Saturday, January 13, 2007

Listening to the Children

I pulled the trigger last night. It took me a while to come to terms with spending that amount of money, but I did it. Oh, it's not that much in the grand scheme of things, but it seems a lot to me to fork out more than $120 for two tickets to a concert.

Yes, The Rankins are coming to town early in February on their Reunion tour. Years ago, they were front and centre in bringing the Celtic sound to the rest of Canada – beyond the Maritimes. When I think Celtic music, I think Rankins. The first time that I heard another Celtic group, I was disappointed because they didn't sound like the Rankins. The ladies have somewhat nasally voices but produce a very fetching sound – to this poor man's ears anyway.

But when I first went to the Ticketmaster site early in the week, I entered a state of sticker shock – over $60 per ticket! It's a fair chuck of change when you consider that pretty well whatever we do must be multiplied by two because Cuppa and I do most things together. And Cuppa's not a big Rankins fan. It's not that she dislikes them; it's just that they don't grab her like they do me. They probably don’t grab most people as much as they grab me, but those of us who like'em really seem to like'em as they aren't finding it too difficult to attract an audience after an eight year absence from the scene.

And so … here's the point that I really wanted to get to in this post – the relationship between parents and adult children. You see, it was the kids who told us that we were a little out of touch and that $60 was rather cheap for a concert; they'd expect to pay closer to a hundred bucks for one of theirs, not that they go to concerts in these house-poor days, but you get my drift, I'm sure. I think you go to concerts when you're young and when you're older; in between times, you have other interests and obligations. It's how the wheel of life seems to turn.

Anyway, they felt free to offer their advice. We certainly didn't mind, and I took it. With adult children, it doesn't as easily work in reverse though, does it? I mean to say that there is something about the parent-child relationship that doesn't lend itself to parents giving too much advice to adult children. I suppose that children spend their first twenty years or so, establishing their own independent identities apart from parents and it's a pattern that's hard to reverse.

I'm just making an observation. It's not about me and my kids (do you hear that, kids?), for I was the same way. I felt it my duty to advise my parents by times, but I don't think that I would have welcomed their advice too very often. Like me with my kids, they seemed to readily accept my advice whether they chose to follow it or not. It seems to me that to some degree, at least, parents seem to be able to accept their grown-up children as full-fledged and equal adults, but parents are always parents.

Oh, I don't mean that we older ones can ever completely let go of our children, we have a vested interest. I also realize that there are those who forever treat adult children as children, but I think that, on the whole, it is true that it is more common for parents to willingly accept advice from adult children than vice versa. That's all I'm saying, apart from the fact that I have to double-check the spelling of vice versa every time I use it. I got it wrong btw; I originally wrote visa versa.

Or maybe I've got it all wrong and your family dynamics are different? What say you?


Anonymous said...

Oh, I dunno... I'm closer to an age that starts with a "4" than a "3". My older brother tells me I'll always be the little kid who knew exactly when to turn on the TV for Sesame Street and I think my Dad will always see me as his "little girl", in some ways.

Everyone else in the family seems to realize that I'm all grown up, strong and have a mind of my own (too much at times, I'm afraid.)

I think you're just too darned open-minded!

And btw... Rankins tix were only $60 there? I think they were more in Calgary. Grrr...

We'll have to compare notes after we go to the concert!

Anonymous said...

My son and I go back and forth offering advice to one another. There are times he heeds said advice, and times he doesn’t. As for me, I usually listen to what he has to say. I might be a bit prejudice, but to me he seems wise beyond his years. He is able to see to the core of a problem, when I am unable to.

I suppose our family dynamics are quite different from yours. I was married when my son was born, but divorced shortly afterward. My ex-husband wasn’t in the picture much, though my parents and brother most certainly were. Not that I was young when I had him, but it seems like we raised each other, which I think makes for a very interesting relationship. But I agree that it is probably more common for parents to accept advice from adult children than vice versa. It certainly is in my family.

Excellent post, it really made me think.

Ginnie said...

I find that leading by example works much better for our family than trying to give advice.
About the tickets...I almost fainted when I went to Palm Springs to visit friends and told them to "go ahead and buy my ticket for the "Fabulous Follies"." They did and it cost me $98. Even the movies in our area are getting pricey. Thank goodness for DVD players.

Valerie - Still Riding Forward said...

We all have different areas of expertise. I ask the truck driver son for best way to get places, the tech daughter for computer input and the best girl for animal lore and my mom for whatever I don't know the answer to that they ask me...LOL

It works

mreddie said...

It does have to do with areas of expertise, they willingly listen to my advice about electrical or phone wiring, especially if I am willing to come show them what I'm talking about. :) I too depend on my spell check very heavily. ec

Anonymous said...

Having three grown kids of my own I understand what you are saying. All of my children are independent and I rarely give advise unless they request it.. which they sometimes do. And even then, when I do offer words of wisdom, they are well thought out. I guess we work so hard at making our children independent .. that when they finally obtain this status we respect it by trusting their judgment.. except for those times.. as I say.. when they ask. This all sounds a little confusing but I think you get my drift. :-)

Kila said...

My parents and my in-laws do give advice, which I often appreciate. I'm to the stage where I do appreciate it, realizing how many more years of experience they have. They do ask for advice from us too at times, especially concerning modern things like computers, LOL. My in-laws depend on my DH quite a bit.

Granny said...

We go back and forth on "advice" too.

Concerts are obscenely expensive. I've been to two in the last 14 years (not counting Les Mis) and one of them was a prize for my contribution to Public Television.

Anonymous said...

I'm probably not a good one to answer this, given the family dynamic I come from ~ and the fact that I do not live in a family dynamic now. That makes my view of it rather open-ended. I'll take wisdom and knowledge wherever I can get it. :)



PBS said...

Nope, exactly the same! My son feels very free to give me advice, but doesn't want to even hear my opinion about most of his life. My older brother loves to give my Mom all sorts of advice, but gets huffy and disappears for several months if she should dare try to give him any!

Gina said...

I am definitely in the "in between" phase and I, who used to go to concerts all the time, have not been to one in almost three years.

As for advice, I ask my Dad about a lot of technical stuff, cars and house problem type of things.

But I have to say, my parents don't really listen to me or my sister when we give them advice.

Anonymous said...

I HATE (sorry for yelling) unsolicited advice so I try not to give it either. My children do ask advice on occasion and I ask them too. I'm always happy to hear that they've talked to other "experts" (besides me!) when they need advice. As I get older, I realize that I know less and less!

-epm said...

"Anyway, they felt free to offer their advice. We certainly didn't mind, and I took it. With adult children, it doesn't as easily work in reverse though, does it?"

Ah! It seems we are kindred spirits, my Canadian brother.. :) I know the feeling well.

Anyway, enjoy the concert Mr. Big-Spender. :)

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm. I think it depends on the subject at hand. I do know that as parents we approach advice-giving much more gingerly than our son. Very thought-provoking post, AC.