“My mother didn’t even graduate from high school……… It’s worse when my mom gives me terrible advice about finances, my job, and my life. As a young person, I should be able to listen to my mom for guidance. She can’t tell me a thing about how saving for retirement works – had no clue what I was talking about when I mentioned my 403B. She doesn’t know about car payments. She can’t help me prepare a resume or cover letter. She knows little about benefits. She doesn’t understand office culture at all.”
I see comments like this very often on PF blogs pertaining to PF role models, and I get very conflicted. On one hand, I know all about the importance of positive role models, and how the lack may affect one’s life. On the other hand, we are all about how education is supposed to be the solution to generational poverty, so why are we still blaming our parents for not being able to provide us with positive role models when we are the better educated generation? When the purpose of us getting the education in the first place is so that we get to learn what our parents didn’t know?
If I said anything like the above quote to my parents, I would have gotten a very scathing response in return – That is what your expensive University education is for.
My parents were poor and not highly educated. From a relatively young age, my sister and I were expected to help out with official/legal document reading and translation (my parents were ESOL), official forms filling, calling government and official departments, customer service etc. It never occurred to us that it was not our responsibility to figure out things at home, school or at work by ourselves.
We understood from young that our parents were not highly educated and we were going to school to change that for ourselves. It would have been unfair to blame my parents for not being able to give good advice or provide good role models, because they did not get the privilege of higher schooling themselves, so how could they know to teach us something they never knew themselves?
Also, with the power of the internet today, does the younger generation really have the excuse that we don’t know something because our parents did not tell/teach it to us?