Twixter : Yuppy Hothouse Produce

I could be very wrong in this. Very wrong. But I was following the discussion on “Twixters” a bit and it occurred to me that it is an unlikely phenomenom for large families like mine. I think what got me started on this line of thought was this phrase “A flat screen television, it seems, takes priority over getting an apartment and growing up. Besides, I’ll bet Mom does a great load of laundry and makes a mean lasagna.” From Kay R. Daly

When you have a big family it soon becomes obvious that you can’t play housemaid to more than two or three slovenly pigs. Oops. I mean pampered princelings and princesses. It is not humanly possible…. without making sure that at some point it is over. But the Yuppy lifestyle of fawning parenting along with a schedule that would drive presidents mad doesn’t allow for time or will to suffer stand-offs or mistake-laden training sessions in growing up.

However, in saying that, I must also say this: I read through the little list of parenting tips by Daly and I don’t know if she has any children past pre-school age, but I have to beg to differ with her. Some of her advice was a bit sophomoric. If that is all it takes to raise kids right more of us would have had an easier time of it.

It isn’t all the parents fault.

Although some of it is. And that goes back to my submission that each generation buys into certain lies and needs to get themselves out of that entanglement and onto a proven track.

You see I have raised children that are now in that Twixter generation, and they have struggled, though only one to the point of returning home for a temporary retooling of life choices. My kids were raised with hard work and having to earn their own way. They have been putting themselves through those overpriced educations and they have been taking care of their own expenses…since age 18. I don’t completely recommend that, but if you had drill-sargent me as a mom you would’ve seen that as freedom and paradise, too.

I am not raising the younger children with as much vinegar stringency as those first five. I have had to work very hard to strengthen ties and give guidance to my older ones… they would have accepted it better if I had not bought into such silly ideas as “letting babies sleep through the night”, and “first time obey”. Not all children are so compliant; boy, I wish I could have put someone with that idea for just one week in my household in those years. I had children that would have broken that idea quickly. I have a better suggestion: get the parents on the same page about how those children should be trained, and what is expected. Start there.

Earliest mothering needs to be intuitively felt along…. and completely supported by those closest to the mom. That doesn’t happen as much as it should and that is how you raise tiny babies…. Babies need pure love and as much as you can muster.

The lie that women just need quality rather than quantity time with their children…that there can be absentee parents and well adjusted children- I don’t believe it. I haven’t seen it. There are families that are bound together in united work ethics or causes… those can work and things like that, but if you aren’t bonded in some way, don’t kid yourself. Humans of good character and ability do not just happen. They are nurtured, somehow, someway.

But back to the Twixters…. I maintain that if we will not take a good hard look at our own misconceptions we sure won’t do much to rectify theirs… I think Jesus said something along that line:

First remove the beam from your own eye…. and then you will be ready to remove the splinter from anothers.

From generation to generation some things don’t change….

9 thoughts on “Twixter : Yuppy Hothouse Produce”

  1. Hi Ilona,

    You’ve certainly touched upon a very complex topic! I just heard on talkradio yesterday a debate between permissive and regulatory styles of parenting… with each side producing examples to bolster their cause.

    I lean towards the regulatory style of parenting but what we all need to understand is that no matter which style you use, it alone will not produce the relationship that will ultimately guide your child’s entrance into adulthood. The bad news is that we humans are so complex that it takes intense effort to relate to a growing child in a manner that will help them develop. The good news is that we humans are so complex that it takes intense effort to relate to a growing child in a manner that will help them develop.

    As for the Twixters, I agree with you that they are unlikely to be found in a large family. Unfortunately, I frequently come across examples of such creatures here in suburbia (so. Cal.). The guy next to my cubicle has a son who’s 26 going on 17. Another guy was on the phone exhorting his kid to lay off the video games and get to work… his “kid” is 21. We hired a site manager, in his mid-20’s, who showed up for his orientation in shorts and flip-flops with a baseball cap on backwards (this is an engineering firm). I’ve also noticed, over at least the past ten years, that the younger employees expect more rewards and sooner. There is a definite higher level of expectation for instant gratification.

    Could this be due, in part, to being over-coddled throughout their journey to adulthood?

  2. Glad to hear from you Rusty:)
    I don’t question the phenomenom, just where we dole the guilt.
    I tend to dislike and distrust parenting by theory- and feel some of the guilt for where society goes wrong is in the hands of diseminators of “the big lie” du jour.
    Maybe some of it came by way of kid as must-have handbag to carry on the fab image that became so important in the 80’s and 90’s. These twixters are people who desire their lives to be meaningful… and our society has let them down.
    It i s blogs like yours that give a light to the path by engaging some of the important questions.

    A reason to live best translates into a reason to be productive. So no matter how the kids were raised, they can still catch a spark and carry the torch. They just need a light.

  3. Why – oh, why, is everyone bemoaning the facts that some people in their twenties like to have a good time and get along with their parents? Why is the emphasis on the debate over the so-called Twixters put on fault as if this is something we should collectively be ashamed of?

    Now I must say that I absolutely fit the profile of the Twixter. I’m 28. It took me six years, three schools, and two continents to graduate from college. I’m a seasonal worker. I’ve had nearly ten different jobs in the last year including concrete construction to catering to teaching people how to kayak. I currently work in a kitchen in a temporary structure at seven thousand feet at a Montana ski resort. I lean on my parents financially. I’d say during the last four years I spend three to four months each year with my parents.

    I feel this new state of twixterhood is something to be celebrated. People in their twenties aren’t making much money, they are taking a big sigh and advantage of the hand that was dealt to them to taste some of the things life has to offer. Let the curmudgeons bemoan the fact we aren’t greasing the wheels of capitalism like we should be. I for one am proud to be part of a generation that took time for ourselves when we had the chance. I am also becoming increasingly resentful of the mixture of condescention and envy I receive when I tell most everyone what I’m doing with my life. When society screams at us to “grow up” and “be responsible” we are having the time of our lives. I sense a small pang of jealousy when older more responsible people look down their noses at us twixters and tell us to grow up already. Don’t you wish you were closer to your parents? Upon their death, didn’t you wish you were better friends with them and spent more time with them?

    It is no ones fault. I say we have the light and this is a good thing for all involved.

  4. Tim, You certainly had a unique take on this- I’m twixter and I’m Proud! Just kidding;) You brought up some points worth talking about- I’ll post your comments and see where we go with it.

  5. Tim
    I have one question for you. WHAT would happen to you if heaven-forbid your parents were suddenly no longer there for you?
    Think about it. The rest of the world does not give a flip about your “taing time for yourself”. And I can promise you no one else will step in to take up your slack.

  6. I’m a 27 year old female and I’ve experienced the job hopping, relationship hopping, “wandering around”. I first of all would like to say that I sympathize with those of you who are parents who have done everything you can to be supportive of your kids, have given them tough love etc. and are frustrated at the fact that your kids won’t get out of your house. I’d also like to point out that the problem isn’t just affecting “spoiled” kids but it’s affecting, I would guess, most of us. The reason I say this is because I was out of the house at 17 and yet I’m still experiencing these things. And it is frustrating and certainly no picnic. I was always a good student, and very focused on going to college. It was my main goal. One of my parents could not handle their mid-life crisis and became abusive when they realized that their life was not what they wanted. I was responsible for my 2 year old brother while both my parents went about being irresponsible.

    Since then I have struggled to find a secure situation for myself. Even if you have kids that are mooching off of you, please be aware that many of us who have not been spoiled by our parents are going through some of these same frustrating feelings of being in-between everything. You shouldn’t jump to conclusions about our morals and ethics just because your own kids are brats. They same as you wouldn’t want us to blame you for our parents bad behavior.

  7. Your point is well taken, Milo, I understand something of where you are coming from…. and some of the problem is one of the social situation being very difficult. I guess it must be said that no matter what the generalizations of a generation might be, each individual makes his/her own mark in it.

    so, thanks for your well-said contribution to the discussion.

  8. I would like to go back to Tim’s attitude toward the “Twixter” generation. Although his pride in being a twixter is a bit extreme, I must agree with some of the sentiments he brings up. I am 22 years old and can probably be categorized as a twixter…I’ve traveled all over, graduated college but refuse to be confined to a cubicle, and continue to work temporary jobs rather than spend my time climbing a corporate ladder. For those who decide to take that corporate path, more power to you! But please do not judge those who choose a less conventional path, people always say that you should live your life to the fullest and see the world. I think my generation is doing that and the older generation is just jealous that they did not get that opportunity. I do not want to see myself 30 years from now wondering where my youth went. I don’t think I have to wait for retirement just to travel. And if, God forbid, something did happen to the parents/siblings that help us, I think most of us “twixters” have the education and balls to get serious. So please don’t hate us just because we want to do more than work behind a desk.

  9. You’ve got it all mixed up. Twixters are not those 20-somethings living at home and expecting more plasma screen TV’s and mom and pop’s infinite free rent… that’s just Time Magazine’s spin on it. Those people are far more common than Twixter’s and more motivated by being a consumer than anything. They would be more accurately described by the old title that older generations played with for a while, “Baby-boomer echo.” Echoing the fruitless cycle of respecting the concept of credit to buy comfort of the baby-boomer’s latter years, these couch-surfers are not WORTHY of the title “Twixter.”

    My friends, on two seperate coasts, and definitely elsewhere, are a growing group of people unimpressed by the pursuit of comfort and it’s rather sour turn-out as a long-term investment. We were taken to doctors by our parents when we were younger and over-diagnosed with A.D.D., told to go on dangerous drugs, and encouraged to suppress our own perspectives… because they were a “disease”.

    We know now that this wrong. We are twixters and what we believe in is not copyright law, paper money, or television. We believe in collaboration, self-reliance, and honesty. We cherish the desire build on what previous sub-cultures have evolved before us. We would rather spend less time finding scapegoats and more time fixing the mistakes of generation’s past.

    And as to our ability to raise kids:

    You can read as many parenting guides as you want, but if you can’t learn to answer one question from your children honestly, there’s no hope. That question is, “Why?” The response, “Because I said so” doesn’t cut it. That very response is what inspires the child to turn away from your authority. We won’t require our children to consider our perspective divine will. Baby-boomers complain about their Echo children living at home playing violent video games and watching filthy movies on the TV that THEY bought them. This style of parenting breaks down communication completely.

    We’ll also wait till we can support children to have them.

    Finally, I take back the comment about scapegoats. We actually really enjoy blaming other’s, much like any human beings, so baby-boomers and many others can expect litigation soon…

    Rev. Dr. President, Etc. K.S.C
    Skywalker Cabal

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