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Parental Control Settings

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Volo, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. Volo

    Volo
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    In my time I've come across a lot of folks who've been pressured by their parents to do this, and do that, and to commit to things against their will. Marriage springs to mind, as does career choices and having children. Athletics is a common one as well.

    I, myself, have never been subject to this. My folks have supported me in all my wacky endeavors, up to and including the distressingly unprofitable path of the professional chef. Never once have I been told to settle down (and by extension have a massive blowout wedding), or have kids, or to play football, or to focus all my energies on education, or to get a job that pays better.

    After hearing hundreds of horror stories from all manner of people, about all the things they've been coerced into doing, or fought with their parents about, I want more. I want to understand what drives this kind of thing, and how different people react to the different situations. Am I lucky? Am I not? In between?

    FOCUS: Parental pressure and coercion. Stories, theories, reasons.
     
  2. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    The White

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    We had a thread on the whole Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother thing, so let's not turn this into another thread on Korean Parents. However, there are all kinds of parental pressures that come from non-Asian households.

    Parental pressure was one thing I never had to deal with much. Largely because I put more pressure on myself than they ever did. I had a much stranger set of problems with mine, but that's offtopic.

    RULE: Don't shit up this thread. Mjolnir the Banhammer is at the ready.
     
  3. Juice

    Juice
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    Moderately Gender Fluid

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    My parents never pushed me one way or another either, they just pushed me in the general direction to a point where I would have options available to me. They didnt care what I did, as long as I wasnt doing it because I pigeon holed myself into it.
     
  4. Binary

    Binary
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    You're lucky.

    I had much the same situation. My parents just told me to be happy. My dad always told me, "it's all noble work" - meaning that plumbers and janitors needed to exist along side lawyers and engineers and if you're happy in your employment, that's the most important thing.

    My girlfriend, on the other hand, has been put under substantial pressure her whole life and as a result... I don't know if she knows what she wants to do. She's getting her PhD in microbiology right now, which is great, and she likes science, but I don't know if either of us will ever really know if she's going to graduate school because it's a good option for her, or if it's just one more thing in a long line of checkboxes to prove to her parents that she's not a loser.
     
  5. Frank

    Frank
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    Honestly, the most pressure I get from my parents is my mom desperately trying to get me to try connecting more with my family. Most of my cousins grew up and never moved out of the area they were from, and as a result are extremely tight knit. I on the other hand grew up moving state to state wherever my dad's job took us. Sorry mom, but that has an extremely profound impact on how my relationship with my cousins, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Don't get me wrong, I get along with them all great, but if I'm ever in a tight spot, I'm calling one of my high school buddies.

    The funny thing is, anyone looking from the outside in would say I have an above average connection with them all, I go to all the family parties, we go on vacations together etc... It's just that she thinks if you don't talk to someone in your family every single day, that you're not close enough. She always talks about how my dad's family is so cold and distant, when compared to most families of my friends, they're really quite average, especially since they live all over the world.

    On the plus side, one of my cousins randomly lives a couple miles from me right now (which is odd since we have zero family connections in CT). Unfortunately he's older and already married with kids so it's not like we're going to tear it up downtown together or something, but it's great not having to drive to another state to see family, especially since he's the most similar cousin to me on her side.
     
  6. Deepinit

    Deepinit
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    You are very lucky.

    From the second I landed in North America at the age of 5, one of the first things I remember my mother telling me was how I was only to marry a Jewish girl and then she repeated it. Constantly. From the moment I started dating the first thing she'd ask me when I'd say I'm seeing a girl was "Is she one of ours?"

    Eventually I tried to rationalize with myself that it's stupid to limit yourself to one criteria in which someone never even had a choice in making a part of themselves. So I went on dating Jewish and non-Jewish girls alike. Cue me now living with a non-Jewish girlfriend and suddenly trying to figure out in my head how much of me actually cares if she's not Jewish. It's gotta be good enough that the girl cares about me? Right? How much of me is biased towards Jewish girls because my parents never stopped drilling it into my head? Am I rebelling at 29? Do I really need to carry on the traditions? What would my grandparents think? Am I letting everyone in my family who's come before me down? She accepts me. But does her family? What do they say behind closed doors?

    See what you missed out on? This is the kinda shit people like us have to deal with. Just substitute Jewish for *insert whatever minority/cultural disposition your family leads towards* and/or the subject of marriage for *career/education/other* and there you have a glimpse of the source of over half the populations daily insecurities.

    Consider yourself extremely lucky to have parents who let you become yourself.
     
  7. silway

    silway
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    Amen to that. My mom does the same thing. Though it sounds like I am far more distant from my family than you are from yours. Of course I have so little in common with my family that it makes it really really hard and my mom, in particular, just will not accept the concept that my weekends are often planned out months in advance so if she calls me Thursday night to get me to come by the house to hang out with my brother the next day because he's visiting that weekend... well, odds are that I've had plans to be out of town that weekend for the better part of a year. And then she gets upset at me.

    My brother is 35, married, two kids. I'm pretty sure he and I can have, or not have, whatever degree of personal relationship we want without mom meddling.
     
  8. ghettoastronaut

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    My parents only really encouraged me to do things that I didn't want to do. For example, I started playing tennis for a few summers, of my own will, and royally sucked at it. My parents for some reason really didn't want me to quit and chose that as a specific moment to try to teach me something about not giving up, a lesson which flew right over my head. It seems to be rather consistent with just about everything: if I ever picked up a new hobby or instrument or anything, they wouldn't be particularly enthusiastic, and if I ever got really involved with it they weren't too happy about it. But if that hobby turned out to be something I didn't like, they wouldn't let me stop.

    Strange.
     
  9. BL1Y

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    My parents never cared two shits if I gave anything up. Scouts, soccer, band, writing, didn't matter. If I quit it, great, less shit for them to feel bad about not being interested in.

    The only pressure I get from them is to acquire the one most important thing in the world: a job with the government, any job with the government.
     
  10. WickedBitch

    WickedBitch
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    There are only 3 things that I have drilled in to my kids:

    • * Get a good college education. I didn't and now I work hard for peanuts.
      * Do something you love doing. I don't care if it is being a garbage man, as long as you don't wake up every morning regretting going to work.
      * If you do something dumb enough to get thrown in jail, don't bother calling me 'cuz I'm not going to help you. I may give you some canteen money or something but other than that, enjoy your stay.

    As an extension of that last one, my oldest son jabbed a classmate with a pen a few weeks ago and we guilted him so bad about it, this was waiting for me when I came home from work one night:



    My parents never pushed me to do my best so I didn't. My mom, especially during my crucial teen years, didn't care what I did as long as I didn't bitch about her drinking. I was allowed to smoke cigarettes and pot at 14 and my boyfriend moved in with me at 16. It's a wonder I made it to my 20's alive and not pregnant. I won't make the same mistake with my boys.
     

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  11. dubyu tee eff

    dubyu tee eff
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    Thinks he has a chance with Christina Hendricks...

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    I could write an essay on this, but I'll try to limit myself.

    edit: Well apparently I can't limit myself, so I've spoilered for length and self-indulgence.

    It's hard for me to judge how much influence my parents have had on me. Growing up, education was always priority number one. I guess I'm kind of lucky that I fell in love with Economics very early in my undergraduate career. While they tend to think hard-science is the way to go, I think they saw Economics as a bit of a compromise. The only real variable for them was that whatever I study not end at the undergraduate level and have a clear career path. Had I fallen in love with any subject outside of science or economics, things would definitely be a lot more tense. I like to think I would have stuck to my guns and pursued what I liked, but who really knows, after all I am in a PhD program so chances are their constant pressure did have something to do with it.

    I do have to give them credit that they never outright forced me to do anything. In around 5th grade they put me in Kumon (an outside of school program designed to make you good at mental math). I hated the hell out of it and they let me quit after 2 weeks. Chances are, it would have been a good idea schoolwise to stay in it, but they did let me quit. They never shouted or yelled at me to do homework or anything like that, if I screwed around I just got lectures. I guess they were affective, but it's pretty hard to tease out the correlation and causation in these matters.

    As far as dating goes, we have yet to see how things will shake out. I have hid from them every aspect of my dating life, hell just about my entire social life since even drinking would be a big problem for them. They have no clue that I have dated several women and had long-term relationships. If they found out, they would definitely lose it. I received an edict early on that I am not to date anyone ever and when I marry it must be with a Pakistani girl; not even an Indian will suffice. I think it is absolutely absurd to live here and now and expect someone to settle down with someone from such a small proportion of the population. I think I have managed to subdue their urge to look for a girl for me by telling them that I don't want them to look; I will find someone and they can have veto power. However, I know that what I have told them is a blatant lie. I have zero intentions of giving them any veto ability.

    At the same time, I have found out from other people in my family that my mom has begun the girl hunt for me without my consent or knowledge. I haven't confronted her about it mostly because I feel like it would lead to an insane argument and I can just put it off for now since I am only 23. I guess if she brings a girl home for me and tells me to take a look, I would, but meeting someone under the pretext of seeking marriage is insane to me and I can't possibly imagine having a normal conversation with someone with that thought and both sides hovering over me questioning my every decision. Their line of thinking seems to be if this process is happening, it is not up to the parties to say yes, but rather to start with yes, and then come up with reasons if the answer is no. That default is also completely ridiculous in my eyes.

    I do have hope that they will come around since they have managed to accept the fact that I am an atheist, but part of me knows that religion isn't what really matters to them. What really matters is what the community thinks of them. Someone being an atheist is easy to hide, and not part of daily conversation, but someone bringing home a non-paki girl is big news and reason for loads of gossip. It is this that they truly cannot stand. I have been told repeatedly that my job is to "not embarrass them." What this means, while seemingly vague, is actually glaringly obvious.

    I'm just hoping my student status will delay this inevitable issue for some time at least so I don't have to think about it now.

    edit: An annoying example that just came to mind that exemplifies some of my points. One of my cousins got married recently. They have a decent group of family friends who were also at the wedding who happen to be around my age group. Afterwards, my mom(and several aunt's) ask me if I liked any of the girls. Not realizing what was going on, I said "oh I liked them all, they all seem fun." They all start laughing and saying "hahaha he likes all of them, that's great." Then it hit me, they were trying to see who to fix me up with and immediately had to backpedal. The worst part is for the rest of the wedding anytime I talked to any of them, I would see an aunt lurking in the shadows watching me. It made everyhting unbelievably awkward. It sucked because some of them genuinely seemed like fun people that I'd want to get to know more, and who knows, maybe even date, but knowing all these eyes were on me just made me want to avoid them all. So the aunts wouldn't get the wrong idea and start trying to fix me up with someone I was only barely getting to know.