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What do you think? Is this just one of those things a person must discover for themselves?

 

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I'm 35  and I still think most school centered policies, ideas, requirement, etc are wrong.  so, as such, I don't think there is anything you can do to open his eyes to your way of thinking.  I know this is a jawm  but i can't honestly answer your question while also agreeing with you.  I think all you can do is nod and repeat 'that sounds like it is frustrating.'

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Got one two three of those, too. Fun times. I was just thinking how I was really regretting raising them to think for themselves and not blindly follow "authorities" etc etc. I don't really regret it, but in the moment I wouldn't be sorry to have some compliant, door mats. 🙂

ETA: I would only admit it here that these apples don't fall from the Mom-tree. But I will only admit that here. 🙂

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1 minute ago, aggie96 said:

Got one two three of those, too. Fun times. I was just thinking how I was really regretting raising them to think for themselves and not blindly follow "authorities" etc etc. I don't really regret it, but in the moment I wouldn't be sorry to have some compliant, door mats. 🙂

Oh man, same. 

 

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Two things I've noticed helps...

  1. Video of them acting like that.  I guarantee he has NO IDEA how off putting it is.  It's like hormones take over and they lose all sense of self-awareness.
  2. I have a rule that there is NO COMPLAINING (thought I may use a more colorful term) unless they come up with a better idea. And then the job is to go to whoever is in charge and ASK them why they don't consider this other idea.  Being proactive about these things in high school can net you a really great college recommendation letter, as well as get you networked into opportunities you had no idea existed. If you don't like it, find out why it is that way, figure out a better way to address this problem, and then fix it.  And if you're so good at figuring out solutions to problems like that you might want to get an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering and an MBA because you'll excel in being the boss of fixing problems.  Otherwise shut up and just say you're frustrated.  The world is bad enough without hearing YOU complain.

I also once threatened to make someone do a book report on a Dennis Prager book about the moral duty to be happy, but the child stopped (I think because of a video her friend took) and Prager went off the conservative deep end about the same time I became much more liberal. I never did read the book.

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On 9/16/2021 at 7:35 PM, katilac said:

Just let him grow out of it. You say it's mostly school things, and that's a pretty harmless focus for disdain. 

I don't see why showing him deplorable circumstances would help; he's disdainful, not ungrateful 😂 

 

 

 
 

I just want him to realize that, every day, there are people who have to figure out how to access water

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Me to my kids when they are arguing, grumbling, complaining, or otherwise annoying me: 

"Is this going to matter 5 years, 5 months, or even 5 days from now? Because if it's not, just let it go and move on to happier and more fun things in your life. Go play with your cats and laugh at them."

I will point out that they do not have all of the info that was involved in making a decision or policy. It could have been an honest mistake that something was overlooked or it could have been very deliberate because of factors they know nothing about. Either way, humans are humans, and I've yet to meet a perfect one, not even them!

 

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I've got one of those! Having her move out when she turned 18 has greatly improved our relationship. Sometimes people who think they know everything just have to learn the hard way how much they really don't know. It's painful to watch, but all I can really do is make sure she knows I'm here for her if it all falls apart.

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I think this can be a constructive attitude for someone who is being asked to go out and figure out their entire life from scratch.  
 

I don’t mean I “like” it — but I am glad I am not that age anymore!  It is not an easy age to be ime.  

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One of my dearest friends is a woman I met when our now 22 yos were starting Montessori preschool together, age 2. From the outset, our now-young men *could not be more different* in just about every imaginable dimension, and they went off to different schools after kindergarten; and long ago the two of them grew apart, but she and I remain close.

For a good 10 year stretch there, whenever I asked her how her son was doing, she'd roll her eyes and answer, "he is a pain in my @ss."

And then there was a later 5 year stretch, whenever *she* asked *me* about *my* son, I'd roll mine and answer the same way.

And b'h, they're both fine young men now.

And so too will yours be.

 

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Mine knows everything about how the world really works. So at least yours is keeping it relegated to school.

Honestly, I've found that when I poke at my kid - like, when we argue about something - he's really fragile about it underneath. Like, we'll be having what I think is just a nice debate about a topic. And I'm disagreeing. Like, yeah, that's true but what about this and that. Okay, sure, but I see it differently because... And then suddenly in the midst of his really assured attitude he'll break down and be like, "why is everyone always piling on me!?!" and almost get a little weepy.

Basically, I have to remember that it's all a bit of a front.

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13 minutes ago, Lecka said:

I think this can be a constructive attitude for someone who is being asked to go out and figure out their entire life from scratch.  
 

I don’t mean I “like” it — but I am glad I am not that age anymore!  It is not an easy age to be ime.  

Your response puzzles me…this isn’t the case for my son; he’s not being asked to figure out his entire life from scratch. 🤔

Or maybe you’re just musing. 

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29 minutes ago, fraidycat said:

Me to my kids when they are arguing, grumbling, complaining, or otherwise annoying me: 

"Is this going to matter 5 years, 5 months, or even 5 days from now? Because if it's not, just let it go and move on to happier and more fun things in your life. Go play with your cats and laugh at them."

I will point out that they do not have all of the info that was involved in making a decision or policy. It could have been an honest mistake that something was overlooked or it could have been very deliberate because of factors they know nothing about. Either way, humans are humans, and I've yet to meet a perfect one, not even them!

 

I’ll have to remember that. It might work as a reset.

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42 minutes ago, Farrar said:

Mine knows everything about how the world really works. So at least yours is keeping it relegated to school.

Honestly, I've found that when I poke at my kid - like, when we argue about something - he's really fragile about it underneath. Like, we'll be having what I think is just a nice debate about a topic. And I'm disagreeing. Like, yeah, that's true but what about this and that. Okay, sure, but I see it differently because... And then suddenly in the midst of his really assured attitude he'll break down and be like, "why is everyone always piling on me!?!" and almost get a little weepy.

Basically, I have to remember that it's all a bit of a front.

This is such a good point and something that I’ve also found to be true. 

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47 minutes ago, Farrar said:

Mine knows everything about how the world really works. So at least yours is keeping it relegated to school.

Honestly, I've found that when I poke at my kid - like, when we argue about something - he's really fragile about it underneath. Like, we'll be having what I think is just a nice debate about a topic. And I'm disagreeing. Like, yeah, that's true but what about this and that. Okay, sure, but I see it differently because... And then suddenly in the midst of his really assured attitude he'll break down and be like, "why is everyone always piling on me!?!" and almost get a little weepy.

Basically, I have to remember that it's all a bit of a front.

This rings so true. I think it’s a defense mechanism.
Mine is taking a class now on a kind of a hot topic that EVEryOne has a view on. I tell him, love/hate are pretty basic emotions, everyone feels them—try to understand a bit, that’s the hard stuff. Anyway it’s way better now but sometimes I do think they try out these attitudes, they don’t really have them. 

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Many therapists think that this age group is the one most negatively impacted by the pandemic. Maybe he needs something to change his ideas, get outside of himself. Can you pack him off to Outward Bound or something similar? It ain’t Haiti, but it might to the trick.

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11 minutes ago, bibiche said:

Can you pack him off to Outward Bound or something similar?

This was recommended for one of mine by her therapist. I couldn’t bring myself to do it, but now she’s too old and I really think I should have. 

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5 hours ago, NorthwestMom said:

My 18yo is like this and its exhausting. It doesn't help that she has many strong opinions that appear to be built on splinters of information or philosophy, does not read any mainstream news media, and has not enough real world experience. I am very, very tired.

Yes! This! That absolutely nails the issue. 

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My 17 year old is so much better this year (although we did have a crap day yesterday). Overall he has been pleasant to be around and fun to talk to.

But the 14 year old is in the thick of it. Very self obsessed and oblivious. She says she doesn't think everyone is idiots but it is clear she does with her attitude and comments. Horrible double standards as to what is perfectly ok for her to do and we are being horrible people if we do the same thing. She has ALWAYS been one to feel things rather strongly and express it loudly. She wasn't a fun baby or toddler. The childhood years were pretty good though. Hormones have been killer. She is much better than she was (thank goodness) but we got a ways to go. 

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I have a TEN YEAR OLD (going on 11) who is starting with this crap. I’m sure it’s mostly from watching older siblings. I don’t know if this means it’ll be over sooner or just last seemingly forever. For right now, at least I still have a little bit of bribery power. Not that *I’ve ever outgrown shutting up for cookies, but people rarely try, lol.

 

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The best cure for my oldest was being in charge of younger kids.  He was a scout, and he ended up working at some of the camps.  He'd come home from meetings and such so frazzled and frustrated with the way the younger teens were acting.  When he realized he had acted the same darn way it was a humbling moment. 😄 Same kid was given my How To Talk So Kids Can Learn book as help to work with the scouts, and was horrified to see a lot of the material as familiar conversations he and I had had.

Now, the youngest is 11yo, and the oldest is right there with a hunger games salute of solidarity to me when he sees the same behavior repeated.😁 He knows. 

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On 9/16/2021 at 11:10 PM, bibiche said:

Many therapists think that this age group is the one most negatively impacted by the pandemic. Maybe he needs something to change his ideas, get outside of himself. Can you pack him off to Outward Bound or something similar? It ain’t Haiti, but it might to the trick.

I have looked up Outward Bound and I think that would be awesome for him. There is even a Chesapeake Bay focused division that I think he would (end up) loving. 

 

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1 hour ago, HomeAgain said:

The best cure for my oldest was being in charge of younger kids.  He was a scout, and he ended up working at some of the camps.  He'd come home from meetings and such so frazzled and frustrated with the way the younger teens were acting.  When he realized he had acted the same darn way it was a humbling moment. 😄 Same kid was given my How To Talk So Kids Can Learn book as help to work with the scouts, and was horrified to see a lot of the material as familiar conversations he and I had had.

Now, the youngest is 11yo, and the oldest is right there with a hunger games salute of solidarity to me when he sees the same behavior repeated.😁 He knows. 

My boy did the scouts camp thing this past summer, too, as a way of racking up volunteer hours. He was disdainful of the kids then, too. Maybe if he did some more, he would start to see. 

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3 minutes ago, Quill said:

Then he said, “How could I hike the Appalachian Trail one day and kayak the next?” (Alright Mr. Ridiculous; you’re not hiking the whole 2600 miles…) 

Hey, maybe this is progress since the disdain is in the form of a question!

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On hard work/eye opening experiences...

2, and now 3 of my kids have FLOURISHED in the volunteer fire department. Seriously life changing. My current 14yo has gone through so much growth in just a few short months.

That said, they’re all still a$$hats in the ways teens most often tend to be.  Amazing humans, still difficult to live with. I can’t even imagine how they’d be without the added labor and structure. 

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13 hours ago, Quill said:

I think the disdain is rooted in thinking he has figured life out 100%, and if all the “stupid” people would just do what he thinks, there would be no problems. Arrogance, IOW. 
 

I just want him to realize that, every day, there are people who have to figure out how to access water, for Pete’s sake; they don’t have the luxury of being mad that a standardized test fell during an Algebra II class for one day. 

The fall from the pedestal of, “I have everything figured out and I can force life to conform because I’m smart and hardworking,” has a hellish comeuppance. I’m sorry for his future pain. 
 

i have one who is, admittedly, rather remarkable in her level of effort and planning. She has a tendency to lean towards, “Everyone’s life could be whine free of they were just proactive.”  She’s not wrong... but she discounts that life can be out of your own control sometimes. You can’t always make something for by shoving harder. Learning this is going to hurt. I feel sad about this smacking her in the face, but, like you, not sure how to create a scenario in which they learn it painlessly. 

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Ever since my first trip to India, I've been saying we should require all teens to go spend time in a developing country (and not just in the tourist hotels), partly for this reason.  🙂  Unfortunately, it's kind of expensive for teens to travel internationally.  🙂

I do think that personal experience with small failures is the only reliable way to fix this.  Perhaps your teen would benefit from having a job that is a serious challenge - and I don't mean academically.  For example, trying to keep up with the work of a nurse's aide in a rest home, without losing his humanity.

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I just got an idea ....

I think I'm going to make a line chart with two lines.  The Y axis is quantity of knowledge and wisdom.  The X axis is age in years.  The lines are "how much we think we know" [peaking during the teen years] and "how much we actually know."  It seems a useful thing to hang on our wall.  😛

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13 hours ago, Katy said:

Two things I've noticed helps...

  1. Video of them acting like that.  I guarantee he has NO IDEA how off putting it is.  It's like hormones take over and they lose all sense of self-awareness.
  2. I have a rule that there is NO COMPLAINING (thought I may use a more colorful term) unless they come up with a better idea. And then the job is to go to whoever is in charge and ASK them why they don't consider this other idea.  Being proactive about these things in high school can net you a really great college recommendation letter, as well as get you networked into opportunities you had no idea existed. If you don't like it, find out why it is that way, figure out a better way to address this problem, and then fix it.  And if you're so good at figuring out solutions to problems like that you might want to get an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering and an MBA because you'll excel in being the boss of fixing problems.  Otherwise shut up and just say you're frustrated.  The world is bad enough without hearing YOU complain.

I also once threatened to make someone do a book report on a Dennis Prager book about the moral duty to be happy, but the child stopped (I think because of a video her friend took) and Prager went off the conservative deep end about the same time I became much more liberal. I never did read the book.

I think this attitude towards teens is really detrimental and ugly. 
 

While I don’t condone anyone speaking to anyone else with “disdain” there are ways to handle conversations and attitudes with respect towards their age and circumstances. 
 

I’d much rather have my kids complain to me and work through their frustrations than shut them up and punish them.

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42 minutes ago, pinball said:

I think this attitude towards teens is really detrimental and ugly. 
 

While I don’t condone anyone speaking to anyone else with “disdain” there are ways to handle conversations and attitudes with respect towards their age and circumstances. 
 

I’d much rather have my kids complain to me and work through their frustrations than shut them up and punish them.

I think assuming I was speaking to my child with disrespect is really detrimental and ugly.  And I said nothing about punishment.  Minimal complaints and sharing the frustrations of the day is one thing.  Endless harping and complaining and disrespecting people in authority for no reason except the assumption that they know everything is something else entirely.

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46 minutes ago, SKL said:

Ever since my first trip to India, I've been saying we should require all teens to go spend time in a developing country (and not just in the tourist hotels), partly for this reason.  🙂  Unfortunately, it's kind of expensive for teens to travel internationally.  🙂

I do think that personal experience with small failures is the only reliable way to fix this.  Perhaps your teen would benefit from having a job that is a serious challenge - and I don't mean academically.  For example, trying to keep up with the work of a nurse's aide in a rest home, without losing his humanity.

My daughter went and worked with Native Americans in Alaska. It changed things.

She saw how limited they were. How they had no idea of the possibilities because they knew nobody who was different. Telling them to leave their village was like telling them to fly to the moon. They couldn't conceive of a world where they could get along without their families, their village structure. They also couldn't fathom a world not defined by abuse, drugs/alcohol addiction, teen pregnancy, and grinding poverty. This isn't just some Native Americans (I'm sure there are many Natives who do have a vision outside of this lifestyle, this was just what my dd encountered in the area in which she served) however. There are places in Appalachia that are exactly the same way.  And I'm sure there are many other pockets of people like this all across the United States. Those are just the two that I have experience with.

That experience gave my daughter more compassion to people who are struggling.

Now she still could be condescending about our parenting and other things. But it did help her in other ways.

 

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Oh man. I have two teens and it is brutal. One especially is prone to strong and disdainful opinions about things, based on absolutely nothing but what she hears from friends, teachers, or on the radio. No critical thinking at all, just parrots others. Drives me nuts.

sometimes I remind her that what your friend told you (or even your teacher) is not the same as information from a reliable source and people sometimes have biases that affect their opinions. Sometimes it helps for her to just hear a different viewpoint. Sometimes. . . Not.

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I did find that actually engaging my teen with direct questions was more helpful than telling them how off track they were.

"Son, so how would you schedule the ACT?" 

"I'd schedule it for 9:30."

"So the other classes could miss their Algebra class? So, you only worry if YOUR algebra is the one that is interrupted?" 

"Umm...."

Asking questions helps the teens think things through from other viewpoints, eventually coming to realize that "Well, it can't be only about me all the time." 

Because that's what it can be. A self centeredness, lack of awareness that others have MANY other things to conside.r

 

But yes, annoying and exhausting.

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12 hours ago, KSera said:

This was recommended for one of mine by her therapist. I couldn’t bring myself to do it, but now she’s too old and I really think I should have. 

They have trips for adults and older teens.  Not sure how old your dd is.  I always wanted to do one of those trips when I was younger.

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14 hours ago, fraidycat said:

Me to my kids when they are arguing, grumbling, complaining, or otherwise annoying me: 

"Is this going to matter 5 years, 5 months, or even 5 days from now? Because if it's not, just let it go and move on to happier and more fun things in your life. Go play with your cats and laugh at them."

I will point out that they do not have all of the info that was involved in making a decision or policy. It could have been an honest mistake that something was overlooked or it could have been very deliberate because of factors they know nothing about. Either way, humans are humans, and I've yet to meet a perfect one, not even them!

 

Good point.  I try to think about that for myself too.

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30 minutes ago, Katy said:

I think assuming I was speaking to my child with disrespect is really detrimental and ugly.  And I said nothing about punishment.  Minimal complaints and sharing the frustrations of the day is one thing.  Endless harping and complaining and disrespecting people in authority for no reason except the assumption that they know everything is something else entirely.

I actually think telling anyone to shut up and stop complaining is detrimental and ugly

obvs, YMMV. LOL…along with everyone else agreeing you!

whatever happened to the WTM mantra of “wanting to be a soft place for my child to land”???

gone, gone, gone, I guess. Now, it’s “Hey, shut up! Stop complaing!”

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17 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

I did find that actually engaging my teen with direct questions was more helpful than telling them how off track they were.

"Son, so how would you schedule the ACT?" 

"I'd schedule it for 9:30."

"So the other classes could miss their Algebra class? So, you only worry if YOUR algebra is the one that is interrupted?" 

"Umm...."

Asking questions helps the teens think things through from other viewpoints, eventually coming to realize that "Well, it can't be only about me all the time." 

Because that's what it can be. A self centeredness, lack of awareness that others have MANY other things to conside.r

 

But yes, annoying and exhausting.

Quoting myself to comment that the purpose of asking the questions isn't to humiliate my kid or make them feel stupid. We have these conversations with a lot of self deprecating humor. Like, if a grocery store line takes too long, I might jokingly rant in the car about "Don't they know how important I am?" 

This is the way we generally interact, so it would be easy for my kid to shift to self deprecating humor saying "Well, of course, the whole school should know that MY ALGEBRA CLASS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT." Don't know if your kid would roll that way or not...

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As with all phases our teens go through, I do think it's helpful to let them know that this isn't "them" being a jerk, it's their developmental process, and to some extent or other, we were like this too once.  Maybe share with them if there was some experience that helped us get over ourselves.

I think this is especially useful when the topic is humility.  😛 

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