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liminal's avatar

What information did your guardians or parents omit from the 'Navigating Life Handbook' they passed on to you?

Asked by liminal (7712 points ) March 19th, 2010

I was discussing with lillycoyote how it seems, in some ways, our caregivers didn’t prepare us for life.

This isn’t to be negative about parents but rather an acknowledgement that there is far too much unknown about life to ever pass along a complete handbook.

In your experience of yourself and/or others what was missing from the metaphorical handbook?

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22 Answers

JeffVader's avatar

Mine pretty much gave me a blank book & asked me to fill in the pages for them

Trillian's avatar

I never even got a memo, much less a manual.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

The fact that positive actions, plans and beliefs on my part won’t exempt me from bad people or bad things happening.

TexasDude's avatar

How to find a job, pay bills, drive, have normal human relationships, or go to college.

This is from one half of my family, at least. I have good parents, they just wanted to keep me as small and young as possible for as long as possible.

Judi's avatar

When you come from generation after generation of poverty, it is pretty hard for a parent to even know themselves how to become financially successful, much less teach their children.
Thank goodness for the information age and a curious mind. I am now teaching my mom how to survive retirement, as well as helping her out.
When it comes to wisdom about how to treat people, my mom is the guru. She is an amazing love of a person and I can only hope to he half as successful as her at that. I hope I absorb some of that wisdom.

marinelife's avatar

They left out teaching about saving money and budgeting. All things I had to learn for myself.

wilma's avatar

Mine didn’t coach me on planning for a career that would help me to be financially well off, or even comfortable. I never even thought about how much money I could make if I had followed this or that different career path. I was only told to try and find something that you like to do.
I think I probably could have found something that I liked to do that would pay more.

Exhausted's avatar

My childhood was completely controlled. I was NEVER allowed to make a decision for myself. My father continously reminded us that the day we turned 18 we would be responsible for ourselves. I moved out on my 18th BD and struggled for years b/c I could not make a decision on my own. I constantly sought the advice of anyone that would listen to my pleadings. Due to my lack of “self” I made many bad decisions and had to learn from experience. I’m sure this is true for most young people starting out on their own, but mine was debilitating and seriously stunted my maturity till far into my adulthood. I’m not sure I’ve completely conquered this handicap to this day…..LOL.

meagan's avatar

I was a very shy person growing up. But I wasn’t given any instruction about the birds and the bee’s or the SAT’s.
That being said. I’m no one’s mother or baby’s mama. :)

Exhausted's avatar

@meagan Way to go gal!

meagan's avatar

@Exhausted bows thank you, thank you. ;P I didn’t even have sex until I was 18. Very wise, I was!

thriftymaid's avatar

I didn’t receive one of those.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

This reminds me of the scene in Beetlejuice where the newly departed find their copy of The Book of the Dead and try to learn how to be dead.

I love that movie. Sorry; didn’t mean to interrupt.

janbb's avatar

Being narcissistic is not the best way to parent..

faye's avatar

I got the opposite. I was taught that men were to be pampered and all their behavor pretty much accepted. Wrong!!! Hopefully I taught my daughters more even keeled advice.

Coloma's avatar

I was groomed to be a stable cog in the wheel.
Get a nice, safe state job with benefits, play the game of life in a very conventional way.

Guess they didn’t consider I’d reject that endentured lifestyle.

Years later, here I still am…doing my own thing and never looking back. lol

JimmyG's avatar

They left out all kinds of stuff. But frankly, I wish I’d learned sooner to ignore most of what they did pass on.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

They left out relevant information about sex, they left out information about how to take care of myself financially, they left out information on how to handle death, they left out information on others NOT being homophobic and racist and close-minded. They did (mother, mostly) do a good job of teaching me that education is important, that we should care for animals, that children are wonderful and that I can stand up for myself and always offer my home to others who need a place to stay.

prolificus's avatar

The handbook I received did not include components on: social-interaction, financial management, self-care, or crisis management/recovery. These things I needed to learn on my own.

I’ve known some people to not have similar components from the metaphorical handbook, and I’ve known others to have entirely different components missing. It’s sort of like community college—not everyone is in the same major, not everyone reads the same books, but we all have one thing in common: we all live in the same area and we have a chance to learn from one another.

I agree with you—“there is far too much unknown about life to ever pass along a complete handbook”

rottenit's avatar

Mine was a hand me down with pages torn out

liminal's avatar

I’m struck by the many people who note financial self-care.

It was very clear that I was a burden to my parents. They loved me, but certainly felt trapped in life because of me. They never showed me how to take ownership and responsibility for my choices, they perpetuated the illusion that one is stuck with the life they get. Figuring out how take ownership of my life has been no small task. Ironically, I understand what I’ve learned on my own, because of their omission, far better than anything they tried to teach me.

Aster's avatar

If they Had offered a handbook I wouldn’t have read it.

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