I acted on a suspicion

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lil, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Gee whiz, Lil, I just read another apology from you to me. Stop it, GIrl! You don't know how to be a heel...lol. like most people here, you didn't have my challenges (thank God) and because of that how could you or anyone else know what it was like for me? I don't expect anyone else to understand, which is why I try to explain it. But if people don't understand before I do explain, I don't get upset. Or even after...it is hard for people to understand that some people of normal intelligence can try and try but learning differences keep them from being successful. Even I know people are taught that if you try, you will succeed. That is not always the case, but that's what society believes. I can't change that (shrug).

    Honestly, I don't think you know how to deliberately hurt anyone's feelings. You are just a really nice person. Don't apologize again lol.:clean:
  2. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    LOL. I actually do know how...I'm just too polite to do it on purpose most of the time. :p

    Yesterday I think I was grasping at straws; trying to, once again, try to come up with some reason. Copa is right about me. In some thread she said the one time I'm dispairing and helpless is where my kid is involved. I'm not nearly so together as she thinks, but professionally, I'm a generally confident person. In my field, I'd stack my ability up against anyone's. But when it comes to ME and the important personal things, not so much. And I am comfortable with facts and knowledge. I don't understand this.

    I am a fixer. I want to fix my son. I know I can't, intellectually, but in my heart I just cant get past the idea that putting him out is wrong. Not before. When he stole from us, that was right. He had to go. But this time...

    This time it feels wrong. This time it feels like he should have more time. I keep feeling that, if he had time and professional help it would help.

    Copa said her leverage the threat of putting her son out. But mine is out in a couple weeks, regardless and not allowed back, regardless. Where is the leverage? Where It's the incentive to change?

    If it weren't for Jabber (sorry honey) I would not do it. :(
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    It depends on what YOU can stand, Lil. If you want your son to live with you and he doesn't want to be homeless, then he may get some job part time to get to stay home. But is that all you want for him? Do you want him to be independent? If so, keeping him under your roof makes no sense. It's really up to what you think is best for him and what is best for you.

    Your son is VERY resistant to working. You know he can do better than Taco Bell or being the guy who stands outside wearing a costume. In the end, he needs to find motivation to do his best. Or he can choose to stay lazy and refuse professional help. And you have to decide regarding your son, how you want to handle him.

    I still like him. I am pulling for him. But got ta tell ya. He's a hard nut to crack!! :eek:
  4. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    He's had nothing but time. Would have had more if he wasn't being blindly loyal to a "friend" and just come straight home when we offered it. He has been here since around mid April and was supposed to be gone by May 1st. Now we are looking at July 1st. He's had plenty of time, he chose not to take advantage of it. Even now, knowing he will be pushing it to have the money for the rent, what does he do? He goes out with friends to spend what little money he has. As for professional help, he doesn't want it. Oh, when you bring it up, he goes. But its done more in the manner of "See! I'm what you asked me to!" not truly seeking help. He still doesn't think he needs help.

    Nothing to be sorry for. I know you would, always have. You would have given him the car if it weren't for me. You would pay his bills, at least for a time, if it weren't for me. I just can't see that as being a good thing for him. I also CAN'T have him living in this house much longer with me. Either I'm going to piss him off or he's going to piss me off. Either way it won't end well.

    There is one of the problems in our situation. Lil is more than happy to have him live here and give him rides. She made a deal with him to give him three rides a week over to his friends house. I won't do it. As far as I'm concerned, if he wants to get there he can walk or ride a bike. That's what I had to do when I was in High School. I rarely had access to a car and we lived a mile or two out of town. If I wanted to go into town and see my friends I either waited for someone who was heading into town or rode my bike. When I did get access to a car or one of my sisters gave me a ride, I put gas in the tank. Our son thinks that rides are owed to him and it makes me want to smack him. He asked me for a ride the other day and I told him no, I had chores to do and didn't want to give him a ride. He asked "What if I help with the chores?". I said "I don't want to." Lil gave him a ride when she got home.

    So its not just about what SHE can stand but what WE can stand. I'm trying to be more in tune with what she wants and she's trying to be more in tune with what I want and its working, but not all that well. Neither one of is is willing and/or able to come up with a true compromise on this.
  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    No. I do not want that.

    What I want is very simple. I want to say, before the time comes so it is us offering, not giving in: You don't have the money. Here's how it is. 1) You WILL go to counseling. Every week. 2) You WILL stop smoking pot so you can pass a drug test and get a full time job. 3) You WILL get that full-time job by <date> and you will pay US $200 per month in rent. Then you may stay here until <date> at which point you will get an apartment and pay for it yourself.

    If you agree, you may stay until you are on your feet. If you don't, you will leave as we agreed, when the apartment is open.

    That's what I want.

    I agree completely. I'm angry with him. He's right...he can't pass a drug test. But he KNEW that when he moved in and he's had more than enough time to be clean for drug tests if he'd quit then! It sucks and I hate it.

    No. I'm not.

    I do, however, think you tell him no out of reflex, rather than any real reason to.

    Actually, I think I'm doing all the compromising. But that's something we need to talk about NOT in writing on the board. :(
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Apple. I have felt undermined on purpose by adults, specifically by neighbors and "friends", who colluded, ganged up, gossiped and undermined my relationship with my child and my authority with my child.

    There is some force at work in our society, that is destructive and negative, rather than supporting and empowering. I do not understand it but I have felt it. I do not know if it is envy or unhappiness and wanting others to feel that way...but it has touched us.

    What are your thoughts about this?

    Until I came to this site (and developed trust) I would not have ever believed that I could be both vulnerable and safe. I knew others could be with me, but not me, with others.
    Lil, I do not know you, at least in bodily form. But I believe your Achilles heel is your great love for your boy--not personally. I get the very strong sense of your confidence in yourself. It is our great loves that is weakening us. That is what I think.
    But Lil--you overlooked the essential and important pre-requisite.

    My son was ejected so many times. And at the end of it, I was unwilling to have anything to do with him. He got zero. No affection, no approval, no nothing.

    He had to decide that he wanted the relationship. And he understood that the relationship had contingencies. Although my great love for him was unconditional, it did not mean that I had no bottom line. He had to learn that. That I had a bottom line and what it was.

    Once he learned that, and accepted that, we could keep raising it.

    Last night M told me that lately when my son was working with him he would shut the door and then slough off. So it is not that we are one hundred percent successful. For sure.

    I asked M if we needed to throw my son out again. (I am a one-trick pony because it worked so well.)

    M said no. But I do not know yet what his plan B is because as we know I was otherwise occupied last night with being a failure.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you Jabber.

    I am just so touched and so grateful at the kindness here. Jabber, when I went to work today, I kept front and center that it was about the work. Not about me.

    That helped. I became a vessel rather than the main event. That is what you helped remind me.
  8. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I should probably say, I don't actually think that will work. I don't think it would turn out the way I want. I think he'd just get mad and even if her agreed, he wouldn't follow through.

    But It's what I want.:(
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  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I don't know lil.

    I just spoke with my son who looked sad. And I made the mistake to ask how he was. And he said: I am sad mom. I can never accept my appearance.

    Feeling powerless, I said: I understand feelings and we can set them aside and act from responsibility because my expectation if you are here and around me is that you function and be useful.

    Mom, I do not know why you always misunderstand what I say. Now, how in the world can your response have anything to do with what I said. You completely misunderstood me.

    I am sorry if I misunderstood and that you feel misunderstood. I just wanted to reiterate my expectations. I have no desire to or obligation to shelter you because you are mentally ill. My expectation is that you function.

    Lil. What we want has not one thing to do with what they want. Except that as long as we have power and control resources, we can trump them.

    I do not think my son wants one thing that I want for him and from him. What I hope is that by offering him structure, opportunity and safety, he will begin to do more and from that have more and be more.

    I have no reason to expect that is the case, except for hope. And incrementally he is changing in ways that I like, but not in the ways I necessarily want--because I want him to go to college, feel good about himself, have children. (Smile--I want more than many, many things--to be a grandmother.)

    If I think hard enough about it, I question this whole endeavor, this thing that I am engaged in with him. But I am like you. I want him near me. I do not want him in the street. I want to have hope. Which is to say, I want to want things for him, even if (especially if) he cannot want them for himself. So, right now, I see no other reasonable and acceptable alternative.

    This is so hard. That is all I have to say. And slow. And it is really a leap into the dark. Any way you look at it.
  10. mtic

    mtic Member

    Lil, We are in very similar situations. My son has left home a few times and I’ve taken him back 3 times. The last time I bailed him out of jail for a parole violation. He’s been here since December and nothing has changed. He’s spending money as fast as he makes it. We sat him down, figured out how much money he was making, and told him he has a choice: At the end of the month, he has to show us X amount of dollars or he has to find another place to live. It’s extremely hard on me and his father to watch him destroy his life and he lies to us all the time.

    We came up with an amount for him to show us at the end of the month that would have left him with about $400 spending money for the month. His only expense is his cellphone. Guess what? At the end of the month, he was about $400 short of the amount we agreed on. We know he had the money because we asked for his paychecks (not to mention that particular month he got his $350 tax refund and birthday money from relatives). It was the one month he should have easily saved. He CHOSE not to. He’s about to leave for California with someone else, someone I’ve never even met. He told a friend who has been trying to help him for 2 years that this is just the way he wants to live. So there it is. He never wanted our help, never had any intention of changing.

    You mentioned coming up with terms for your son, but you’ve already done that. He knew he had to save money for an apartment. He knew you were taking him in temporarily. He has a job and probably like my son no expenses. But your son is still spending money and choosing NOT to save it. I think, like my son, he has already made a choice. I really believe they do not think we will put them out. I for one cannot live this way any longer. I’m stressed beyond belief all the time. I didn’t work hard all my life (been on my own since 20) to live this way now because of another adult’s decisions. I truly feel the son I knew died 3 years ago. The person who stands before me is someone completely different. We’ve tried to force him to counseling (it didn’t work), drove him to narcotics anonymous meetings (it didn’t work and I think he wanted to go just because he knew it would make us happy). Sometimes there is no helping someone. It’s time for my son to go crash and burn somewhere. There is nothing I can do about it.
  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Cop a...(for some reason my tablet will not let me type c o p a...changes it to cops lol) I hope you will accept some tweaking perhaps of how you answered your precious son when he told you why he was sad. This is not criticism, it is me trying to play the part of him. I could be way off base too. This is my gut feeling. Like you, I am used to being marginalized by other adults. Please understand I'm just trying to maybe be able to help you motivate your son in a way he can relate to.

    Cop a (whatever my tablet calls you, apologize in advance if tablet is uncooperative) you asked your son how he felt. And miraculously he told you and told you why. This us huge. He trusts you with his thoughts and feelings. Many adult kids won't share, but he did. A few outside observations about your response.

    You did not address what he told you

    'S on, your unrealistic opinion of how you look is bothering you. I'm sorry. I get it. The sad thing is, you are so incredibly handsome. I wish you'd seek therapy so that you can value yourself more. It hurts me that you think this. I will help you feel better about yourself if you take this step." Or anything else that fits your own way of talking and your own solution.but address his words primarily or he may decide it's a waste of time to share with you. Don't lose this gift of his trust.

    in my own response to your son, notice I did not mention your expectations or wants for him. He already knows what they are and the question was for him, about him and his sadness. I also question continuing to tell him he is mentally ill. I cringe when somebody, other than me, says I am mentally ill. There is a stigma to it in society. To me it's an insult, although it's really just say fact. I'd mention his desperate issues rather than say "mentally ill." It took me so long time not to think mental illness was not the same thing as loser. At your sons age, I still was very ashamed of it.

    If you do accept he us mentally ill though, and if he partly panics, he and you need to be realistic about his expectations right now. Mental illness often gets in the way of college, dating, anything really. Just my opinion, I'd pick a smaller battle like the pot, which isn't helping him, and a job outside of what you offer him. Even fast food. Somewhere he can succeed. If he likes animals, maybe a short course to be a vet tech, which to me and probably to anyone is more dignified than food!! But there is no shame in any honest work. Especially if he is fighting mental illness. Another goal may be to make him get medical treatment for his physical illness while he lives with you. It's just a suggested, but that is attainable.

    Putting him under pressure, if he is mentally ill, may just drive him away. You don't want that. I know it. But it is a big reason grown kids flee. They feel too pressured. Not saying he will do that. I don't think he will. But you want to build him up realistically. What is he really capable of doing? He may be smart, but could he truly handle college pressure? A wife and kids? His wife may not like you and tell him not to listen to you. Trust me, it's not all grandma and that all together feeling. What if he picks somebody you don't like? Who doesn't like you? It isn't uncommon. Don't wish for what you might regret...lol. Most of our kids SO do not want us to be in their lives too much. And they certainly don't appreciate advice or criticism. Sometimes I bite my tongue till it bleeds!!!

    I don't believe you can push a son of your sons age to fit your dreams. I think it is best to let them lead the way and drop our dreams. This is not about us. It's about them. One baby step at a time.

    I hope you do not see this as criticism. It's not. I know how much you love your son. But, as every parent learns, we can not walk the path for our grown kids, even with leverage. We have to step back and ask ourselves...what can he/she realistically do?

    Cop a, none of my kids lived my dream, although I really just wanted them to be employed and a good citizen, self sufficient and happy. My kids are all very different, yet they all exceeded my goals I had for them. I let them go their own way.

    I still lost Gone boy and it all started because I made a suggestion about his wedding. Yes, he us extreme, but other kids get ticked off for silly reasons too. I want so much for you and your struggling but beloved son to stay close. He loves you so. He wants you to approve of him.

    I wish you the best luck always. Take what you like and leave the rest, of course. I'm honestly just trying to help...but I'm not a professional ( and don't play one on TV).

    Walk tall at work. You are worth it!
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
  12. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Lil, I know how hard this is. It is the hardest thing in the entire world to do.

    See...that IS the leverage. Only when they HAVE to figure it out on their own...that's when it can start. When they have that safety net---for my son it was the tiniest thing---they don't/won't/can't do it.

    Your son may have more serious mental issues. I don't know. It seems to me that when he was in the apartment and he was working more than the other two, that was a very good thing for him to experience and see. He was the top of the food chain compared with the other two. He was giving them advice, and he was working to make things happen.

    At home, with Mommy and Daddy (my son too), they regress. They regress emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually back to being the little boy and being taken care of.

    It is not a good situation for them, to live at home under any circumstances.

    It's very sad to say and hard to watch, but sometimes people have to live at the very bottom for a while before they get it. My son did. I kept thinking surely THIS is the bottom, and then it wasn't...and the next time wasn't either...and so on.

    His bottom was unbelievable to me.

    The incentive to change comes from absolutely having to change because there is no other choice. Many still won't change. Some will. Perhaps your son needs that chance, to see if he is one who will.

    You can only do what you and Jabber can live with. It's all okay, whatever that is.
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  13. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    See, my response would have been, "I'm sorry you're sad. I don't understand this problem you have with your appearance because I think, intellectually, you know there's nothing wrong with it. I can't help you with that problem, but as always, there are therapists who can. When you want help, I will get you help."

    Yes, I'm sure you've done that numerous times, offered to get him professional help for his issues, as I have with my son's, "I have no friends, I'm not happy" stuff. But I'd do it again and hope that this time maybe it would take.

    I don't mean to criticize...clearly, I'm doing nothing right so I have no place to. But he was right...you didn't address what he said. In my opinion, and it's JUST my opinion, nothing more, if you're going to ask, "What's wrong?" you have to have a conversation about what's wrong. Even if you know you should never have asked. :oops:

    I agree except I don't want him near me! I really don't! I was a sad he wouldn't be around for the holidays, remember? So we went to Las Vegas! I'd do that every Christmas if given the chance and a phone call would be plenty!

    I want him to live his life on his own and somewhere away from me! The farther away he is the easier it is for me to say, "Nope, can't help." I don't even want grandkids! I want him to call every week - maybe two - and text and tell me he's fine. Until he has something to brag about that I will agree is good, I don't want anything more than that!

    I know everything I say sounds like - and clearly Jabber thinks - that I want him here. But what I want is for him to get some money together and have a job so he's secure and then for him to get out!!!

    Yes. I'm sure that mine, who was paid $180.00 on Friday, has no money at all. Yesterday he had two loose cigarettes in the car. Which means he bummed them. Which means he doesn't even have $2.75 to buy a pack of Decades. Monday, I told him, "You haven't asked and I know this, so don't get angry...but you had $180.00 three days ago. If you had a brain, you'd have spent $30 on a carton of cheap cigarettes that would have lasted you to next payday. You did not. Do not, under any circumstances, ask me to buy you cigarettes or anything else. If you're broke, knowing that rent is coming, you're out of luck."

    Folks, I don't want to give him chance after chance after chance...I want him to TAKE the one I give him!

    Like I said, I know I'm not going to get what I want. :(

    As of yesterday, he's the only sign holder for Boost. As it's going to be 90+ every day and he will be standing on concrete next to a road for hours - we'll see if that lasts. He doesn't do heat well. But then he doesn't do anything well. :( Not that it may matter long. Court is next week. I'm really worried - laid awake last night worrying - that he's just going to jail and then the job is gone and he'll have nothing...no source of income and, since we're putting him out, no place to live.

    He still doesn't admit he stole those DVD's in the first place. He actually said the other day, "I didn't even do anything wrong!" When the store clerk told the cop he saw him unwrap them and the cops report said that he admitted he went there to steal them. His "buddy" who had a warrant for stealing elsewhere didn't admit it - he blamed it all on my son! Does he really believe his lie? Does he really believe the cop and the store clerk had any reason to lie about it and frame him? He's a skinny white boy - and his buddy had priors - what possible reason would there be to make it up?

    But there's this teeny tiny part of me that whispers, "Maybe he's telling the truth." Like when he was in 2nd grade and he literally ran away from school because someone threw a rock on the playground and every single child in his class said it was him, but to this day he says it was not. He still contended as of three years ago when I told him to never mention it again that he was wrongfully accused and blamed us for not believing him - 12 years later!

    I wish I'd never agreed to talk to the judge. I'm his mom. I have no business being his lawyer. But I agreed. So...
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
  14. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Background: I wasn't being mean to him here - he's been told by both of us numerous times to buy a carton if he's going to smoke - it's FAR cheaper.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I know, Lil.
    With mine it isn't smoking - it's junk food.
    We tell him - buy a CASE of pop from the grocery store, not a can at a time from the gas station. It's WAY cheaper.

    Yes, Mom. But it isn't cold. And I can't keep it cold at work. And if I have a whole case, then I go through it too fast.

    (the last point sort of makes sense - but it's time to grow up and learn self-control)

    Yes, I get it, Lil.
  16. mtic

    mtic Member

    A friend just shared this with me. Pretty powerful. It's from a song called Butterfly by Mariah Carey. Here are some of the lyrics:

    When you love someone so deeply
    They become your life
    It's easy to succumb to overwhelming fears inside
    Blindly I imagined I could
    Keep you under glass
    Now I understand to hold you
    I must open my hands
    And watch you rise

    And another verse:

    “I can't pretend these tears
    Aren't overflowing steadily
    I can't prevent this hurt from
    Almost overtaking me
    But I will stand and say goodbye
    For you'll never be mine
    Until you know the way it feels to fly”

    Just hit very close to home for me, especially as my son will be leaving shortly. It's time to let him fly free and learn to live on his own.
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  17. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Self control indeed. If you normally smoke a half pack a day why smoke a pack a day just because they're there! They won't BE there if you do that!
  18. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    Copa- about your son and his feelings about his appearance. See I would have sat him down and shown him pictures of people who are disfigured from car accidents, war, born that way, criminal act of violence, Muslim women who have had acid thrown in their face, fire victims, etc. There are fat people, anorexic people, too tall, too short. I worked in a hospital setting for many years; every day I saw disfigured, sick people. Daily I would count my blessings that I and my family weren't those people. YOU have to learn how to be comfortable in your own skin. To get there, many go through counseling. If he won't do counseling, well, then he will continue to be what he is- self-conscious about his appearance. Maybe it was the way I was raised- we were not along allowed to be vain or have self-pity; well some pity, but we couldn't mope around about it. Grandma would say put your big girl panties on and move on. I think when we see the worse of things, it helps to be blessed with the best of things we are given. He should volunteer at a Veterans Hospital or even a hospital and go to the burn unit and I tell you- it changes you and how you see yourself and your problems.
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  19. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    You did well telling him I will not buy you any cigarettes. That is leverage that is setting the boundaries.
  20. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    I read an article about this generation and they are referred as Snow-flake generation. Rightly so.

    We have, society and schools, have made our children hypersensitive. They can't handle criticism, sarcasm teasing, etc. Years ago it was sticks and stones now it's OMG, words can scar me for life. The new age experts have expanded definitions of bullying to include ‘teasing and name–calling’, ‘having your stuff messed about with’, ‘spreading rumours’, ‘verbal sexual commentary’, ‘homophobic taunting’, ‘graffiti’, ‘insensitive jokes’, ‘bullying gestures’ and ‘exclusion from friendship groups’ (i.e. falling out with your friends or being ignored by other kids). We have rushed in with "safe places" where you can go to not be offended by anyone vs. teaching this generation, suck it up. you will get offended, taunted, be outed in a group of friends at some point in your life.

    I had a best friend throughout elementary school. We would walk home every day until it came time for us to part ways to our homes. Well in 8th grade new girl comes in. She and my bests friend hit it off. So what had been two friends was now three. Well my best-friend kicked me to the curb for the new girl. I had to suffer the agonizing walk every day walking home from school with them ahead of me laughing, whispering. I made it through. I told my grandma and she just said, well she was't much of a friend- true friends don't do that to someone. You will find another true friend. And I made it through. She didn't coddle me and go to her Moms house and scream at her about how her daughter treated me.

    Newsflash: Not every single criticism is an attack on your character. Sometimes, you just suck. And people tell you SO THAT YOU CAN IMPROVE. NOT SO YOU CAN GO HOME SOBBING ABOUT HOW THE WORLD IS UNFAIR AND YOU’RE SUCH A VICTIM AND YOU’RE SO DEPRESSED NOW. Yes, this is how I was raised. We all have been a victim of something at some point in our lives. Everyone has been hurt and crapped on at some point too.

    Then we have the 'physical protection for sports and fun group". Helmets, knee pads for riding bikes. Oh for heavens sakes. How in the hec did we ever survive before the required gadgets. You fell, scraped your knee, elbow and you picked your bike up and went on. We go all out to eliminate all risks and they grow up to be less daring. We now have padded playgrounds. We have banned kick ball cause some poor kid got hit the face and went home crying to their helicopter Mom and demanded it be stopped because it's dangerous and could kill my child. Seriously?

    Kids no longer go outside and play leapfrog, mother my I, red rover, it's not fair, it's not equal, it's dangerous. Instead they sit and play computer games, violent ones, fantasy ones.

    We can't display American flag in our country in many states, residences, cities anymore because some people find it offensive. I read few months ago where some school had the flags of the world and the class said the pledge of Allegiance to all the flags, not OUR flag. Because you know, don't want to offend anyone.

    Then there is the everyone is equal group, no motivation to excel, why do so if there will not be an award for doing better then others. Well, we can't do better then anyone else anymore because that is offensive.

    We protect children from criticism and suspend our critical judgment in order to massage their self-esteem.

    Yes, we as a society have made these kids the way they are today. Now some of us have not raised our kids to be this way - but it is being pushed in our schools, News, TV, internet, etc. This started probably 10 years ago- this push to protect our kids from anything and everything.