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Old 11-18-2009, 04:27 PM
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,321 posts, read 16,575,490 times
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I am not sure I like all these life changes. Our last two just left the nest and we rarely see our son who works across the street...unless he needs gas money. We forgive him, he works and goes to college so we know he is pressed for free time. Our middle daughter who also works across the street will swing in to chat from time to time, but mostly I email her and her sister. Thank goodness for the internet. I suppose if we were to leave the state we would see them only when we jump on a plane.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:15 PM
Status: "could've~would've~should've used 'have', not 'of'" (set 17 days ago)
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,464 posts, read 14,307,686 times
Reputation: 23243
My kids bought phones so they could TEXT people, not so they could call them. Phones calls are so out dated, at least that's what my kids tell me. Forget letter writing, it's almost a lost art. (Did you know that many schools no longer teach cursive writing?!)
I'm not great at texting so I keep in touch with my kids through instant messages and the occasional e-mail. Love IM, so easy to chat them while we do other things too. I was on IM for almost two hours with my DD the other day while she watched a movie and I played around here on C-D.

One other thing might be the sense of time, when you say you "even waited two weeks" for a call? Two weeks probably seems like a long time to you, but maybe to your daughters two weeks might fly by before they notice, especially at this busy time of year. I know for me personally two weeks can go by very, very quickly.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:46 PM
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,165 posts, read 8,689,130 times
Reputation: 6166
Smile New ways of communicating ...

I actually love the computer, Facebook, LinkedIn, e-mail, etc so no problem. I come from a very communicative family. We always had the phone to our ear so this new way is great too. When cell phones first came out, we all had them in our cars!

On the other hand, I have a situation where my FIL doesn't even like to pick up the phone. If he doesn't, we worry and have to drive to his home, 1 hour from us.

We just want to make sure he is OK. Now, he never calls us - just his way. Never liked any kind of communication. His wife, my MIL, always did all that. She (unfortunately) is gone now(:

We will be trying to get him to move closer to us. That way, my husband (and our family) could spend quality, quantity time with him.
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:51 AM
3,751 posts, read 9,600,559 times
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We are in a similiar spot with both a father in law and a father who will not use a phone. When my mom fell and was hurt, my father could not even find our phone numbers. Father in law just wont pick it up. So, with them being 600 and 2000 miles away, things are difficult.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:30 AM
1,749 posts, read 3,986,124 times
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Originally Posted by Balad1 View Post
Don't blame your children for the loss of family because you moved, that's your fault. I moved to Hawaii and don't hear a lot from my kids either. It doesn't bother me because I know they're caught up trying to survive in todays economy and world. Move back or think about being a snow bird.
BINGO. This touches a nerve with me. It needs to be considered by the majority of retirees that perhaps if your children hadn't inherited the cut throat balkanized nomad labor market we're even encouraged to partake in these days, maybe your saturday afternoons would be more crowded at the family table. You can't have the cake and eat it too. It is a true concerted effort on my part to make expensive travel arrangements to see my parents during the holidays, and make travel arrangements to see the wife's parents as well. This is not cheap and we make less adjusted for inflation than my parents did back when they were our age, and retirement-wise we're not even in the ballpark. So something has to give, the kids are busy surviving, can't have it all, 100% of the time.

I'm a fan of homesteading, and it is a risky proposition. I prefer a govt job as it allows me a greater degree of strability than the majority of private employment out there, and also provides me with subsidized healthcare. My wife is not so lucky with her private employer. No retirement benefits (I don't consider a 401K with no matching a retirement benefit, hell I don't consider a 401K in general to be a retirement "benefit") , no healthcare, so we're riding this life on my job primarily and hers for de facto play money, and supplemental income when the kids arrive. But it all could change in this crappy labor market we live under and force us to move in order to make a median wage.

We try to undershoot our living expenses, so as to theoretically be able to insulate ourselves from income drops, but as this society shows, people are compassless ships with loose rudders, weathervaning instantaneously to where "the next job is". The level of neo-nomadism in our society is shocking. You can't have a cohesive society when homesteading is an unrealistic proposition for the median. You create clusters of "transplant" labor across cities all over this country. Do you think people mock and ignore local news just because? No. This is because nobody is "local" anymore. Working 20-60yo people have largely no connections to where they work, it's a means to an end these days. It's a rat race. And it is in large part a self-appointment condition that is responsible for many of the supposed ills many retirees like to point out in their "erosion of quality of life" speech. It wasn't your kids' generation that gave up the kitty, it was the people retiring today and yesterday that did. Now we do more with less.

It may sound counterintuitive, but European societies, in spite of the muslim immigration problem that is overrunning them, have a societal construct that's more to the expectations many of you retirees had when visualizing family gatherings in your retired life. That's because they [europeans] live two generations to a house, as the younger generation cannot afford to live on their own. It sucks from an American standpoint, but it is across the board a more healthy kind of living and thence their societies are much less balkanized than your median american MSA. Pick your poison, but stop adjudicating an inherent "immaculate conception" predisposition of selfishness on the part of your children to text verus call or visit versus facebook you. My social security withholdings contribute to my economic dispossession so that you can afford not to be. Nobody is doing that for me, proverbially speaking. So Xmas and New Years only it is, mom and dad. If we weren't such a "live to work" society perhaps homesteading would once again prove realistic. But no, we have to drink the kool-aid and crank out more productivity even when our own pockets are not even seeing the benefit of said increase in labor output. Since attacking that accepted condition is considered "socialist" in this country, we all get to eat the poo sandwich, and that means no large children input in your retired life. Not quite what you bargained for I'm sure.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:27 AM
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,227,512 times
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Just an observation here. The title of the thread is "Since Retirement Children Don't Keep Touch".

Could it be that since you are retired now and not working, you have more time to realize that you haven't talked to them lately? I mean, if you were working 40 hours a week, there were less hours in the day to think about "Where are my kids? What are they doing?"

Hope that makes sense!
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:00 AM
Location: Sacramento
13,784 posts, read 23,803,102 times
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Lot's of great observations here, the thread really should be mandatory reading for all of those who feel that their kids and/or grandkids don't stay in touch.

My observations are that many are a bit self centered, and don't want to expend the low level of effort needed to maintain some continuing degree of contact. I agree that many use Facebook as a primary means of interaction today, but that method is pretty impersonal and may not be comfortable for many in the older generation.

How much effort does it take to make a 15 minute phone call a couple of times a month?

I'll bet they get pretty interactive if they find they need some advice, or find themselves in some potentially difficult financial situations...
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:24 AM
22,769 posts, read 26,205,362 times
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Kids have an overwhelming drive to seperate themselves from their parents and grandparents. It is normal. After all, parents treat their children like children; and once you've grown up, who wants to be treated like a child? I'm trying to make my own way, and I can't really "be myself" around my grandparents and parents (my dad is a partial exception to this).

I am 26 btw, and I do the same thing, and feel guilty that I don't ever call my 80-something grandparents. I would never ask them to join facebook, though. That would just be a cheap substitute, to assuage someone's guilt. At the same time, if they felt they wanted to use it, I would oblige and hold up my end.

The truth is, it is stressful to be around them, even though I love them, and they love me. I have to revert back to the mindset of a 15 year old who "isn't real", I just sit there and pretend to be whatever shining example that they expect me to be. They don't really want to hear about the challenges in my life, and I don't really want to tell them. There's so much childhood baggage, how they perceive me, verses how I really am, and it is stressful to try and maintain this wholesome image that I left behind long ago.

Last edited by le roi; 11-19-2009 at 10:38 AM..
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:32 AM
Status: "could've~would've~should've used 'have', not 'of'" (set 17 days ago)
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,464 posts, read 14,307,686 times
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Originally Posted by NewToCA View Post
I agree that many use Facebook as a primary means of interaction today, but that method is pretty impersonal and may not be comfortable for many in the older generation.

How much effort does it take to make a 15 minute phone call a couple of times a month?
About as much effort as it does to send a quick e-mail or post on facebook?
I think maybe you hit it when you mention comfort levels. My twentysomething kids are much more comfortable with texting and computers than they are with using a phone. DD avoids using making phone calls unless it's an absolute necessity, she's that uncomfortable with it. I don't think the younger crowd see the newer methods of communication as any more impersonal than the phone either.
Thinking back on it my kids had very little need to use the phone when they were growing up, they've had access to computers almost their entire lives, so I'm not really surprised if that is their preferred method of communication.
Maybe the kids have never really thought about it from another point of view and don't realize that sometimes older folks aren't quite as comfortable with the technology and might prefer an old fashioned phone call?
It sounds like the OP has expectations that his daughters might not be aware of. Instead of being hurt that said daughters don't communicate as often, or in the way the OP prefers, maybe they should have a frank conversation about the topic. Nothing wrong with coming right out and telling your kids you'd like to hear heir voice every few weeks, just to hear how they're doing.
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:11 AM
Location: southwest TN
8,225 posts, read 14,924,345 times
Reputation: 14983
oh please, I hate being tethered to a phone. Give me computer based communication anytime. I'm 60 and I use about 30 minutes of my monthly minutes on my "car-phone". I don't carry it with me, it stays in the car. If I want to make a long-distance call to my sister who refuses to use the computer I got her, I will trudge out to the car and get the darned car-phone.

I never have a problem understanding what is said in e-mail, but I often have a problem over the phone. So keep the phone for emergencies, and use text is how I think about it.

BTW, 12 years ago, I up and moved away from everyone - and I'm about to do it again. But I still keep in touch with those who are important to me. If I don't get an e-mail, I send one. it's simple.
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