Grown Children

Posted by lindadameron 2 weeks, 1 day ago to Education
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My daughter has 3 Master's Degrees and teaches ESL to 5th graders. I am a strict constructionist and do not advocate pampering illegal immigrants. Our inability to communicate in this regard is ruining our relationship. Any advice is wecome.


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  • Posted by  $  CBJ 1 week, 5 days ago
    By "communicate" do you mean exchange views or try to change one another's mind? Do you disagree on just this topic or are there differences in your approaches to political issues in general?
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  • Posted by  $  Dobrien 1 week, 5 days ago
    Hi Lindadameron,
    Ask your daughter if she has a lock on her door.
    Does the lock help her decide who comes into her home? Properly vetted guests are no different than properly vetted immigrants. Immigration is fine just not illegal aliens. In her home, guests are welcome but intruders aren't.
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  • Posted by  $  Susanne 1 week, 5 days ago
    Maybe I'm missing something, but...

    My grandparents learned English after they emigrated from Germany. My other grandmom learned it at the convent where she was raised after losing her family to the flu - and knew no other language BUT English.

    Hell, Henry Ford had one of the best ESL programs for his recently emigrated workers... so they could survive and thrive in their new homeland.

    Is the problem your daughter earned 3 masters, or that she teaches ESL? See, I'm lost - just because a 5th grader is in ESL does NOT make them "illegal immigrants"... if anything, it, like Ford, makes them into Productive Citizens later in life (or so we hope)...

    I even remember the ESL kids when I was in high school... about a third were from Vietnam (refugees), probably half or so from south of the US border, and the rest from such strange far off places like Germany, Japan, and Sweden. And ALL of them, to enroll in school, had to be here legally.
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  • Posted by CaptainKirk 1 week, 5 days ago
    You know the Golden Triangle:
    Fast, Right, or Cheap: You can only choose 2.

    I have developed the same theory for Relationships!
    1) In a Relationship
    2) Always Right
    3) Happy

    You can only choose 2 (those choices determine the 3rd, as always).

    If you WANT a Relationship with your daughter, you have a choice. You can focus on Happiness or on Being Right.
    But you CANNOT have both.

    So you learn to find your common ground. And you focus on enjoying time with her, and you encourage the same thing.
    You, in fact, let her "Be Right" (because we see things in absolutes, be believe when we are right, the OTHER must be wrong. That is not true.
    The other can be MOSTLY wrong. Or simply "not right", or just different!)

    Applying this engineering concept to my relationships has REALLY helped. I can get along, and discuss politics with ABSOLUTE Liberals who believe INSANE things like EVERYONE has a RIGHT to healthcare. But that is THEIR right to believe that. It does NOT make my beliefs wrong.

    HTH,

    Kirk Out!
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    • Posted by NealS 1 week, 5 days ago
      Agreed, but, if that doesn't work do what the left does, change the subject (sorry, I just had to say it). I think I've got a daughter-in-law that's on the other side. We're both too fond of our relationship to mess with our differences in politics, etc. Usually when I just have to say something and I actually say it, it just gets pretty silent for a short time, and then someone else starts talking about much more important stuff like football stars or movie stars. This morning on the radio I heard the speaker on the radio talking about famous people, stars, and highly paid athletes, who's birthday it was today and how old they were. There was not one time or even one word about the 16 year anniversary of 911, 911 simply was not mentioned. I drove the rest of the way to coffee with my mouth open. Going home I listened to another station, actually Dennis Prager, somehow he sooths my feathers when they get a little roughed up.
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    • Posted by Herb7734 1 week, 5 days ago
      Captain has been reading too many Psych 101 books. You're wasting time and typing skills not to mention verbal skills.
      The trouble with saying "He'd rather be right than be happy" is that most people would rather be happy no matter whether right or wrong.
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  • Posted by Abaco 1 week, 5 days ago
    Sometimes, in the middle of a workout my mind has these bursts probably triggered by the increase in pulse/blood pressure. Last night, almost done with my workout, I thought of my mom and her battles with my step-dad since the election. I am disturbed by how much my fellow Americans are manipulated by politics. I thought, "They, and some others, are willing to ruin their marriage because some guy with a bad haircut defeated a woman who's married to a serial rapist."

    I'd stop trying to "communicate" and just be glad your daughter has 3 Master's Degrees and should remain self-sufficient. My son has autism. You oughta see what our conversations are like...
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 1 week, 5 days ago
      "I am disturbed by how much my fellow Americans are manipulated by politics."
      It's probably the biggest mystery of human behavior I know of. I just cannot imagine being personally angry at someone over politics. I can understand people getting angry about specific policies, although I personally wouldn't get mad at an individual who doesn't work in policy (just some family member or colleague) for something like supporting the drug war. I can certainly understand it if they're threatening to harm me or groups of people, like if they're racist or something.

      But being upset only based on whom someone voted for is beyond my understanding. In these cases I imagine there is a more relevant, personal dispute, and national politics is just a proxy.
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  • Posted by  $  DrZarkov99 1 week, 5 days ago
    One solution that I've found may result in a better understanding of each other's thinking is to take turns with questioning sessions. One time, one of you asks the questions, and the other answers. The questioner does not argue, but simply listens and absorbs the answers. Do not switch roles right away. Give yourself time to "digest" what you've learned. Meet again another day, with the roles switched.

    The rules for the questioning sessions are as follows:
    1) No "gotcha" questions
    2) No demand for only yes or no answers
    3) Stick to the facts, and be able to cite sources
    4) Maintain respect for each other's opinion

    The objective here is not to try to convince the other to change their mind, but to restore a civil relationship. You might also focus on things you both agree on, and express a desire to work with her on those things.

    I've been successful maintaining a civil relationship with liberal thinking relatives because I don't try to force them to change their attitudes. I have had some success in seeing them moderate their ideas when they realize a more radical approach has little chance of success.

    You may not like this approach, but when nothing else is working, it's worth a shot.
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 1 week, 4 days ago
      "You might also focus on things you both agree on"
      I've never worked on a project, board, or even recreational activity with people who were all in 100% agreement with everyone else.

      "questioning sessions"
      My wife sometimes "deposes" me if she doesn't understand. That means she asks as a serious of questions. You're only allowed to give direct answer and yes/no answer if it's a yes/no question. You can only expound if she says "why" in the question. Then we switch roles if necessary. It gets at things we don't understand, but I don't think it would work if we disagreed on something fundamental.

      "I have had some success in seeing them moderate their ideas when they realize a more radical approach has little chance of success."
      This is really good. I tend to avoid the topics. I know a few people who might be Republicans, and with a few exceptions we never talk about it.
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      • Posted by  $  DrZarkov99 1 week, 4 days ago
        My brother in law, who is quite liberal, and I get along fine. He used to argue political topics, and I would remain calm and explain why I held certain positions. He finally decided to stop trying to liberalize me, declaring I didn't debate fairly because I kept using logic and facts, instead of just telling him how I felt about something. Now, if political subjects come up at all, we make a joke of it and move on.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 1 week, 5 days ago
    The controversy is over what specifically? That you differ in opinion and your feeling is that you should feel the same way? My advice: you're her mother - not her overseer. Ask her how things are going for her, but allow her to have a difference of opinion. She has to change her mind herself, and tolerance for her opinions will get you far more than trying to force things.

    I would also point out that one's educational achievements are preliminary to actually doing something in real life. To me, if she spent all that time getting three master's degrees and the best she can do in the world is teaching ESL, she didn't use her time (or money) in education getting educated in useful fields. Don't allow either you or her to attempt to hold that over your head. (And if she tries, one rebuttal is to simply ask her how much she's still paying on her student loans...)
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  • Posted by Mamaemma 2 weeks ago
    I'm with you. Is it possible for you to avoid that issue in your interactions with your daughter? By the way, it's obviously ridiculous to have 3 graduate degrees and be doing what she is doing. How did that happen?
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  • Posted by ycandrea 1 week, 5 days ago
    My sister is an avid lib so we just do not talk politics. Although I know it is more than just politics. You have to let your daughter make her own choices. Give your opinion and let it be if you want to have her in you life. That is your choice. That is what I do.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 1 week, 5 days ago
    The argument for illegal immigration is so full of holes, and the argument against illegal immigration is so cogent, that one wonders how it is even possible for even the most compassionate bleeding heart to accept it. When a person believes in something irrational and argues in its behalf, there is no way to come to terms. She can hold 5 degrees, and illogical will remain illogical.

    My granddaughter is like your daughter. Same background, holds degrees, and cries at how unfair the world is. She cannot talk to her Dad. I have an extra degree of separation, and are on good terms with her because I will not talk with on certain subjects. Rocky but works at least on holidays.
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  • Posted by GaryL 1 week, 5 days ago
    I have to make an assumption. From birth until at least 18 years old and probably longer your daughter lived under your roof and under your rules.
    America is a country of laws. Those who come here illegally have no right to any of the benefits of living under our roof. I would simply remind her of her first 18-20 years under your laws and rules and make it perfectly clear there is nothing more to discuss in this matter. What part of illegal is she not able to comprehend with 3 advanced degrees?
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  • Posted by wiggys 1 week, 5 days ago
    looks like, I have read all comments so far, that you have received basically the same advice from one and all, accept her existence and wish her well but keep the talk just chit chat, YOU will be better off!
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  • Posted by Lauscott 1 week, 5 days ago
    I honestly don't know how to explain this to her. The thing is that it isn't just allowing then in, it is giving them massive subsidies that U.S. citizens are not themselves afforded (for instance, they are given tax credits for years they were not even here). I find it difficult to explain things like this to people who barely contribute to the tax system because they aren't paying the same massive taxes that I pay and oftentimes are beneficiaries of social programs that I will never benefit from. For instance, student loan programs that forgive debt because of career choices or low income.
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  • Posted by rbuckwalter 1 week, 5 days ago
    My wife is Italian and was born literally the day after her mother and father arrived in the US. Mostly Italian was spoken in the home so she learned to speak English in Kindergarten and I'm sure gained fluency throughout grammar school. She went on to attend MIT graduate school and get a master degree from BC, all on academic scholarships. There was no special ESL program because when her family came here they acknowledged that English became the FIRST language.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 weeks, 1 day ago
    I do not understand this question. There's probably a lot going on that doesn't fit into two lines. If she has three (3) master's degress, that must cover a lot of territory unrelated to the issue of immigration.
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