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boys and independence
Old 09-02-2020, 04:46 PM
  #1

DD#2 had an interesting discussion on FB with an old high school friend of hers who has two kids, the younger one a boy who is almost 12.
DD#2 has 2 girls, aged 9 and 13, who are fairly independent and can handle all sorts of situations, from making simple meals and doing laundry to fixing their bikes including flat tires.

The discussion on FB was with a larger group of friends who all had kids around the same age as DD. They were talking about what their kids made for lunch (either the night before or early in the morning), so they would have it ready after their morning virtual school sessions.

DD's friend said that her 12-year old could barely pour himself a glass of milk, let alone make a sandwich. Since there was nothing physically or mentally wrong with the boy, people were telling her that she should let him start making his own lunch since he was old enough. She went on the defensive, saying that he was her baby and she wasn't ready to let him grow up.

I used to see this attitude in my classroom years ago among certain immigrant groups, where the boy was treated like a prince and never had to lift a finger. I find it hard to believe that people still have this idea that boys should not have any responsibilities. Please tell me this is no longer common.


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Old 09-02-2020, 04:56 PM
  #2

Is it because he is a boy or because he is "her baby" that she continues to wait on him? I also had a few families over the years where the sisters were expected to do everything and the boy was required to do nothing. But this sounds more like it's the mom who isn't letting her son grow up rather than him demanding it and I feel like it would be the same with a girl if she was the youngest.
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Old 09-02-2020, 05:07 PM
  #3

Uggghhhhh. That kind of stuff makes me crazy!
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Old 09-02-2020, 05:25 PM
  #4

OMG. My sons packed their own lunches for school back in the day. Now my grandsons pack their own lunches some days and buy their lunches other days. Well, that was before virtual school. Now they make their own lunch.

Nothing wrong with the 12 year old--but there's lots wrong with his mom.
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Old 09-02-2020, 05:33 PM
  #5

That is definitely a parent issue, not a kid issue. If you aren't ready to let your 12 year old grow up you're going to be in for a very rude awakening!


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coddling your kids
Old 09-02-2020, 05:54 PM
  #6

I had a very bright boy in my third grade that had some trouble taking responsibility - the usual - homework, not using a calculator for basic math, etc. I had his older sister years earlier and she was the exact opposite, a real go getter! Partway through the first semester, a first gr. teacher asked me how the boy was doing. She told me that as a Kinder, his mother carried him to the classroom door. He was perfectly healthy. The older sister was roped into treating him like that too! I can only hope when they both have families, they have learned from their parents mistakes.
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Old 09-02-2020, 07:29 PM
  #7

When I married my EX, he was always complaining about being hungry when Iíd get home from work. He wasnít eating all day because he didnít know how to prepare food. Like, not at all. Couldnít use a can opener. Didnít know how to make a sandwich. Didnít know how to put foods together into a meal. Granted, he is on the spectrum, but really?

He woke me up coughing one night, and I told him to take some cough medicine. He told me that his momma always poured it in the spoon for him.

I sent him back to his momma. (Not that night, but . . . )

Hope this one is ready for him to live in her basement forever.
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Old 09-02-2020, 07:33 PM
  #8

I see this in several of my students -boys and girls- this year. So many people need to cut the cord!!! They aren't doing their kids any favors by doing everything for them!
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Old 09-03-2020, 04:03 AM
  #9

I still see it pretty often and yes, I do see it much more frequently with sons than with daughters. I think it's nuts.

I used to know a woman who not only didn't allow her son to lift a finger toward taking care of himself but who also laid out his clothes for him in the morning and supervised his homework right through high school! He was a bright senior in high school, on track to graduate at or near the top of his class, and mommy was still dressing him and checking his homework. I've often wondered how his first year of college went. I heard he got married a few years ago; I wonder if his wife lays out his clothes for him in the morning.

My SIL was that type of helpless man when my daughter married him. He didn't know how to cook a meal, how to shop for his own clothes, how to pack his own stuff for a trip, even how to find his way to a place he hadn't been before. It's easy to see how he got that way when I watch his mother, who works full time, waiting on his father hand and foot even though he's semi-retired. My daughter refused to pick up those tasks and insisted that he learn a little independence. Lucky for him that she wasn't a doormat since he lost her six years into their marriage. He's still pretty immature and helpless, though. I guess the upside of that is that my 11-year-old grandson won't be the helpless man type - he's already the grownup in his household who sets his alarm, gets dressed, packs up his stuff, including his lunch or snack and then wakes dad up so he can get to school.
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Old 09-03-2020, 04:45 AM
  #10

I had a male student who's mom sent me a note that said something like she has realized the "coddling of her late in life son is doing him no favors." Hooray, he was 8 at the time.
When I listened to Michelle Obama's book she said that her mom really encouraged her kids to solve their problems and think for themselves. I believe her saying was "I am not raising babies." Too many people really are raising babies, are completely involved to the point of calling college professors when problems occur. Hopefully they will want them to live in their basement later in life.


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Old 09-03-2020, 04:58 AM
  #11

I taught 3rd for years and I can't tell you how many boys come in completely unable to do anything (a few girls too, but mostly boys). My teammates and I would often comment on the fact that we saw it get worse and worse over the 7 years I was there with the boys and how the moms were babying them to the point of ridiculousness.
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I have...
Old 09-03-2020, 08:59 AM
  #12

I have sons and daughters and I find this thread highly offensive.
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Old 09-03-2020, 09:11 AM
  #13

Quote:
I have sons and daughters and I find this thread highly offensive.
Since I started this thread, I would like to ask you if you could expand your reply.
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:05 AM
  #14

Quote:
I have sons and daughters and I find this thread highly offensive.
Nobody is pointing a finger at you or claiming that all families are like this, so I don't understand why you would find this offensive. Unless, of course, the shoe fits.
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Old 09-03-2020, 12:06 PM
  #15

I saw this crown prince/princess problem all the time in my classes year after year. Whatever happened to introducing home chores little by little as the child grows? My three year old grandchild has "housework time" in the morning ,cooking time at night with mom and dad and helps set the table. I taught her to clear her place setting from the table at the age of two. I had to tell parents at Back to School Night to not help their child with anything they can learn to do themselves. Learned helplessness is so harmful.
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Totally a parent issue
Old 09-03-2020, 12:38 PM
  #16

This is totally a helicopter mommy coddling her son issue. My oldest is 19 (son) and totally independent. He goes to school, works full time, has his own apartment and pays all his own bills. He also cooks dinner for his gf and their roommate the nights he is off work. He almost completely rebuilt his first truck when he was 16, which I got for 1000.00 and it was as old as he was. This is why I don't helicopter my children. I'm not trying to have them living with me for the rest of their lives.

And, I take no offense to this thread as I too have one boy and one girl.
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Old 09-03-2020, 08:29 PM
  #17

I have to say, I've noticed this phenomenon too. It usually is the mom coddling her son. It cuts across cultures and socio economic status, so I think it must something embedded biologically somehow. Not all mothers of course, but I've seen enough to say it's a decent percentage.
I think the incident I witnessed that took the cake, was on the first day of school, when a mom was walking her 3rd grade son to his class (somehow she sneaked by the admin stationed in the front lobby to head parents off) and on the way, her son said he needed to go to the bathroom. He headed in, and after a minute she followed him inside to "help" him. He was a completely capable child, no issues or disabilities.
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Old 09-04-2020, 04:46 AM
  #18

I think moms, but sometimes dads too, just want to feel needed. It can be hard for them when the youngest starts to show some independence. A hard reality sets in that some parents can't face--I (or we) have spent many years doing everything for the kids, and now the end is in sight. Will we still be wanted and needed?

There's no doubt that it often affects sons who are the youngest. I can think of a couple families (I won't go into details) in which the moms, wonderful people, have a very hard time letting go.

It sometimes affects daughters too. I know one family in which mom does things for her adult son and daughter (who is younger) that leave me shaking my head. They're capable adults and should be able to do these things without help.

Dads can be guilty as well. I have a cousin, much older than me (she died many years ago), who was interested in a young man and wanted to get married. From what I know, he was a fine person. Daddy just couldn't let go of his little girl, and said she couldn't get married. Fortunately for her, she didn't listen and snuck around behind his back. She got married anyway, and she and her husband went on to raise three fine children.

In a final story, I know a woman who is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. She's the youngest in a large family, and both mom and dad were very domineering. She met some nice guys and wanted to get serious with them, but both parents found a number of excuses
why she shouldn't. They did everything they could to keep her under their thumbs. Her older siblings were able to resist this heavy-handed parenting, but she couldn't. Her story is a sad one, and it's best if I leave out further details.
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Old 09-04-2020, 02:54 PM
  #19

My son started doing his own laundry at age 11 because he was worried his baseball uniform wouldnít be clean by game day. Mind you, I had NEVER failed him up to that point. That summer, at just 11 yrs old, he inspired me to teach his 12 yr old sister, and his father (yes, my husband) to do their own laundry. Now at 15, he can cook any meal, put air in my car tires, and fix things around the house.

When my kids were little, my MIL told me I pushed them too much to be independent. l I told her, I am raising my kids for society, not for me.
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