Monthly Archives: April 2016

The Top 3 Things Wrong With Generation Z ( a.k.a Today’s Teens)

The Top 3 Things Wrong With Generation Z ( a.k.a Today’s Teens)

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Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

 

Today’s teens who were born between 1994 and 2004, belong to Generation Z.

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And Gen. Z doesn’t get the best press.

  • A Huffington Post described Gen. Z as “lazy, unaware, and apathetic”.
  • “Gen. Z is entitled, lazy, selfish, tech savvy, and yet incompetent,” -S. Greenfield
  • “Many describe Gen. Z as lazy, self-entitled, tech-dependent, and narcissistic.” -D. Sylvia

 

So, What’s wrong with today’s teenagers???

  1. Their PARENTS!
  2. Their PARENTS!
  3. Their PARENTS!

These Parents were born on The Baby Boomer & Generation X Cusp.  

Known for great success in educational, financial and social arenas.  

Portrayed as a powerful generation of optimism, and achievement.

 

Elite Daily had an article that compared today’s teens with their parents:

Generation Z is used to being spoon fed everything, while their parents worked hard for everything that they currently have.

The Baby Boomer generation understood that the world didn’t owe them anything. They were a more independent generation, as they didn’t really have much of a crutch to lean on in comparison to Gen. Z.

Gen.Z’s an entitled generation, babied by their parents and society and it has really damaged their work ethic and the way they go about life.

They expect things to be done for them and if something requires a little extra work or concentration, they’re easily deterred from doing it.

 

Do I get a: AMEN!!!!!

 

Spring is in the air and it’s a perfect time to witness this phenomenon.

As the temperatures rise, so does the blood pressure of most The Parents.

 

Here are some examples:

  • Billy is failing Biology and the final exam is only weeks away.

Who’s in a panic, Billy or The Parents?

Ummmm, The Parents?  

Yep!

WHAT CAN THEY DO???  They scramble to find a tutor….$50/hour…$100…

No problem, they’ll do anything to prevent Billy from experiencing the direct consequences of the poor choices he made all year long.  

 

  • Katie’s Prom is next month

She finds her favorite dress on the internet.  It’s perfect and she has to have it, but it costs more than most wedding dresses and Katie doesn’t have a job.  

Does she get the dress?

Of course she does!

The Parents buy it for her and, they’ll also throw in a stretch Limo and host a lavish pre-prom photo-op party for all of Katie’s friends and their Parents.

Everyone will look stunning in all the pics posted on FB, especially Katie in her lovely dress..

 

  • Nikki’s a Junior and college is 2 years away

Does she have to worry about it now?

Nope.  She probably hasn’t even given it a minutes thought,

BUT THE PARENTS HAVE.

Infact, The Parents have probably spent most of their Spring

  • Researching ACT/SAT testing dates and review classes to sign her up for
  • Mapping out college visits
  • Getting all the ducks in a row for the college application process

And Nikki will accompany The Parents on these college visits, looking apathetic and mostly texting on her phone and taking selfies along the campus tour.

 

I have a confession:  I was born in 1963 and I have three kids… do the math.

 

Our kids are CODDLED… SPOILED.

And we only have ourselves to blame.

 

Why can’t we let our kids experience their own failures… the disappointments of not getting everything they want?  

 

Are we protecting them or ourselves??

Are we so addicted to success, that we can’t even imagine our own children may fail?  

Do we feel our children’s achievements or failures are a reflection of us… our strength, weakness or flaws??

 

Even if we won’t admit it… It’s common knowledge we’ll do anything to help our kids succeed.

 

Our kids know it and so does everyone else.

 

In fact, high school teachers and administrators will bet on it.  

They know teens will do NOTHING all year long and therefore rely on The Parents to swoop in, save the day and make sure there will be students to pass and graduate.  

So, they created this thing called The Parent Portal and it enables The Parents to enable their teens.  

Most High School Websites now have a “Parent Portal” where The Parents can (at any moment) access their teens class schedule, assignment/project/quiz/ test deadlines and grades.

It’s like The Parents can now have a VIRTUAL SEAT right in their Teens Classroom!!!!

 

Ironically, The Parents  graduated from high school and college with very little help or involvement from their own parents and yet feel DIRECTLY responsible for the academic success or failure of their own kids.  

Heck, my parents didn’t even know where my high school was!!

 

So, while our teens are absorbed in their social-media life…perfecting their duckie-face selfie or building their biceps at the gym… we’re chewing their food and spitting it into their mouths like momma Robins.   

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And their still FAILING…  

Which just makes us work harder at saving them, because God-forbid they fail a class…

How will they get accepted into a GOOD COLLEGE?????  

And once they get into college, this dynamic will just continue.

They’ll perform mediocre at best as we struggle to write every tuition check.  If their failing a course, we’ll encourage them to “DROP IT!!”.  We’d rather pay for courses they didn’t take, than have them suffer the consequences of an F.  And we’ll all stay on this Hamster Wheel, until we STOP!

These kids don’t stand a chance at any resemblance of personal or professional success, UNLESS we remove their CRUTCH… (by realizing we’re the Crutch)!!!

So, in the upcoming weeks… among the onslaught of FB posted Prom, Senior and Graduation pics… steady yourself for the declaration of “What college acceptance Billy’s chosen!!!”   

And who do you think will be posting all of these accomplishments….                                                                                                The Teen or The Parent that earned them?

[Disclaimer: Yes, maybe there’s always that one teen & parent that’s an exception…  😉  ]

'My bottles of wine are just like your children. They're never outdoors and they're somewhat spoiled.'

‘My bottles of wine are just like your children. They’re never outdoors and they’re somewhat spoiled.’

 

My Husband Loves Toys

My Husband Loves Toys

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

how to cook lentils in pressure cooker

My husband LOVES toys & gadgets.

Adult Toys & Gadgets  (no, NOT “those”  kind…).

He just can’t watch an Infomercial without wanting to buy whatever they’re selling.

 

I realize it might eventually be beneficial to install V-chip Technology to block these broadcasts from our home TVs. But, in the meantime, he proudly informed me UPS would soon be delivering a Pressure Cooker.

“Wait…. What?!?!  I don’t want a Pressure Cooker!!”, I quickly replied.

 

I remember those from back in the 60s.  My mom had one, and rarely used it.

It was constructed out of heavy steel and had this black plastic knobie valve that would spin and rattle as explosive steam built-up within the pot.

If you entered the kitchen during one of the very rare occasions my mother was PRESSURE cooking something in it… she would shrill: Do NOT. Get. Near. The. Stove!!! 

When it was done… we basically had to wear hard hats, and crouch under the kitchen table while my mom gingerly tried to remove the lid.

 

Fast forward, I told my husband my feelings about introducing this Highly Dangerous Hazard into our home kitchen and he confidently informed me that…

THIS, was not my Mother’s Pressure Cooker!!!

 

“This was a technological advancement in home cooking like no other.

This Pressure Cooker was fully automated, digital, and SAFE.

It sat safely on the kitchen countertop.  

You simply plugged it in, added the ingredients,

locked on the lid, pushed a few buttons & Voila.

Within minutes you had a delectable meal worthy of a Three-star Michelin Rating.”

 

Then my husband started to describe the great dinners we could easily make in our new Pressure Cooker.  And he had me, right there & then, with: “WE”.  

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I have never, ever enjoyed “cooking”.  I’ll bake cookies all day long, but I stress-out just at the thought of having to make dinner every night.

I wouldn’t mind it so much if I could cook the same thing for dinner over & over every night… but I dread having to come up with new, different menu ideas!!  I find it torturous!!  

So, I anxiously awaited the arrival of this newfangled Pressure Cooker.  

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Our first attempt was to make a recipe called Savory Pork Chops with Creamy Mustard and Sage Gravy over Potatoes. We bought all the ingredients, put them in the pot, followed all the instructions and within only a matter of minutes, our dinner was done. Voila!!

So… did the food taste better or any different than if we’d cooked the same meal in the conventional way?  

The verdict: Heck, YEAH it was Better…  it was Unfreaking Believable… melt in your mouth Delicious!!!  

AND I have to admit there were No hard hats required.  

It’s easy to use, totally digital and EVERY meal comes out tasting simply AMAZING!! The steam traps in all the wonderful flavors, nutrients and everything is cooked to the perfect tenderness.

The only (HUGE) disadvantage has been glaringly displayed on the digital display of our bathroom scale. Unfortunately, along with every newly discovered delicious meal… there also seems to be newly discovered inches to my arse.

To be completely honest, this wonderful advancement in home cooking technology is a curse!!

I LOVE food.    I LOVE to eat.  

So, I certainly don’t need food to taste any better or another reason to love food any more than I already do.  (Especially now, at the age when my metabolism has come to a screeching halt!) But, I must say, it’s great to see my husband so enthusiastic about this latest toy and I totally appreciate the help in meal planning and preparation… therefore, I find myself in quite a quandary.   

I was hoping this Pressure Cooker would just find its way into the Gadgetry Graveyard along with the “not so easy to clean” Jack Lalane Juicer…, but Nooooo, this sweet innocent looking thing is still sitting front and center on our kitchen countertop.

I have finally resorted myself to the fact this clever little devil invention is here to stay, so I better learn to live with it and adjust my lifestyle accordingly.

Maybe it would help if every Pressure Cooker came with a free 200 page easy-to-follow recipe book… AND, a free introductory membership to Weight Watchers.

I can only hope the next Infomercial my husband watches will be for a Total Home Gym.

 

Narcissists Do Not Like to Pay Money

Narcissists Do Not Like to Pay Money

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Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

I would guess… 99.9% of all Post-Divorce Family Court cases involving a Narcissist are based on them wanting money or finding a way out of all their financial obligations…
(Below is an interesting article by Joanna Moore)

 

Narcissists do not like to pay money that they owe

Narcissists don't willingly meet their financial obligations. Child support? Alimony? Personal Loans? Taxes? Nope. If it's not fun for them, they simply ignore it.

Narcissists don’t willingly meet their financial obligations. Child support? Alimony? Personal Loans? Taxes? Nope.
If it’s not fun for them, they simply ignore it.

If a narcissist owes you money, you will probably never see it without a fight. They simply do not feel like they should have to pay for things that aren’t directly benefiting them. They just do not understand the basics of integrity and honoring commitments because all they can think of is their own personal gain and pleasure. They don’t care who they hurt and they don’t care if their refusal to pay destroys someone else’s credit.

This includes child-support. They do not care that their children suffer when they refuse to pay. They don’t think they should have to pay in the first place. If they do pay, it is almost always because their wages are garnished, and when that happens, they feel entitled to something. I noticed with my own narcopath ex, that he refused to pay for over a year and at the same time, he was refusing to see my son. As soon as he started seeing my son regularly, he started making some payments. I guess he felt like if he wasn’t seeing my son, then he didn’t have to pay. Funny, because I still had to pay for shelter, food, childcare, clothes, baby gear and more every day that he didn’t feel obligated to pay! Those of us who share a child with a narcissist have to learn to lean only on ourselves because the other parent is never going to be reliable without some benefit to them. You simply cannot depend on a narcissist for your monetary survival. Just because the law, or honor says they owe you doesn’t mean they are going to pay.

Now a narcissist might pay their mortgage, their car loans, their insurance and other things that affect THEM, but as soon as those things aren’t a benefit to them, they stop paying. For example, if you are getting divorced and the narcissist is ordered to pay for insurance for your kids, or your mortgage payment, they might let it slide. I have a friend whose narcissist husband purposely let their house get foreclosed while he stashed money in hidden bank accounts and claimed he was broke. Never mind that his children were living in the house…. He just didn’t care about anyone but himself.

Same thing with alimony, divorce settlements, personal loans, and more. While most of us feel like we should honor our obligations–especially to friends and family–narcissists are lacking that integrity. They think nothing of spending lots of money on themselves while the people they owe money to struggle, but they don’t have empathy to see what their selfishness does to others. So if a narcissist owes you money, don’t depend on it or expect it. They will go to great lengths to avoid paying you!

For a Friend

For a Friend

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

It all started a few days ago.  

I was writing on my laptop, enjoying my first cup of coffee, when I heard something in the other room.  It sounded like something was hitting the window.  

 

I walked into the family room to check it out, and sure enough, a robin was repeatedly flying into the window.  The minute it saw my reflection it flew away.  

 

I was relieved it hadn’t hurt itself and went back to my writing.

 

No sooner had I returned to my laptop, when I heard the same persistent sound again.

 

Bang……..………..…(wait for it)………………..Bang…………..(and again)……………… Bang!  

 

I walked back into the room and the robin flew away again.  

I thought:   “Geez, poor bird.  It’s gonna hurt itself.”

 

I figured by now this bird must’ve realized it keeps hitting something hard and obviously impermeable and finally flew away somewhere else.   

 

I went back to my writing.  And, I kid you not, within minutes, it started again.

 

Seriously?!?!  

I was shocked.  How could a bird be that stupid…or that stubborn???  Then I recalled hearing stories about how an animal’s instincts can cause it to repeat behavior over and over, even if it results in physical injury or worse.

 

And we’ve all heard the quote:

“Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is the definition of Insanity!!”

 

WTHeck!?!? I didn’t have the time, energy or desire to deal with an insane robin!

Every time I walked into the room, it would fly away… but, it would come right back and keep doing the same stupid Banging!!

 

I couldn’t keep walking in and out of the family room all day.  

 

So, I observed its behavior from a vantage point where it couldn’t see me.  

There’s a tree next to the window, and this robin sits on its branch and then takes a header into the window… knocks itself silly and then does it again!!!

 

I wasn’t sure how to help this poor bird, so I tried a few ideas:

 

  • I taped some foil to the window— this didn’t help, it just moved to a different section of the window!

  • Then I designed a replica of myself (like a scarecrow) using chairs, pillows, blankets, etc— this didn’t help.  I added a fan to give the materials some movement— no help!!

  • Then I cut-off the branch it was sitting on— it just moved to another branch! (I thought about cutting down the whole tree, but deep down I knew that wouldn’t help either.)

  • I screamed at it: “What is WRONG with you… are you TRYING to kill yourself!?!?”— no help.

  • Then I opened the window (which has a screen)— Voila, this seemed to help, but we’ve been having a lovely winter this spring and the house was getting a bit chilly (considering the 19* temps outside) so I ultimately closed the window.

By this time it was dusk and Thank Goodness the silly bird retired for the evening!!

 

The next morning I’d forgotten all about the bird until… it started AGAIN!!!

Bang………………………………..Bang………………………………….Bang!

 

WoW!!! It certainly was a consistent little bugger.

 

This time I tied up the window-blind strings and positioned the fan to blow them around. And the Good News is, it seemed to solve the problem.

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There is just one issue.  This contraption has to be turned on constantly until dusk.  If I forget to turn it on… I am reminded by a persistent:

 

Bang……………… ……………..Bang………………………………….Bang!

And I know there may come a day when this latest fan/string contraption won’t help anymore and I fear finding that bird lying dead under the tree.

 

This whole ordeal has really ruffled my feathers.

No, I am serious!  

 

It is unnerving to try and help another when their behavior is going to hurt them (or worse), and most of your intervention does absolutely nothing .

 

The moments when I waited to see if a new preventative method worked, were absolutely grueling.  My heart would sink (& I’d inevitably feel like a failure) every time I’d hear the Banging start-up again.

 

The very worst letdown was when I thought I’d finally helped, because things quieted down… but then inevitably it would start again.

 

I’m always looking for the silver lining, or lesson learned from facing challenges in life.

And this situation unfortunately mirrored the greatest challenge we all face as human beings:

   The pain and frustration we feel

by watching those we Love

repeat behaviors

that hurt them or can eventually kill them.

 

The hardest thing to endure it to stand-by helplessly.  

And yet that is all you can do.  

Because if they want to Bang into that window… They will… And there’s nothing you can do to stop them.

 

Lesson 101 in loving someone, who is actively engaging in harmful behaviors… is to know there is very little you can do.  It is up to them if they want to change or stop.

We. All. Have. Free. Will.

 

These past few days I learned some important reminders.  

 

Here are some things you can do:

  • You do what you can to help.

  • You realize there is no magic wand to make it all better (no matter how much you beg, scream, cry, plead, wish, hope or pray).

  • You learn to live with your feeling of helplessness.

  • You accept you have no control over another’s Free Will.  You surrender trying to impose yours.

  • You eventually Let Go (and let God).

  • You remember to take care of yourself.

… a little birdie told me so!