Park University Unit 5 Divorce for Adolescents Discussion

Directions

After reading the articles assigned for the week in your Ferguson text, fully answer the questions asked on each article.  

Topic 1: “When the nest doesn’t empty”

Why are so many nests not emptying? What social forces are contributing to adult children needing care from their parents for more years than in the past? What are the pros and cons of boomerang children? Would you allow your adult children to move back in with you or have you experienced this on either end? Explain. How can boomerang children serve as a fountain of youth for the aging parent?

Topic 2: “My Mother’s Hip: Lessons from the world of eldercare”

Who should care for elderly parents?  Why is the daughter usually the caretaker? What types of pressures to care takers endure? What are your thoughts on the lack of US policy here? In such a rich nation, why do we not have good solutions yet for people living longer?  Please include your experiences (if any here).

Topic 3: “Remarriage and stepfamilies: Strategic sites for family scholarship in the 21st century”

What is meant by the “incompletely institutionalized” status of stepfamilies? The author states that more wealthy tend to stay married than do the poor.  What are the reasons for this? What does the demography of stepfamilies look like? Why might stepfamilies matter for children?

Topic 4: “The stuff at Mom’s house and the stuff at Dad’s house: The material consumption of divorce for adolescents”

The author utilized a symbolic interactionist approach to examine how children’s stories can be told by looking at the objects and consumption of them in their bedrooms. How does a child’s identity change during divorce?  How does the consumption of material culture help them construct an identity? Explain how a child’s bedroom decorating symbolic of , belonging, and identity? What are your overall thoughts on the reading? Do you agree or disagree? Explain.

Topic 5: Apply any of the readings above to your own life.

Diandra

Topic 1: “When the nest doesn’t empty”

As an opinion, I am not a fan of nesters. I grew more against the nesters after three years of recruiting duty, hence why I think they should move on. So many parents do not want their children to leave or to go far and would rather them live a simple life in the same town or at home. “Today, parents in their early sixties may have adult children in the home, who depend on them as providers and for emotional support” (Ferguson, 2019, p. 405). I understand that a full nest can provide benefits if all factors pull their weight and give the parents a sense of value. The parents can benefit strongly and be so can children by continuing to rely on them and active with a sense of “Children are innovators, and they push the stream of knowledge toward the older generation, which makes their parents feel more “with” it” (Ferguson, 2019, p. 407). When they venture out, they usually fail and boomerang back. The parents are left with no one to care for and become less active until their children boomerang back and become active again. I would not allow my children to become nesters; they have a home while attending college or a place to come home to and rest when visiting. However, they need to find themselves and become productive and make their way. As I mom I would prefer them close but will never restrict or stop them. Should they fail they have a noticeably short period at home before they are kicked out as I will be 43 when my youngest turns 18 and we are still young enough to find ourselves and create our fountain of youth.

Topic 2: “My Mother’s Hip: Lessons from the world of eldercare”

“Today, filial piety is nearly an anachronism, and ethics argue about the moral obligations children should have toward their aging parents” (Ferguson, 2019, p. 420). I also agree with Ferguson (2019) when he talks about how children do not have the same commitment as their ancestors to care for the age of family members. Parents should love and raise their children and let them become adults and are not obligated to care for the elderly. I am a daughter bare no responsibility to care for my parents when they become too old as I do not have communication with my mother and my father has a retirement plan. I also refuse to move back to Texas with no intentions of moving back there. Daughters generally feel obligated, “traditionally raised to be nurturers and expect to make sacrifices. They learned this from their stay-at-home mothers, and even though women are now in the working world, shrugging off old values is hard” (Ferguson, 2019, pp. 423-424). There are solutions if the elderly prepared themselves, and programs to care for them through social security and Medicaid. I have no thoughts on the US policy as I have already stated that I am a service member in my other discussions, and I like my retirement plan.

Topic 3: “Remarriage and stepfamilies: Strategic sites for family scholarship in the 21st century”

Stepfamilies can be good and bad depending on the family dynamics. Some are receptive and others are not, causing strife and tarnishing the reputation of stepfamilies. “Remarriage occurs when a previously married individual enters into a second or higher order marriage” (Ferguson, 2019, p. 432). Wealthy families typically marry for money and status on their second marriage and develop an understanding which makes the marriage last as they are committed with an understanding. Poor families have no reason to stay in a marriage that they are not happy with and keep them tied to that person for an understanding, so they divorce. The demography of stepfamilies can be by marriage or cohabitation of two families. I like to refer to them as blended families. I fully support the readings on the effects of stepfamily living on children. “Recent scholarship generally supported prior findings that youth living with a stepparent tend not to fare as well as those with two married biological parents with respect to a wide array of educational, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral outcomes assessed from early childhood through the transition of adulthood” (Ferguson, 2019, p. 437). The readings also state that poorer families choose to cohabitate rather than marry to have a better living environment for the children.

Topic 4: “The stuff at Mom’s house and the stuff at Dad’s house: The material consumption of divorce for adolescents”

I do agree with the readings that the environment after divorce can influence a child. However, I see it as a defining moment of what was. Living in the same household can play memory of shared memories and a new house can feel foreign living in a new place. A child’s home should be a safe place, where a child can truly relax, feel safe, and wanted. “If an object is lost or taken away, part of one’s identity that is attached to an object may be changed, if not eliminated, even if the object becomes more important to those who are involved” (Ferguson, 2019, p. 452). Divorce can change the identity of the child if torn between parents, with one parent being the bearer of bad company and corruption. Looking and seeing what they have at the two homes makes a big difference and forms the identity of children.

Topic 5: Apply any of the readings above to your own life.

The stuff at mom’s and dad’s house I could relate to the most as I had to pick from the lesser of the two evils. I knew at my dad’s house I would not have any possessions and share a room with two other girls and since I was the stepdaughter my possessions were not mine. I even had to get hand-me-down clothes as they took the clothes I packed. At my mother’s house, my younger brother and I were left to fend for ourselves. I was able to work and keep 25% of my paycheck and the things I bought. Needing and wanting peace and somewhere where I was not forced to think like an adult is all I wanted as a kid.

Michelle

1. So many nests are not emptying because it takes a lot more education and money to get decent jobs and homes in today’s economy. The author states that “Globalization is reshaping every institution with which families interact, slowing down virtually every step of family life along the way by requiring more education to find a good job and more resources to buy a home” (Ferguson, p. 407). Some of the social forces that are contributing to adult children needing more care from their parents than in the past are having these accordion families becoming more prevalent where there are households with at least two generations living in the house. Children boomeranging back into the houses is also another factor that has made adult children needing more care from their parents after they realize that it is too tough to do on their own. Some of the pros of boomeranging are that parents feel needed again for many years which tends to act as a “fountain of youth”. Parents are also more involved in their children and grandchildren’s lives which aids in the quality of relationships. Some cons of boomeranging are that it is more of a cost to the parents to support their children longer, and it could also interfere with the stage of the marriage of reconnecting with your spouse after the children leave the house. It could also cause children to be financially dependent on their parents without knowing how to make it on their own.

I have raised my children to be independent and they very much are. Even though I love being around my children, I also am very glad and proud that they are successful enough to do it on their own. If they needed to, I would definitely let them move back home. Being a military spouse, during deployments when I was younger, I sometimes went back home while my husband was deployed to save money and which allowed me to spend some time with my family who I often lived very far away from. I did this a couple of times until my children were in school. I also moved back with my parents once when waiting to move into a new place. My daughter moved out when she was 19, and she hasn’t been back yet, but if she needed to, I would definitely let her. My son has two years until he is on his own, and already has plans he is making. But of course, if he needed to he could come back at any time until he was able to get on his feet again.

Boomerang children can serve as a fountain of youth for their parents because it keeps their parents young by being more active and giving them a purpose.

2. I think it is up to the individual if they are of sound mind, who they want to care for them. If they are not of sound mind then it would be up to the family to decide. The government of course might be needed to intervene to say who cares for the elderly person if they have no family, or if the family was being abusive in some way or had other conditions that made them ineligible to care for their own parents. The daughter is usually the caretaker because of social or cultural roles that exist which tells us that a woman should have the caretaking role. The author confirms this by saying that “women traditionally have been raised to be nurturers and expect to make sacrifices” (Ferguson, p. 423). Some pressures that caretakers have to endure are quitting their jobs or careers to take care of their parents or trying to juggle both their job and caretaking roles. The author mentions that “daughters are likely to take unpaid leaves of absence, reduce their working hours, relinquish their jobs, eliminate their vacations, and abandon their social activities to keep pace with the pressing demands of caregiving” (Ferguson, p. 424). She goes on to say that “it is not only physically taxing, but it is also emotionally wearing” (Ferguson, p. 424). My thoughts on the U.S. policy on this issue is that it should mimic some of the European policies with having universal longer-term care programs that have the expenses shared equally between the employer and the employee, having the elderly provided nursing homes and home health care benefits and having family caregivers able to receive formal training and earn pension credits by doing so (Ferguson, 2019). Instead, we put the bulk of the expenses on the elderly person’s family which is not beneficial for either party. I think for such a rich nation we don’t have good solutions for elderly care because we are a nation of individualistic concerns and opportunity.

One of my own experiences with this is that my parents enjoy their independence and do not want to move in with any of their children. They both live independently, but we have had a few scares. Because they want to still live independently but are getting older, we have installed an in-home video system for my father who has fallen before so we can look in on him if we don’t hear from him to make sure he is ok, and we also have set up google home reminders for him to take his medication and also enable him to call us just with his voice if needed. I do not live at home because my husband is in the military, so my brothers help him for the most part. I think that if I was home, it would be different and I would probably help out more with things that they needed like appointments, groceries and housework, and repairs. I do, however, help out financially quite a bit since I am not there physically.

3. I think what is meant by the term incompletely institutionalized in regards to the status of stepfamilies, is that because it involves blended families, the roles have to be defined and can be different than normal roles within society in first marriages. Stepfamilies lack the typical social norms which leave them more vulnerable in situations problems that might occur or with family maintenance and functioning because they are too busy trying to identify their roles with their family formation. More wealthy tend to stay married than poor couples because they have more resources to pool for support. The demography of stepfamilies in which stepfamilies are formed through cohabitation or after a non-marital birth “tend to be more common among Black than among White youth” (Ferguson, p. 435). The author goes on to explain that the reason for this is because “stepfamilies formed through cohabitation or same-sex partnerships lack the cultural and legal supports associated with heterosexual marriage, the incompletely institutionalized status of these family forms may be particularly pronounced” (Ferguson, p. 435). Stepfamilies might matter for children because it gives the family more financial resources when they are able to pool their money together. It also provides more educational and cognitive outcomes for married stepfamilies versus parents cohabitating “(Ferguson, 219).

4. A child’s identity changes during the divorce because their family living arrangements are altered. The author mentions that during a divorce the objects in a marriage go through a transition and often represent the changing identities; if an object is lost or taken away part of the person’s identity that is attached to that object is also taken away (Ferguson, 2019). The child’s decorating of their bedroom is symbolic of , belonging, and identity because they decorate the bedroom according to their feelings about that place or environment. They might feel warm, secure, and comfortable in one home more than the other one and therefore only decorate the room they feel the most comfortable in. They might also decorate it according to their different identity in both places. It was interesting to hear about how the decorating can be symbolic of their identity associated with how comfortable they are. It was also interesting to see that the fun place was the one with more technology devices or connections to their friends with having internet. I agree that forming an identity in both places is important for a child and is reflective of how comfortable they are in those environments. It gives us all something to be aware of as family members and parents if we are in this situation so that we can be more supportive of the children that might be feeling displaced after a divorce.

5. I can apply the last reading about the stuff at mom’s house and dad’s house to my own life because my brother recently went through his second divorce. My niece took it very hard and had a hard time readjusting to the new dynamics that came with the divorce, particularly because they had just moved into a rented house in a new area, she was going to a new school, and all of a sudden, they both were getting a divorce and having to get new places of their own. She mainly stayed with my brother, and because of this, he made sure he bought a house that he could make their own. He helped her decorate her new room and filled it with all kinds of stuff she was interested in to make it still feel like her room in the new house. My brother, being the very caring father he is, also wanted his daughter to have a positive experience with the new apartment her mother bought and helped his ex-wife completely furnish the new apartment with everything they needed to include stuff for his daughter’s room in that apartment as well. I respect my brother for always being the caring person he has been to make sure that his daughter is comfortable and has everything she needs regardless of where that is or how much time she spends at one particular place. Even though she barely spends time at her mother’s house he still wanted it to feel like home for her at both places. He even kept pictures of the family up in his daughter’s room to make sure she still felt safe and comfortable there. I think the steps he took really made all the difference in helping his daughter transition through the divorce and become more comfortable with both of her new identifies in each place.1. So many nests are not emptying because it takes a lot more education and money to get decent jobs and homes in today’s economy. The author states that “Globalization is reshaping every institution with which families interact, slowing down virtually every step of family life along the way by requiring more education to find a good job and more resources to buy a home” (Ferguson, p. 407). Some of the social forces that are contributing to adult children needing more care from their parents than in the past are having these accordion families becoming more prevalent where there are households with at least two generations living in the house. Children boomeranging back into the houses is also another factor that has made adult children needing more care from their parents after they realize that it is too tough to do on their own. Some of the pros of boomeranging are that parents feel needed again for many years which tends to act as a “fountain of youth”. Parents are also more involved in their children and grandchildren’s lives which aids in the quality of relationships. Some cons of boomeranging are that it is more of a cost to the parents to support their children longer, and it could also interfere with the stage of the marriage of reconnecting with your spouse after the children leave the house. It could also cause children to be financially dependent on their parents without knowing how to make it on their own.

I have raised my children to be independent and they very much are. Even though I love being around my children, I also am very glad and proud that they are successful enough to do it on their own. If they needed to, I would definitely let them move back home. Being a military spouse, during deployments when I was younger, I sometimes went back home while my husband was deployed to save money and which allowed me to spend some time with my family who I often lived very far away from. I did this a couple of times until my children were in school. I also moved back with my parents once when waiting to move into a new place. My daughter moved out when she was 19, and she hasn’t been back yet, but if she needed to, I would definitely let her. My son has two years until he is on his own, and already has plans he is making. But of course, if he needed to he could come back at any time until he was able to get on his feet again.

Boomerang children can serve as a fountain of youth for their parents because it keeps their parents young by being more active and giving them a purpose.

2. I think it is up to the individual if they are of sound mind, who they want to care for them. If they are not of sound mind then it would be up to the family to decide. The government of course might be needed to intervene to say who cares for the elderly person if they have no family, or if the family was being abusive in some way or had other conditions that made them ineligible to care for their own parents. The daughter is usually the caretaker because of social or cultural roles that exist which tells us that a woman should have the caretaking role. The author confirms this by saying that “women traditionally have been raised to be nurturers and expect to make sacrifices” (Ferguson, p. 423). Some pressures that caretakers have to endure are quitting their jobs or careers to take care of their parents or trying to juggle both their job and caretaking roles. The author mentions that “daughters are likely to take unpaid leaves of absence, reduce their working hours, relinquish their jobs, eliminate their vacations, and abandon their social activities to keep pace with the pressing demands of caregiving” (Ferguson, p. 424). She goes on to say that “it is not only physically taxing, but it is also emotionally wearing” (Ferguson, p. 424). My thoughts on the U.S. policy on this issue is that it should mimic some of the European policies with having universal longer-term care programs that have the expenses shared equally between the employer and the employee, having the elderly provided nursing homes and home health care benefits and having family caregivers able to receive formal training and earn pension credits by doing so (Ferguson, 2019). Instead, we put the bulk of the expenses on the elderly person’s family which is not beneficial for either party. I think for such a rich nation we don’t have good solutions for elderly care because we are a nation of individualistic concerns and opportunity.

One of my own experiences with this is that my parents enjoy their independence and do not want to move in with any of their children. They both live independently, but we have had a few scares. Because they want to still live independently but are getting older, we have installed an in-home video system for my father who has fallen before so we can look in on him if we don’t hear from him to make sure he is ok, and we also have set up google home reminders for him to take his medication and also enable him to call us just with his voice if needed. I do not live at home because my husband is in the military, so my brothers help him for the most part. I think that if I was home, it would be different and I would probably help out more with things that they needed like appointments, groceries and housework, and repairs. I do, however, help out financially quite a bit since I am not there physically.

3. I think what is meant by the term incompletely institutionalized in regards to the status of stepfamilies, is that because it involves blended families, the roles have to be defined and can be different than normal roles within society in first marriages. Stepfamilies lack the typical social norms which leave them more vulnerable in situations problems that might occur or with family maintenance and functioning because they are too busy trying to identify their roles with their family formation. More wealthy tend to stay married than poor couples because they have more resources to pool for support. The demography of stepfamilies in which stepfamilies are formed through cohabitation or after a non-marital birth “tend to be more common among Black than among White youth” (Ferguson, p. 435). The author goes on to explain that the reason for this is because “stepfamilies formed through cohabitation or same-sex partnerships lack the cultural and legal supports associated with heterosexual marriage, the incompletely institutionalized status of these family forms may be particularly pronounced” (Ferguson, p. 435). Stepfamilies might matter for children because it gives the family more financial resources when they are able to pool their money together. It also provides more educational and cognitive outcomes for married stepfamilies versus parents cohabitating “(Ferguson, 219).

4. A child’s identity changes during the divorce because their family living arrangements are altered. The author mentions that during a divorce the objects in a marriage go through a transition and often represent the changing identities; if an object is lost or taken away part of the person’s identity that is attached to that object is also taken away (Ferguson, 2019). The child’s decorating of their bedroom is symbolic of , belonging, and identity because they decorate the bedroom according to their feelings about that place or environment. They might feel warm, secure, and comfortable in one home more than the other one and therefore only decorate the room they feel the most comfortable in. They might also decorate it according to their different identity in both places. It was interesting to hear about how the decorating can be symbolic of their identity associated with how comfortable they are. It was also interesting to see that the fun place was the one with more technology devices or connections to their friends with having internet. I agree that forming an identity in both places is important for a child and is reflective of how comfortable they are in those environments. It gives us all something to be aware of as family members and parents if we are in this situation so that we can be more supportive of the children that might be feeling displaced after a divorce.

5. I can apply the last reading about the stuff at mom’s house and dad’s house to my own life because my brother recently went through his second divorce. My niece took it very hard and had a hard time readjusting to the new dynamics that came with the divorce, particularly because they had just moved into a rented house in a new area, she was going to a new school, and all of a sudden, they both were getting a divorce and having to get new places of their own. She mainly stayed with my brother, and because of this, he made sure he bought a house that he could make their own. He helped her decorate her new room and filled it with all kinds of stuff she was interested in to make it still feel like her room in the new house. My brother, being the very caring father he is, also wanted his daughter to have a positive experience with the new apartment her mother bought and helped his ex-wife completely furnish the new apartment with everything they needed to include stuff for his daughter’s room in that apartment as well. I respect my brother for always being the caring person he has been to make sure that his daughter is comfortable and has everything she needs regardless of where that is or how much time she spends at one particular place. Even though she barely spends time at her mother’s house he still wanted it to feel like home for her at both places. He even kept pictures of the family up in his daughter’s room to make sure she still felt safe and comfortable there. I think the steps he took really made all the difference in helping his daughter transition through the divorce and become more comfortable with both of her new identifies in each place.

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