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Thread: More Of A Family Issue

  1. #1 More Of A Family Issue 
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    Hello,

    My name is Dan, a 27 y.o. chemist/chemical engineer from Canada. Although I have two degrees, I consider myself more of a scientist than an engineer, to my parent's financially driven desperation (that scientists earn less). Both of my parents are economists. To cut to the chase, we often have animated family discussions which tend to focus on what they believe to be my lack of understanding of the world I live in. Asking for your opinion on a science forum may lead to an unbiased result but the increased IQ average can be comforting

    In a nutshell, transitory problems or news such as politics, sports (Olympics), stock market prices simply do not interest me and I do not consider them to be exciting news. If my town was nuked by the Russians, I wouldn't know about it until the shock wave broke the windows of my Internet connected room, or if I got spammed before checking my e-mail or logging onto youtube. However, I am interested in science, cosmology and particle physics like the discovery of the Higgs boson, which was the most shocking piece of news I have ever heard since 911. Most of the informational/educational media I watch is about time, space, inflation theory, string theory and a combination of the 4.

    Our family discussions resemble to how the Pope and the Patriarch excommunicate themselves, one from Catholicism, the other from Orthodoxism, unwilling to accept each others views. They say I don't understand the world in which I live because I don't know who won the London Olympics or some political figure, and I say the same about them because they don't understand why hydrogen is left of helium in the periodic table. Similarly to how they blame me for not bothering to know who won, I , in turn, blame them for not bothering to find out what a Higgs boson is. They tell me the Higgs boson does not matter and that it's a dream world, and I tell them that the politics and the Olympics are in fact the dream world that was put before them to blind them from the truth, which is the Higgs boson and the particle physics that they are so vigorously discarding as being unessential.

    Who has a better understanding of the world? None of us 3 can tell. What is certain is that I am forced to accept enormous compromises, often coming in as insults, in order to cool down the situation. They try to justify the unjustifiable insults as "alarm bells", or attempts to let me know that what I am doing is not how it's done. They tell me that I have to change, become mature and responsible, that is, watching the news and be preoccupied by transitory sociopolitical and economical problems instead of other "crap". Dealing with these situations is becoming increasingly challenging, as I am fundamentally convinced that they are wrong, and that even if I could change, it would make me a less valuable person. I have tried to explain to them numerous times why science is so important and interesting but I often hit a dead end, often due to theoretical complications that are difficult to explain in short words.

    They accuse me of drug addiction when I'm clearly not addicted to drugs, of weight loss when my weight is normal and stable, of lack of social skills when i clearly have many friends, and so on. I am confused. My parents have argued that I put them through a lot of stress and turmoil with my behavior and told me they could not last much longer. I honestly don't know what to do because I want my parents to be happy. It would be nice to know your opinion on how to resolve this matter, and I apologize for the long text!

    Dan


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  3. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxycodone View Post
    Hello,

    My name is Dan, a 27 y.o. chemist/chemical engineer from Canada. Although I have two degrees, I consider myself more of a scientist than an engineer, to my parent's financially driven desperation (that scientists earn less). Both of my parents are economists. To cut to the chase, we often have animated family discussions which tend to focus on what they believe to be my lack of understanding of the world I live in. Asking for your opinion on a science forum may lead to an unbiased result but the increased IQ average can be comforting

    In a nutshell, transitory problems or news such as politics, sports (Olympics), stock market prices simply do not interest me and I do not consider them to be exciting news. If my town was nuked by the Russians, I wouldn't know about it until the shock wave broke the windows of my Internet connected room, or if I got spammed before checking my e-mail or logging onto youtube. However, I am interested in science, cosmology and particle physics like the discovery of the Higgs boson, which was the most shocking piece of news I have ever heard since 911. Most of the informational/educational media I watch is about time, space, inflation theory, string theory and a combination of the 4.

    Our family discussions resemble to how the Pope and the Patriarch excommunicate themselves, one from Catholicism, the other from Orthodoxism, unwilling to accept each others views. They say I don't understand the world in which I live because I don't know who won the London Olympics or some political figure, and I say the same about them because they don't understand why hydrogen is left of helium in the periodic table. Similarly to how they blame me for not bothering to know who won, I , in turn, blame them for not bothering to find out what a Higgs boson is. They tell me the Higgs boson does not matter and that it's a dream world, and I tell them that the politics and the Olympics are in fact the dream world that was put before them to blind them from the truth, which is the Higgs boson and the particle physics that they are so vigorously discarding as being unessential.

    Who has a better understanding of the world? None of us 3 can tell. What is certain is that I am forced to accept enormous compromises, often coming in as insults, in order to cool down the situation. They try to justify the unjustifiable insults as "alarm bells", or attempts to let me know that what I am doing is not how it's done. They tell me that I have to change, become mature and responsible, that is, watching the news and be preoccupied by transitory sociopolitical and economical problems instead of other "crap". Dealing with these situations is becoming increasingly challenging, as I am fundamentally convinced that they are wrong, and that even if I could change, it would make me a less valuable person. I have tried to explain to them numerous times why science is so important and interesting but I often hit a dead end, often due to theoretical complications that are difficult to explain in short words.

    They accuse me of drug addiction when I'm clearly not addicted to drugs, of weight loss when my weight is normal and stable, of lack of social skills when i clearly have many friends, and so on. I am confused. My parents have argued that I put them through a lot of stress and turmoil with my behavior and told me they could not last much longer. I honestly don't know what to do because I want my parents to be happy. It would be nice to know your opinion on how to resolve this matter, and I apologize for the long text!

    Dan

    I think you should dedicate 2-5 minutes a day, to making your parents happy. You would also get a better understanding of your surroundings in the process.

    I actually feel a lot like you, I dont really like to watch the social news either, I too prefer cold hard science. But I would feel guilty if I never watched any social news source. I would feel guilty because this planet has many huge problems. And I think its wrong for someone like you, to shield themselves from these problems. The social aspects of humanity need scientific minds to look at them.

    I think you should find a good world news source, and look at that source for 2-5 minutes a day. I think you owe that to your parents to make them happy. And I also think you owe it to humanity as well.

    Chad.


    Last edited by chad; August 1st, 2012 at 03:40 AM.
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  4. #3  
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    It seems to me there maybe some communication issues going on between you and your parents, you are an adult and living your own life, clearly though your parents do not understand your lifestyle and are concerned about you.

    What I think you need to do is find some common ground with your parents a way to communicate in good faith demonstrating respect for each others veiw points.
    What you have to remember is that most parents throughout the world have one thing in common, which is they all want their children to be happy.

    Often parents feel they are letting their children down if they are not pushing them to live upto what they feel is their child's potential.
    Problems can occur when their child grows into adult, it can take a while for this fact to sink in that their child is now living their own life.

    What I think is the first thing you need to do is realise how lucky you are that you have supportive parents that care about you. If they didn't care they wouldn't interfere.

    You need to have a good understanding of your own life, the things that interest you, the things that make you happy and where you're going with your life so that you can comfortably explain this and who you are to your parents.
    This will re-assure them that you're doing fine and they have nothing to worry about. Also ask them about themselves be interested, hay you might learn something, also their ideas of what they want for you be honest about them, give them some consideration of how these ideas would work in your life.

    It seems a little from you're post you feel you have to prove yourself to your parents, well I would say no you don't your who you are and thats fine, just give them let them know your fine for their peice of mind not because you have anything at all to prove.

    I think this will help you all to communicate better.

    I would also think seen as your parents are supportive and interested in your life that you should make the most of this support. I would suggest once you have become comfortable with communicating that you can sit down with and explain so of your goals and aims and see what they can do to support you in such endevours.

    Anyway I hope this may help.
    Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. - confucius
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  5. #4  
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    Thank you all for the great replies. I have met a person once, Chris, who told me that happiness is not in a husband or wife, in a son or daughter, in loving a God or his begotten son, in a car or a home, it's in you. I am happy with what was given to me and this happiness comes from within. My parents mistakenly take this inner well-being as indifference and a lack of maturity, because they are used to kicking and screaming and always wanting more no matter how much they acquire in life. They are only happy when they buy a new sofa set, when their car lease expires and they get a new one, when they move to a new apartment, when they re-decorate a room or when some family member gets a job. You get it? Some major positive event must happen regularly, or they will get depressed and randomly snap in outbursts of despair, as if they were living in a sand hole without running water. They completely discard every single positive aspect in their life, and snap, unless a completely new positive thing happens.

    Of course, when I talk to them about how their serotonin levels might be abnormal and how their dopamine shouldn't only be triggered by major events, the conversation drops from academic level to less than high-school level. A good discussion occured when we were talking about the Colorado tragedy, and how the guy used to play world of warcraft, a game similar to Diablo, the game I am playing occasionally. Of course, when your parents tell you that you will likely end up shooting people due to the fact that you play a computer game, the discussion drops from an academic level to a lesser than high-school level.

    They have asked me to stop playing computer games, so that I don't end up shooting people in a movie theater. When someone is so fundamentally wrong about something, I mean, what do you say to something like this? Can an answer even be formulated in words or gestures? Then they play the tails game, if I'm fat, I'm too fat, short, too short, playing videogames, videogames addict, taking codeine for a headache, heroin addict, jobless, chronic personal failure. I tell them that 2^3 = 8 they say no, it's not equal 8 because you don't have a job. I mean, that may be but, I mean, is this how you want to play this game? I graduate in December 2012 btw and my parents believe I'll never get a job anywhere unless I change, despite my ground breaking reaearch I did on many occasions. ^_^

    Sorry for rant but I had to present the situation as accuratly as possible
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  6. #5  
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    With the greatest of respect, Oxycodone, I would need to talk to your parents to be able to make a judgment. I am not suggesting you would misrepresent the situation, but we are all human and have our own slant on things. Or to use a cliche, there are two sides to every story.

    To settle inter-human conflicts, the first rule is to listen. I mean active, really focused listening and a clear effort to understand the other. Who knows. It might reveal something.

    The most important thing is that it appears your parents really do care about you. Maybe they need time to come to terms with the fact that you are living your own life, internally as well as on the outside. Often it is necessary to play a waiting game .....
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    With the greatest of respect, Oxycodone, I would need to talk to your parents to be able to make a judgment. I am not suggesting you would misrepresent the situation, but we are all human and have our own slant on things. Or to use a cliche, there are two sides to every story.

    To settle inter-human conflicts, the first rule is to listen. I mean active, really focused listening and a clear effort to understand the other. Who knows. It might reveal something.

    The most important thing is that it appears your parents really do care about you. Maybe they need time to come to terms with the fact that you are living your own life, internally as well as on the outside. Often it is necessary to play a waiting game .....
    Maybe...

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  8. #7  
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    Ok, from what you are saying sounds like you believe that the situation is getting worse and you're really now looking for a way to communicate with them where they will sit up and take notice.

    I going to suggest you try a little experiment that may help them understand you better and may help you all have some common ground from which to communicate.

    I suggest sit down with your parents and ask them for some help and support, this is how you're gonna have sell this one, in understanding the value of money. You explain to them that alot of their concerns seem to stem from their desire that you are able to take care of yourself and that you feel perhaps you could maybe use a better understanding of the value of money in order to really motivate you. I think if you explain it this manner they may be willing to help you.
    Then you go to explain what you would all 3 of you to do is go without any money for a whole 2 weeks, obviously make sure you have plenty of food in, but other than that no money. So if you/parents want to go out it to be somewhere free, if you/parents want to do anything again it has to be free. This for a the whole 2 week period.

    I think if you can get them to agree, then they will begin to understand that there is more to life than money, they can have fun without it, it will bring you all closer together through the shared experience and give you all some common ground from which to communicate.

    Even this is not necessarily the right experiment for you, if you can come up with something yourself that will give you all a shared experience and some common ground I think you'll all really benefit from it.
    Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. - confucius
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