What is the difference between buying him a claw machine and giving him money for college? Did he earn the money for the college or did the publicity about what he is doing get him the money for college?
Taking it one step further what if someone comes along and wants his input on a real arcade and wants to call it "Caines Arcade". Is that also missing the point?
your kid says "look dad, i built a clock out of paper". do you respond "that's great, let me buy you a real clock so you don't have to mess with that paper anymore." or do you respond "that's great, let me take you to the machine shop so you can machine some gears and take this thing to the next level/get you a breadboard and some electrical bits so you can work on digital clock/etc etc"
the kid is a hacker and tinkerer. perhaps the most moving part of the story is the myriad clever ways he approximated all the things he wanted to do.
why reward that with giving him the "actual thing"? it may show your generosity as a benefactor but it does nothing to continue to stoke the flames of hacker in him.
donate some breadboards and electrical components, parts for a receipt printer, stuff that will allow him to continue to improve his approximations and simultaneously continue to tickle his mind (in learning how these things work).
Are you a dad joshu? Just curious. The emotions I feel towards this kid are highly protective ones. He was seemingly happy in his own little world of tinkering and barking for customers. Now the adults have to swoop in and make it a spectacle. It will change him for sure. This kind of spirit in a kid is dangerously easy to snuff out. So yes, I'm going to react strongly when people like you are proposing to helicopter in and give him things that may obviate his innate desire to create. I'm all for him getting "assistance", especially a school fund, I'm not pretending there is any virtue in artificially keeping his head dunked in the tank of East LA austerity, but for god's sake don't short circuit his quest for building an arcade just because you have the financial wherewithal to do so.
I'm guessing you had a very controlling parent and have the terrible urge to do the same.
He's already changed. He's already been donated $120k for a college fund. Someone said he's already been given equipment, too.
I'm just reacting to the simple thing that he did specify he wants.
The suggestion to give him breadboards or whatever is inane if nobody's around to help him learn. I find your need to overlay your morals (running a small business is not as good as hardware hacking or whatever) incredibly controlling.
The kid had a fun hobby making and tinkering with stuff. Buying him a claw machine means he has less reason to create new things. He now has a complex bit of machinery that he needs to service. (Cost of stocking it; running it; repairing it; etc.) How much space does he have for these machines?
Running a business is fine. But does he really want to be someone who owns an arcade, or does he want to be a design engineer creating tech?
> I'm guessing you had a very controlling parent and have the terrible urge to do the same.
Maybe you should consider donating your time to providing private lessons to Caine in arguing ad hominem.
I didn't assert any superiority to hacking tech or hacking business. Give him a business mentor or tech mentor. A ledger or a breadboard. I could care less. Maybe he'll want to pivot to square foot gardening next week. Who knows. Kids are fickle like that.
I do find your repeated assertions that he is NOT already running his own business quite patronizing. He is already running a 9 year old-scale business, period.
Anyway, I'm done, just going to take the energy being wasted on this thread and just refocus on thinking about how I can encourage my 3yr old son in pursuing all his interests du jour (fortune teller machines, car washes, mount fuji).