Thank you for reading yesterday’s post and thank you to all who took the time to comment and to share your experiences. I can’t tell you how much better I feel after reading all that you wrote. When I felt your support and read your wisdom, I felt like I wasn’t so alone in this situation.
Because I have to ask myself the question –
Do I know what’s right for my kid? At 19 years old, does he have a say in the trajectory of his life while he’s living under my roof with me paying for everything? Am I obtuse in my thinking that to finish college in a timely manner is the only way to go? Because now he’s failed one full semester so he’s already behind his friends/peers. What I thought would keep him studying was that he didn’t want to fall behind. That he would want to celebrate life’s accomplishments at the same time as his friends. But when I realize that he’s lost many friends because they went away to school and because he wasn’t involved in the community college, his friend group has diminished. So whereas that would be important to me, finish college on time, it’s not such a priority for him. Or maybe that’s just my thinking about what he’s thinking…
The right balance of letting go and being there to be supportive and not smothering is the key I think. I’m so glad he has an appointment with his therapist this coming week. And I have one with mine which will help me.
Be thankful if you have adult kids who aren’t rocking your/their boat. Especially today because I’m still reeling from it all. Thanks for your support, caring and kindness. Happy Saturday to all.
I replied to your comment on your last post and it really applies to this post more directly. Basically, the way we think things should be done aren’t always the ways that are going to work for our kids.
As for what kind of say you have while they are under your roof, you absolutely have the right and the obligation to establish your rules and boundaries, but it there is a line where those rules and boundaries become more about control rather than any attempt at helping or fixing. Because OC did so much that forced us to lay down lines, we made those lines clear for all out kids (even if they don’t even get close to them). Those lines are there specifically to help our kids become mature, functioning, self-responsible adults. As long as they are in school and getting decent grades (passing for OC, the others this is a non-issue but would be discussed if their grades suddenly dropped for no explicable reason), then they don’t have a lot of expectations. They will help with any car insurance if they are driving, the amounts they have to help are based on grades (the better the grades, the less they pay, but they WILL pay something). If they aren’t in school, they will have to pay some rent and they will be working, with the goal of getting a place of their own. The whole point is to do what we can to help, but we will not carry them. I’ve seen the results of that in my own experience growing up and in a much more negative way with people I know.
I have always been more the type of parent that gives freedom to do most whatever unless you’ve shown you aren’t responsible or mature enough for that freedom. I have had very few rules outside of basic respect for me and my property and time as long as you are doing well and working towards your goals. If you goal is to be a leach with zero responsibilities, that isn’t happening under my roof.
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TJ, I like the way you operate! We have begun discussing the new rules here too now that he’s told me he doesn’t want to go back to school. No freeloading here either. Family, the word in the way it’s used here, is about bonding, love and togetherness. So we’re all in this family and we’ll all participate. I like the car insurance example! Great idea!
I appreciate your sharing, your thoughtfulness and your support. Thank you for being my friend!
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I completely understand where you are at right now, so you are not alone in this.
As for the insurance thing, it is something that was really important to me as it is a kind of responsibility it took me way too long to learn because I was never forced to. I see my siblings and how utterly dependent, as full grown adults, they are on our parents and how close I came to being that way myself. They are that way, in large part, because it is not only allowed, but encouraged by my parents. Same goes to some extent for my SIL. No, not all kids need this kind of lesson in responsibility, but I also don’t really think it hurts (but as always, each kid’s needs really need to be taken into consideration).
I also see it a lot with other kids my kids’ age. Some of the ones they know. I just am not going to be that person that spends the rest of my life taking care of things for my kids that they should be adult enough to do for themselves. I’m not a bank. I’m not a maid or a servant. I love and adore my kids, but I have a life too and it does NOT revolve entirely around my kids. For Hubby and I, we have tried really hard to find a balance that is good for both our kids and for us. Sometimes it is really hard to find that balance.
TJ, it’s the balance I’m missing and I do feel like I’m a bank, a maid etc. I’m standing back a bit now. I feel like I need to refresh and focus. Really grateful that you shared so much with me. Thank you…I don’t feel so alone. xx
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Hugs to you!
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It’s an interesting ride to say the least. My son is 19 and knew he wasn’t ready for college. He has done a bit of van life and worked some seasonal jobs one out at Mt. Rainier living in a dorm and another at Amazon. It allowed him to save up and travel to Thailand last spring for 30 days. This summer he’s home working a landscaping job saving up money to hit the road to travel this fall. It definitely isn’t a traditional path, but it’s his path. He’s experiencing life, learning along the way, and ultimately I’m happy for him. I will admit it can be hard at times as a parent to watch since we were brainwashed to either go to school to get a “good” job or get to work right away and start knocking out the grind. There’s definitely plenty of time for these kids to figure it out as long as they can mostly make it on their own. I’m 53, divorced, and often question my career path…so I definitely get excited for my son when he doesn’t follow the norm. From CoolWorks.com to programs like WWOOF there are plenty of opportunities for our young adults to start finding their way. One interesting piece of information is from my son working all these different jobs is he’s realizing he needs some skills and is considering getting a welding certificate starting in the fall of 2020. So I guess what I’m saying for many the traditional route isn’t for everyone. Keep the faith and know love never fails and he will find his way. This is probably pretty cheesy but remember Dr. Seuss’s book Oh, the Paces You’ll Go! Sending you both best wishes❤️
Dwight, thanks for sharing your son and your paths…I applaud your son’s working so hard to travel. Good for him and for you being the supportive parent! I agree about the brainwashing and I even think we pigeon-hole ourselves into thinking that’s the only way life works if you’re to be successful. But this new generation sees more than we did perhaps (you and I are same generational age) and in releasing those bonds, they’re changing the world. It’s just hard to get out of my own head/limited belief of how things should be. He knows I love and support him. I want what is best for him, but I was limiting him to only one traditional pathway and that’s not fair nor loving. I hope I’m making sense. Thanks for opening my eyes. And yes, I’m getting out that book to reread! Not cheesy at all…well put! ♥
Only you know how to parent your child. You need to do what works for both of you.
Thank you LA…that’s what we’re doing here.
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