General Etiquette > Family and Children

young adults learning the hard way - update post #29

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snappylt:
I was reading elsewhere about young adults sometimes not understanding appropriate clothing for certain occasions and it reminded me of a (true) story I want to share here.  (Question of sorts at the end.)

One of my sons is a young adult who seems to often have to learn things through experience directly, the hard way, as he is very advice-resistant.  I have learned the hard way with this son to be very careful about ever offering advice, as he often interprets advice being offered to mean that I am implying that he is stupid...

Fall semester of this son's senior year of high school he applied for a very well-known, prestigious college scholarship program.  The evening before the in-person interview for the scholarship I took a risk and asked my son if he was considering dressing up for the interviews.  He said that the letter inviting him to the interview mentioned dressing in "Sunday best," so he was going to wear what he himself wears to church on Sundays.

Well, my son had found a different church to attend, a very "laid back and casual" church where the teenagers wear t-shirts and jeans to church, so that is how he planned to dress for his interview.  I decided to risk his anger, and I volunteered that I wondered if the "Sunday best" in the letter might be what an "older person" would think of as "Sunday best".  (Trust me here - I'm being vague to protect privacy - considering the particular scholarship program I'm talking about, I know the writer of the letter meant "Sunday best" in an old fashioned way.)

Well, my son bristled at the unsolicited advice, but he did decide to wear a t-shirt and khaki slacks instead of a t-shirt and blue jeans the next day.

I drove him to his interviews the next morning.  The building where the interviews were held was full of young adults.  All of the boys except for my son and one other were wearing dress shirts and ties (and many wore sport coats, too).  My son and one other boy were the only boys in t-shirts.

I kept my mouth firmly shut (regarding clothing, anyway).

After a few minutes my son leaned over and whispered, "I wish I'd worn a shirt and tie."

I made a non-committal reply and changed the subject.

On the ride home, my son said he thought his interviews went very well, but he volunteered that he'd learned a lesson about dressing better for interviews.  I just agreed with him quietly.


My question is: Do others have similar stories to share about young adults having to learn what to do and how to behave through experience?

Katana_Geldar:
Onya, snappy! He's got to learn the hard way sooner or later.

My one is about my younger sister. She was starting a new job and one of her coworkers was a girl who I had classes with. YS says that she was nice, but I'd known her longer and I said that she's nice to your face and then turns around and is very nasty once she knows you.

YS said that would never happen to her. I said nothing, then a month later YS came back to me and said I was right!

Funny thing about this girl is that her older sister was one of the nicest people I met. Shame her younger sister was two-faced.

cicero:
wait -but did he get the scholarship?

TootsNYC:
I don't remember being "advice averse," but I do remember my mom doing this:


--- Quote ---I kept my mouth firmly shut (regarding clothing, anyway).

After a few minutes my son leaned over and whispered, "I wish I'd worn a shirt and tie."

I made a non-committal reply and changed the subject.

On the ride home, my son said he thought his interviews went very well, but he volunteered that he'd learned a lesson about dressing better for interviews.  I just agreed with him quietly.

--- End quote ---

So now I wonder--maybe I *was* pricklier than I remember.

Those lessons are the ones that stick, aren't they?

And boy it's hard w/ advice and young adults, right?
There's something in the adolescent mindset/development that says, "all those old fogey rules are stupid."

I think sometimes that our best bet is to just insist from the very beginning so that things like "dressing up for church / interviews / dinner at a friend's house" become something that they do just because--and it "feels wrong" when they don't do it.

Of course, that means *I* have to dress up for dinner at a friend's house.

bopper:
That is probably when I would have said "Throw a dressier outfit in the car just in case".

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