Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Entries from July 1, 2008 - August 1, 2008

Entries from July 1, 2008 - August 1, 2008


Parenting Semi-Adults: What is a Semi-Adult?

I feel like coining a phrase today. Some big named relationship writer will notice the trend to write books helping parents understand the behavior of their adult children. She will write chapters attempting to explain why said children tend to treat their relationship with the older adults who love them like a Chinese menu. They have a propensity to choose how they will relate to their parents, sometimes like a peer and sometimes like a child. This of course makes the parents kinda crazy because they would make the opposite choices from the same menu, chooses the child over the peer and the peer over the child in a given situation. The big named writer will some how Stumble Upon (hint, hint) this blog and steal the credit for coining the term: semi-adult. Remember you heard it here first.

A semi-adult is a legally of age child still dependent on his or her parents in some way. That dependency includes but not limited to financial, physical, legal or moral in its nature. Because of the child’s dependence, she cannot yet operate as a peer in her relationship with her parents.

College students whose education is being paid for by their parents are the classic example of what I would term a semi-adult. Conflict arises as the child demands /expects the freedom to make decisions without being either willing and/or able to accept the consequences of his action. We had a taste of this as our semi-adult children went though the debit card learning curve.

Conflict can also arise as the parent because of the child’s dependence demand the child remain childish in their relationship rather than moving towards peer status. Constant negative comments on an adult child’s decisions that causes the child to choose some type of avoidant behavior is a good example of parents not understand the nature of a semi-adult relationship. I have to watch myself to avoid this behavior. My daughter has a job and she is meeting her obligations (she even tithes.). She is also on a spending spree. Saving for a rainy day is not yet on her agenda. I am trying (really I am) to respect her as a peer in how she is using her money. I have to bite my tongue so often it is swollen.

There you have it; the term semi-adult can now be admitted into the English lexicon. Will someone please contact Webster’s?


Aging with Grace: Using Beautiful Breakable Things

I have things in my home I rarely use. Some because I forgot I have them. Some because don’t remember what they are for. (That explains the wide array of seemingly downsized phone chargers floating around the house)

Something I don’t use because they are meaningful to me and I’m afraid they are going to be broken or wear out. My grandmother’s china falls into the first category and the shawl I knitted the latter. Meanwhile both collect dust.

It was cool here yesterday. I retrieved the shawl from the storage closet and I am going to use it though this winter. I’m not sure about my grandmother’s china but I want to get it out of the china closet and into our lives more often.

Do you have anything you are reluctant to use because it might be broken or worn out?

How do you live with and enjoy beautiful things in your home?


CSA Adventure: Life is the Berries

I have recovered from my manic episode concerning the corn we received last week. Who would have though a vegetable could have such an effect on one’s mental state?

We received blackberries, sweet corn, tomatoes, mixed summer squash, green beans, more cucumbers and sweet bell &/or banana peppers. I don’t think I have ever tasted a plain unadorned blackberry before. Sweet and sour at the same time, blackberries are a deliciously conflicted fruit.

The corn was again wonderful. Fresh corn is so simple to make. Bring enough salted water to a boil to allow the ears to roll freely in the water. Place hulled ears in the pot and bring back to a boil. Cover and boil for 8 minutes. Remove from pot and drain. Serve with butter and salt. What could be simpler!

If have often heard the dictum buy the freshest produce you can. I have never experienced the truth of this statement until this summer. Cucumber salad is usually a blah side dish in my opinion. Having far more cucumbers than I knew what to do with, I peeled and chopped up six, along with the shallots and tomatoes we had received in our box this week and some store bought garlic cloves I minced. I dressed the vegetables with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, salt and pepper and put the salad into the fridge to chill. It was wonderful. Everyone, even the non-vegetable eaters had some. A perfect side for a steamy summer evening.

The freshness of the vegetables really does make all the difference between blah and wow!

Catch up on the CSA adventure:

Lettuce Begin

What Dill I Do

Now For The Nitty Gritty

We've Been Squashed

I Need to Score Some More Corn


Parenting Semi-Adults: Debit Cards

Our older daughter has a job and her own checking account with that handy little debt creator, the debit card. Yes, I have written the correct word, debit, not credit card. Having been through this once with the older son, we were prepared for the debit card learning curve, even so this particular child threw us a curve ball.

We allow our kids student checking accounts because they are “free” with our master checking account. Free is in quotes because while the bank doesn’t charge for use of the account either by checks or by debt card, the kids inevitably over draw their accounts and the bank makes a killing on the fees and surcharges. It took several cycles with the oldest before he got the notion that overcharging your debit card is a bad financial decision. We linked the kids' accounts to ours for overages so our account was charged ten dollars in fees instead of theirs being charged twenty-five. The offending overcharger had to repay any loss to us due to their foolish behavior.

Because we never have overages there were thing we didn’t think to explain to our oldest. As parents, we assumed the he would understand that using your debit card when you have no money in the bank wasn’t a good idea. He got that concept in theory. It took him a while to understand what no money in the bank meant.

* If you deposit a check, you do not have access to that money until the next day. If it is a personal check, your bank can, at its random discretion take up to three business days credit the money to your account.

* If you use you debit card, than check your balance later in the day and there is money in the account, you can not assume your earlier purchase has been deducted from the balance and you still have money to blow on pizza in the bank.

* Yes, we are going to make you pay us back for any fees you incur from spending more than you have in the bank. If you were paying by check, this is called check kiting and it is a crime. Until you pay us back…you still have no money to spend, hence no money in the bank. Yes, again, you will pay us first out of your very next paycheck.

We explained this to our second child. Since there is something about young adults that makes them think the rules don’t apply to them, it took her several overages for her understand that overdrawing your account was not good stewardship and again, yes, you will pay us first for any charges to our account due to your lack if responsibility.

She through us a curve ball. She had several overages. She insisted that that was impossible. Post cards from the back and posting viewed on line proved nothing. She had not misused her debit card. Matter of fact, she had not paid by debit at all, but by credit. “How could this be since she doesn’t have a credit card?” we, her parents wondered.

She explained,” When I pay, they ask if it is debit or credit. I say credit.”

“Darling daughter, I your mother have already explained to you, that you can’t charge using a debit card. No matter what the clerk asks, you account is hit right away.”

This was her answer after her father (with me present) explained how debit cards work for the second time.

“I though mom was wrong”



Parenting Teens: Kids are Weird

My 17 year old and I want to go to the movies. Of course we can't agree on what to see. I want to see Hellboy. (I like cynical aliens.) He wants to see Wall-E.

How weird this this!

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