Friday, January 17, 2014

The Power of Parents Who Say ‘No’. From Speakeasy.

"I'm a Yes Mom
in a No World."
I grew up in an affluent area. Most kids owned multiple Cabbage Patch dolls and Gear bags and pairs of Jordache jeans (not to mention the beloved Atari 2600). I certainly had enough, but it felt like all of my peers possessed more. I wanted Benetton sweaters and a cool bike. I wanted to take trips to Mexico over Christmas break and come back with a bronze tan. I wanted to impress people with a fancy car, not the red Datsun 510 parked in our driveway.

As I got older, I didn’t merely crave material items—I wanted freedom. On weekends, my friends’ parents left them alone in their apartments while they went elsewhere. I was never left unattended until I went to college. My friends had no curfew. I had to be home by midnight. Plus, my mom watched me like a hawk.

The rest.


  1. I was amazed at how so "smart" my parents got between my ages of 18-21.

  2. The anti-fad/materialism theme makes sense to me, but the "I was never left unattended until I went to college" part is a bit creepy. It sounds like she did get to go out with friends (as long as she adhered to her curfew), but her parents never left her at home while they did errands when she was a teenager? Were always there when she got home from school? That doesn't strike me as good preparation for adulthood. Admittedly, there are 16-18 year olds who can be left at home alone for a weekend, and others who can't (well, not if you want the house to be standing, the same number of live pets present as at the beginning of the weekend, and the kid not in jail), but a kid who can't be left alone for an afternoon or evening isn't ready for college.

  3. I remember my mom patiently explaining to me that that lucky girl whose mom moved to another state, leaving her alone in the house to finish high school, was actually not that lucky. I didn't believe her till I was out of college.


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