Author Topic: Relatives who just don't get it  (Read 1042920 times)

kayvent

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3700 on: September 29, 2017, 03:56:10 PM »
I was a social worker for awhile and M1970 is so right. Lots of reason for poverty and very difficult to escape. It takes a lot of support, money and time.  I had a friend on welfare that had 2 kids and wanted to go back to school. Her Mom died and she lost her free babysitter.  My husband & I babysat for free for 3 years, I enlisted her Dad and my Mom as backups since both were retired.  Then her last year they cut her food stamps because of her financial aid. She had to pay for books & tuition with that $.  She thought she was going to have to quit so she could feed her kids. We were far from rich but helped her with food as did her Dad.  We did not buy each other gifts so her kids had some gifts under the tree.  She graduated and got a job. It was awesome. However, look at the long term commitment and the number of people and money it took to make this happen.

What happened to the father of the two children?

Dave1442397

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3701 on: September 30, 2017, 11:27:58 AM »
I just read this book a few days ago, and the author tells how no one in his family ever told him the importance of homework, getting good grades, how to apply to college, etc. It's tough to escape poverty when you don't know how. It was a good read.

Into the Magic Shop, by James Doty, MD.

https://www.amazon.com/Into-Magic-Shop-Neurosurgeons-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00YBBKMHA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506792215&sr=8-1&keywords=into+the+magic+shop+by+james+doty

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3702 on: September 30, 2017, 06:39:58 PM »
I just read this book a few days ago, and the author tells how no one in his family ever told him the importance of homework, getting good grades, how to apply to college, etc. It's tough to escape poverty when you don't know how. It was a good read.

Into the Magic Shop, by James Doty, MD.

https://www.amazon.com/Into-Magic-Shop-Neurosurgeons-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00YBBKMHA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506792215&sr=8-1&keywords=into+the+magic+shop+by+james+doty

Agreed, parental guidance and family culture is a very strong indicator of success. All of the yammering  about more money for poor urban schools (mine already has one of the highest per capita spending in the state) ignores that fact.

infogoon

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3703 on: September 30, 2017, 06:51:48 PM »
I just read this book a few days ago, and the author tells how no one in his family ever told him the importance of homework, getting good grades, how to apply to college, etc. It's tough to escape poverty when you don't know how. It was a good read.

Those of us who grew up in middle class homes take it as a given that working hard in school to get a good education is the key to success, but it's got to be tough to believe that when you've grown up in poverty and literally never seen it happen.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3704 on: September 30, 2017, 09:22:03 PM »
I just read this book a few days ago, and the author tells how no one in his family ever told him the importance of homework, getting good grades, how to apply to college, etc. It's tough to escape poverty when you don't know how. It was a good read.

Those of us who grew up in middle class homes take it as a given that working hard in school to get a good education is the key to success, but it's got to be tough to believe that when you've grown up in poverty and literally never seen it happen.

I went to a junior high and high school that was chock full of middle and upper middle class kids.   The overwhelming bulk of them had zero interest in getting good grades, or doing their homework, etc.   Many of those going to college picked their college because it was a party school or located in a part of the country they felt was "cool".

Based on many comments over many years by many teachers I have known, that problem has only gotten worse.

Americans are, by and large, the most expensively educated yet still ignorant people on the planet.   At least the poor have some excuse for that, the middle class do not.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3705 on: September 30, 2017, 10:01:17 PM »
I just read this book a few days ago, and the author tells how no one in his family ever told him the importance of homework, getting good grades, how to apply to college, etc. It's tough to escape poverty when you don't know how. It was a good read.

Into the Magic Shop, by James Doty, MD.

https://www.amazon.com/Into-Magic-Shop-Neurosurgeons-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00YBBKMHA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506792215&sr=8-1&keywords=into+the+magic+shop+by+james+doty

Agreed, parental guidance and family culture is a very strong indicator of success. All of the yammering  about more money for poor urban schools (mine already has one of the highest per capita spending in the state) ignores that fact.

It's unfortunate but for people that work in education, they can't fix parental involvement. I recall seeing a stat that success can pretty much be predicted by how many books a student's parents own. That sucks. I can speak from experience that my parents drove home the importance of education. If I had trouble in class they were always willing to help me with my homework or meetwo with my teachers or find someone willing to help me. I cannot imagine what it would be like to not have that.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3706 on: September 30, 2017, 10:50:16 PM »
I just read this book a few days ago, and the author tells how no one in his family ever told him the importance of homework, getting good grades, how to apply to college, etc. It's tough to escape poverty when you don't know how. It was a good read.

Into the Magic Shop, by James Doty, MD.

https://www.amazon.com/Into-Magic-Shop-Neurosurgeons-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00YBBKMHA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506792215&sr=8-1&keywords=into+the+magic+shop+by+james+doty

Agreed, parental guidance and family culture is a very strong indicator of success. All of the yammering  about more money for poor urban schools (mine already has one of the highest per capita spending in the state) ignores that fact.

It's unfortunate but for people that work in education, they can't fix parental involvement. I recall seeing a stat that success can pretty much be predicted by how many books a student's parents own. That sucks. I can speak from experience that my parents drove home the importance of education. If I had trouble in class they were always willing to help me with my homework or meetwo with my teachers or find someone willing to help me. I cannot imagine what it would be like to not have that.

The notion that kids will absorb their parents' attitudes toward education is not completely accurate. My daughter had two years of my very best effort-- and if my book ownership was any predictor of her success she'd be Doogie Howser by now.  It didn't stick. I was able to get her through 10th grade and part of 11th, but ultimately the ready availability of a group of people who really, truly, honestly don't believe that education is important ended up being more of an influence.

I'm one of the best tutors in town, but ironically as an educator I've been an utter failure with my daughter. I did bring her reading level up from 2nd grade to 9th with some highly unorthodox methods, but I can't tutor someone who is not willing to look at the book, pick up a pencil, do an exercise, or do anything but pout or throw tantrums instead of completing an assignment or following the teacher's instructions or mine. My power is limited. I can only teach someone who wants to learn.

When a child who doesn't want to learn has access to a house where she or he can go instead of being in school, when there's someone willing to come pick the minor up from his or her home, take the minor out of that home, and drive the minor somewhere else without the parent's knowledge or consent, and when there are adults with vehicles ready and waiting to pick the minor up from school, the parent can't do a damn thing. School rules prohibit the parent from showing up to frog-march the high school student from one class to another, and because there are breaks between classes and students are entitled to bathroom breaks, a student who wants to escape from the school generally can. To keep a child in school therefore requires the united effort of an entire community, neighborhood, or extended family.

More than once, I've had one of my child's school friends ask if they could "hang out" at my place during school hours. I said no. My home is closed while my daughter is at school and I'm at work. Just because I occasionally work from home does not mean I'm available to babysit somebody who is playing truant. Unfortunately, nobody in my daughter's bio-family has that mentality. So she runs to the bio-family and to various lowlife friends (and in my opinion, anyone willing to sabotage a child's education is a lowlife) and POW! Not only does she get away with not being in school, but she sets off an enormous shitstorm.

The upshot of all of this is that my daughter, with a great deal of help from the lowlifes in her life, has chosen to be a pig-ignorant dropout. She's starting to figure out what she can actually afford with a dropout education and a dropout work ethic. It's not pretty and it's going to get uglier when she reaches her majority. She's chosen a life of extreme poverty because she refuses to do what it takes to get skills to exchange for an honest dollar.

Parental involvement means diddly-ding if there's a gigantic enabler network in place to reward dropout behavior or to at least delay its consequences. In the underclass, just such an enabler network exists. Plenty of people are thrilled to open their homes to a teen who ought to be in school, if it means that teen can babysit younger children while Mommy works, goes shopping, or naps. Lots of people are overjoyed to take a teen along to an ultrasound appointment, or the mall, or a hair or nail appointment during the day, just to have company. If the teen gets an allowance or has access to resources, clothing, or anything else that can be mooched away, so much the better! So the teen feels important and gets lots of what feels like love and respect, and gleefully deep-sixes his or her own education in order to gratify and enable various lowlifes. Result: eventually one more lowlife joins the herd.
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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3707 on: October 01, 2017, 04:21:12 AM »
I just read this book a few days ago, and the author tells how no one in his family ever told him the importance of homework, getting good grades, how to apply to college, etc. It's tough to escape poverty when you don't know how. It was a good read.

Into the Magic Shop, by James Doty, MD.

https://www.amazon.com/Into-Magic-Shop-Neurosurgeons-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00YBBKMHA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506792215&sr=8-1&keywords=into+the+magic+shop+by+james+doty

Agreed, parental guidance and family culture is a very strong indicator of success. All of the yammering  about more money for poor urban schools (mine already has one of the highest per capita spending in the state) ignores that fact.

It's unfortunate but for people that work in education, they can't fix parental involvement. I recall seeing a stat that success can pretty much be predicted by how many books a student's parents own. That sucks. I can speak from experience that my parents drove home the importance of education. If I had trouble in class they were always willing to help me with my homework or meetwo with my teachers or find someone willing to help me. I cannot imagine what it would be like to not have that.

I had a lot of help through a project by the local Rotary Club in high school. I come from a working class background and a dysfunctional family and I was mostly left to my own devices all through my childhood. I was the smart kid of the family so no one paid attention to me, there was no need to in their mind. Through school, I got a mentor from the Rotary Club. My mentor was the retired local chief of police and we would sit down and talk about my ambitions, what I wanted to do after high school, what I needed to do to get there. He arranged short internships for me through people in his network so I could try some things out.

The most important one was an internship at a newspaper. I had considered training as a journalist, because that job appealed to me. They advised me that they didn't hire anyone with only a degree in journalism: you need a proper education, writing is something that you learn on the job. I went on to take a law degree with minors in political science, cultural history and economics. My circumstances changed and I never actually even tried to become a journalist, but that broad academic background has been very important in my career. A lot of my working class friends chose very practical degrees, only to find out that employers preferred candidates with a broad academic background. In my country, you pay a set amount of tuition and you can take an unlimited amount of classes, so I definitely took advantage of that. It would have been more difficult if I had to pay per class, because I didn't have that much money.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3708 on: October 01, 2017, 04:48:48 AM »
I just read this book a few days ago, and the author tells how no one in his family ever told him the importance of homework, getting good grades, how to apply to college, etc. It's tough to escape poverty when you don't know how. It was a good read.

Into the Magic Shop, by James Doty, MD.

https://www.amazon.com/Into-Magic-Shop-Neurosurgeons-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00YBBKMHA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506792215&sr=8-1&keywords=into+the+magic+shop+by+james+doty

Agreed, parental guidance and family culture is a very strong indicator of success. All of the yammering  about more money for poor urban schools (mine already has one of the highest per capita spending in the state) ignores that fact.

It's unfortunate but for people that work in education, they can't fix parental involvement. I recall seeing a stat that success can pretty much be predicted by how many books a student's parents own. That sucks. I can speak from experience that my parents drove home the importance of education. If I had trouble in class they were always willing to help me with my homework or meetwo with my teachers or find someone willing to help me. I cannot imagine what it would be like to not have that.

The notion that kids will absorb their parents' attitudes toward education is not completely accurate. My daughter had two years of my very best effort-- and if my book ownership was any predictor of her success she'd be Doogie Howser by now.  It didn't stick. I was able to get her through 10th grade and part of 11th, but ultimately the ready availability of a group of people who really, truly, honestly don't believe that education is important ended up being more of an influence.

I'm one of the best tutors in town, but ironically as an educator I've been an utter failure with my daughter. I did bring her reading level up from 2nd grade to 9th with some highly unorthodox methods, but I can't tutor someone who is not willing to look at the book, pick up a pencil, do an exercise, or do anything but pout or throw tantrums instead of completing an assignment or following the teacher's instructions or mine. My power is limited. I can only teach someone who wants to learn.

When a child who doesn't want to learn has access to a house where she or he can go instead of being in school, when there's someone willing to come pick the minor up from his or her home, take the minor out of that home, and drive the minor somewhere else without the parent's knowledge or consent, and when there are adults with vehicles ready and waiting to pick the minor up from school, the parent can't do a damn thing. School rules prohibit the parent from showing up to frog-march the high school student from one class to another, and because there are breaks between classes and students are entitled to bathroom breaks, a student who wants to escape from the school generally can. To keep a child in school therefore requires the united effort of an entire community, neighborhood, or extended family.

More than once, I've had one of my child's school friends ask if they could "hang out" at my place during school hours. I said no. My home is closed while my daughter is at school and I'm at work. Just because I occasionally work from home does not mean I'm available to babysit somebody who is playing truant. Unfortunately, nobody in my daughter's bio-family has that mentality. So she runs to the bio-family and to various lowlife friends (and in my opinion, anyone willing to sabotage a child's education is a lowlife) and POW! Not only does she get away with not being in school, but she sets off an enormous shitstorm.

The upshot of all of this is that my daughter, with a great deal of help from the lowlifes in her life, has chosen to be a pig-ignorant dropout. She's starting to figure out what she can actually afford with a dropout education and a dropout work ethic. It's not pretty and it's going to get uglier when she reaches her majority. She's chosen a life of extreme poverty because she refuses to do what it takes to get skills to exchange for an honest dollar.

Parental involvement means diddly-ding if there's a gigantic enabler network in place to reward dropout behavior or to at least delay its consequences. In the underclass, just such an enabler network exists. Plenty of people are thrilled to open their homes to a teen who ought to be in school, if it means that teen can babysit younger children while Mommy works, goes shopping, or naps. Lots of people are overjoyed to take a teen along to an ultrasound appointment, or the mall, or a hair or nail appointment during the day, just to have company. If the teen gets an allowance or has access to resources, clothing, or anything else that can be mooched away, so much the better! So the teen feels important and gets lots of what feels like love and respect, and gleefully deep-sixes his or her own education in order to gratify and enable various lowlifes. Result: eventually one more lowlife joins the herd.
Wow, commiserations!
You mention your daughter's bio family - are you her bio parent? Just interested in the nature/nurture thing. Our son recently found his biological father whom we always thought would be anonymous. We have been amazed at the similarities in their lives, not just physical things but the same university, the same results, similar hobbies and interests, he even works in the same field as his biological grandfather.

Letj

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3709 on: October 01, 2017, 05:12:31 AM »
I just read this book a few days ago, and the author tells how no one in his family ever told him the importance of homework, getting good grades, how to apply to college, etc. It's tough to escape poverty when you don't know how. It was a good read.

Into the Magic Shop, by James Doty, MD.

https://www.amazon.com/Into-Magic-Shop-Neurosurgeons-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00YBBKMHA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506792215&sr=8-1&keywords=into+the+magic+shop+by+james+doty

Agreed, parental guidance and family culture is a very strong indicator of success. All of the yammering  about more money for poor urban schools (mine already has one of the highest per capita spending in the state) ignores that fact.

It's not just family culture; it's also the prevailing culture where you live. I know plenty of people from developing countries whose family were dirt poor but the culture valued education and so the children worked hard in school even with no support at home. In fact, they did not have to be told to do their home work. They saw school as a way out of poverty.

Letj

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3710 on: October 01, 2017, 05:31:14 AM »
I just read this book a few days ago, and the author tells how no one in his family ever told him the importance of homework, getting good grades, how to apply to college, etc. It's tough to escape poverty when you don't know how. It was a good read.

Into the Magic Shop, by James Doty, MD.

https://www.amazon.com/Into-Magic-Shop-Neurosurgeons-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00YBBKMHA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506792215&sr=8-1&keywords=into+the+magic+shop+by+james+doty

Agreed, parental guidance and family culture is a very strong indicator of success. All of the yammering  about more money for poor urban schools (mine already has one of the highest per capita spending in the state) ignores that fact.

It's unfortunate but for people that work in education, they can't fix parental involvement. I recall seeing a stat that success can pretty much be predicted by how many books a student's parents own. That sucks. I can speak from experience that my parents drove home the importance of education. If I had trouble in class they were always willing to help me with my homework or meetwo with my teachers or find someone willing to help me. I cannot imagine what it would be like to not have that.

The notion that kids will absorb their parents' attitudes toward education is not completely accurate. My daughter had two years of my very best effort-- and if my book ownership was any predictor of her success she'd be Doogie Howser by now.  It didn't stick. I was able to get her through 10th grade and part of 11th, but ultimately the ready availability of a group of people who really, truly, honestly don't believe that education is important ended up being more of an influence.

I'm one of the best tutors in town, but ironically as an educator I've been an utter failure with my daughter. I did bring her reading level up from 2nd grade to 9th with some highly unorthodox methods, but I can't tutor someone who is not willing to look at the book, pick up a pencil, do an exercise, or do anything but pout or throw tantrums instead of completing an assignment or following the teacher's instructions or mine. My power is limited. I can only teach someone who wants to learn.

When a child who doesn't want to learn has access to a house where she or he can go instead of being in school, when there's someone willing to come pick the minor up from his or her home, take the minor out of that home, and drive the minor somewhere else without the parent's knowledge or consent, and when there are adults with vehicles ready and waiting to pick the minor up from school, the parent can't do a damn thing. School rules prohibit the parent from showing up to frog-march the high school student from one class to another, and because there are breaks between classes and students are entitled to bathroom breaks, a student who wants to escape from the school generally can. To keep a child in school therefore requires the united effort of an entire community, neighborhood, or extended family.

More than once, I've had one of my child's school friends ask if they could "hang out" at my place during school hours. I said no. My home is closed while my daughter is at school and I'm at work. Just because I occasionally work from home does not mean I'm available to babysit somebody who is playing truant. Unfortunately, nobody in my daughter's bio-family has that mentality. So she runs to the bio-family and to various lowlife friends (and in my opinion, anyone willing to sabotage a child's education is a lowlife) and POW! Not only does she get away with not being in school, but she sets off an enormous shitstorm.

The upshot of all of this is that my daughter, with a great deal of help from the lowlifes in her life, has chosen to be a pig-ignorant dropout. She's starting to figure out what she can actually afford with a dropout education and a dropout work ethic. It's not pretty and it's going to get uglier when she reaches her majority. She's chosen a life of extreme poverty because she refuses to do what it takes to get skills to exchange for an honest dollar.

Parental involvement means diddly-ding if there's a gigantic enabler network in place to reward dropout behavior or to at least delay its consequences. In the underclass, just such an enabler network exists. Plenty of people are thrilled to open their homes to a teen who ought to be in school, if it means that teen can babysit younger children while Mommy works, goes shopping, or naps. Lots of people are overjoyed to take a teen along to an ultrasound appointment, or the mall, or a hair or nail appointment during the day, just to have company. If the teen gets an allowance or has access to resources, clothing, or anything else that can be mooched away, so much the better! So the teen feels important and gets lots of what feels like love and respect, and gleefully deep-sixes his or her own education in order to gratify and enable various lowlifes. Result: eventually one more lowlife joins the herd.

OMG. This is the best analysis of how a teen can sabotage their own education and is so representative of what I've personally seen happen to teen drop outs. There's always always adult enablers and other 'friends' enablers and there is not a darn thing any parent can do to stop this unless they are willing to make radical changes like moving away. It takes a united effort of the school, community and extended family and unfortunately not everyone values education and we don't live in a connected community anymore. My daughter is similar to your daughter in the sense that you can't make her do homework, turn in work for extra credit nor accept a tutor and I think a lot of it has to do with ADHD for which I have never given medication. However, as a junior in high school, she is beginning to connect the lack of ecucation with a mediocre life. What helps us is living in an area where she cannot walk to friend's house and not many people of her age are around to hang out with.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3711 on: October 01, 2017, 12:13:59 PM »
...The upshot of all of this is that my daughter, with a great deal of help from the lowlifes in her life, has chosen to be a pig-ignorant dropout. She's starting to figure out what she can actually afford with a dropout education and a dropout work ethic. It's not pretty and it's going to get uglier when she reaches her majority. She's chosen a life of extreme poverty because she refuses to do what it takes to get skills to exchange for an honest dollar.

...

Aw, shit, GS, you've been foreshadowing this for months; I am as un-surprised as I am deeply sorry it has reached this point.  Declining a life of active, effective agency is so seductive.  God help her.  You've been silent as to substance abuse, and I hope that never plays a part here.  It's so poor as comfort, but sometimes you end with the thought that perhaps a seed will germinate, and you did all you could do, which is certainly true.

I have no very clear idea how early it starts, and how reversible it is.  Probably earlier than we want to acknowledge, and hardly at all.  I inherited an employee part of whose job was to do the monthly statistics.  After quite thoroughly training her, I went back to my job, but after a few months thought, "Wait a minute.  That can't be right."  And it was not right.  She had been making the numbers up, completely.  Every one of them.  The point here is the complete, total miss on communication, on world view.  To her, it was this weird mystery - the people above her in the office wanted numbers, God knows why.  They are just little patterns on a page.  But if that's what they want, that's what they get: she gave us numbers.  Obviously a number's a number.  Though she would not have said it this way, numbers are fungible.  You have a sheet of paper with the month labelled on the top; you stick numbers in; you've done your job.    To me, and the managers above me, numbers are an asymptotic approach to reality.  I reacted with a kind of horrified surprise, but also with indignation.  She faked the numbers.  How could you?  A blow at the roots of science, engineering, human cognition.  She, on the other hand, was sincerely baffled as to why I would be so upset.  It was just a bunch of numbers.   I realized, dimly, that there was no connection whatever between numbers and her daily reality.  I don't know how you bring this kind of thing home.  I didn't even try.  You at least have the comfort that you have tried as hard as a human can try.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3712 on: October 01, 2017, 12:22:53 PM »
Yes, GrimSqueaker,  I am sorry things have come to this point for you.  I know how hard you worked from previous posts to keep this from happening.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3713 on: October 01, 2017, 12:40:26 PM »
...

Adoptive. Out of foster care. I did make some progress, but ultimately the lowlifes are winning.
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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3714 on: October 01, 2017, 01:23:57 PM »
...

Adoptive. Out of foster care. I did make some progress, but ultimately the lowlifes are winning.
So sorry.  It looks as though you did everything you could and it worked for quite a while, until the irresistible forces took over.  Do you have any plans for what to do when she reaches 18?
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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3715 on: October 01, 2017, 01:41:46 PM »
I just read this book a few days ago, and the author tells how no one in his family ever told him the importance of homework, getting good grades, how to apply to college, etc. It's tough to escape poverty when you don't know how. It was a good read.

Into the Magic Shop, by James Doty, MD.

https://www.amazon.com/Into-Magic-Shop-Neurosurgeons-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00YBBKMHA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506792215&sr=8-1&keywords=into+the+magic+shop+by+james+doty

Agreed, parental guidance and family culture is a very strong indicator of success. All of the yammering  about more money for poor urban schools (mine already has one of the highest per capita spending in the state) ignores that fact.

It's unfortunate but for people that work in education, they can't fix parental involvement. I recall seeing a stat that success can pretty much be predicted by how many books a student's parents own. That sucks. I can speak from experience that my parents drove home the importance of education. If I had trouble in class they were always willing to help me with my homework or meetwo with my teachers or find someone willing to help me. I cannot imagine what it would be like to not have that.

The notion that kids will absorb their parents' attitudes toward education is not completely accurate. My daughter had two years of my very best effort-- and if my book ownership was any predictor of her success she'd be Doogie Howser by now.  It didn't stick. I was able to get her through 10th grade and part of 11th, but ultimately the ready availability of a group of people who really, truly, honestly don't believe that education is important ended up being more of an influence.

I'm one of the best tutors in town, but ironically as an educator I've been an utter failure with my daughter. I did bring her reading level up from 2nd grade to 9th with some highly unorthodox methods, but I can't tutor someone who is not willing to look at the book, pick up a pencil, do an exercise, or do anything but pout or throw tantrums instead of completing an assignment or following the teacher's instructions or mine. My power is limited. I can only teach someone who wants to learn.

When a child who doesn't want to learn has access to a house where she or he can go instead of being in school, when there's someone willing to come pick the minor up from his or her home, take the minor out of that home, and drive the minor somewhere else without the parent's knowledge or consent, and when there are adults with vehicles ready and waiting to pick the minor up from school, the parent can't do a damn thing. School rules prohibit the parent from showing up to frog-march the high school student from one class to another, and because there are breaks between classes and students are entitled to bathroom breaks, a student who wants to escape from the school generally can. To keep a child in school therefore requires the united effort of an entire community, neighborhood, or extended family.

More than once, I've had one of my child's school friends ask if they could "hang out" at my place during school hours. I said no. My home is closed while my daughter is at school and I'm at work. Just because I occasionally work from home does not mean I'm available to babysit somebody who is playing truant. Unfortunately, nobody in my daughter's bio-family has that mentality. So she runs to the bio-family and to various lowlife friends (and in my opinion, anyone willing to sabotage a child's education is a lowlife) and POW! Not only does she get away with not being in school, but she sets off an enormous shitstorm.

The upshot of all of this is that my daughter, with a great deal of help from the lowlifes in her life, has chosen to be a pig-ignorant dropout. She's starting to figure out what she can actually afford with a dropout education and a dropout work ethic. It's not pretty and it's going to get uglier when she reaches her majority. She's chosen a life of extreme poverty because she refuses to do what it takes to get skills to exchange for an honest dollar.

Parental involvement means diddly-ding if there's a gigantic enabler network in place to reward dropout behavior or to at least delay its consequences. In the underclass, just such an enabler network exists. Plenty of people are thrilled to open their homes to a teen who ought to be in school, if it means that teen can babysit younger children while Mommy works, goes shopping, or naps. Lots of people are overjoyed to take a teen along to an ultrasound appointment, or the mall, or a hair or nail appointment during the day, just to have company. If the teen gets an allowance or has access to resources, clothing, or anything else that can be mooched away, so much the better! So the teen feels important and gets lots of what feels like love and respect, and gleefully deep-sixes his or her own education in order to gratify and enable various lowlifes. Result: eventually one more lowlife joins the herd.

Things may still work out. I have two friends who met while she was a waitress and he was a barman at a spring break kind of bar in Florida. Suddenly, (oops) she was pregnant, and they had to make some decisions about what to do with their lives. She is now a Civil Engineer with an upper-level management position, and he is an Anesthesiologist. They started later than most, but they made it work.

firelight

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3716 on: October 01, 2017, 02:31:54 PM »
I'm so sorry GrimSqueaker. I've seen some adults like this (parents are good while kid is a lowlife) and wondered at the disconnect. Now I get it. Should be horrifying to deal with it at close quarters. Since you are legally responsible for the kid, can you call the cops on the adults that aid her in skipping school? Taking kids illegally from school is abduction. Cops called a few times might discourage the lowlife adults from aiding in skipping school.

Uturn

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3717 on: October 01, 2017, 03:25:32 PM »
I really don't know where I come down on the nature vs nurture debate.  I look at my family and it is all over the board.  To the best of my knowledge, I'm the only adult male who has never has sex with a family member and/or an under aged girl.  I'm one of the few who don't have a criminal record.  I do know that being different from the rest of your family is hard to do.  I am still regarded as the "college boy sellout", although I never even enrolled.  I started figuring it out when I was around 11.  Fathers shouldn't be having sex with daughters, stealing is wrong, gaming the welfare system is not right, even if it is "paid for by the rich people."  My father and his father ran a small auto repair business in the late 70's/ early 80's.  The real money came from the chop shop.  I still remember them explaining to me that we are not stealing from people, we are taking from the insurance companies.  And it's not really taking from the insurance companies because they are still making profit.  I think they actually believed that.  I also remember them calling me a faggot because I was still a virgin at 12.  There were two sisters and about 5 female cousins around afterall. I am so glad that I left as soon as possible.  I also purposefully keep my distance from the majority of my family. 

My oldest sister is 50, and she is just now getting her shit straight.  My other sister is a year younger, and figured it out in her mid 30's.  She is doing fine.  Runs her own business and has a loving husband who also got away from a deadbeat family.  I am doing great financially, have a few good friends, but have never had a relationship that lasted more than 3 years.  I will say that I do not at all feel comfortable being alone with any girls between about age 5 to 20.  I don't have those desires, but can understand one having them.  That understanding alone bothers me.  My younger brother, who killed himself a few months ago, never did get his footing.  He was probably about $100/mo from being homeless, and I suspect he was a few times.  8 years ago he asked if he could move in with me.  He has 2 felony convictions for ID theft and fraud.  I told him that he could, but he would need to leave the drugs in California, $400/mo for rent and utilities, pay for his own food.  I would cover everything for 2 months at the beginning.   If he stole from me, he is out that day.  If he got arrested, he is out 2 weeks after his release.  3 months before his suicide, he posted on FB about how his older brother turned his back on him. 

4 kids, all from the same fucked up background.  4 very different life outcomes. 
It's not about money, it's about mindset

Paul der Krake

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3718 on: October 01, 2017, 04:04:10 PM »
I really don't know where I come down on the nature vs nurture debate.  I look at my family and it is all over the board.  To the best of my knowledge, I'm the only adult male who has never has sex with a family member and/or an under aged girl.  I'm one of the few who don't have a criminal record.  I do know that being different from the rest of your family is hard to do.  I am still regarded as the "college boy sellout", although I never even enrolled.  I started figuring it out when I was around 11.  Fathers shouldn't be having sex with daughters, stealing is wrong, gaming the welfare system is not right, even if it is "paid for by the rich people."  My father and his father ran a small auto repair business in the late 70's/ early 80's.  The real money came from the chop shop.  I still remember them explaining to me that we are not stealing from people, we are taking from the insurance companies.  And it's not really taking from the insurance companies because they are still making profit.  I think they actually believed that.  I also remember them calling me a faggot because I was still a virgin at 12.  There were two sisters and about 5 female cousins around afterall. I am so glad that I left as soon as possible.  I also purposefully keep my distance from the majority of my family. 

My oldest sister is 50, and she is just now getting her shit straight.  My other sister is a year younger, and figured it out in her mid 30's.  She is doing fine.  Runs her own business and has a loving husband who also got away from a deadbeat family.  I am doing great financially, have a few good friends, but have never had a relationship that lasted more than 3 years.  I will say that I do not at all feel comfortable being alone with any girls between about age 5 to 20.  I don't have those desires, but can understand one having them.  That understanding alone bothers me.  My younger brother, who killed himself a few months ago, never did get his footing.  He was probably about $100/mo from being homeless, and I suspect he was a few times.  8 years ago he asked if he could move in with me.  He has 2 felony convictions for ID theft and fraud.  I told him that he could, but he would need to leave the drugs in California, $400/mo for rent and utilities, pay for his own food.  I would cover everything for 2 months at the beginning.   If he stole from me, he is out that day.  If he got arrested, he is out 2 weeks after his release.  3 months before his suicide, he posted on FB about how his older brother turned his back on him. 

4 kids, all from the same fucked up background.  4 very different life outcomes.
Wow.

Forget about posting in this thread, that story deserves its own book.

Step37

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3719 on: October 01, 2017, 05:02:04 PM »
...I also purposefully keep my distance from the majority of my family.  .

Small wonder.

I honestly do not understand how anyone can get him/herself removed from such a situation. What a feat. You have my admiration.
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marielle

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3720 on: October 02, 2017, 07:06:16 AM »
Wow.

Forget about posting in this thread, that story deserves its own book.

Yeah, a book or at least a blog. Seriously.

Imma

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3721 on: October 02, 2017, 08:12:23 AM »
...

Adoptive. Out of foster care. I did make some progress, but ultimately the lowlifes are winning.

That does explain part of the situation though. No matter how much love and effort you have put into taking care of your child, she must have been seriously abused or neglected to end up in foster care. There are a lot of causes as to why people end up like this. Some of them are genetic (like lower IQ, certain character traits, vulnerable to addiction) others are through childhood trauma and still others are from bad parenting. Good parenting for a certain period of her life apparantly can't compensate for the bad parenting, childhood trauma and/or genetic traits that she might have. I'm sorry it didn't work out for you, but you should be really proud of yourself that you tried. That says a lot about your character. She's clearly damaged, but I hope at some point in the future she can somewhat heal and see what you did for her.

Both my partner and I are from disfunctional families (although we were never taken into care, we were on the radar of social services) and we have ended up doing very well, but it's been hard for us. We have managed to mostly heal, but it helped that we were both intelligent and not sensitive to peer pressure or bad friends. Our siblings are doing well above expectation (as in, no teenage pregnancies, no drug problems, no criminal records, most of us have jobs, etc) but we have all have had problems with attachment and some have troubled personal lives with many short-term relationships, alcohol problems etc.

mtn

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3722 on: October 02, 2017, 08:54:11 AM »
I think I've posted some in here about my brother in law. But he's really worrying me, not just because of the financial situation.

He has PSTD (survivor of a mass shooting). He is seeing a counselor/psychiatrist, but I can guarantee he is lying/not being transparent in his appointments. He's on uppers and downers, but not a stabilizer. Well, because certain jobs are beneath him, he's been unemployed for almost a year. He shouldn't have hardly any bills, as he lives with mom and dad, but jeebers, we just found out he's deep in debt! Like, it would take my wife and I on our combined income about 2 years to get out of it if it was ours.

I'm flabberghasted. And he still won't go get a bartending job, because he wants a career, not a job. Guess what dude, no one wants to hire you. Go get some experience somewhere doing something. This isn't working.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3723 on: October 02, 2017, 09:50:49 AM »
...

Adoptive. Out of foster care. I did make some progress, but ultimately the lowlifes are winning.
So sorry.  It looks as though you did everything you could and it worked for quite a while, until the irresistible forces took over.  Do you have any plans for what to do when she reaches 18?

Yes. It involves several new pairs of fuzzy socks, some chocolate raspberry flavored dessert wine, possible home renovations, and a lengthy vacation with the Venomous Spaz Beast. I'm socking away extra vacation time as we squeak, and bottled the wine yesterday so that it's at the peak of its perfection in a few months.
I squeak softly, but carry a big schtick.

saguaro

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3724 on: October 02, 2017, 10:00:24 AM »
Those of us who grew up in middle class homes take it as a given that working hard in school to get a good education is the key to success, but it's got to be tough to believe that when you've grown up in poverty and literally never seen it happen.

Went to elementary school in my middle class neighborhood, and it was emphasized how working hard in school was key to success in life, even if it seemed very far off to us kids. If any student failed to make grade level in a subject, especially in reading, they were given special attention, tutoring or whatever was necessary to get them up to speed. 

However fast forward to high school which was the second largest high school in a major metro area, with about 3,500 students.  Many of the students coming from the poorer parts of the district not only were way behind and in remedial classes, but even those who were up to the appropriate grade levels not saw no value in education.  Quite the eye opener for me, it was such a contrast from elementary school.   Many of these students dropped out, in fact, some couldn't wait until they turned 16 so they could legally quit.  I remember my home room teacher during my second year almost begging students to not drop out, that it would adversely impact their future, but they honestly didn't get it.  I saw upfront through various friends that they had no reference point for this. 
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 10:06:09 AM by saguaro »

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3725 on: October 02, 2017, 10:02:27 AM »
...

Adoptive. Out of foster care. I did make some progress, but ultimately the lowlifes are winning.

That does explain part of the situation though. No matter how much love and effort you have put into taking care of your child, she must have been seriously abused or neglected to end up in foster care.
Not necessarily. The abuse was relatively minor compared to what many people on this board went through during ordinary life. A lot of us have our attachment circuitry melted. That being said, we make different choices because we have different values.
Quote
...
Good parenting for a certain period of her life apparantly can't compensate for the bad parenting, childhood trauma and/or genetic traits that she might have.
The good parenting was actually for the majority of her life. I've been in contact with several of the people who raised her and a couple of families who even tried to adopt her prior to me. For a variety of reasons, she's just disposed to find the biggest lowlifes she possibly can and party down with them. It's a compulsion for her. She was groomed to be an enabler, it's what she loves, values, and wants to be. I have not been able to break that conditioning or her fascination for lowlifes.
I squeak softly, but carry a big schtick.

MgoSam

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3726 on: October 02, 2017, 11:10:10 AM »
...I also purposefully keep my distance from the majority of my family.  .

Small wonder.

I honestly do not understand how anyone can get him/herself removed from such a situation. What a feat. You have my admiration.

Agreed! I'm not particularly close to either of my siblings but that is solely due to not having similar enough interests. We care about each other. I'm very glad you got out of that toxic environment!

MgoSam

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3727 on: October 02, 2017, 11:15:33 AM »
I forgot to post about this, but my sister was in town about a week ago. I love my sister but it is very hard to hang out with her for a long period of time because after a little while she starts probing into my life and then making clear judgments that I'm not living it correctly.

This time she started going off about how I should go get an MBA and then work for a corporate company. I'm making a good living doing what I'm doing now and see no need to spend 2 years paying tuition only to get a job that will pay me about the same that I'm getting paid now. She knows that I plan to retire within 10 years and went off about how that isn't "typical," to which I said, "I don't care what's typical, I care about what I want. It sounds like you want to work in a corporate structure, so go ahead and do that."

Cassie

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3728 on: October 02, 2017, 12:17:56 PM »
What happened to the father of the two children?

He was not interested. A complete loser!

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3729 on: October 02, 2017, 12:57:04 PM »
I was a social worker for awhile and M1970 is so right. Lots of reason for poverty and very difficult to escape. It takes a lot of support, money and time.  I had a friend on welfare that had 2 kids and wanted to go back to school. Her Mom died and she lost her free babysitter.  My husband & I babysat for free for 3 years, I enlisted her Dad and my Mom as backups since both were retired.  Then her last year they cut her food stamps because of her financial aid. She had to pay for books & tuition with that $.  She thought she was going to have to quit so she could feed her kids. We were far from rich but helped her with food as did her Dad.  We did not buy each other gifts so her kids had some gifts under the tree.  She graduated and got a job. It was awesome. However, look at the long term commitment and the number of people and money it took to make this happen.

In my experience it takes the long-term commitment of at least 5 average, functional adults to bring a baby all the way to self-sufficiency while dealing with the random ups and downs we call "life". The key word there is "functional" because there are plenty of people who aren't able to function as adults by managing their own lives and holding up their end of an agreement. Some people perform at a higher-than-average rate as contributors, however others can't be counted as contributors because they are disorganized, irresponsible, sick, practicing an addiction, or for some other reason unable to reliably lend a hand. Also, for each dependent the proto-adult has, I mentally add one more functional person to the necessary network.

This is why, for the most part, the "nuclear family" concept doesn't work well under stress. There isn't enough of a network to survive the loss of one or both of the adults.

My hat is off to your friend because she made it work and attained independence. Plenty of other people in her situation never do, even after receiving substantial support from the people around them.
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mtn

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3730 on: October 02, 2017, 01:38:51 PM »
I was a social worker for awhile and M1970 is so right. Lots of reason for poverty and very difficult to escape. It takes a lot of support, money and time.  I had a friend on welfare that had 2 kids and wanted to go back to school. Her Mom died and she lost her free babysitter.  My husband & I babysat for free for 3 years, I enlisted her Dad and my Mom as backups since both were retired.  Then her last year they cut her food stamps because of her financial aid. She had to pay for books & tuition with that $.  She thought she was going to have to quit so she could feed her kids. We were far from rich but helped her with food as did her Dad.  We did not buy each other gifts so her kids had some gifts under the tree.  She graduated and got a job. It was awesome. However, look at the long term commitment and the number of people and money it took to make this happen.

In my experience it takes the long-term commitment of at least 5 average, functional adults to bring a baby all the way to self-sufficiency while dealing with the random ups and downs we call "life". The key word there is "functional" because there are plenty of people who aren't able to function as adults by managing their own lives and holding up their end of an agreement. Some people perform at a higher-than-average rate as contributors, however others can't be counted as contributors because they are disorganized, irresponsible, sick, practicing an addiction, or for some other reason unable to reliably lend a hand. Also, for each dependent the proto-adult has, I mentally add one more functional person to the necessary network.

This is why, for the most part, the "nuclear family" concept doesn't work well under stress. There isn't enough of a network to survive the loss of one or both of the adults.

My hat is off to your friend because she made it work and attained independence. Plenty of other people in her situation never do, even after receiving substantial support from the people around them.

Just wanted to thank you for justifying our move (a few years ago) to be nearer our families. We don't have kids yet, but are planning on it.

Also note that sometimes one of the "5 functional adults" may be a manager--just by letting a parent go pick up a sick kid from school, they've saved a job. Little things like that that you don't even think about, but if someone would lose their job because they left in the middle of the day without warning, it would be devastating, unfair, and nothing could be done about it.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3731 on: October 02, 2017, 01:50:58 PM »
Uturn and GS - was that the sound of a mic I heard dropping? Because both of these are epic and thought provoking.  Thank you for posting.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3732 on: October 02, 2017, 03:18:28 PM »
I was a social worker for awhile and M1970 is so right. Lots of reason for poverty and very difficult to escape. It takes a lot of support, money and time.  I had a friend on welfare that had 2 kids and wanted to go back to school. Her Mom died and she lost her free babysitter.  My husband & I babysat for free for 3 years, I enlisted her Dad and my Mom as backups since both were retired.  Then her last year they cut her food stamps because of her financial aid. She had to pay for books & tuition with that $.  She thought she was going to have to quit so she could feed her kids. We were far from rich but helped her with food as did her Dad.  We did not buy each other gifts so her kids had some gifts under the tree.  She graduated and got a job. It was awesome. However, look at the long term commitment and the number of people and money it took to make this happen.

In my experience it takes the long-term commitment of at least 5 average, functional adults to bring a baby all the way to self-sufficiency while dealing with the random ups and downs we call "life". The key word there is "functional" because there are plenty of people who aren't able to function as adults by managing their own lives and holding up their end of an agreement. Some people perform at a higher-than-average rate as contributors, however others can't be counted as contributors because they are disorganized, irresponsible, sick, practicing an addiction, or for some other reason unable to reliably lend a hand. Also, for each dependent the proto-adult has, I mentally add one more functional person to the necessary network.

This is why, for the most part, the "nuclear family" concept doesn't work well under stress. There isn't enough of a network to survive the loss of one or both of the adults.

My hat is off to your friend because she made it work and attained independence. Plenty of other people in her situation never do, even after receiving substantial support from the people around them.

Just wanted to thank you for justifying our move (a few years ago) to be nearer our families. We don't have kids yet, but are planning on it.

Also note that sometimes one of the "5 functional adults" may be a manager--just by letting a parent go pick up a sick kid from school, they've saved a job. Little things like that that you don't even think about, but if someone would lose their job because they left in the middle of the day without warning, it would be devastating, unfair, and nothing could be done about it.

Single parents can and do lose their jobs for exactly this reason. It happens all the time in the United States. The economy has tiers, and the people on several tiers do not have the right to sick pay or medical leave to care for a sick child. This is one of the reasons why single parents of multiple children have a greater probability of being unemployed even if they have access to subsidized day care.

On paper there's a thing called the "Family and Medical Leave Act" that says you can't be fired for being sick or for having a sick kid. In practice, for hourly-paid workers or contract workers there is no such protection: if you get sick your hours are cut and given to someone else.

One of the worst things a working-class American can do is get sick or injured.
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mm1970

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3733 on: October 02, 2017, 03:21:54 PM »
I was a social worker for awhile and M1970 is so right. Lots of reason for poverty and very difficult to escape. It takes a lot of support, money and time.  I had a friend on welfare that had 2 kids and wanted to go back to school. Her Mom died and she lost her free babysitter.  My husband & I babysat for free for 3 years, I enlisted her Dad and my Mom as backups since both were retired.  Then her last year they cut her food stamps because of her financial aid. She had to pay for books & tuition with that $.  She thought she was going to have to quit so she could feed her kids. We were far from rich but helped her with food as did her Dad.  We did not buy each other gifts so her kids had some gifts under the tree.  She graduated and got a job. It was awesome. However, look at the long term commitment and the number of people and money it took to make this happen.

In my experience it takes the long-term commitment of at least 5 average, functional adults to bring a baby all the way to self-sufficiency while dealing with the random ups and downs we call "life". The key word there is "functional" because there are plenty of people who aren't able to function as adults by managing their own lives and holding up their end of an agreement. Some people perform at a higher-than-average rate as contributors, however others can't be counted as contributors because they are disorganized, irresponsible, sick, practicing an addiction, or for some other reason unable to reliably lend a hand. Also, for each dependent the proto-adult has, I mentally add one more functional person to the necessary network.

This is why, for the most part, the "nuclear family" concept doesn't work well under stress. There isn't enough of a network to survive the loss of one or both of the adults.

My hat is off to your friend because she made it work and attained independence. Plenty of other people in her situation never do, even after receiving substantial support from the people around them.
Both of these are very good points also.

Long ago I read a post on FB of a local woman who was looking for affordable childcare.  She was half way through her community college degree, but lost her funding for child care.  She had 2 kids (first one in HS) and by now was in her 20s just trying to get a decent job.  She at least had a sense of humor and joked that "They should take me around to high schools and use me as a poster child as to why you shouldn't have a kid in high school!"

The father of the children often runs off.  Doesn't pay child support.  It takes work to get that support, and going to court.

I am lucky that I'm in a good solid marriage.  We are far from our families.  But we have a nice core of neighbors that help each other out with kid dropoff/ pickup/ etc.  It's work.  We can afford to pay for more adult help too.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3734 on: October 02, 2017, 05:17:36 PM »
Given the general direction this thread has taken, I think a lot of people here would enjoy this podcast specifically:

the-boys-hang-with-rabbit-aka-ms-pat

The hosts are self-described liberal rednecks.  If you want to avoid the more political stuff, just skip to Ms. Pat's interview.  She is quite possibly the most fascinating and engaging woman I have ever heard.  She came out of extreme dysfunction, poverty, racism, welfare, hustling, violence, etc.  Now she's a successful comedian making FU money.  I'm excited to pick up her book.

iris lily

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3735 on: October 02, 2017, 09:52:39 PM »
Given the general direction this thread has taken, I think a lot of people here would enjoy this podcast specifically:

the-boys-hang-with-rabbit-aka-ms-pat

The hosts are self-described liberal rednecks.  If you want to avoid the more political stuff, just skip to Ms. Pat's interview.  She is quite possibly the most fascinating and engaging woman I have ever heard.  She came out of extreme dysfunction, poverty, racism, welfare, hustling, violence, etc.  Now she's a successful comedian making FU money.  I'm excited to pick up her book.

What a cooincidence, I just picked up Ms Pat's book today at the library. Picked it up, read the blurb and a paragraph or two about when she was making $6,000 a DAY! put it down because I have a stack of books yet to read at home, but it sounds good!
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 07:19:13 PM by iris lily »

Cassie

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3736 on: October 04, 2017, 04:39:34 PM »
When our kids were little we moved by my parents. My Dad had a big stroke and I helped my Mom and she watched my kids so I could go to college.  It was a win-win for everyone. And my friend that I helped would watch my kids too. Plus my Mom's childhood friend would watch my youngest after school when my Mom took a vacation.  It does indeed take a village.

Just Joe

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3737 on: October 05, 2017, 08:36:58 AM »
I just read this book a few days ago, and the author tells how no one in his family ever told him the importance of homework, getting good grades, how to apply to college, etc. It's tough to escape poverty when you don't know how. It was a good read.

Into the Magic Shop, by James Doty, MD.

https://www.amazon.com/Into-Magic-Shop-Neurosurgeons-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00YBBKMHA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506792215&sr=8-1&keywords=into+the+magic+shop+by+james+doty

Agreed, parental guidance and family culture is a very strong indicator of success. All of the yammering  about more money for poor urban schools (mine already has one of the highest per capita spending in the state) ignores that fact.

It's unfortunate but for people that work in education, they can't fix parental involvement. I recall seeing a stat that success can pretty much be predicted by how many books a student's parents own. That sucks. I can speak from experience that my parents drove home the importance of education. If I had trouble in class they were always willing to help me with my homework or meetwo with my teachers or find someone willing to help me. I cannot imagine what it would be like to not have that.

The notion that kids will absorb their parents' attitudes toward education is not completely accurate. My daughter had two years of my very best effort-- and if my book ownership was any predictor of her success she'd be Doogie Howser by now.  It didn't stick. I was able to get her through 10th grade and part of 11th, but ultimately the ready availability of a group of people who really, truly, honestly don't believe that education is important ended up being more of an influence.

I'm one of the best tutors in town, but ironically as an educator I've been an utter failure with my daughter. I did bring her reading level up from 2nd grade to 9th with some highly unorthodox methods, but I can't tutor someone who is not willing to look at the book, pick up a pencil, do an exercise, or do anything but pout or throw tantrums instead of completing an assignment or following the teacher's instructions or mine. My power is limited. I can only teach someone who wants to learn.

When a child who doesn't want to learn has access to a house where she or he can go instead of being in school, when there's someone willing to come pick the minor up from his or her home, take the minor out of that home, and drive the minor somewhere else without the parent's knowledge or consent, and when there are adults with vehicles ready and waiting to pick the minor up from school, the parent can't do a damn thing. School rules prohibit the parent from showing up to frog-march the high school student from one class to another, and because there are breaks between classes and students are entitled to bathroom breaks, a student who wants to escape from the school generally can. To keep a child in school therefore requires the united effort of an entire community, neighborhood, or extended family.

More than once, I've had one of my child's school friends ask if they could "hang out" at my place during school hours. I said no. My home is closed while my daughter is at school and I'm at work. Just because I occasionally work from home does not mean I'm available to babysit somebody who is playing truant. Unfortunately, nobody in my daughter's bio-family has that mentality. So she runs to the bio-family and to various lowlife friends (and in my opinion, anyone willing to sabotage a child's education is a lowlife) and POW! Not only does she get away with not being in school, but she sets off an enormous shitstorm.

The upshot of all of this is that my daughter, with a great deal of help from the lowlifes in her life, has chosen to be a pig-ignorant dropout. She's starting to figure out what she can actually afford with a dropout education and a dropout work ethic. It's not pretty and it's going to get uglier when she reaches her majority. She's chosen a life of extreme poverty because she refuses to do what it takes to get skills to exchange for an honest dollar.

Parental involvement means diddly-ding if there's a gigantic enabler network in place to reward dropout behavior or to at least delay its consequences. In the underclass, just such an enabler network exists. Plenty of people are thrilled to open their homes to a teen who ought to be in school, if it means that teen can babysit younger children while Mommy works, goes shopping, or naps. Lots of people are overjoyed to take a teen along to an ultrasound appointment, or the mall, or a hair or nail appointment during the day, just to have company. If the teen gets an allowance or has access to resources, clothing, or anything else that can be mooched away, so much the better! So the teen feels important and gets lots of what feels like love and respect, and gleefully deep-sixes his or her own education in order to gratify and enable various lowlifes. Result: eventually one more lowlife joins the herd.

We're dealing with an un-motivated teen as well. Not unreliable in any other way, no other problems. In his case I think it will take a few years of watching his peers move on, and a few years of working crap jobs for him to see the light.

I don't know what we'd do if we had all the contributing factors you're dealing with.

Its frustrating b/c we've tried to steer him to success. We're two well educated professionals with the ability to send him to any state 'U' here. We've offered him tutors, our tutoring, and the opportunity for him to live away at school if he wanted - he'd have to work a little job somewhere to help fund his spending money. He wouldn't go to school with a new car and the best "stuff". All he had to do was show he was serious by earning the grades. And he hasn't done that.

Funny thing is that he is a square away hard worker otherwise, just not academically.

I made some of these same mistakes a few decades ago. We're alot alike him and me. He's a late bloomer - mature in some ways and on topics of school and starting adult life he's not. Meanwhile very trustworthy to go out and do the right things and get home by curfew.

One day the light will go on over his head and he'll have to do what I did and work his way through college. We won't likely be in a position to help him as much then. School of hard knocks and all that...

I'm hoping that after graduation rather than waste two or three good years he'll be conducive to attending a vocational school. He is a hands on guy. I think it would really appeal to him if he'd give it a chance. Would be a good pairing with the things he says he wants to do in college. That broad academic background...

The thing we are doing that my parents didn't do and DW's parents did is provide a place for safe landings. We don't fight about anything. It just shuts him down and he won't talk about his problems with us so the communication would stop. Arguments function as mechanisms that cause him to isolate himself from us, not change the heading of his life's ship.

He isn't "wired" for confrontational discussions that lead to solutions. It could just drive him into the influence of someone else or escapism. I know how much this sounds like we are passive enablers but there is a larger plan and we're just waiting out the school year. That's the next hard turning point. 

I'm not going to risk our relationship with him over school where he is one of thousands of students and communication with the teachers is not great and their expectations/assignments/instruction are not always clear.

I look back on my HS years as a period of conflict and more stress than I could handle with my parents that have left their mark decades later. Those grades were imperative. And I still didn't earn good grades b/c I wasn't mature enough to value the education. That led to my "path less traveled" and that was much better - a series of crap jobs, the military, the end of parents' rule over my life, college on my own dime, etc. It was hard though. It made me a stronger person though.

We'll be encouraging through the end of HS and then his life gets real serious. I fully expect he'll still be financially struggling five years after that but we won't be dealing with the "he said/teacher said" ambiguity. The middle school, high school, college route is not for everyone.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 09:15:28 AM by Just Joe »

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3738 on: October 05, 2017, 08:50:02 AM »
I forgot to post about this, but my sister was in town about a week ago. I love my sister but it is very hard to hang out with her for a long period of time because after a little while she starts probing into my life and then making clear judgments that I'm not living it correctly.

Simple point but well put. I know people like this and you are right. Small doses.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3739 on: October 05, 2017, 08:56:43 AM »
...
Funny thing is that he is a hard worker otherwise, just not academically.
...


Maybe he's not suited to white collar work?  There are lots of good non-college jobs in the trades for instance, it doesn't have to be 'crap jobs'.  One of my family members was pushed very strongly by his parents into university and digital work.  He hated it and dropped out.  Now he works as a mechanic, earns great money, and is much happier. 

Just Joe

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3740 on: October 05, 2017, 09:18:51 AM »
Yep, I've thought about that. We're encouraging him to pursue anything he wants - including vocational training.

Through my work place I have the ability to go in after hours and on weekends and use the equipment. I can even teach him most of the trades which do seem to appeal to him. We have the ability to create CAD drawings, access a welding shop, a machining shop, 3D printing, etc.

At his age I would have given spare body parts for that access. He is not quite at the same level of enthusiasm.

I know regardless of the outcome we are fortunate to not having to work through the challenges that TGS and UTurn and others here are working through. We just have an unmotivated high schooler. I don't think I will tire any time soon of reading about people's challenges and their solutions. People creatively trying to do the right things in this big messy world is comforting.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 09:23:03 AM by Just Joe »

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3741 on: October 05, 2017, 09:40:10 AM »

We're dealing with an un-motivated teen as well. Not unreliable in any other way, no other problems. In his case I think it will take a few years of watching his peers move on, and a few years of working crap jobs for him to see the light.

I don't know what we'd do if we had all the contributing factors you're dealing with.

Its frustrating b/c we've tried to steer him to success. We're two well educated professionals with the ability to send him to any state 'U' here. We've offered him tutors, our tutoring, and the opportunity for him to live away at school if he wanted - he'd have to work a little job somewhere to help fund his spending money. He wouldn't go to school with a new car and the best "stuff". All he had to do was show he was serious by earning the grades. And he hasn't done that.

Funny thing is that he is a square away hard worker otherwise, just not academically.

I made some of these same mistakes a few decades ago. We're alot alike him and me. He's a late bloomer - mature in some ways and on topics of school and starting adult life he's not. Meanwhile very trustworthy to go out and do the right things and get home by curfew.

One day the light will go on over his head and he'll have to do what I did and work his way through college. We won't likely be in a position to help him as much then. School of hard knocks and all that...

I'm hoping that after graduation rather than waste two or three good years he'll be conducive to attending a vocational school. He is a hands on guy. I think it would really appeal to him if he'd give it a chance. Would be a good pairing with the things he says he wants to do in college. That broad academic background...

The thing we are doing that my parents didn't do and DW's parents did is provide a place for safe landings. We don't fight about anything. It just shuts him down and he won't talk about his problems with us so the communication would stop. Arguments function as mechanisms that cause him to isolate himself from us, not change the heading of his life's ship.

He isn't "wired" for confrontational discussions that lead to solutions. It could just drive him into the influence of someone else or escapism. I know how much this sounds like we are passive enablers but there is a larger plan and we're just waiting out the school year. That's the next hard turning point. 

I'm not going to risk our relationship with him over school where he is one of thousands of students and communication with the teachers is not great and their expectations/assignments/instruction are not always clear.

I look back on my HS years as a period of conflict and more stress than I could handle with my parents that have left their mark decades later. Those grades were imperative. And I still didn't earn good grades b/c I wasn't mature enough to value the education. That led to my "path less traveled" and that was much better - a series of crap jobs, the military, the end of parents' rule over my life, college on my own dime, etc. It was hard though. It made me a stronger person though.

We'll be encouraging through the end of HS and then his life gets real serious. I fully expect he'll still be financially struggling five years after that but we won't be dealing with the "he said/teacher said" ambiguity. The middle school, high school, college route is not for everyone.

I was an unmotivated teen myself, and frankly, have been a marginally motivated adult for most of my life. I never worked as hard for anything as I have worked for FIRE the last 3.5 years.

Have you considered alternative educational paths NOW, as opposed to after HS?
Semi-FIREd December 2017, part-time entrepreneur, lover of puppies and saltwater.

Just Joe

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3742 on: October 05, 2017, 10:59:43 AM »
No. Like what?

I wonder how many kids would benefit from some other sort of learning situation.

I did not go to high school vocational training b/c that is where all the roughnecks were sent and some of them were the bullies at my school.

I was a bit of a male wallflower that point. Blend in, survive to graduation. 

I would have benefited from vocational training far more than at that point than Greek mythology...
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 08:47:02 AM by Just Joe »

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3743 on: October 05, 2017, 11:21:23 AM »
I have 3 relatives that went to the voc high school here, and one is now a very successful carpenter, one is a plumber, and one is in grad school getting a master's. The voc didn't limit them at all, and did directly contribute to them getting good gainful employment. They were able to try out different avenues and do what suited them. If the school is good, I would check it out. See if he shows any interest.

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3744 on: October 05, 2017, 11:53:09 AM »
Yep, I've thought about that. We're encouraging him to pursue anything he wants - including vocational training.

Another springboard for discussion might be MMM's article on 50 jobs over $50K without a degree:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/07/25/50-jobs-over-50000-without-a-degree-part-1/

Part 2 is here:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/08/05/50-jobs-over-50000-without-a-degree-part-2/

I'm not a parent myself, so anything I say here is based only on though-experiments of what it might be like to be a parent in this situation--so take the following for what it's worth.  ;-)

I think the first step is getting him to a level of awareness about having to make his own way in the world after high school is over.  I'm wondering if his lack of motivation might be based on a lack of understanding of what it really looks like and feels like to live as an adult in the world without the Bank of Mom and Dad. 

One of the must-do tasks here is to work out a plan for what post-high-school parental support would look like, and then communicate those parameters to him very clearly, so that any decisions he makes will be made in that context.  And then comes the hardest part of all:  really sticking to them, even if he gets into a jam. 

Maybe tell him that you hear him about college not being his thing, and use these articles as a springboard for discussion about what other avenues he might want to pursue, so that you can help him along his chosen path.

Please keep us posted on how it goes!  We're all rooting for you.

Just Joe

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3745 on: October 05, 2017, 12:10:46 PM »
Thanks - I have an easier task than others here. Let's collectively root for them.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3746 on: October 05, 2017, 06:00:20 PM »
No. Like what?

I wonder how many kids would benefit from some other sort of learning situation.

I did not go to high school vocational training b/c that is where all the roughnecks were sent and some of them were the bullies at my school.

I would have benefited from vocational training far more than at that point than Greek mythology...

There's an old saying, "where there's muck, there's brass". Brass is slang for money. It still holds true. Plumbers, drainlayers, drain clearers etc etc, they all make good money, most of them end up working for themselves, and they're always in demand. There are a hell of a lot of roughnecks making a small fortune doing the messy jobs, and they end up owning the company.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3747 on: October 06, 2017, 01:40:55 AM »
I forgot to post about this, but my sister was in town about a week ago. I love my sister but it is very hard to hang out with her for a long period of time because after a little while she starts probing into my life and then making clear judgments that I'm not living it correctly.

Simple point but well put. I know people like this and you are right. Small doses.

My mother is like this. Very tiresome to experience this every time we meet and quite hurtful to be treated like this.

Just Joe

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3748 on: October 06, 2017, 09:12:07 AM »
You just have to flex your DGAF. Yeah, easier said than done sometimes. Practice makes perfect?

Personally I have to steel myself before dealing with family who are like this. Always ready to walk out if they want to get too pushy and judgmental.

Last time was disguised as a extended family meal. Nice meal, nice visit, and then they pounced. I could sense something was "off" and should have anticipated it.

Get up to kindly excuse yourself (who wants your kids to witness these moments?) and take your family out of the situation and the power shifts to you. It hurts and its awkward but I don't want my kids or DW to be in the middle of that.

I was able to burnish my DGAF thanks to the stories shared by everyone on this website.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 09:18:35 AM by Just Joe »

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Relatives who just don't get it
« Reply #3749 on: October 06, 2017, 01:04:14 PM »
Personally I have to steel myself before dealing with family who are like this. Always ready to walk out if they want to get too pushy and judgmental.

Last time was disguised as a extended family meal. Nice meal, nice visit, and then they pounced. I could sense something was "off" and should have anticipated it.
This sounds like a very entertaining story.  Care to share more of the details?