Parents, you are allowed to say no to your children
Cries for help are littering the pages of the latest Letters to the Editor section of the Yated. The pressing issue: Gedolim Cards. Apparanetly Gedolim Card collections are the newest "crisis" and since I will be covering many a "crisis" on my blog, I figured I would take a look at one particular letter that caught my eye. The letter reads as follows:
I am writing in resonse to the reader who wrote about the gedolim card crisis. Finally, someone has brought attention to this!
I hear so much about it from many people - but nobody is doing anything about it. My son started out buying one pack a week and trading his doubles. It came to a point where he had very few cards, so he started buying more and more hoping that he would be one of those lucky few to finish his book. Currently he needs one more card. He started going from store to store, trying his luck, thinking that maybe this store has the lucky card.
Unfortunately, he still doesn't have that card - and he has given ! Do you know how much money I have spent to get this last card?! Many of his friends have said that they are also giving up. It costs a fortune for the parents, and many children spend their own personal money on wasted cards.
Perhaps the tzibbur can do something about this problem.
Thank you Yated for your wonderful newspaper and for giving me the opportunity to voice my opinion.
Fortunately, my readers, I can assure you that there is no "Gedolim Card Crisis," although it is quite from the many letters (this just being one of them) that we have a "Parenting Crisis" on our hands. In contrast to the "Parenting Crisis" this crisis is something that you, the parents of b'nei and b'not Torah, can do something about single-handedly. The entire tzibur need not be involved to solve this crisis. A simple word from you to your child will do. And, fortunately, that word only has two letters. The word, NO! No, my dear son, you cannot spend your money or our money on these cards. No, my dear son, you cannot go from store to store searching for the last card you need.
While I am positive that these Gedolim Cards were introduced to some of our schools with the nobelest intentions, it comes as no surprise that the fad has spun out of control. Nearly every child on this universe has a proclivity for collecting, and boys are probably worse than girls, especially since their collections tend to be more trendy (anyone else out there remember Garbage Pail Kids?) and more corporate. In addition boys tend to be more competitive than girls and their collections often become a status symbol, as opposed to a manifestation of a unique interest. These collections should have never been introduced into Yeshivot, but once they were introduced and parents started noticing their chilren engaging in unhealthy competition, parents should have just put a stop to their own children participating and made it clear to them that their interest had spun too far out of control and was no longer healthy. There is no reason to take to the pages of the Yated asking others to find a solution when the solution is you!
Now, back to the letter. It seems that they mother herself has become so emotionally attached to her son's collection that she laments the fact that her son has given up only one card short of completing his collection. This mothers should be happy that her son has lost interest and has realized that he is only GAMBLING away his money in an effort to get the last card. I certainly would rather my son learn not to chase pipe dreams at a young age, than to find himself 35 years old gambling his money away in a casino or a "get rich quick" scam.