Advice for young job hunters

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Today’s Globe and Mail has an excellent insert for Gen Y.  You may be interested in discreetly leaving it on the kitchen table for your 20 something young adult or (not so discreetly) forwarding them the links to the online version.

Canada’s Top Employers for Young People lists 90 companies that share a commitment to helping young people transition into the working world.

Yesterday, Victoria Hoffman wrote about job hunting and the need for young people to network. Another useful resource for your young person.

Our kids may not take our advice, but they may absorb something they read.  Good luck to you and to them!  Read More

Actions speak louder than words

Life is a puzzle

Life is a puzzle

My friend Mary has been in despair about her 29 year old son Jeff for some time. He often treats her with contempt.

Jeff has been living in Vancouver for the past five years where he works as a manager for a large department store. He stays with Mary when he returns to Ottawa to visit family and friends.

When she asks him how his day went, he might reply that it is none of her business, or he gives a one word answer. He leaves dishes in the sink after making himself some food and ignores Mary’s request that he clean up after himself.  When Mary planned a pot luck birthday party for his sister, Jeff told Mary she just wanted to get out of work.  (And what’s wrong with that, I might ask!)

Jeff also fails to return his mother’s telephone calls or e-mails.  Mary is always the one to initiate contact and then she waits, hoping she will hear from him.

The most recent of Jeff’s transgressions is that he failed to answer a previously arranged telephone call with Mary. There was no e-mail advising Mary that he wouldn’t be available and no follow-up e-mail apologizing for not answering the call.

Mary decided that it was time to act. She sent him this e-mail: Read More

I and thou–Martin Buber and the in-laws

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For those of you who studied philosophy, you may be wondering how German philosopher Martin Buber could possibly relate to in-laws, and for those of you didn’t, stick with me.  It’s more interesting than you might think. But first I want to tell you three little stories. The names are changed but the stories are real.

Story One.  My friend Barbara revealed during a recent conversation that she prefers to keep her son-in-law emotionally at arm’s length.

“While I love my son-in-law, I never want to put my daughter in a position where she feels she could not leave her husband because of my husband’s and my attachment to him. I wouldn’t want her to feel that she is breaking up the entire family, ” she said.

Story Two.  My friend Jeff told me that he wanted to speak to his daughter about his son and his daughter’s brother, Jared.  Jeff is worried  because Jared is becoming attached to a religious sect that he (Jeff) doesn’t approve of. When I suggested that his daughter’s husband might have some insight into the situation, he responded that he was not comfortable with his son-in-law,  the situation did not involve him and that this was “a family matter.”

Story Three.  My friend Marie told me that she and her husband don’t want to get too close to their daughter’s new partner. They loved her former husband and were very hurt when the young couple broke up.  They don’t want to go through the pain of loosing another son-in-law.

While all these positions are understandable, in each case, the daughter or son-in-law is not equally valued and loved as those born into the family. The implication is that they are not fully part of the family and as a result have second class status. Read More

Why sometimes it’s better not to help

Despite the fact that I think that the more you allow your adult children to manage their own lives, the better off they are, I occasionally provide help when it is neither needed nor wanted.

I see other parents providing resources in the form of money, skills, and advice and I sometimes feel that unless I do the same thing, I am, in words that haunt me, a bad mother. It’s almost a form of “keeping up with the Jones”, showing the world what a caring mother I am by doing things for my kids, when intellectually, I am sure the best thing I can do is nothing.

Doing nothing is something I have to work at.

Read More