Gullibility and Vulnerability

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TeDo, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I got home from work last night to find difficult child 1 wearing a sporty motorcycle helmet and goggles. I'd seen that helmet and another just like it at a garage sale at the end of our block. We do not own a motorized vehicle of any kind except my van. Because of our finances, unless I win the lottery, we will never own any motorized vehicle aside from the family vehicle.

    Our neighbors at the end of the block doing the garage sale (their adult kids arae actually doing it for them) are elderly and I noticed they just put their house up for sale. They are wonderfully kind people and would give you the shirt off their back. She has had some health problems for awhile but he's always seemed fine so seeing the for sale sign surprised me. The husband is also a "card" with a wonderful sense of humor and, as is typical of his generation around here, can spin a good tale (usually involving SOME truth hiding in there).

    Anyway, when I questioned difficult child 1 about the helmet, he said he'd bought it for a good reason. "The guy broke his hip and he's selling his stuff so he can afford to go to the assisted living place. I wanted to help him out." My heart melted. The truth is, he probably did break his hip (some time ago though) and they probably are planning to go into the assisted living. They are selling what they have no intentions of taking with them from their house and the kids have thrown in stuff they want to get rid of. The motorcycle helmets more than likely belonged to a grandchild.

    difficult child 1 got his 4-H county fair premium check a couple weeks ago ($34). When he gets money, he spends it. I have tried teaching him wants vs needs but the only way he learns is to "gently" guide him but when he's out of money, he's out of money. After this purchase, he has $8 left. The problem is he is so gullible that he believes every word every nice person says to him and he's so vulnerable to being taken advatage of. He's nearly broke because he felt sorry for the neighbor who was joking around with him. I don't want to take the helmet back because that will just make ME the bad guy because he firmly believes the neighbor needs the money that bad.

    I will keep my mouth shut and continue to try to guide him and let natural consequences work when they need to. It just struck me that he really IS gullible and very vulnerable. Sorry if this is long but it really hit me for some reason.
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hi TeDo. I think in your shoes I would explain to my son that the man was just joking and give him the option of taking it back once he understands that the old man doesn't really need the money. I am not at all saying you SHOULD do this, only that I can sense it is what I would do. I think gullibility and vulnerability are disarming qualities in a person but they are also potentially dangerous. I understand you can't do much to change these things in your son but maybe you could help try to fill in the gaps.
    Just my... you know. 2 centimes' worth.
  3. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Its times like these that I want him to be small again so I can wrap him in a blanket and make all that is bad go away for just a few min. You know the diagnosis in your head but sometimes they do something that catches you off guard and it takes your breath away. Yes, my son really did just have a hallucination that is very scary to him or yes he is actually the emotional age of 4. No matter how many years you live with a disabled person sometimes the disability sneaks up on you.