Author Topic: “My child is gifted. He’s also 29, unemployed, and living in my basement”  (Read 11175 times)


The_Dude

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Ha ha nice article.  Thanks for sharing

arebelspy

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It's an issue these days.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23182523
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/books/man_of_kneel_PHEDS6aPAczquQE4AgwTiP

(Actually should probably start a separate thread on the above two, but it'd get divisive quite quickly.)

That was a great response though, mainly because the original letter writer was an idiot.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

mobilisinmobili

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I was doing ok with the article until the
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He has a college education, it’s pointless for him to be out working in a retail store or some other menial job. I will be here for him until he is able to get the job he deserves.

This bullshit sense of entitlement is galling.

And BOOM. Love This:

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You know, something tells me an astronaut’s parents never have to inform people that their child is “gifted.” People sort of pick up on that based on context clues. They behold his accomplishments and admire his achievements. They can SEE his gifts. He uses them, applies them, refines them.

Maigahane

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^ Really? It took you to the end of point 3 to be not okay with it?

1)
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You said you plain to teach your kids “how to think.” I guess this is common in right wing religious fundamentalist households. Personally, I let my child form his own conclusions about things. To impose your views on a child is tantamount to child abuse. Do them a favor, let them think FREELY.

I'm neither right wing nor religous and I think teaching kids how to think is the way to go. I think he misinterpreted the idea of teaching how to think because to me that means teaching them how to come to their own conclusions given facts (and how to research facts if needed), not teaching them what to think as "Nick" implies

2) 
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You greatly exaggerate the importance of “chores.” Also, the idea that a kid should be forced to “get a job” is abhorrent. My son was very gifted so we gave him all the tools to succeed academically

Ummm, teaching kids responsibility gets them far further in life than letting them get good grades in school. Also I worry that by giving "him all the tools to succeed academically" involved actively helping him succeed academically thus hurting him even more

3a)
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My son is almost 29 and he’s been home with us since he graduated. Unfortunately the job market isn’t the greatest (maybe you hadn’t heard) and I’m not going to let him starve on the street.

I'm almost 28, worked all the way through my undergrad living on my own (well, with my husband, but no financial support from parents) and graduated in '07 and guess what? I got a job. While my parents wouldn't have let me starve they actively encouraged me to pull up my big girl panties and fend for myself

*sigh* Helicopter parents, can't help but cringe at them

LalsConstant

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Wow. That parent and his son make me feel better about myself.  Does that make me a terrible person?

I truly pity the son.  He was not instilled with anything resembling a work ethic so if he has one it will have to be self taught.  I hope he is at least writing or making crafts or reading or something in his parents basement.

Forcus

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I truly pity the son.  He was not instilled with anything resembling a work ethic so if he has one it will have to be self taught.

Ironically, that is the true child abuse. Guess it's not just "right wing religious fundamentalist households"!

Matte

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Sounds sUper familiar to me! The town I grew up is full of them.  Can't say I have much sympathy, they were the ones who got liquer bought for them in high school, rides everywhere, allowances in teens and20s, treated like little princes.  No sympathy from me!!!

footenote

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Sounds sUper familiar to me! The town I grew up is full of them.  Can't say I have much sympathy, they were the ones who got liquer bought for them in high school, rides everywhere, allowances in teens and20s, treated like little princes.  No sympathy from me!!!
Actually I feel very sorry for these young adults. Their parents have ruined them. That's not to say that, as adults, they do not have the opportunity to strike off on their own and get on with life. But with enabling parents continuing to support them, the odds are against them.

Adventine

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Good read, that.

MrsPete

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Ignoring the parenting altogether, Gifted doesn't equal successful. 

I'm from a large family, and the sister who is BY FAR the smartest, most gifted, seemingly possessing more potential than the rest of us . . . has accomplished significantly less with her life than the rest of us (we're all in our 40s now).  Since high school, she's failed miserably in the realm of self-discipline, works for barely over minimum wage, can't pay bills, can't manage simple things like maintaining car insurance.

Albert

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To be successful in addition of being smart one also needs to be ambitious and hard working. Your sister is hardly the only "smart" but lazy person out there.


arebelspy

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Your sister is hardly the only "smart" but lazy person out there.

I embody that persona.

I only work hard now so I can be extra lazy as soon as possible.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

plantingourpennies

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@rebel

Is ok, we're in good company.

http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html

Best,
Mr. PoP

kyleaaa

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This is very well studied. It turns out that being gifted intellectually doesn't really correlate with success in life. So no, you wouldn't expect somebody to be successful just because there were gifted. Being gifted is not enough. One of the smartest men who ever lived (his IQ dwarfs that of Einstein) has spent most of his career as a bouncer at a nightclub. There's a lot more to success than being really, really smart. Most of it has to do with where you're from and who your parents are.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2013, 12:43:38 PM by kyleaaa »

Jamesqf

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There's also a problem with exactly how you define success.  If it's something conventional, like being CEO of a multi-billion dollar company, and spending all your time in offices & fancy hotel suites... Well, is that "success" when you'd rather be out backpacking, riding your horse in the mountains, or even surfing?

EMP

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Your sister is hardly the only "smart" but lazy person out there.

I embody that persona.

I only work hard now so I can be extra lazy as soon as possible.
+1

gdborton

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Quote
There's also a problem with exactly how you define success.  If it's something conventional, like being CEO of a multi-billion dollar company, and spending all your time in offices & fancy hotel suites... Well, is that "success" when you'd rather be out backpacking, riding your horse in the mountains, or even surfing?

At the minimum I'd say success involves being able to take care of yourself, and afford your pastimes.

Albert

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This is very well studied. It turns out that being gifted intellectually doesn't really correlate with success in life. So no, you wouldn't expect somebody to be successful just because there were gifted. Being gifted is not enough. One of the smartest men who ever lived (his IQ dwarfs that of Einstein) has spent most of his career as a bouncer at a nightclub. There's a lot more to success than being really, really smart. Most of it has to do with where you're from and who your parents are.

Fatalism at it's best...


stevedoug

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Just turned 30,
Been in engineering for 10 years,
went to inexpensive state college,
paid my own way.
I'm very much independent of my parents (if anything they are getting to the age where they are getting more and more dependent on me).
I am not gifted. Although, to be honest I have no idea what "gifted" is.... High IQ? excels at the clarinet? Some things are more... applicable than others.

But, quite often I wonder if I'm meeting my potential.
I realize that answer is firmly no.  No one is every quite meeting their potential... always striving to be better is what makes someone truly awesome. But that doesn't mean you can't GTFO out of your parents basement, and get SOME work done.

MrsPete

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This is very well studied. It turns out that being gifted intellectually doesn't really correlate with success in life. So no, you wouldn't expect somebody to be successful just because there were gifted. Being gifted is not enough. One of the smartest men who ever lived (his IQ dwarfs that of Einstein) has spent most of his career as a bouncer at a nightclub. There's a lot more to success than being really, really smart. Most of it has to do with where you're from and who your parents are.
To be argumentative, I'm from a large family, and all of us have become hard-working adults . . . But one child turned out differently:  Can't seem to save a penny, constantly gets calls from debt collectors, under-employed.  How does this happen?  We were all raised in the same house with the same rules.  This one sister is night-and-day different from the rest of us. 

footenote

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This is very well studied. It turns out that being gifted intellectually doesn't really correlate with success in life. So no, you wouldn't expect somebody to be successful just because there were gifted. Being gifted is not enough. One of the smartest men who ever lived (his IQ dwarfs that of Einstein) has spent most of his career as a bouncer at a nightclub. There's a lot more to success than being really, really smart. Most of it has to do with where you're from and who your parents are.
To be argumentative, I'm from a large family, and all of us have become hard-working adults . . . But one child turned out differently:  Can't seem to save a penny, constantly gets calls from debt collectors, under-employed.  How does this happen?  We were all raised in the same house with the same rules.  This one sister is night-and-day different from the rest of us.
I have a serious case of "Are you a brother from another mother?!" My parents were not-quite-painfully-frugal*, but brother and SIL spend like there is (literally) no tomorrow.

*I worked for a high-end retailer in my 20s and we got a generous employee discount. I bought mom a nice Coach purse, something she would never buy for herself. Visiting months later, I found it in a dresser drawer. "Mom, you don't use it?" Mom: "Oh, I love it and I do use it! I just save it for church and special occasions."

You know, so it wouldn't wear out...  : /

StarswirlTheMustached

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This is very well studied. It turns out that being gifted intellectually doesn't really correlate with success in life. So no, you wouldn't expect somebody to be successful just because there were gifted. Being gifted is not enough. One of the smartest men who ever lived (his IQ dwarfs that of Einstein) has spent most of his career as a bouncer at a nightclub. There's a lot more to success than being really, really smart. Most of it has to do with where you're from and who your parents are.

Fatalism at it's best...

Her last line, maybe, but! Intelligence isn't everything. By itself, it's not really much of anything. Take me, for example.
When I finished my M.Sc. project, my thesis supervisor told me I was, hands-down, the smartest graduate student he had ever worked with, and even though I was switching fields to do my PhD, he was certain I'd excel.

He was wrong. I had a total nervous breakdown, dropped out, and may very well be in my parents basement in another couple of months, because I cannot find employment either. Intelligence just wasn't enough. To go with the nerdiest possible analogy, you need a balanced character sheet. I passed the Int check easily, but rolled very poorly on Con and For. (and this is D20, not Shadowrun-- I didn't get any flaw points for my mental illness, unless I foolishly poured them back into Int)

It's very hard to get a retail job with a master's degree, and it's equally hard to explain away the gap on your resume if you leave it out. (Indeed, in this job market, they don't give you the chance to explain away any gaps.) If I knew a guy? Or was fortunate enough to be born into a business-owning family? I'd be fine, my ticket would be written already. I know this because I know plenty of folk who had their tickets written.

It's equally easy to imagine that, without some of the benefits of my white-middle-class upbringing, I wouldn't have gotten as far as I did, and that without a genetically inherited mental illness, I would have gone much further. You can be the greatest genius in the world, but if your born in a Haitian slum and die of cholera at age 16, what the hell good does it do you?

MrsStubble

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bwahahaha- i was cracking up before i even read the article!