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Author: Subject: Parents Getting in the Way of Chemistry
HgDinis25
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[*] posted on 14-4-2015 at 15:50


Honestly, I think you have no chance at convincing your parents. Mostly because they don't trust you. Some parents try to understand their children by looking back at when they were theirs children age. Your parents weren't making anything science related when they were 13. They probably believe they weren't mature enough to handle something like that safely.

When they look at you, they try to mirror themselves into your position. They know that at your age they wouldn't be able to do what you say you're doing. And so it must end up badly for you, like you "exploding everything up in a big fireball". And then the irrational fear that it might blow up just because it looks like a blowing up thing kicks in.

Do not get me wrong, I'm not saying you're immature or can't do chemistry. Quite the opposite. You have it in you. You're unlucky, though, because of your situation. My advice? Continue with what you're doing. If they don't physically restrain you from what you love then there's no reason for you to stop. If they just scream and try to talk you out of it, don't react. Do not care. But prepare for this may leave hard feelings between you and your parents that may never, ever be fixed.


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Hawkguy
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[*] posted on 14-4-2015 at 17:53


I completely sympathize to anyone whose parents interfere with their chemistry. Its like they're TRYING to be annoying. However, just getting it out there, I'm pretty sure my old folks are the worst as it comes. Its almost weird. Seriously. Even though they are both chemistry PhDs, my mom still freaks when the oh so terrible Carbon Dioxide is produced in small amounts. "Carbon Dioxide... Isn't that toxic?" Anyhoo. I don't know exactly what they're concerned about, because when my mom almost burns down the house its all game, but when I leave my goggles out they flip. Flip means the police come knocking after a few minutes. Just getting that out.
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Deathunter88
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[*] posted on 15-4-2015 at 01:40


Quote: Originally posted by HgDinis25  
Honestly, I think you have no chance at convincing your parents. Mostly because they don't trust you. Some parents try to understand their children by looking back at when they were theirs children age. Your parents weren't making anything science related when they were 13. They probably believe they weren't mature enough to handle something like that safely.

When they look at you, they try to mirror themselves into your position. They know that at your age they wouldn't be able to do what you say you're doing. And so it must end up badly for you, like you "exploding everything up in a big fireball". And then the irrational fear that it might blow up just because it looks like a blowing up thing kicks in.

Do not get me wrong, I'm not saying you're immature or can't do chemistry. Quite the opposite. You have it in you. You're unlucky, though, because of your situation. My advice? Continue with what you're doing. If they don't physically restrain you from what you love then there's no reason for you to stop. If they just scream and try to talk you out of it, don't react. Do not care. But prepare for this may leave hard feelings between you and your parents that may never, ever be fixed.




A while has passed and life has gotten a bit easier. They still get scared when I tell them what I'm doing (because they don't understand it) but as long as I stay quiet and complete my school work on time I am allowed in my lab. Why did they change their minds? Well, I managed to prove to them whatever they did I would still love chemistry. (It took a really bad accident but I would say it was worth it.) So the lesson to be learned is: Continue doing science and in one way or another try to prove to them that whatever they do you will still continue perusing your hobby.
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szuko03
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[*] posted on 15-4-2015 at 05:07


Good keep at it. Also something's in life you just have to wait for. Sometimes it's like driving a car you can have all the reasons why you should but you have to wait until society accepts you. It may be an obstacle now but one day you'll wanna go back



Chemistry is a natural drive, not an interest.
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kecskesajt
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[*] posted on 23-4-2015 at 04:38


If they are good parents the will be nervous all time.Just because they dont want you to get hurt.But say for them that they shouldnt thust the media.The media is full of bullshit.Say that you take safety precussions every time(and do that too). SFMBE
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RareEarth
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[*] posted on 23-4-2015 at 15:36


If you're doing chemistry in their house, they have every right to be concerned. If I didn't have a chemistry background I would not let my would be kid do anything chemistry related in the house (I still don't!)

Here's something to keep in mind. Lab accidents are just that. Accidents. Nobody expects their reaction to go wrong, and they can be very scary when they happen. Ever spilled sulfuric acid on the carpet, or even worse, on yourself? Ever had some gas flare up from a reaction that burned your eyes and/or had to make you evacuate the house? Ever had a reaction accidentally run away because you didn't research it enough, overflowing, or even exploding out of the flask? Chemistry can be pretty dangerous, even if you are the most safety oriented person ever. Accidents do happen. Anyone who says they have never had an accident when performing reactions is lying, I would say. You inevitably will spill things on the floor, reactions will inevitably overflow at some point, and fires very well may catch by accident. You have to be prepared for these things.

It's not even a question of if they will happen, but when.
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aga
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[*] posted on 23-4-2015 at 15:47


"wait until you are older"
"wait until you're older" (see hoe the apostrophe character ' replaces the "space" and the "a")

those work.

"wait until your older" <- this does not work. Nobody has/posseses an 'older'.

If anyone gets better grades in Englich due to my pozts plz greets like sick. Yeah.




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blargish
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[*] posted on 23-4-2015 at 17:53


I guess I am one of the lucky ones whose parents are completely supportive of my interest in chemistry. Neither of them have a background in chemistry, and because of this it seems strange that they would let me carry out my own experiments. However, I would say that communication has been key. Whenever buying a new compound I always explain exactly what it is, what my plans are, and the hazards. No sugar-coating. I let them know what is carcinogenic, toxic, etc, and how I plan to deal with it accordingly. Obviously at the beginning of my interest in chemistry I was limited in what I could do, but I built up trust over the course of a couple years, and now I am essentially trusted in all my chemistry related endeavours. Also, I frequently show them reactions that I find interesting and try to spread my passion for chemistry.

In addition, my labspace is essentially separated from living areas in a room in our garage. I actually first started out by carrying out reactions in our basement, which had a limestone floor... yeah... One day a dilute nitric acid synthesis overflowed and turned the floor green. That was the end of my basement lab :D. I guess I was lucky my amateur chemistry career didn't end right there, but my parents were willing to give me a second shot provided I did all my experiments away from areas that would see much human traffic.

I have had a few minor incidents and spills (thankfully nothing major) which I cleaned up and dealt with accordingly. But nothing has ever happened that has endangered anyone else in my house, and I ensure that for every experiment I carry out. Also, I label the storage of all my compounds with the appropriate symbols so if anyone, including my parents, wanders into my lab they know exactly what is what. Flammable, oxidizing, poisonous, etc. Keeping a well organized lab (most of the time...) has seemed to build their trust in my chemistry hobby.

Still, the most important thing is being safe. The fact that my parents have now given me more or less free reign in my chemistry decisions puts a lot more responsibility on me to do my research and not do anything stupid. Accidents will happen, but with proper precaution their effects can be made negligible.


[Edited on 24-4-2015 by blargish]




BLaRgISH
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george76904
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[*] posted on 23-4-2015 at 23:11


I originally got into chemistry about 3 years ago (I am currently 16), my parents were willing to let me do some things but there were some experiments that were deemed too dangerous and I just had to respect that. My father has a PHD in science so there is no point in doing anything without informing him because generally he can just look at the reactants and guess what I am doing. He allowed me to convert a portion of the shop into my pyrotechnics lab, because that is my main chemistry passion, I love weighing,mixing,granulating, and finally when its all done seeing that shell light up the night. My dad has gradually become more accustomed to what I am trying to do, and often I will pick experiments that I know he will find interesting and will want to do with me. This has made the building up of trust easier and gradually allowed of more difficult and dangerous experiments. There have been a couple accidents which set me back, but in general I find parents will come around if you give them time, and explain what you are doing and what any ramifications of the experiments might be.
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Tabun
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[*] posted on 1-5-2015 at 03:15


Dude I understand perfectly.I was making some sodium nitrate using ammonium nitrate and sodium hydroxide.My biggest problem was the ammonia but no,their problem was sodium hydroxide which could get on my face and blind me and the ammonium nitrate which explode(yes,there is a stupid obsession with the explosives and explosions created by mass media idiots and movies).
Even worse,my mother asked me if I want to build a bomb just because I like explosives.
I'm getting really tired of this shit too.The problem in my country is that there's a general fear of chemicals.You can't ask about something without being questioned what you're going to do with it or if you want to make a bomb.I asked about sodium bisulfate and some guy asked me why don't I go and directly buy some TNT.Just replied him that I know how to make more powerful stuff so if I want to do something bad it's going to be fucking bad.I don't know how he took that and I really don't care but they are annoying as hell.
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Deathunter88
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[*] posted on 1-5-2015 at 06:48


Quote: Originally posted by Tabun  
Dude I understand perfectly.I was making some sodium nitrate using ammonium nitrate and sodium hydroxide.My biggest problem was the ammonia but no,their problem was sodium hydroxide which could get on my face and blind me and the ammonium nitrate which explode(yes,there is a stupid obsession with the explosives and explosions created by mass media idiots and movies).
Even worse,my mother asked me if I want to build a bomb just because I like explosives.
I'm getting really tired of this shit too.The problem in my country is that there's a general fear of chemicals.You can't ask about something without being questioned what you're going to do with it or if you want to make a bomb.I asked about sodium bisulfate and some guy asked me why don't I go and directly buy some TNT.Just replied him that I know how to make more powerful stuff so if I want to do something bad it's going to be fucking bad.I don't know how he took that and I really don't care but they are annoying as hell.


Although yes, it is annoying as hell, I don't think its the right approach to say: "I know how to make more powerful stuff so if I want to do something bad it's going to be fucking bad." because that just makes amateur chemistry look worse. Also, the sentence: "just because I like explosives." makes it sound like you spend all day trying to blow stuff up. My suggestion is, if you want your parents to let you do home science without worry, try some simple reactions that are cool but don't involve blowing stuff up. Once you build up your trust with them you can slowly begin doing more dangerous things.
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Varmint
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[*] posted on 1-5-2015 at 06:56


I just don't know why anyone would write this:

"I completely sympathize to anyone whose parents interfere with their chemistry. Its like they're TRYING to be annoying. However, just getting it out there, I'm pretty sure my old folks are the worst as it comes. Its almost weird. Seriously. Even though they are both chemistry PhDs, my mom still freaks when the oh so terrible Carbon Dioxide is produced in small amounts. "Carbon Dioxide... Isn't that toxic?" Anyhoo. I don't know exactly what they're concerned about, because when my mom almost burns down the house its all game, but when I leave my goggles out they flip. Flip means the police come knocking after a few minutes. Just getting that out. "

If you want to sympathize, how about sticking to the truth? What I'm saying is: There is no "chemistry PHD" in the history of the world who would say "Carbon Dioxide... Isn't that toxic?". I can't even come up with why this might have sounded good in the first place. It couldn't have been to make the OP sound "smart" knowing CO2 exists, and if it was to make the parent sound stupid, well, again, no matter how poor the school was that provided the degree, no "PHD" is going to say that, EVER.

Does mum dive for cover when a can of soda/seltzer/pop is opened? I just don't get it.

And if they do truly over react to even 10% of what the OP describes, then I suspect the OP has given them plenty to over react to over the years and are quite afraid adding salt to his food should be the limit for his delving into "chemistry".
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