Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by mkats, Jun 23, 2010.
That is okay. Though we don't often agree, I do like you.
I'm very grateful that my parents supported me financially as much as they could throughout my studies, despite receiving very litlle income themselves.
I started working when I was a teenager, and did throughout my studies, but that never was anywhere near enough to cover my expenses. My parents paid my rent through college, and scholarships plus my own income covered fees and living expenses.
I am very aware that they achieved this by prioritizing their children rather than by "being able to afford it".
I'm now working and saving up for a masters, and hopefully I will get through all of my rather long and complicated education path debt free (for undergrad my sisters and I were exempt of tuition fees though, so I realize it's not achievable for everyone)
When I had to briefly return home for a few months on two accasions, my parents did not want rent paid; I did make an effort to contribute to food and house expenses. Not that they really let me.... I try to help them save by regifting all of my old furniture and appliances to them (I used to have a flat on my own, no longer do), but I realise their offering money is just a way of showing they love me. They are not good with words, so it's their way of expressing things.
I'm not the type of person to take advantage though, but I can see it wouldn't work for everyone.
I paid "board" when I lived at home, although my parents didn't need the money. Decades later, when my father went into a nursing home and I had to take over his finances, I found that every cent I'd paid them had gone into a separate "House" account in my name and never touched. They said they were saving it in case something major happened to the house but it never had.
This is OT, but I think every single person should have at least one restaurant or retail job in their young adult lives. It really goes a long way toward making people good customers.
Gen, I agree in principle but I started smoking at age 16 because all the other wait staff was too. Maybe retail is less brutal (we went to Old Navy today to buy 4th of July T's and the whole mood was quite festive) but as far as food service goes I'm going to avoid it because I can as of a child of depression survivors. But I totally respect your opinion and coments.
OMG, that is so sweet! What lovely parents you have! Awww, I want to be that kind of mom, but I am paying for private school so I'm still worried about college.
I think regardless of the type of work, instilling a good work ethic in kids is what is important.
I have trouble understanding adult children who have to be encouraged to go out on their own. When I was young, in the 60s, I could hardly wait until I was old enough to leave home. It wasn't that I was unhappy at home, I just wanted to start my own life on my terms ASAP.
I do understand about setbacks in the economy and the high cost of education. Still, the basic instinct to become independent seems to be lacking in many people.
Perhaps the mid-century focus on independence was an anomaly. Many adult children (especially girls) lived with their parents before WWII, and now they do again. It could be that I grew up in an era that had a different expectation.
(Just for the record, I married at 21 and Mr JB and I completed graduate degrees with no financial help from our widowed mothers.)
Well, the post WWII economy was exceptionally good in the US. Can't say the same now.....
Many sociologists are looking at this as a study topic. Prior to the mid 70s, the most common parenting style was what was called a "control" style. Parents made 99 44/100 of the decisions, and the kids were expected to obey. Frankly, if someone's being controlled, they have a motive to get out on their own. Many mid-boomers (born after 1955) decided that they didn't want that for their kids and the "parent as pal" style became more common.
Interestingly, the young adult parents in our family seem to be skewing back to the "control" style. I wonder if that's a trend.
ETA, Another factor is late marriage. Prior to the mid-70s, children left the home at marriage, and most people married younger. It wasn't uncommon for a girl to marry right out of high school or right out of college if she went. Some of us may recall that some girls went to college specifically for a MRS degree. Once these kids left home, they weren't expected back. It was somewhat of an embarrassment if someone's kids moved back home.
Aceon6 makes some very good points.
People are getting married much later in life now, so the move out of parent's home when you get married tradition, has changed.
Women, since the 60s have also become more independent. Prior to that most 18/22 year old women might not have felt comfortable living on their own. they were not "seen" as providers (even for themselves). And women don't have the same pressure to get married. The "old maid" syndrome is not such an issue anymore.
The one point Aceon made, which I find very interesting is the difference in parenting style. I hadn't considered that. I imagine it is much easier for adult kids to stay in the parent's home when the parents give them the freedom to do as they please, as opposed to trying to curfew and control a 24 year old.
But, the big issue right now, is the economy. So many kids are graduating from high school/college and there are just no jobs. And the jobs they get offered are not paying enough for them to live on their own. I know of one kid who was offered a good job far enough from home that commuting would have been a challenge. But the salary was not enough for them to afford living on their own in that place. The job was good, in that it would have been a great learning/resume experience, but the money was paltry. They had to turn it down, they could not afford to work there. Sounds crazy doesn't it? But it's happening. I know kids who have graduated from college with bachelor's and master's degrees who are accepting open ended (time wise) internships at no pay. They just want work experience. But they live at home. Many of these internships are unpaid jobs, and many companies are taking advantage of the fact that these kids can't find paying jobs in their field.
ITA - I worked retail all through high school and college. I learned a lot that has served me well since, met a lot of great people, and had money in my pocket. When I'm hiring young people, those with retail and waitstaff experience always catch my eye.
Tales from the trenches of teaching high school:
*A smart kid graduates and goes away for his freshman year at a selective private college two hours away and lives in the dorms. In January, his younger brother tells me he has transferred to the mediocre college in town. Why? I ask. Brother shrugs. Later, I see mom and ask about older brother in general. "It just didn't work for him; mostly the living situation. You know, we made an apartment for the boys in the basement a few years ago and they have their own garages and their own entrance and televisions and all that. And I go down and clean and get their laundry and fill up their refrigerator. So he just didn't like the dorm and wanted to be home." That was in January, 2004. Both boys have finished college and still live there. I'm guessing they will live there forever.
*A teacher's daughter goes to the college in town. Parents force her to live in the dorms. What does she do? Comes home every day to shower and that sort of thing. Why? Because she and her sisters have had, since an early age, their own private en suite bathrooms and she cannot stand sharing a bathroom with other girls.
*This spring a senior boy informed the class that he never wants to leave home. "Why would I? My mom does everything for me. I've never even got my own glass of water. Why would I leave that?" Many of his classmates agreed with him that leaving home is not something to aspire to.
I could tell you more stories. In general, there are two things going on--kids are so comfortable at home that there is no reason to leave. And parents don't actually want them to. The counselor at the school where I last taught (I quit in May) said that in the last 5-10 years it has become the norm that parents want their seniors to go to college as close to home as possible, be commuter students and generally never leave home. In a few cases, there are financial reasons, but not the majority. Mothers, in particular, just don't want their kids to leave. He thinks that in part, the culture has encouraged them to make motherhood their whole identity and losing that terrifies them more than the kids leaving does.
Continuing the OT here, but work experience during high school/college is one of my standard interview questions for folks under 30. I've found that those with retail, restaurant, or other grunt job experience do much better, especially in getting along with peers and subordinates.
I hope that's a fair question where you're at. I lived in a town 8 blocks square when I was a teenager. There were no retail or restaurant jobs for teenagers--with the exception of the Co-Op Hardware store (which employed adults) those were family businesses. There was detasseling which allergies prevented me from doing and farm work, but farmers preferred boys. I baby sat all the time.
So when I was in my 20s, you would not have hired me due to the region I grew up in????
Made me chuckle. In my childhood home, we shared 1 small bathroom for 4 people. Our neighbors had the same style house with 6 people. Times have changed!
And you probably didn't mind a dorm bathroom if you lived in a dorm, and you probably looked forward to leaving home and having fewer people to share the bathroom with! Too much luxury doesn't create independence, I tell you!
I'll answer if I may - retail experience is just one thing that catches my eye. For young people, another would be returning to the same job for more than one summer, and playing on sports teams.
In all, I'm just looking for signals that give me a hint of what they might be like as workers and team members. It's not one particular formula.
No, you babysat. That's a hard, service job!
This is exactly my situation. Trust me, if I could afford to move out I would have a long time ago, but I'm just not making enough to make it feasible to do so, even with a roommate. The area I'm working in is going to be over an hour away each way commutewise with no traffic, and is one of the most affluent areas around. It just isn't possible, as much as I'd like to, so I'm trying to make the best of it by trying to repay my parents and saving for graduate school, which I certainly don't expect them to pay for.
Fortunately for me, the experience should be great.
I think a lot of young people are reluctant to move out on their own today because they won't be able to continue to live at the same level of comfort they've experienced so far. My neighbor's 20 year old son has a decent job (he's assistant manager at a grocery store) for a high school drop-out, a car and a girlfriend. He still lives at home with mom and dad because if he moved out he wouldn't be able to afford the big screen TV and the pool in his backyard that he has now. Plus MOM and Dad converted the basement into an apartment with his own separate entrance, they feed him and do his laundry. He's laughed and said there's no reason for him to get a place of his own.
For contrastmy godson who is 15 years older than he is was so eager to move out and be on his own that as soon as he got promoted to managing a McDonald's, he rented a studio apartment, slept on the floor for months until he could afford to buy a bed, and watched a 19" TV he bought at a church sale for $10. He didn't have cable for years until he moved in with a girlfriend who agreed to split the bill.
Times have changed and it's not just the economy driving it.
Bah! What do anecdotes really prove? I'm 30 and I moved out for good when I was 19. Yes, my parents have helped me out in many ways, financial and otherwise, but I don't have anywhere close to the lifestyle they enjoy now, or the lifestyle we had when I was a kid, and I don't expect it.
I think anecdotes prove that people get bothered when others choose paths different than the ones they (or those around them) have experienced
I'm bothered moreso that the school I taught at graduated 21 seniors and only three of them have any ambition to do anything besides live at home and have a good time and wait for their mommies to feed them and do their laundry. Seems to me that those percentages don't bode well for society in general. And before anyone tries to insist these are some sort of upper class spoiled kids--this was in a primarily working to lower middle class town.
My daughter moved back home in her mid-twenties. When she discovered we expected her to do her share of the housework (but didn't take money for rent) she moved out quick. 7 weeks, I think.
I think that's true to an extent, but don't think that's always the reason. I think that it can also be to show that sometimes something that happened/s in your life can be different from the norm. Not better, not worse, just different .
Sometimes two kids in one household can have very different personalities and senses of independence. Sometimes circumstances can cause s kid to do something that is not really their first choice. Life is not a straight path and it gets messy . Wow, I'm scaring myself with that Hallmark comment
One of my clients, I had about 10 families I babysat for on the weekends and then during the summer before I was 16 I watched a little girl 5 days a week from 7am-5pm for a whopping $75. That was some money back in 1972.
Anyway, for one family I watched their kids 3 and 5 from Friday night to Sunday afternoon for $25. I did this once a month.
Most likely I worked so hard in my teens and 20's that now I have become very possessive of my personal space and time. I usually say NO to most things.
Totally anecdotal , but IME, this is very common in small towns and economically depressed areas, and is something you see much more in the working and lower middle classes.
The middle-middle class and up kids are more likely to be expected (and to expect) to go to college. They might boomerang back, but it's pretty rare for them to think of just living at home forever. They are more likely to be unhappy with giving up all the luxuries of living at home, but they are also more likely to be able to secure those things for themselves at some point.
I see kids of all kinds who live in all kinds of situations, and the only difference I see now from, say 20 years ago, is that there are more kids in college because it's expected that they will do that, and they don't have anything better to do, and as long as they go to school, they aren't expected to work. There have always been some like that; I just see more of them now. I do figure that's primarily the economy at work, but still--it would do most of them a lot of good to at least have jobs. There comes a point where absolutely free time has to become a luxury.
You beat me to it. Many kids, in my experience, will work just hard enough to meet their parents/peers expectations. Low income families often live with the benefit of public assistance and there may be only one inconsistently employed family member. Expectations for them are much lower and as a result they aspire to achieve much less. That's obviously a sweeping generality, many kids are driven to exceed familial expectations and step out of the path their parents have worn ahead of them. There are reasons that most kids live out the lives of their parents and it's not always about opportunity. Many times it's purely about expectation and fear of change, even if that change is for the better. I think it's a trend you see at every income level.