Author Topic: Back to the drawing board with my parents.... and still don't know what to do.  (Read 29603 times)

terratek

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Learning from your kids through the experience of raising them, and learning from the experience of sharing of life with other human beings in general, is one thing. 

Your kids sitting you down at the table and teaching you things that you should have taught them is totally different.  We're talking finances and decision making skills here, not new tech gadgets and photography apps.

You can soap  box your ideal life experience with your wonderful, insightful and wise kids all you want.  But encouraging someone to expend their energies on a lost cause, relatives as they may be, is bad advice. 

The whole point of this site is about debunking typical belief systems and behaviors that result in poor financial/life decisions.  Since OP is engaging in the same activities over and over again ("teaching" her parents about finance), expecting different results, maybe its time for a change of perspective rather than more of the same (manipulating finance figures). 

It has been said that doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results, is the definition of insanity.

nyxst

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Learning from your kids through the experience of raising them, and learning from the experience of sharing of life with other human beings in general, is one thing. 

Your kids sitting you down at the table and teaching you things that you should have taught them is totally different.  We're talking finances and decision making skills here, not new tech gadgets and photography apps.

You can soap  box your ideal life experience with your wonderful, insightful and wise kids all you want.  But encouraging someone to expend their energies on a lost cause, relatives as they may be, is bad advice. 

The whole point of this site is about debunking typical belief systems and behaviors that result in poor financial/life decisions.  Since OP is engaging in the same activities over and over again ("teaching" her parents about finance), expecting different results, maybe its time for a change of perspective rather than more of the same (manipulating finance figures). 

It has been said that doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results, is the definition of insanity.

Sure, my parents are a lost cause. Still, I will try to help them by showing them what I can.  I honestly hope that all three of my kids are smarter and better at life than I am.  I hope someday to be able to stand next to them as adults and be able to learn from their worldly experiences, because they will have different experiences than I do.  I am 36... I have three kids (my parents only had one) so I, logically, have had a different experience than they had when it comes to raising children.  I think if a question ever came up about raising "kids" and having them get along well (just for example) I would surely be able to answer the question better than my parents could... because we have had different life experiences.  I have had to budget very differently to "survive" being a single parent with three kids and having gone through divorce, things that my parents NEVER experienced... so they never got the difficult lessons I got.  They had wealthy parents, who gave them each a lot, and who are gone now.  They never learned. I learned.  I don't see the problem with three adult humans sitting down and sharing life lessons with each other to try to help where there is a lack of knowledge.  Obviously, they know a lot about a lot of things that they can still teach me. Just not a lot about money. 
That all being said, I am completely hands off with them.  I tried to help a year ago, I gave them information in the best way I though I could, then I stepped back and focused on my own life and my own issues.  The seem to have slowly decided they like one or two of the things we talked about and have been incorporating things. No magic wand, just sharing of ideas between adults that happen to be related.

RetiredAt63

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Help them if you want - just don't try to change them.  No surprise that someone without the maturity to know they can't educate their parents would get defensive about what I said.  You can get all offended or take in some wisdom.  Much like a teenager, you have been offended.  I don't care one way or another.

You didn't read your mod note so I am reposting it for you.
MOD NOTE: Forum rule #1.
For your convenience (since you seem to have not read them), here are the rules:

The overriding principle here on this site: Be a human being and treat others respectfully.
That includes, but is not limited to:
1. Don't be a jerk.
2. Attack an argument, not a person.
3. Your posts must not break any laws.
4. Be respectful of the site and other members.
5. No spam.
6. Use good taste.


PS If anyone is sounding like a teenager here, it is you.

mm1970

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Nyxst, how much of your mother refusing to get a regular job is due to her thinking that her career is as an artist?

None, I don't think. She has a social anxiety issue. I've asked her to try talking to her doctor about it, but she has gotten gradually worse over the years. It is even harder for her as she gets older. She has no confidence. My dad is a social butterfly and is always out and about. She rarely leaves the house. That's why the cable thing is such a major issue... I think it's her best friend in some weird way. I see the same tendencies in myself, so I try to force myself to be more social then I would probably be naturally, just for fear that I could withdraw completely. She is not a happy person and I wish I could do more.
Still, she is an amazing artist. The problem is that the easiest way to make fast cash is buy drawing people on request (she can make $50 to pen and ink someone's child for example) but she won't put herself into a position to meet new people, and you can't really draw the SAME people's kids over and over... She watched kids mostly while I was growing up.
This struck a chord, as my mother was similar and got steadily worse for her last decade of life.

mm1970

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Learning from your kids through the experience of raising them, and learning from the experience of sharing of life with other human beings in general, is one thing. 

Your kids sitting you down at the table and teaching you things that you should have taught them is totally different.  We're talking finances and decision making skills here, not new tech gadgets and photography apps.

You can soap  box your ideal life experience with your wonderful, insightful and wise kids all you want.  But encouraging someone to expend their energies on a lost cause, relatives as they may be, is bad advice. 

The whole point of this site is about debunking typical belief systems and behaviors that result in poor financial/life decisions.  Since OP is engaging in the same activities over and over again ("teaching" her parents about finance), expecting different results, maybe its time for a change of perspective rather than more of the same (manipulating finance figures). 

It has been said that doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results, is the definition of insanity.

I don't see the difference, really, and you are totally off base to think it's egotistical.  Clearly OP is better at money than her parents, and later, she's explained why (her life experience).  I'm better at engineering than my parents, my mom was a much better gardener, my dad better at fixing cars.  Etc. etc.

I think it's difficult when it's such a close family member - for more than one reason. 
#1, it hurts to see someone you love suffer like this, when you know there's a better way.  And it's probably not that her parents are stupid, just uneducated in this particular area.

#2, their lives are intertwined, albeit less so than at first with the child care.  (And as far as summer care goes, it's possible that it was cheaper than other options).  They owe her money.  They are going to continue to ask her for money.  It's going to be very difficult to "cut them off" financially but not emotionally.

I have a great, talented friend who is a dietitian.  She once told me that many years into her career, she learned about phases of learning and change.  She realized that there are several "phases" and some people JUST AREN'T READY.  She learned to identify which people would come to her and want the magic bullet - they were not ready to make changes - and which people were ready.  She actually took seminars to be able to identify these traits.

This seems similar.  OP's parents have to be ready.

My 10 year old teaches me stuff all the time - computer programming, chess, baseball, all about the largest volcano ever in the world...

ender

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I don't see the difference, really, and you are totally off base to think it's egotistical.  Clearly OP is better at money than her parents, and later, she's explained why (her life experience).  I'm better at engineering than my parents, my mom was a much better gardener, my dad better at fixing cars.  Etc. etc.

I think that the far more normal situation is parents not being willing to learn from their children, particularly on anything parents feel awkward about, such as money. This problem gets a lot worse the more the parents need the advice.

It fits my family well, my parents would never want to learn anything from me - someday they might stop seeing me as a kid, but that day has not yet come and I suspect never will.

Imagine your 10 year old tried to give you marriage counseling if you and your SO were finding it hard. Would you take them seriously? Seek out their counsel? Sure, you might find it cute, but would you take them seriously? Why or why not? Now recognize that same feeling is present in many of these interactions where important things are concerned for many parental relationships.

JG in Hangzhou

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Nyxst, how much of your mother refusing to get a regular job is due to her thinking that her career is as an artist?

Still, she is an amazing artist. The problem is that the easiest way to make fast cash is buy drawing people on request (she can make $50 to pen and ink someone's child for example) but she won't put herself into a position to meet new people, and you can't really draw the SAME people's kids over and over... She watched kids mostly while I was growing up.

Seems like she has no anxiety around kids. Maybe she should try holding art classes for kids.  This could lead to other opportunities.  She can start small, one or two classes a week.  If she's good, word will get around.  She could do it right from their house.  No costs for her but time.   Make sure she has the students pay for  all materials. 

Then if you have the time and energy , you could help her manage the parents, or advertising.  Really it doesn't take much.  Just find out what other art classes charge, and let neighbors know she's going to do it.  Let word of mouth bring in new students.   

nyxst

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Nyxst, how much of your mother refusing to get a regular job is due to her thinking that her career is as an artist?

Still, she is an amazing artist. The problem is that the easiest way to make fast cash is buy drawing people on request (she can make $50 to pen and ink someone's child for example) but she won't put herself into a position to meet new people, and you can't really draw the SAME people's kids over and over... She watched kids mostly while I was growing up.

Seems like she has no anxiety around kids. Maybe she should try holding art classes for kids.  This could lead to other opportunities.  She can start small, one or two classes a week.  If she's good, word will get around.  She could do it right from their house.  No costs for her but time.   Make sure she has the students pay for  all materials. 

Then if you have the time and energy , you could help her manage the parents, or advertising.  Really it doesn't take much.  Just find out what other art classes charge, and let neighbors know she's going to do it.  Let word of mouth bring in new students.

Excellent idea! I will run that past her!

mm1970

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I don't see the difference, really, and you are totally off base to think it's egotistical.  Clearly OP is better at money than her parents, and later, she's explained why (her life experience).  I'm better at engineering than my parents, my mom was a much better gardener, my dad better at fixing cars.  Etc. etc.

I think that the far more normal situation is parents not being willing to learn from their children, particularly on anything parents feel awkward about, such as money. This problem gets a lot worse the more the parents need the advice.

It fits my family well, my parents would never want to learn anything from me - someday they might stop seeing me as a kid, but that day has not yet come and I suspect never will.

Imagine your 10 year old tried to give you marriage counseling if you and your SO were finding it hard. Would you take them seriously? Seek out their counsel? Sure, you might find it cute, but would you take them seriously? Why or why not? Now recognize that same feeling is present in many of these interactions where important things are concerned for many parental relationships.
Honestly children can be very wise.  While we don't have marital problems, we have argued from time to time.  The 10 year old (when he was younger) has come out with some statements that REALLY did make me stop and think.

(Sometimes the answer is simple and we make it too complicated.)