Part of being a child is one’s family being the whole universe. As a preadolescent, one wants to differentiate and individualize (while fitting in). During the early teen years, one wants to peer norm more. In later teen years, one transitions to norming to one’s culture. And as we’ve discussed on other threads, often one just treads water here but other possibilities exist.
Then there is the big factor of temperament and personality!
Also, dovetailing on what @ertyu wrote, there are layers of microcultures to navigate. This includes the heritage of parents and other close relatives, ethnicities, organization communities, the town, the state, the region, the country, pre-geopolitical boundaries, etc. One’s attachment type certainly comes into play here. It’s not as simple as teaching two cultures, rather raising awareness of and discussing different cultures. There is never an absence of cultures to learn. We approach it has him also teaching us about subcultures and sometimes learning together as a family.
Some general thoughts about my upbringing:
• I internalized that working is fun, being responsible matters, and confidence to be my own person.
• My palate was set to not liking sweet things and preferring natural foods. I never liked meat much but carbs are a different story.
• My set pattern with approaching a challenge was to think what could I do differently, how can I alter/make what I need. Buying something as a solution was not internalized.
• Other people, especially in school, we’re not used to independent-minded kids. That created some clash. It wasn’t much of an issue with other kids though. Peering is harder the older I get. Even as an adult, I feel it because I won’t go along to get along on principle. Do I understand the game? F-ya. Do I play? Hell, no.
• I am very direct and get along better with men.
• Saving, being frugal, and mindful of resources were not skills I had to learn.
• I have basic homesteading skills.
• Walking and biking for transport are fun.
• I would never want to be tied down with such a lifestyle again, though I’d like some goats and a less expensive source of water to grow more veg (if someone else outside of my family could care for them).
Teentime: When I was a pre-teen, I babysat and earned money. I did buy some makeup, clothes, a Walkman, etc. And I was so boy crazy, alternating between having a following of suitors attracted to the outside package (jock DBs, and later frat boys, seemed to like me the most...ugh) and obsessing about a long term boyfriend DB.
College: full-ride + (Academic, my family had plenty of money. I had no real idea until my mid-20s.) I saved a lot but tried to budget some for fun purchases. After I got my own backpacking gear, I realized I just didn’t need much more. My option was to lower my budget or blow it on shit. Unlike many others, I ate really great food from the health food store. I usually worked a job but would travel in the summer. I spent 3 years in the dorms, 1/2 year in an apartment, 1/2 year with roommates, and then married in the married student housing ghetto for several years.
Marriage: My spouse’s culture is more working class to white trash. (Some nephews have escaped via college job training to jump on the careerism-materialism treadmill.) He has struggled with materialism more and has always been behind me a bit. He knows how to fix many things and hunt/fish/home brew etc., likes sugar and processed foods, and views savvy spending as a more viable second-attempt solution. It can create some conflict at times. We both compromise. I suspect many long-term unions work this way.
Raising kids: Our son has my independence and his dad’s love of sugar. As a teen; buying some electronics, junk food/candy, clothes, and fancy toiletries are on his radar. He will bargain and thrift shop but has no issues with treating himself. He has a job and saves 90% of his check. (His share of tips, several bucks per shift, are his mad money.) He takes AP, has a 4.0, and is involved with school activities. We do not micromanage. (He’s been using an alarm clock since kindergarten. We stopped monitoring grades around tied grade.) He is outspoken, has a value-system, and understands/plays the game. We spent a lot of time with him and discussed everything starting from a young age. This is so important. Now he spends more time with friends but always eats dinner with us at 6 PM, when we catch up. On the surface, it looks like we’re middle-class people who don’t work. Behind the scenes our life is much different. We talk about how his friends are raised. He expresses how micromanaging things like grades and just giving large amounts of money is handicapping. Gradual release of responsibility, based on specific kid, is important. (Note that he has some basic domestic skills but not all the homesteading stuff.)
Funny story related to him and no insurance: He told me that we could probably have any hospital bills written off. I explained that we are self-insured due to high ACA prices and not wanting to work at shit-job just for insurance, not because we’re in a non-Medicaid state. He wouldn’t understand living on so little at this point as wasting seems a little fun to him.