peggy Wester
Think Young Team--Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County Real

I am stunned when I hear of friends (and family) who never make their kids help with cleaning the bathrooms, clearing the table, scrubbing the floor, mowing the lawn, etc. "It's just easier if I do it myself." Yep, probably is. But they're not going to have a clue when they get out on their own, as your post demonstrates. I am beyond grateful that Mom and Dad made us start helping with dishes and other house chores at age 6 or 7. Helped make us way more self-sufficient than so many of the 20-somethings out there today.

December 28, 2012 09:15 AM #19
Rainmaker
776,606
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Your parents were trying to get you ready for the real world, and you thought they just wanted you to do the dishes.  Sneaky parents.  8-)  Have a great New Year's!

December 28, 2012 09:56 AM #20
Rainmaker
1,030,032
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek & Associates LLC, Real Estate Broker/Associate with Real Living Real Estate Group www.LisaVon.com - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Hello Mike,

Wonderful post, I was laughing out loud while reading it.  How about the ones that don't know how to turn the water off to the commode when it is going to overflow?!!

December 28, 2012 11:20 AM #21
Rainmaker
776,606
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Oh yeah, Lisa.  That's an important thing to learn early.  8-)

December 28, 2012 05:32 PM #22
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Rainmaker
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Mike Cooper

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