Home Stretch: Parenting Kids from 16-21dirt track date -- Saturday, February 22, 2003 -- 06:38:39 PM
I thought this subject deserved its own thread because I have learned so much, and enjoyed reading so much, stories from TPW'ers getting their kids ready to leave home. I've NOT enjoyed the FAFSA stories, but I hope to learn more about the perils of applying for college.
Renamed on 7/24/03.This thread is tagged: teenagers
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It does pass, I promise you. Stand firm! Our daughter was nasty about it too for a while, but time and maturity happened. We just had a lovely visit with her over the weekend, and my husband pointed out sotto voce how much more mature and welcoming and, well, grateful, she is. Before it was rude, selfish teenager behavior -- now she is more balanced and comfortable and cognizant of her blessings. She posted on facebook after the visit, "yay for a home-cooked meal!" and I had to laugh. Because she never would have appreciated that before.
One of the benefits of having to be so careful financially is my kids had lower expectations :(.
Trevor did get to spend 6 weeks in London, but his dad foot the bill for that.
We paid for our daughter to go to China (for grad school credit, so O/T for this thread) and though it was expensive, it resulted in a phenomenal master's project and thesis, plus a very funny and illuminating personal slideshow project afterwards.
But earlier we'd paid for prep schools and all of her college board and tuition, so she basically graduated without debt. There were other very stressful issues related to her late teen years, so I was still the Evil Queen Bitch from Hell at that point, but the issues were never about entitlement. She had babysitting jobs starting at eleven and worked in a retail store at 15, and then an ice cream shop weeknights during high school after practice, and then held summer jobs at a golf course through college, so she knew the value of earning money. And she expressed thanks that we'd left her debt free after college.
However, it wasn't until she was married that she really recognized the value of what we'd done for her, when she saw the struggle her husband had to pay off his college loans. Then, she was even more appreciative.
So, you do what you can, and sort out what's reasonable and what's not and what you can realistically do -and what you want to do or don't want to do for them. Even if the youngster seems ungrateful or entitled now, most likely that will change as they mature. Especially if they don't get everything they want.
There are things they can achieve for themselves once they are earning the money to do them. He can go to China someday. He'll simply have to save and plan for it.
I'm kind of worried about this scenario in the future for my daughter, who is already inclined to feel over-entitled. I hope I can be strong and stick with firmly saying NO.
I think if you think about her going into a workplace and all the older employees getting on to a discussion board complaining about the lazy interns with huge senses of entitlements, you'll be strong.
I think I've been pretty flexible about the curfew, but the truth is I am a light sleeper and I don't sleep well to begin with. So if I can't relax until the car is parked, I'll be a mess for work the next day. So my stance is that someone has to wait up. If his sisters aren't around and/or willing, he needs to be in by midnight if I have to work the next day. Sometimes my husband the night owl is up until 2 or so working so if he anticipates that he can wait up. On the weekends, I wait up.
Marsie, with all due respect that is ridiculous. He's in college and he has a curfew because you can't sleep while he's out? Someone has to wait up?
Behaving in an immature manner would seem to go hand in hand with this. I don't mean to offend you, truly, but I find the above mindboggling.
If that is the way things are, I don't know that I'd expect much maturity in response.
Even my parents didn't wait up when I was in college. My mom grumbled once at me for getting in at two AM on a weeknight, but I maintained that as long as I was getting up in time to get to work, she had no beef. She reluctantly agreed and that was the end of it.
I agree with Lori and Lizzie on curfew for a college-aged kid, especially one who has lived away from home for a year.
I would suggest you treat him as a roommate, not as your child, and ask as a courtesy that he give you some idea of when he may be home. Then expect it to work less than 50% of the time and don't get angry when it doesn't.
What about showing some sense of responsibility to the others he lives with? When I had a roommate who worked day shift and I came in after evening shift , I tiptoed in, brushed my teeth and went to my room quietly to allow her a good night's sleep.
And really, how do you not worry? He's a young 18 year old, a late bloomer. He drives too fast and doesn't seem to have a worry in the world. He has a friend whose dad supplies beer to the teenagers whenever they are all in town together.
We have been clear with him that our support for him getting an apartment for the next school year and beyond is hinged on his getting a job and developing a better work ethic. My thought was that if he felt the pinch at home, he would be motivated to get a job so that he can be more independent.
I know this is all over the place, but there are more issues in place than just a curfew.
If he is noisy when he gets in, then address that, but that is not why you don't sleep when he is out. Very different issues, as is getting a job and developing a work ethic. These issues are unrelated to why you feel the need to impose a curfew on a kid who has been living on-campus for a year, away from home.
Again, if you feel the need to address it, address it as a courtesy issue, not as a curfew. Roommates behave courteously toward each other and knowing that I worry about you, give us an idea of when you will be in and try to stick close to that.
And, for the record, nobody said anything about not worrying, just about setting a curfew.
When Andrew is home from school and going out with friends, he lets me know roughly when he expects to be home. If he's going to be significantly later, he shoots me a text to let me know. I tend to fall asleep on the couch, so if I wake up, I'll know his plans.
Yeah, letting you know when he will be home is reasonable, as is entering quietly once he is home.
Eighteen year olds are supposed to drive too fast and do stupid things. He is doing just as many, if not more, stupid things on campus; you just don't know about them! But he will bridle mightily at being treated as if he is still in high school, and justifiably so.
NONE of my daughter's friends had curfews--when they were in high school--except for her, and she bridled mightily. Too bad.
She thanked me later, when she was in her twenties. As a parent, you do what you think is correct for your kid, and your family; revisit the issues and your rules with them when you need to; and you do not HAVE to do what your kids' friends' parents are doing.
Some kids at that age have really immature decision-making skills; as an adult you can assess what you need to be doing for your kid, but you can expect them to complain about it all because thats what they're supposed to be doing.
Thank you. I referred to it as a curfew because that's what it amounts to, but I do tell him that it is out of respect for the household that he needs to be in at a reasonable hour so that when I get to work I'm in shape to write prescriptions, do procedures, etc.
No one enters our house quietly with the two dogs we have...
So, anyway, we had lunch yesterday. He and the two friends from HS who want to get a house together haven't done a thing about looking for a place. We talked about the job he'll need to get and I realized something. He's anxious about the job search. He wants to work but he doesn't want to look for a job. It's not the first time I've picked up on that in him, but it always strikes me as strange. He is an outgoing, big smile/big handshake guy. But he's nervous about putting himself out there. My husband says it's the reason he's never had a girlfriend.
Maybe he doesn't "get" the individual steps he needs to take in order to get a job or a girlfriend, and anxiety regarding that--and also possible failure-- is preventing him from analyzing the process himself.
Also, In seaching for a job --or a girlfriend, for that matter-- you can't just rely on your own abilities and skills, you're dependent on someone else's ability to connect with you and react positively. So maybe that is a stumbling block.
Anyway, practice --as in, just DO it--would probably help.
People do react to him positively. Especially girls since he hit the university. But you're right. He just needs to go for it. I tried issuing a challenge to make a contact a day about a job in the next week-an online application, a phone call, etc. If he does I'll make some calls to friends who own houses in the student neighborhoods about rentals. He agreed. We'll see.