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Did I Teach My Kids Anything??

Beth Blacker thought she did a good job as a mom, until…
Read more from Beth on her blog.

Kids…I don’t know what’s wrong with these kids today. – Bye Bye Birdie

While these lyrics were written over 55 years ago, there’s no arguing they still hold true today…well, except us parents thinking we were really all that perfect. But still, there’s no denying, the problems seem to be exponentially greater than previous generations.

Did I Teach My Kids Anything?? Have I failed as a parent?

Can I hear a hell ya?????

Don’t leave me hanging people.

Anyway, a recent conversation with my daughter went something like this:

Daughter: Hey, I just thought I’d let you know that my wallet was stolen and the AMEX card I have that is connected to your account was in it.

Me: Did you call AMEX and report it as stolen?

Daughter: No, that’s why I’m calling you.

Me: I gave you the card because I consider you responsible enough to manage all aspects of it and that does include calling to report it stolen.

Daughter: I’m really busy.

Me: And so am I. Make the call.

Daughter: I’ve never called AMEX before.

Me: There’s a first time for everything. By the way, when was it stolen?

Daughter: Yesterday.

Me: Seriously? Why didn’t you call yesterday.

Daughter: I told you I’m really busy.

Me: You do understand that in the past 24 hours the person that stole it may have charged a bazillion things?

Daughter: What do people like in omelets?

Me: What?

Daughter: I’m in charge of craft services this week, I’m at the grocery store and need to get stuff to make omelets.

Me: I think we’re done…love you, bye bye

A few days later my son finally sat down to write his thank you cards for the graduation gifts he received and this conversation took place…

Son: How do you address an envelope?

Me: You’re kidding right?

Son: No, can’t you just tell me without making a big deal about it.

Me: You’re kidding right? 

Son: Mom!

Me: Son! 

Son: Mom stop!

Me: No you stop!

Son: Oh my G-d you’re ridiculous

Me: No you’re ridiculous

Yep, call me crazy but…I could have continued that forever.

However, at some point I did actually stop and started to feel like I have totally failed as a parent. I mean if my 21 year old daughter doesn’t know how to call a credit card company and my 18 year old son doesn’t know how to address an envelope I need to seriously re-evaluate what exactly it was that I was doing with them all of these years.

I know they are both really smart and I’m not sharing these stories to embarrass them, but attention to the common sense details of life just seem to be escaping their entire generation. I suppose one could argue that there will come a point in time when their smart phones will be so smart that they won’t have to worry about such mundane tasks and everything will magically happen for them thanks to some app created, no doubt, by a 16 year old. For now, though, what’s a mother to do?

Well, this mom usually ends up…

#1 – Counting to 10 or practicing some serious yoga breathing whenever one of my kids asks me to help them with something I think they are more than capable of handling but clearly are looking for me to just deal with it. This usually leads to…

#2 – Inserting humor…well, more like sarcasm…into the situation. In my mind, most of these moments call for laughter. My kids, however, tend not to appreciate my sense of humor/sarcasm which means they press on and I’m left with…

#3  – Looking at the clock to determine if it is too early for alcohol.  That doesn’t really help them much but at that point, I’m good.

Look, I was raised to be a very independent, stand on my own two feet kind of gal. My parents were relatively hands off until it was really obvious I had run out of options for how to maneuver my way through a particular situation. It has, I believe, served me very well in life. I tried to more or less raise my kids the same way.

Society, though, has messed with that plan big time.

The sense of entitlement surrounding my children’s generation is astounding and the overwhelming number of distractions that take them away from dealing with a task at hand is absurd to say the least. I’m not sure any amount of deep breathing, witty comebacks or it’s 5 o’clock somewhere behavior will solve the problem. Unfortunately, I don’t have the answers and feel like I am left with just crossing my fingers so tightly I am cutting off my circulation.

A week before the conversation with my daughter, I witnessed the filming of her senior thesis. I’ve written on my blog about her being a student at Florida State’s Film School, a very intense and highly competitive program. I have listened to countless conversations about the grueling schedule and demands, seen the end result in her sophomore and junior year projects, but being on set with her for 3 days watching her take control of a crew of about 30 other film students, actors and volunteers? I was blown away!

And yet the conversation about her wallet still happened a week later.

 

I had dinner with a friend the other night and as I shared my feelings with her about these type of situations, here’s the conversation that pursued…

Friend:  How many times have you found yourself without any toilet paper after you’ve already gone to the bathroom and how does it make you feel?

Me:  Ummm…where’s this going?

Friend:  Think about it…no amount of shaking, jiggling, whatever is going to make you feel good about the situation you are in. 

Me:  Uh huh

Friend:  So what do you do? 

Me:  Yell to my husband to bring me another roll.

Friend:  But what if he’s not around?

Me:  Swear at myself for not looking before I sat down.

Friend:  Exactly but hopefully not make the same mistake repeatedly right?

Me: One would hope.

Friend:  Bottom line, most young adults aren’t going to realize just how important it is to take care of the little things until they really are left to their own devices. If your daughter’s wallet ever gets lost or stolen again, she’ll probably call you again until everything in her wallet is hers and hers alone. Your son, on the other hand, will no doubt remember now how to address an envelope.

Me:  Again, one would hope.

Until then, I have alcohol ?

 

Beth Blacker

Hello, my name is Beth Blacker and, yes, you can call me crazy. Why? Well, most days start off with me wearing my Director of Strategic Relationships and Community Outreach hat for OJ Mortgage in Clearwater, FL . That does require networking my little midlife tushy off. Things tend to get a little crazier and crazier as each day progresses and before I know it, I find myself with some story to tell and, of course, share via Beth Blacker...Call Me Crazy and a bunch of social media sites. Bottom line, I am just keeping it real one crazy day at a time, usually with the help of a glass of wine. Hey, don't judge...this whole midlife thing requires a lot of assistance!

Beth Blacker

Hello, my name is Beth Blacker and, yes, you can call me crazy. Why? Well, most days start off with me wearing my Director of Strategic Relationships and Community Outreach hat for OJ Mortgage in Clearwater, FL . That does require networking my little midlife tushy off. Things tend to get a little crazier and crazier as each day progresses and before I know it, I find myself with some story to tell and, of course, share via Beth Blacker...Call Me Crazy and a bunch of social media sites. Bottom line, I am just keeping it real one crazy day at a time, usually with the help of a glass of wine. Hey, don't judge...this whole midlife thing requires a lot of assistance!

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Laurie Stone

Friday 28th of August 2015

Hi Beth, I also have two sons in their early twenties who had no idea how fill out an envelope or write a check. In this day of email and debit cards, they looked at me like I'd asked them to translate Chinese. I can't imagine what their children's lives will be like. How antiquated our world will seem.

Beth

Saturday 12th of September 2015

Agreed Laurie! Thanks for reading and commenting :)

Andrew Continental

Friday 28th of August 2015

i have a better one that yours, actually lots of them but this one sort of takes the cake, feel free to use it

daughter: Dad, i feel sick I think i'm coming down with something

me: take some vitiman C and drink lost of water,

daughter: I'm out of water

me: they have water in the sink don't they?

Daughter,: I never thought about that

me: glad i'm paying for a college education

Beth

Friday 28th of August 2015

So honored to be one of your featured bloggers...thanks! Hope all of the parents out there finds some bit of relatable content in this blog :)

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