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Times are a changin'

Physics guy's picture

I got some good advice on another thread about SS19 and kids his age.  It was, and continues to be, frustrating when I see him on the phone all the time and not appearing engaged.  I have to adjust my way of thinking that this is the way kids do things now and there's no putting the genie back in the bottle.  Also, I was putting DW and SS in no-win positions because I resented having another adult in the house whom I had to support. Bottom line is that I am discovering that adjustment is a two way street if you want to keep your sanity.  It isn't 1983 anymore and I don't think we can deal with skids like we were handled.  It's like a different culture.


dysfunctionally_blended's picture

Why do you have to support him?

As parents we can help and guide our kids. We can allow them the freedom of being a full time student with a roof over their head and food in the fridge. But extras should be coming from a part time job. And they should be contributing to the household even if that contribution is simply pitching in and being respectful. 

Without being a student the adult child should have a full time job and contribute financially to the household while saving. Because freeloading only lasts for a specified amount of time.

The same holds true in blended homes.

Physics guy's picture

He did get a job and starts Monday.  The first month I was supporting him so it was an adjustment.  Things should be smoother now.

DPW's picture

It's only a "different culture" if you raise your children that way. There are many self-sufficient young adults out there handling life on their own. I would not be so quick to excuse your SS and your DW's behaviours on "it's like a different culture".

beebeel's picture

This! I know some 60-somethings who always have their face buried in a phone or tablet. I know people in their 50s and 40s and 30s who have the same problem. They can't sit down for a meal or interact with anyone five feet from them without their little electronic distractions. There have always been people disconnected from the real world around them, they simply use different means of escaping in years past. 

Plenty of young people are losing jobs because of their phone addictions. Their lack of social skills can be problematic in other ways. Living "online" rather than the real world screws with their perceptions of REALITY. That's why it may seem like they are from another culture (or planet) but I think it's much harder for them to assimilate to living like a human than your typical immigrant.

Physics guy's picture

I am trying to change that and instill some "old time" social skills but I don't think that the social media will ever totally go away unfortunately.

Iamwoman's picture

Being on his phone all of the time is not only unhealthy but rude. Pompeii had a different culture too... one of rampant sexual immorality as evidenced by numerous murals, manuscripts, and art depicting exaggerated male genitalia and an unhealthy focus on inserting that genetalia in anything that it might fit into. They were all destroyed by a volcanic eruption.

Just because and entire group of people has evolved into a collective different culture, doesn’t mean that culture is productive, healthy, or deserves to be catered to or even tolerated for that matter. Even tolerance should have healthy boundaries.

If you are feeling taken advantage of, or like someone is being rude to you, trust your instincts. You have them for a reason.

In some cultures, FGM is encouraged. In some cultures cheating is acceptable. Neither of those things are healthy or productive. Neither of those things are acceptable or tolerated by me, nor is rudeness, nor is obsessive cell phone use.

If that doesn’t get your attention, here is a real-life scenario:

I control when and how DD15 uses her phone or plays video games. She is a dual enrollment, “A” student, athlete, who runs her own online business.

I don’t control OSS14 or YSS10, who visit us EOW and spend the entire time on their cellphones in their room. They are both failing horribly in school. They have no extracurricular interests.

Parenting. Period.

Physics guy's picture

Can't disagree with that!  I think it's unhealty to be staring at a phone all day.  Hopefully new job will help

Aunt Agatha's picture

Pompeii wasn’t destroyed by a volcano because they were a party town.  It was destroyed because it was built next to a volcano.

Which might be a good metaphor for step parenting. We live next to the volcano that are are skids/crazy BMs, and many of us spend time waiting for that particular chaos to erupt. 


Harry's picture

All the time.  They don’t let them “off the block “  Don’t want them hanging out on the “street corner “ They want school to the entraining, sports teams, clubs,.  We put out kids into “summer camp”.  Can’t take the bus, or train ect.  When on there own these kids can not function.  Maybe this is over the top,  but just get the jest.  They rather text  then talk face to face. 

tog redux's picture

Social media is here to stay, that is true. And kids today are often less mature than we were in 1983 - BUT, part of that is because of how they are parented.  I walked to school alone in Kindergarten, now parents micromanage their kids straight through college.

He can certainly be expected to get a job, help around the house, develop his independent living skills (ie, learn to cook, learn to drive, do his own laundry, etc), pay some rent from his job, and carry on a conversation with adults.  Yes, when you turn your back he will look at his phone, but that doesn't mean he has to be allowed to during dinner, etc.

BUT, you are not the parent. So if your wife doesn't value the above, SS19 will continue being dependent and you will be the bad guy if you try to change that.

Merry's picture

But basic civility and personal responsibility shouldn’t change. If he’s working, helping out around the house, and being generally respectful, then a nose buried in a phone is no big deal. But too often people won’t put down their phones long enough to have a conversation, load the dishwasher, etc. Couldn’t live with that.