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Joined: 7 Nov 2008
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,740

06 Dec 2013, 8:45 am

Just to be are in no way in danger of losing our online acquaintance.


Sometimes you do read far too much into things. And I feel I can openly accuse you of that because it is an accusation that has been handed out to me on quite a few occasions! :) Learning to take things at face value sometimes is a valuable life lesson, especially since--IMHO--most people take things at face value most of the time. The tendency to overthink things, albeit natural to you or I, is exhausting to most people. I have had more than one person close to me grow absolutely exasperated. It's a very helpful tendency in other circumstances, so I guess the trick is to learn to moderate when you do it.

It is possible that I do. I have been told by many people that I do overthink so it is possible. I have had people grow absolutely exasperated with me as well especially my wife. Maybe we need Over Thinker's Anonymous just like the Alcoholics need Alcoholics' Anonymous.

I couldn't think of the wording yesterday for what I was trying to say. What I perceive is we're witnessing a self-fulfilling prophecy on a nation wide level. Everyone accepts things as they are so they remain that way. Things remain that way and everyone accepts things as they are. It is a vicious and insidious cycle that I perceive.

Maybe you're right and I am reading to much into it.


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Joined: 11 Jan 2013
Age: 41
Gender: Female
Posts: 287

07 Dec 2013, 9:24 pm

Putting this back toward the original article... I have never understood how people could in good conscience send their children off to college with no knowledge of how to take of their basic life functions. And this is an NT thing, let me be overly dramatic for a bit for humor. "OMG! What is that box shaped thing in the kitchen with the round hot things on top of it?! You mean food is supposed to be made on that thing!?!" "What is wrong with these people?! Like why should I know what to buy to do laundry? Have you seen the laundry aisle, like it is so huge and stuff!"

Honestly, you have 18 years or so with a kid, why would you spend all 18 of it acting like their maid? This isn't directed at kids that truly are disabled enough that they can't do it. I am talking about all those NT kids out there whose mommies did EVERY thing for them at home. I saw it when I went to college right after high school, I see it with my husband's nieces whose mama was telling the "humorous" story last Christmas that she was making a cake and her 17 year old daughter walked into the kitchen and was literally amazed that that slimy looking stuff would turn out to be a cake (and my sister-in-law does cook homemade cakes frequently, she had just never involved her kids at all--food always just appeared on the table magically as far as they were concerned).

Everything with my oldest requires explicit training. He doesn't figure things out on his own, except in very rare examples. He has to be taught, and in small steps. I started teaching him how to do laundry when he was 5. He currently does more laundry for the household than I do. He knows how to cook simple meals on the stove and we are working on following recipes and baking. He knows the basic cleaners to cover the whole house and where to find them in the store. We are working on making shopping lists and discussing how budgets work. It's quite a lot of work to teach him how to do these things and is sometimes quite frustrating (such as the second time he saw something turned up too high and about to boil over (because I had forgotten to turn it down) and came to me and spent three full minutes explaining the details leading up to the pot about to boil over, by which time there was a huge mess). So I kind of look toward people with perfectly NT kids who would have had no trouble mentally working through a situation of 'pot about to boil over, I should move it off the heat before I go tell mom', or 'let me read the instructions, oh I see mine is a bit different, just follow these steps with this little adjustment here' with a little bit of disdain when they instead teach the kid to be helpless.

I don't think it's narcissism or helicopter parenting (meaning that you kept your kid from ever learning frustration tolerance) that is the biggest problem for kids today. It's learned helplessness. I think it is that parents are so busy with all the crazy demands placed on them today that they get caught up in the idea that it is so much faster to do it all yourself than it is to take the time and effort to teach your kids to do it. The idea that kids work so hard on school, or that all their effort should be on school work is one that is very promoted, I think. But kids need to have real, hands-on skills too. Maybe that's where the correlation with helicoptering parents come in. Those parents are the most likely to over schedule their children to the point that they are shuttled from school to activity to activity to home to shower to homework to bed without a minutes breathing room to work on teaching the kid the really important things like taking care of themselves.

This is kind of funny to me--I wasn't sure what age range was being discussed, precisely by millennials, so I looked it up. There are several different cut-offs. It would be nice if it was a more concrete answer, but a couple of the places listed count anyone born from the late 70's to the late 90's. Others count mid-80's to early 2000's. I was born in 1979, so if you go by the late 70's one, then I am in that millennial generation, if by the other one then I am in Generation X. I think I'll choose to claim Generation X. LOL


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Joined: 28 Sep 2011
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Posts: 3,471
Location: PA, USA

09 Dec 2013, 9:04 am

MiahClone, I'd say you nailed it.

I remember being 18, in college, on my own for the first time...

...with a roommate who couldn't get herself out of bed, couldn't tell herself when to study, couldn't fix herself a simple meal (granted we weren't allowed hotplates, but we each had a coffee pot, there was a microwave in the lounge, and you'd be amazed at what you can cook with an iron) if she happened to miss going to the cafeteria, couldn't take herself to the bathroom (we had public restrooms, like at the mall-- one for 15 rooms of girls, one for 15 rooms of boys) if a friend didn't come down and go with her.

Granted I was lonely and desperate and skulking around campus in my giant field jacket and calling home every night just to cry about how scared I was and how completely sure I was that I was going to fail spectacularly...

...but at least I could eat, and do laundry, and tell myself where and when and how to study while I was retching with anxiety. I had a really hard time organizing doing all those things-- nobody ever heard of terms like "executive functioning deficit"-- but I did, indeed, know how to do it.

Why?? Because Saint Alan HAD to teach me. There were just the two of us, and he worked 10+ hours a day six days a week-- if I did not do some of it (however badly, at first) it was not going to get done. It was either teach the spoiled helpless child, or hire a housekeeper.

It's easier to do it for them-- easier to do the laundry, easier to cook the meals, easier to stand over them and spoon-feed them the homework. I catch myself doing it with DD12-- It takes half again as long to teach her how to do it, and I feel like an ass when it takes so little of my time to just do it for her.

I have to keep reminding myself that she's 12, she's the oldest of four, and her life is going to be easier (no matter what anyone says to me now) if she does not turn 18, get a dorm room and a life of her own, and have her first task be to figure out how to reinvent the wheel. Not to mention the mess there would be around here if something were to happen to me.

"Alas, our dried voices when we whisper together are quiet and meaningless, as wind in dry grass, or rats' feet over broken glass in our dry cellar." --TS Eliot, "The Hollow Men"


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Joined: 13 Aug 2012
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17 Dec 2013, 8:07 pm

I will admit; it will be a LONG process for me to ever 'grow up' as it were. It's going to happen, and the process is ongoing for me as we speak.


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Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Age: 32
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23 Dec 2013, 3:09 pm

I think that if we're honest, there's a set of problems:

1.) Parents are not raising their children appropriately. Sadly, in previous generations it seemed that any mental or learning disabilities were ignored, but the only good thing was that (from what I've seen other people say) everyone was expected to contribute and function. It seems like a lot of parents will just do things for their children, or lie for their children. Or not set boundaries, not teach them relevant manners, etc.

2.) Being a bit ASD myself, I don't have a handle on what's normal, but NTs in my generation never seemed to have a very reasonable grasp on what they could and could not do until far too late, most of the time. On the normal end, you have people going into undergrad realizing that they will never have a job that really requires an undergrad in the subject; but on the far end, I've seen people get as far as a year or two into a PhD and realize that they can't hack it and if they were honest with themselves, their abilities, and their personal needs, they never were going to hack it. Maybe this is because everyone thinks that they're awesome because they were told that, but I know a lot of people who're simply content with their average jobs and lives.

3.) [hops on soapbox] The economy is in the crapper. There simply aren't jobs, and this is really the main reason why there's a problem. Gen X'ers and the Silent Generation voted for an unfettered, unregulated economy run by untaxed rich and a belief that if you just work hard enough, you'll become one of them. Forty years of this foolishness later, we have a non-functioning economy and an unhealthy focus on jobs that won't be available for most Americans (even if they have training). If we had a government that would fix jobs (via fixing the aforementioned problems), we would start to get some jobs back in the US.[/hops on soapbox]

Really, the jobs issue is, to my mind, the most important thing. People grow up when they're forced to. Staying with my parents wasn't an option (Love them, but there was no chance that I was ever staying with them long term), so I had to grow up, get my undergrad (with my parents help, which I'm thankful for), and get into a paid PhD program. After the PhD, I'll have options at various jobs or possibly staying on in academia.