Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hey Miss Manners: Is this a Case of Great Expectations or Rude Behavior? By Geniusofdespair

Dear Miss Manners:

You might be wondering what this is. Well, it is a teenager using her cell phone on a boat ride which she did almost the entire boat ride. In her defense she did stop long enough to see a dolphin jump out of the water.

I have not seen this 13 year old child since Christmas. In my usual mode I had great expectations of what this visit with her would be like. It was pure joy.  I was so looking forward to this as I love her so much.

When she was a child she would call me and ask what I was doing, or what was in my oven. I found out she was doing to this to others as well. She would then ask the person who was doing the most interesting thing to pick her up. I lectured her on "love the one you're with."

Anyway, $50 or $60 dollars worth of gas was used for an afternoon on the cell phone. I didn't get to talk to her, except during the car ride, I found out in her move to Jacksonville she developed a love for Country Music. Hardly forgivable.  And, worse she liked a boy with Romney stickers all over his truck. OMG there is trouble to come.

Miss Manners, is it just me, would it have been correct to confiscate the cell phone or throw it over-board? When we got back to shore after my 4 hour visit, she wanted to go back to her friend's house -- I had plans to take them both for dinner to South Beach.  Are my expectations my downfall? Are they unattainable?

When I dropped her off I asked if she knew what I did since Christmas (when I had seen her for 2 hours)? She said "What?" I said do you know where I am going next month? She said "Where?" I said "Read it on my Facebook page."  As she left I mumbled something about "Love the one you're with." I sure did.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

She's a teenager! If you ever want a relationship with her after she gets over puberty, you might want to take down this "guilt" post immediately. Yeah, I know, you're gonna call me a "Putz"!

Geniusofdespair said...

My relatives NEVER READ MY BLOG.

Anonymous said...

First Commenter, you must be a parent. You get to see your teenager every day so you get to talk between cell phone calls. As a more distant relative I can tell you I side with Genius on this. As a grandmother I don't know my teenage Grandchildren at all. I can describe their cell phone covers and the top of their heads. I seldom see them full face.

Gloria said...

Don't worry, she will become a Republican up there in Jacksonville in no time so you won't want anything to do with her anyway.

Anonymous said...

Puberty? Are you kidding. They don't get over cell phone addiction at puberty. Genius has to wait at least 10 years if not more for that face to be upright again. My child is 24.

Geniusofdespair said...

I am afraid you are right last poster. By that time I will have tired of waiting. As I wrote the other day, "What's love got to do with it?" Love is a funny thing, you need connection for it to work. Go back and read the comments of that post.

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2014/03/whats-love-got-to-do-with-it-by.html

Anonymous said...

Christmas day highlighted for me the stupidity of technology. Not only were the teenagers hidden behind their screen, but so were many of the adults. Proud to say that my 23 year old spent the day talking with his 93 year old grandmother.

Anonymous said...

Interaction between relatives can be a very tricky business. The lack of communication during the boat trip is not uncommon, but troubling. People went through a lot of trouble to try to have an enjoyable day and all that was gotten was little or no interaction. I guess low expectations should be in play during the next visit.

Anonymous said...

Good subject. We all have this problem with at least one person in our families.

Anonymous said...

People get too addicted to smartphones. Parents and other adults should intervene.

Anonymous said...

A lot of it is day-to-day training. You have to learn each child from observing them as babies. You get in by understanding who they are. Whoever they are by the time they are teenagers, the concept to time should be explored, their lifeline from baby to old person, and where they are on that line at this time. Some teens are stunned to find out that people they are so involved with will soon fade from their memories, and that most of the teens they are interacting with in jr and senior high, they will never see again in life after high school graduation. The key is to get them to understand that they have very little life experience and knowledge and that they can depend on you for guidance.

Anonymous said...

She was communicating to you that she does not want to be with you. Enter her phone world by calling her once each day.

Anonymous said...

This, too, shall pass.

Grandfather of seven.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to interject libraries into this conversation, but it's another reason that balance - interaction with paper, communication with human beings, access to sharing, programs that inspire curiosity - are the elements that elevate our lives. The everything I need is in my Ipad is shortsighted and puts blinders on the REAL world. The world that we can easily lose when the electrical power goes down after a storm.

The addiction to social networks is insidious. FarmVille, Candy Crush, Twitter- it's just data mining masked as games or self-promoting crowd sourcing approval.

The boat trip didn't create a purpose bigger than conversation with a relative. If you have to break through an addiction, she needs a challenge that cannot let her choose to be on a device, horseback riding, building a habitat house, baynanza beach cleanup. Like any detox, it's never pretty. Based on her past, she's worth it. She needs to know she's in a trap.

I hope this didn't sound preachy.

Japolina said...

Unfortunately it is common teenager behavior today. Just text her.

Anonymous said...

13 is awful. She will evolve so hang in there. It IS rude but there is likely a little bit of shyness there too. Hard not to take it personally. But try not too. Gramps above is right. This too shall pass.

CATO said...

Soon evolution will make it so that humans will be born with cell phones attached to their hand and eyes that can see the screen even in a glaring sun.
Anon that said G.O.D. should "call" her granddaughter to enter her cell phone world you are sooooo 90s G.O.D. needs to text, tweet , Vine and Instagram her.

Anonymous said...

Interesting complaint from a blogger who spends untold hours a day interacting online. Technology, teabaggers, reality shows and rising sea levels will soon destroy us all.

Anonymous said...

I am advising the teens who interact with me to stay away from tweeting, vining, and instagraming, and a lot of other stuff as it might interfer with getting into the right colleges or other life goals they have set for themselves.

Geniusofdespair said...

This blogger does not blog when people are around. 6 am is a quiet time. I don't look at my cellphone in front of people nor take calls.

Grillo said...

Do we even remember what we all were like in our teen years? As a mother of two and grandmother to six boys who range from teens to their 20's, I try to remember that I survived my teens because of the grace of God and the Holy Spirit and my parents inexhaustible patience. Not until my two sons reached their teens was I able to understand why I spent five years in boarding school in a foreign country.

Anonymous said...

I text all my relative teens they don't text back

Anonymous said...

Random thoughts:

Most girls 12-14 are in self loathing period and they don't want to be where they are unless it's hanging out with their friends. Insecurity rules their lives.

Interpersonal skill priorities have become less meaningful then the immediate gratification received by the powerful feeling of being anonymous or getting a crowd's attention.

One way is to interact while doing something requiring hands on participation like cooking. Boys usually open up to adults not when they are expected to converse but while they are in the midst of doing an activity.

Girls should be encouraged to get on debate teams, that should teach them how to express themselves.verbally. Of course then they are wickedly opinionated and in your face. It's a good trade off for future female leaders.

John said...

Unfortunately as a person with high expectations I have low tolerance for disappointment. Get the kids out of your life she isn't worth it. give your inheritance to a charity.

Geniusofdespair said...

Been done John I am way ahead of you.

Anonymous said...

She might have been going through a bad boyfriend breakup? Maybe she is being bullied by other girls? Maybe she is trying to break into a difficult clique? But someone needs to teach her to compartmentalize her life.

Anonymous said...

"This blogger does not blog when people are around. 6 am is a quiet time. I don't look at my cellphone in front of people nor take calls. "
- somebody does in this childs' development, will this child turned adult be in the background doing the same when their child is developing is the question, go to a playground and look at all the parents doing acting in the same fashion on their mobile devices, oooohhh! what happened to, where is jane!?!?!??! OBLIVIOUS

Anonymous said...

Too many of you are making excuses for bad behavior. That is why kids are so fucked up.

Anonymous said...

Agree 100%with Anon above!

My suggestions:
1. The Obvious: Tell her to put the phone down and enjoy the boat ride. If she does it again, remove the phone. Tell her she is being rude.

2. The wonderful alternative: there are so many children who live in our community who will never have the opportunity to enjoy a boat ride. Reach out to several of the great charities around until you find a child to sponsor.

Here's a great idea:
the Marjory Stoanman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center conducts excellent field trips and mini-camps. Sponsor a poor child from our community. You will change their life and they will love you forever. I know this from personal experience. :)

Anonymous said...

As a parent of a kid who loves her phone, I agree with the last person. Tell the teen "turn off the phone for the afternoon and enjoy the day, the bay, and me." All those messages will still be there when you turn it back on, but I won't be." Most kids will grudgingly comply. Someone has to set expectations and hold kids to them, with a smile. Nobody will mind.

Blue Beard said...

Listen maity, I say you Tell the lil salty varmint to turn the darn thing off if she doesn't throw it into the bay, if she complains use her as bait, I hears Great White's have an a taste for 13 years olds.

AAAARRRGHHH!!!!!

Anonymous said...

They have not been trained in basic human courtesy. No one has told them it is impolite. Given that fact, you have to begin that process. Not only that, they need a lot of training on the nature of human relationships. It is not wise to be too accessible. Access should be earned, and then limited. They should not be talking with every Tom, Dick, and Harry at their school. Teenagers have many, many life tasks to complete during this time period. A big part of it involves school work, intellectual development, learning ways to interact with the world. Failure to complete these tasks, will severely limit their lives as they move forward.

Anonymous said...

Even if she was not interested in being with you, it is amazing that she was not fascinated by being on the water, the waves, the smell, the movement of the boat, other than the dolphin, the sea life, the vegetation on shore and in the water, the mechanics of the boat, the silence of being on the water, the whole experience- a real life new experience to write about and to integrate into her life experiences. At some point someone will need to show her that life will present many wonderful experiences, but you have to reach out and take them when they come. So many people miss out on experiences of a lifetime simply because they are focused on unimportant things. Being able to see opportunities for growth is an important life skill. Some people go through life blind.

Sridhar Chandrasekaran said...

Very Interesting and engaging post. thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading your post.

Anonymous said...

Where do they learn it? Have you ever watched people pick up their kids from an afterschool childcare services (Youth Centers, YMCA, etc.)? A parent will pick up the child at the last minute. They have been apart for almost 10 hours. As they walk to the car, the parent is almost always on the phone instead of engaging in conversation with the child. It is very sad. Just like other habits we pass down to our children, disconnection is common in our society today.

Cato II said...

She's a very young teenager. To expect adult behavior and respect from her is a bit much. I'm the father of 4, all grown now. At that age, kids want to be connected to their friends. They are breaking familial bonds and attempting to form new relationships. In the 1950s and 60s girls did it by having a private line in their room and a princess phone. Today, its texting and SnapChat and a dozen other apps you know nothing about. Don't write her out of your will just yet. You may want her to visit you in an old folks home one day. Don't give her a reason to want to stand on your oxygen hose.

Geniusofdespair said...

Being a parent is different than being an aunt or uncle. They won't be there for us especially if they are out of town so no worries about pulling the plug.

Anonymous said...

You set the rules: no cellphones on this boat ride!
Period.

Anonymous said...

You need to communicate that she has a loving family there for her, and when her "friends" abandon her, you will always be there standing in the gap in good times and bad times. That is the nature of family.

Anonymous said...

Everyone,grown children and grandchildren,know my car is a no cell phone zone. I told my youngest when he was a teenager if I bore you that much ask someone else for a ride. They grumble at first but they get over it.

Anonymous said...

Look, we can't even begin to look at the past and how we had to conform and be respectful of requirements of parents, family members, neighbors, and other "grown" people. My father's rule was simple, " As long as your behind pointed towards the ground, you do what I say." We have an alien generation of young people who know no limits, just do whatever they want to do.