Even his dog knows

Recently my 18 year old son informed me that returning to the coming spring semester of college “did not fit into his current plans” to which I appropriately responded “and supporting your *ss until you figure out your life does not fit into mine!” Is he sh*tting me?

*Sigh* Honestly, I actually saw this coming. He’s never taken too well to academics and he struggled throughout high school, but still, I thought he knew better than to be a college dropout. This topic is still premature, so I’m hoping he changes his mind – before I wring his neck. If he doesn’t, well, I’m going to pray for the kid because if he thinks I’m going to let him lounge around the house until God knows when he’s got another think coming .

If he wants to live in the real world, I’m going to give it to him. Go to school, get a job, or get out. Other parents, be careful not to judge me or you could find yourselves in a similar situation several years from now.

I refuse to be the typical Asian parent who lets her children live at home rent free, usually encouraging little sense of responsibility, until they turn 35. That may work in some families, but it doesn’t work in mine. You can call it tough love, I call it a dose of reality.

I love my son, don’t even try to to accuse me of anything different, but if he’s going to take this path, inevitably limiting his choices without that college degree, I won’t knock him, but he’s going to get a taste of how hard it is without one early on. I’d be nothing short of a bad mom if I didn’t make sure he realized the full consequences of his actions before it was too late or too hard to rectify things. He can drop out, but he better have a good back up plan, because I won’t be it.

He’s spent the last week staying at friends’ houses, I’m sure in an effort to avoid discussing this further with me.  Following a four day absence, he came home and tried to play with his dog, Hyden, before dashing out the door again. Hyden refused to play with him. Instead Hyden walked over to him and started barking at him incessantly. Each time my son reached out to pet him, Hyden cringed backwards to avoid his hand.

It was as if Hyden was trying to tell him something. Maybe he was saying “C’mon kid, what are you doing? Get your head out of your *ss. Go back to school, or get a full time job, but do something. You’re driving your parents nuts. Ruff!” See, even his dog knows.

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  1. November 16, 2010 at 11:40 PM | #1

    Bravo Maria,
    I’m a “reality” kind of Mama myself so when the time comes our fledgling adult/kids will also find themselves with a Mama birdie who’s signed them up for flying lessons no matter how comfortable the nest might be.
    I believe they need the learning experience of the real world, their place in it, the value of cash hard earned with their own sweat and the cruel hardness of a mega-early morning alarm clock.
    One day he will Thank you, (ok not right now of course), and when the time eventually comes nor will mine, but as a Mama I signed up for the job title to be their “Parent” and *not* “Best Friend” and whilst the two are not necessarily seperate, the Parent bit comes first.
    It’s not just Asian parents lettting their kids make a permanent indent on their sofa until they are 35 either… it seems to be happening more and more these days. Good on you for not joining that club!

  2. Devon Begg
    November 21, 2010 at 1:04 AM | #2

    If I may offer the perspective of an adult child, I think it is important for parents to be non-judgemental of the choices their kids make. I think about the expectations my parents placed on me and how hard I tried to live up to those expectations, only to disappoint myself because I did not like what I was doing. I did it for them, not me and I spend every day thinking about how different my life would be if I had just done what I wanted instead of trying to please them.
    I know you want the best for your son but my point is, maybe he is not ready for college right now. I think he has courage for doing what he wants to do. I’m not saying he should live with you until he is 35, that would be ridiculous. But give him some time, he will figure it out. After all, he is only 18. Most 18 year olds don’t know what they want and sometimes they need to learn things the hard way.

  3. Aimee
    December 8, 2010 at 1:58 PM | #3

    Thank God we are not continuing the cycle of the co-dependent parenting that has plagued our family for God knows how long. I am a firm believer in letting the child “become” what they want. Ultimately, with plenty of failure, some success, and a whole lot of encouragement from a non-judgemental parent.. He will be just fine. It took me two years of soul-searching after moving out my my mom’s house to realize that the “real world” was a lot more expensive that my minimum wage could afford. Give him time and he will come around. You and Rod are wonderful parents and you will reap the rewards of your work in due time.

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