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  1. #81
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    [QUOTE=PDilemma;2807454]

    Your stories are . How will these kids ever survive in a marriage or any other kind of partnership?

    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.
    Yes, I agree. I, myself, wanted my kids to go to a college that was a good fit for them. Regardless of where it was. I hoped that it would be close enough that they could come home for holidays and/or the occasional weekend. But, I wanted them to have an on-campus experience. that is a very important learning situation. With my son, now going to law school. He chose the school, which is 30-40 min away. He wanted to move into an apartment closes to the school, but I encouraged him to at least start out living at home, as the cost of living off campus in that area is $$$$$. We paid for undergraduate, but they pay for anything beyond that. He understands that, while he can take out a larger loan for housing, ultimately he needs to consider how much debt he wants to graduate with. Both of my kids want/ed to move out at the appropriate time. Not that living at home is not pleasant, but they want to feel adult and independent. My daughter moved into an apartment 3 weeks ago. I thought she should have waited a few more months. Partly because I'll miss seeing her face every morning . But also because she's only had her job since January, and I felt she should have saved a little more for emergencies. I love having my kids home, but not so much that I would want to cripple them.

    Quote Originally Posted by mkats View Post
    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.
    You are not in the minority here. This is a tough time for young adults. Heck, it's a tough time for older adults. You sound like you know where you're going, I suspect you'll be just fine.

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    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.
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  3. #83
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    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.

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    I think anecdotes prove that people get bothered when others choose paths different than the ones they (or those around them) have experienced
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    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.

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    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.
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  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    I think anecdotes prove that people get bothered when others choose paths different than the ones they (or those around them) have experienced
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight1 View Post
    Mojito- well if we count babysitting then I started at 11 too. LOL!! I remember babysitting and thinking that $20 was the most awesome thing ever. Haha.

    I also delivered papers when I was 10?? (Can't remember) I just know I opened up my first bank account when I got my first paycheck from the paper route and I was pretty young and my signature was just gawd awful!!
    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.
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  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    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.
    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    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.
    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.

  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    I think anecdotes prove that people get bothered when others choose paths different than the ones they (or those around them) have experienced
    Not necessarily. I wouldn't suggest that others have the same experience that I had. I never had an allowance and had to start buying my own clothes in junior high school. I started babysitting at 13, working in retail and McDonalds at 16, and paid my own way through a demanding college with a combinations of scholarships, loans, and jobs. My parents made it clear they never were going to help me financially. (They actually made a profit off of me when I was in college because they claimed me as a dependent.)

    I certainly learned to be responsible and independent. But, because I had no safety net, I often took the safest route financially and not necessarily the route that would make me the happiest or help me find and follow the best career for me. Sometimes a volunteer job really is the best in the short term. Sometimes taking a particular job that isn't that secure would have been the best choice if I didn't have to worry that I'd have no backup plan for paying the rent or my student loan payments if I lost the job.

    I have friends who make decisions all the time secure in the knowledge that, if something goes wrong, their parents will help them. It affects their job choices, their spending decisions, etc. They are willing to make riskier investments knowing that, if they lose their savings, their parents will come through with the downpayment for the house. They don't live with their parents or get financial support from their parents (currently), so they think that their parents aren't helping them, but the parents certainly are helping them in some ways.

    But, I do see an increasing number of young people who are not responsible or independent and do not have a good work ethic, and I do think that their parents have played a role in that. A friend's cousin just graduated from college and turned down a job because she felt she wasn't ready for a job. She just moved back home with her parents, who had just paid for an expensive college education and a very nice lifestyle. My friend wanted to smack her cousin silly. But, then again, my friend is very hard-working, worked her way through college, and has never had her family's financial support since leaving home at 18.

    I agree with those who say that expectations and examples play a big role in determining what kids end up doing.

  12. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allskate View Post
    A friend's cousin just graduated from college and turned down a job because she felt she wasn't ready for a job. She just moved back home with her parents, who had just paid for an expensive college education and a very nice lifestyle.
    Your friend's cousin probably talked to her mom about getting a job and her mom said there was no rush and she should take her time, yada yada. Give a scared "kid" an easy escape route and they'll often take it. I'm curious if she's ever had a job before or if she's only been a student to this point. I had a friend who did something similar and left the town she loved living in to move back to the small town she grew up in just to avoid getting that first J.O.B. a little longer. She lived off her parents for another year saying she couldn't find a good job in their small town until one day her dad sat her down and told her she had to work if she wanted to continue living with them, even if it meant working for minimum wage. It only took her a few weeks to find a good paying job once the ultimatum was presented and she actually enjoys working and is now making plans to move back to the big city and get her own place. Some folks really need a good firm push (or kick) to step out into the world of time clocks and pay checks and unfamiliar expectations.

  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by uyeahu View Post
    Your friend's cousin probably talked to her mom about getting a job and her mom said there was no rush and she should take her time, yada yada.
    Actually, she didn't tell her parents about the job until after she turned it down and they were ticked off! My friend says her aunt and uncle should be blaming themselves in part because they had spoiled her so much. And, nope, I don't think she's ever had a job and her parents always gave her plenty of spending money. But, even though they're not happy about this, I don't get the sense that the parents plan to issue an ultimatum.

    In general, though, I wonder if there are really that many parents who spend a small fortune on a private college and then don't care if their kids get a job afterwards.

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    So, why don't parents teach their children how to look after themselves? I thought the main task of a parent was to prepare the child to live independently upon reaching adulthood. From some posts it sounds as if some parents continue to provide every service for their children long past the time when the child should be able, and willing to do things for him/herself.

    Does it serve some need of the parent to keep their child dependent far into adulthood? Most women work outside the home. How do they manage to do this as well as cater to their offspring?

    Once again, I recognize that economics might dictate that adults live with their parents, but I am amazed to read about so many young people who have no survival skills.

    Even birds teach their young to survive on their own. If they don't, the fledgling will die.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allskate View Post
    My parents made it clear they never were going to help me financially. (They actually made a profit off of me when I was in college because they claimed me as a dependent.)
    I have students whose parents do this even though their children are living on their own, thus denying them any chance at all of financial aid.

    There are a lot of things I understand, but that's not one of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperBoy View Post
    So, why don't parents teach their children how to look after themselves?
    I think there are a variety of reasons--we are talking about people, after all--and I am quite sure that you are about to get a dozen replies about how parents want to be their children's friends. But I can tell you one that I think is underestimated, and that is that parents are often so busy and so stressed that it's easier to do everything themselves than to take the time and effort to teach children how to do things. And it does take more time and effort, at least initially. Every parent I know has this problem at least occasionally; every parent is also aware that this is not a good thing, but is also too tired or too stressed to care right at that moment.

    I also think the fact that parents have fewer children than they had in the past, that many have children later in life, and that many more of those children were choices rather than accidents tends to make a lot of parents mroe inclined to keep their children young--because they are more precious and because parents perceive them as always being children.

    Both of these things are problems that I am dealing with right now; my husband and I have a hard time seeing our children as competent beings, even though they really are. We've been making more of an effort to make them deal with harder and more complex tasks around the house in the last year, but it's taken actual thought and planning to do so. Neither my husband nor I had parents who made us do much of anything around the house, so we know the drawbacks there, but still--it's something we have to work at.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allskate View Post
    They are willing to make riskier investments knowing that, if they lose their savings, their parents will come through with the downpayment for the house. They don't live with their parents or get financial support from their parents (currently), so they think that their parents aren't helping them, but the parents certainly are helping them in some ways.
    That really can be a huge advantage. Even though the parents are not providing the financial support, the child feels safe taking risks. Risks that will hopefully work out and will not require parental assistance. But knowing that they have a safety net, can make all of the difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    I think there are a variety of reasons--we are talking about people, after all--and I am quite sure that you are about to get a dozen replies about how parents want to be their children's friends. But I can tell you one that I think is underestimated, and that is that parents are often so busy and so stressed that it's easier to do everything themselves than to take the time and effort to teach children how to do things. And it does take more time and effort, at least initially. Every parent I know has this problem at least occasionally; every parent is also aware that this is not a good thing, but is also too tired or too stressed to care right at that moment.

    I also think the fact that parents have fewer children than they had in the past, that many have children later in life, and that many more of those children were choices rather than accidents tends to make a lot of parents mroe inclined to keep their children young--because they are more precious and because parents perceive them as always being children.

    Both of these things are problems that I am dealing with right now; my husband and I have a hard time seeing our children as competent beings, even though they really are. We've been making more of an effort to make them deal with harder and more complex tasks around the house in the last year, but it's taken actual thought and planning to do so. Neither my husband nor I had parents who made us do much of anything around the house, so we know the drawbacks there, but still--it's something we have to work at.
    Very insightful post. Even though we want our kids to be independent and accomplished, it's hard to let go of our children. And no matter how old they get, they are our children. I am very proud of my daughter moving into an apartment and being aware of what things cost and paying her bills on time. But, I'd be lying if I said I don't miss seeing her face each day and knowing she's safely tucked into her bed under my roof at night. She knows that if she needs to come home, she will always be welcome. She knows I love having her home, but she also knows that I'm proud of her new independence.

    I'm also not minding that the bathroom stays much cleaner

  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasperBoy View Post
    So, why don't parents teach their children how to look after themselves?
    My sister-in-law used to tell her kids something like this when they did anything risky or got too clingy... "My job is to keep you alive until you're 18. Your job is to learn as much as you can so that you can survive after that." Both of her kids launched well. Her youngest took a little kick, but she launched and she's flying pretty high.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aceon6 View Post
    My sister-in-law used to tell her kids something like this when they did anything risky or got too clingy... "My job is to keep you alive until you're 18. Your job is to learn as much as you can so that you can survive after that."
    High fives to your sil. Well put.

    And good comments, Prancer.

    I will add another viewpoint. Teaching children to be independent benefits the parents, too. At some point the parents will not be able to do everything for their children, and may be in need themselves. If their children are helpless, the parents will get no help.

    No one is immortal, or invincible. At some point the older generation has to give way to the younger. It is in the parents' best interest to ensue that their children are up to the task.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    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.
    I think I'm pretty independent--I went out of state to college (though I was very lucky that my parents paid for it), got a job during college, and now I pay everything myself (thanks US taxpayers for funding my tuition and stipend!). I go back home for a week during Christmas and a week during the summer and call my parents maybe once every 2 weeks. But seriously, sometimes I think what would happen if I decided to just drop out of med school and go live at home. I think I'd be a much happier person, and I wouldn't be constantly sleep deprived and constantly stressed to the max. I'd help my parents out in the house, get some type of job of my own, and help pay the bills. On July 4th, I'd probably be helping them barbeque something and swim in the pool--instead of studying for 16 hours. Isn't life "the pursuit of happiness?"

    I'd never do that, but I can sympathize with your students and see why they might want to live at home and have a good time. Having ambition is great and admirable but it also comes at a cost.

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