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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I think good luggage a carry on bag and duffel is a nice gift to give a newly adult kid. They may not use it for college but they will for other trips. That is a traditional gift we give as Aunties in our family.
He will be attending a college either 3 or 5 hours away, so no, he won't need luggage for home visits. I think he has a good chance of studying abroad at some point, though.
Experience gift is also a good idea . . . have to think on what would be good. I might ask his girlfriend about that.
Many universities have (insert college name)dollar cards that get the kids discounted food at participating restaurants, discounted tix to theater, movies, activities, etc and discounted or free entertainment or services on campus. So here at UC Davis we have Aggie Cash which turns their ID card into a debit card w/ a finite level of funding (ie $100/quarter). You may want to look into that and add it as another item with the gift. I think an experience with a nice small digital camera would be a great gift. Add the card in, if it is available/affordable.
That's terrific. He wants GT, I take it?
I work with a guy whose wife is an admissions counselor at Clemson. For what it's worth, they get a lot of Georgia kids who don't want the pressure cooker atmosphere of GT (she says they tell her).
Our daughter is saying she wants to major in engineering and if that sticks, GT and Clemson will definitely be on her list.
I understand that luggage is practical and a great gift but for an 18th, great kid heading to college I would do a more of a fun/reward gift. 18 is a big deal here though, it's the legal drinking age in Australia.
Last Monday, a boy my son was friends with in elementary and middle school committed suicide. It tore my son up in a way that I've never seen. The funeral was on Saturday and it was well attended, but so so sad. There were so many brokenhearted kids there who said over and over that this boy was the one who always lifted them up, they never knew he was hurting, he was the fun one, etc. His parents were devastated as can be imagined.
I've talked about it some with my son and have expressed to him that he can go to the counselors at school etc. But I think that part of his reaction was a feeling of guilt. He hadn't been a friend of this boy for a long time and maybe felt as if he had let him down when he let him go as a friend.
Should I probe a little and find out exactly what is going on? I don't want to pry but maybe this requires some prying. When it comes to my kids I can have the sensitivity of a water buffalo and I don't know if I can do this right.
So I talked with my son last night. Asked him how he was feeling, and assured him that either way was fine -- whether he was okay or still upset, and if he was still feeling bad he could always talk to a counselor or to us. I added that I saw how upset he was on hearing the news and at the funeral and wondered if it was because he felt that he had abandoned this boy.
He said that it wasn't that, that obviously the boy had lots of friends, but that he wished that he had stayed friends with him.
That regret will always be with him, I think. I told him that if there were other friends he wished he stayed friends with, it wasn't too late to reach out to them, and he could always make contact.
"I know, Mom!"
So that's where we ended up.
Pry like hell. It's not even prying to have a serious discussion with your kid about how he's handling a serious, emotional loss.
I feel like this was a good step forward. My husband and I agree that we need to keep an eye for the next few weeks and months, because so much is going on right now; graduation, college, music competitions, etc. I'm pushing him a lot about all of these things, and adding on emotional check-ins might be too much. It's like trying to nudge an asteroid into a different orbit.
Wait, does that metaphor even work?
I'm guessing there will be opportunities for emotional check-ins. He'll give you an opening now and then.
That feeling of wishing you'd stayed friends, stayed in touch, been there more for someone and now it's too late... yeah, I totally get that.