Anyone read "Hold On to your Kids?" Do you try to avoid peer-orientation? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 75 Old 03-09-2011, 11:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by elisheva View Post

.I'm just curious: if you really connected with/like this book, were you disconnected from your parents in adolescence?


Not at all. I think my mom was one of the few things I wasn't rebelling against.

 

However, my dad's an alcoholic, and was largely absent throughout my teens. Things weren't really a lot of fun at home a lot of the time. I was NOT a "good" kid, but I was also not peer oriented.

 


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#62 of 75 Old 03-09-2011, 12:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by elisheva View Post

I'm just curious: if you really connected with/like this book, were you disconnected from your parents in adolescence?


I don't really care for the book and I was very disconnected from my parents in adolescence. I was abused and neglected as a child, and eventually left home while still in my teens.  My parents were VERY controlling - they saw my peers as evil and all pop culture as sin.

 

To me, there is a happy medium, which is what I aim for as a parent. I do feel connected to my kids. We enjoy spending time together. I don't fear their peers and I like them to have lots of positive people in their lives. For me, being open to my kids connecting with their peers and enjoying pop culture is part of being very different with them than my parents were with me. 

 

I still read to my kids at bedtime (they are 12 and 14). It's this great time when we relax together and talk. I'm just more interested in a balanced life where they gradually have more and more independence than in trying to "hold on to them." It's all good.

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#63 of 75 Old 03-09-2011, 12:53 PM
 
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It also struck a chord because I work with college students now and i am amazed at many of their inabilities ot hold a conversation with anyone outside of their peer group.  It's like they have grown up just learning how to communicate with each other and struggle to talk with anyone who is older, or even younger (I have a 2 year old and some college students are great with her but it's clear many of them have no idea what to do with a baby or a toddler)

 

They also see no value in asking older people for advice.  They go to one another for help in solving problems and many of them don't see much value in mentorship or getting to know older adults.  In my job, there is the possibility for a lot of mentorship and I was really surprised with how many students just aren't interested in getting to know myself or my colleagues.  I was talking with a colleague from Hungary and one from Kenya and they both expressed the same surprise that young people don't want to get to know them, and they both commented how different it is in their countries and how young people have many relationships with older people and often value insight and wisdom from those who are older.

 

I have 7 nieces and nephews of late hs/early college (one just graduated) age.  I have to say that this is by and large not my experience.  None of these kids were particularly raised not to be peer oriented, in fact a few of them were pretty peer oriented as teens.  It's interesting what maturity brings.  I don't think anyone worried overly about their kids peer relationships.  I also don't think that there was a concerted effort to always hold the kids "close", or worry about the compass part of things.  This tends to be a pretty healthy family, so I don't think that was ever something our siblings (their parents) had a lot of concerns about.  The kids, young adults actually, are extremely interesting, and highly capable of interacting with, and appreciating older adults.  I think that this is because they have been given freedom, responsibility and respect, and most of the significant adults in their lives are really interested in them.  No one's perfect, of course.  There have been bumps in the road, but that's part of growing up.
 

 

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#64 of 75 Old 03-09-2011, 02:33 PM
 
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I have 7 nieces and nephews of late hs/early college (one just graduated) age.  I have to say that this is by and large not my experience.

 


good point. One of my volunteer things is working in the library at my kids' school. Kids talk to me about all sorts of things, they offer to help, they act like regular humans. I'm not seeing the "teens can't speak to adults" thing. It's just not my experience. Over and over with this book, I feel like that my refrain -- that's just not my experience.

 

I'm sure that all this stuff is true about some kids and some families, but it just isn't what I see around me.

 

 


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#65 of 75 Old 03-09-2011, 02:50 PM
 
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I still read to my kids at bedtime (they are 12 and 14). It's this great time when we relax together and talk. I'm just more interested in a balanced life where they gradually have more and more independence than in trying to "hold on to them." It's all good.

 



Neufeld actually addresses that independence IS normal and desirable when young adults are ready to consult their own conscience instead of needing guidance in so many areas. From what you described and my (now 3) readings of the book, I don't see what you're doing as being at odds with what he recommends. What a sweet family ritual to still be reading to them as adolescents!!!

 

ETA: a little more info :)


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#66 of 75 Old 03-09-2011, 03:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

good point. One of my volunteer things is working in the library at my kids' school. Kids talk to me about all sorts of things, they offer to help, they act like regular humans. I'm not seeing the "teens can't speak to adults" thing. It's just not my experience. Over and over with this book, I feel like that my refrain -- that's just not my experience.

i am at a community college and i see what OP refered to all over the place. i dont see what you are seeing. 

 

and yes the proffs all have the same complaint. even as simple as well if the kids are having problems why wont they even come see the proffs.

 

however in this case i dont blame the kids. many of them come from really painful backgrounds. many only had their peers to go to. some come from v. close family backgrounds. if you do not have a safe connection from childhood why would you trust an adult? plus society totally throws around old people as useless, to be locked away, to be made fun of and useless. so how can one ask for any sort of respect for adults. 

 

 


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#67 of 75 Old 03-09-2011, 04:20 PM
 
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however in this case i dont blame the kids. many of them come from really painful backgrounds. many only had their peers to go to. some come from v. close family backgrounds. if you do not have a safe connection from childhood why would you trust an adult? plus society totally throws around old people as useless, to be locked away, to be made fun of and useless. so how can one ask for any sort of respect for adults. 

 

 

True and I think this is what Neufeld is getting at, partly. Some parents abdicate their authority to parent and this also causes kids to become peer-oriented (or, if they're lucky, to find a substitute adult).
 

 


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#68 of 75 Old 03-09-2011, 04:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

To me, there is a happy medium, which is what I aim for as a parent. I do feel connected to my kids. We enjoy spending time together. I don't fear their peers and I like them to have lots of positive people in their lives. For me, being open to my kids connecting with their peers and enjoying pop culture is part of being very different with them than my parents were with me. 

 

This is interesting. I loved the book, and I don't fear ds1's peers at all, and am very happy that he has positive people in his life. He's forming what I believe will be lifelong friendships with a great bunch of teens, and I'm glad to see it. I don't see that as being at odds with the book in any way.

 

I still read to my kids at bedtime (they are 12 and 14). It's this great time when we relax together and talk. I'm just more interested in a balanced life where they gradually have more and more independence than in trying to "hold on to them." It's all good.

 

This (the reading to them) is, imo, exactly the kind of thing he's talking about. This is "compass point" stuff.

 

I'm thinking the title of the book is unfortunate, because I really didn't get any kind of "keep them so close that you stifle them" vibe from it at all. I don't necessarily agree with everything he said, but I do think that turning to peers for cues that really should come from adults is unhealthy, and I do think it happens way, way too often. Mind you, I also think that AP more or less includes what he's talking about, anyway.



 


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#69 of 75 Old 03-09-2011, 11:01 PM
 
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Hi,

I have read ' around the book ' . I think you can hold onto your kids if your support their autonomy , provide them opportunities to connect with positive peers and encourage interactions which are multi or cross generations. I don't like youth groups a lot because of the problem of teen or peer culture , I prefer groups and orginizations that have many different ages. Peers are a fact of life.

 

mary 

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#70 of 75 Old 03-12-2011, 12:06 AM
 
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FYI-for those of you who are interested in learning more about Gordon Neufeld's philosphy/ideas, if you go to his website you can buy DVDs of his lectures or audio downloads. The DVDs are really pricey but some library systems carry them (mine doesn't, but the library system north of mine does). I know a few families who have bought his dvds together and get together to watch them/discuss them and they sound pretty fascinating, the dvds are not just a recap of his book. I can't recommend them, as I haven't seen/heard them, but as I got a lot out of his book, it's on my list of things to watch when I can find the opportunity.

 

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#71 of 75 Old 03-21-2011, 05:01 PM
 
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I really connected with the book because I saw in it an explanation of what had happened to me in my childhood.  Basically they (mostly my mother, my father was sort of a passive follower) destroyed any relationship they had with me by the time I was 10, and beginning in elementary school they started ignoring us and leaving us alone as much as they could.  (Not alone in the house, though there was plenty of that too over the years, but as in physical separation within the house.  They watched TV in their room, we watched TV in our own rooms or in the den.  Or whatever.  Other than at meals, we never spent any time with them.)  I longed for and sought out close relationships with adults who could stand in for my parents -- teachers, friends' parents, even my orthodontist!  But it wasn't the same.  I needed them, and they weren't there for me.  I grew up feeling completely unworthy of love.  I became peer oriented not because I was an extrovert (I'm not) or really wanted that, but because it was all there was available to me.  And while of course I had many positive peer relationships over the years, as well as many negative ones, the lack of parents as a compass point was devastating to my life.  I made a lot of bad decisions along the way because I was so desperate and love-starved that I couldn't see when I was being taken advantage of or used, both in "friendships" and in romantic relationships.  And these experiences were all the more catastrophic to me emotionally because I didn't have the foundation of my parents' unconditional love as some of my friends did -- and they weathered the storms of adolescence and young adulthood much better than I did, needless to say.

 

My experience does not describe all families, but I do believe this is common ... probably not among AP-type parents, though.  People who grew up with parents who were there for them may not be able to relate to this book and may misinterpret it as being "against peer relationships" ... seen a lot of that in this thread.  That's not what it's about at all.  The book could just as easily have been called "Don't Abandon Your Kids."  FWIW, from the outside my family looked absolutely normal, mainstream, middle class, we went to church every Sunday ... but on the inside everything was rotten.  It has taken me many many years to see my parents' emotional and moral abandonment for what it was.  If I told them how I see things they would probably be aghast -- they think that they always loved me and probably don't think they did anything wrong.  They just don't know what love means or what stepping up to the plate as a parent is.  I probably won't ever talk to them about it but I will be damn sure not to replicate their mistakes with my kids.

 

Honestly though I appreciated a point brought up by a PP, that it is media influence that is the real bugaboo here.  Peers can be the method of transmission, but the origin of a lot of the toxic values out there re cruelty, reckless sexuality, excessive focus on physical appearance, and the like, come from the media.  I say this as someone who watched TV incessantly and rarely if ever had any limits placed on what I watched or read, and I absorbed those toxic values like a sponge.  It took me many years to unlearn them, and I am still working on it.  So yeah, I worry about bad influences on my kids because I don't want them to go through what I did.


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#72 of 75 Old 03-21-2011, 10:00 PM
 
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unfortunately you bring up a huge point here brought up by pp.

 

it no longer is about peer orientation. its more about avoid media brainwashing. no wonder the ad companies spend so much on research. or tv stations on shows.


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#73 of 75 Old 09-09-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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bump

 

I just finished this book and found this thread and would love more conversation about it if anyone is still following.  

 

I completely related to this book in terms of an explanation of my own adolescence as well.  I have scrutinized my past for years trying to explain why I went off the rails in high school and this book provides me with many answers.  My parents weren't bad parents but they were emotionally disconnected, particularly after a family crisis when I was 11 that they had much difficulty with.  They encouraged me to hang out with my friends as much as possible.  I went on vacation with friends, ate dinner at their houses, spent day after day with my friends and ended up being hugely insecure and falling in with the "wrong crowd" and making many bad decisions (though thankfully all reversible.)  I have been petrified for my children's looming teenage years because of my experiences but this book provided me with hope and practical suggestions.  It also gave me the logical extension of early childhood attachment parenting when I was searching for it (having not had that modeled for me in the past.)  I wish the authors touched on the importance of a healthy attachment foundation in infancy, because I think that is an important first step.

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#74 of 75 Old 09-13-2011, 06:36 PM
 
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I read this book when it first came out.  I think my conclusion after reading it, and seeing my oldest go from preschooler at the time, to 11 years old now, is that in young children, developing a strong parent/child attachment is paramount, and that early orientation toward peers may not be healthy.  However, I think it's a natural part of development to orient toward peers as you age, and the book didn't allow for this, enough.  Lots of very "natural" cultures had situations where peers nurtured each other while adults were busy (try reading Meredith Small's "Our Children Our Selves" to see where I am coming from), and England's culture in a certain socio-economic bracket had a lot of peer orientation at older ages due to boarding schools, etc, and while some did poorly in these settings, others thrived.  Also, the overall community support makes a big difference (which Neuffield's book did address) and effects the health of all attachments.  A better book (though a bit repetitive) was the "The We Generation" (I just read it this year) as the approach to building empathy looked at strengthening all types of positive attachments.


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#75 of 75 Old 09-14-2011, 11:10 AM
 
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Farmerbeth, i agree with you. Actually, im going to look at that book you mentioned!

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