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Old 02-16-2011, 10:43 AM
 
Location: somewhere
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Many of you replied to my post about who had teenagers and I noticed quite a few have grown children.

Did you have a hard time letting go and letting them make their own mistakes once they reached the age where they were legally considered adults?

Our oldest son just turned 23 and it getting married this summer to his girlfriend of 5 years. We would prefer that they wait awhile longer, getting more settled and allowing her to go back to school, she dropped college about a year ago but they are insistent. This last year or so has been a hard one as I have had to learn to step back as it seems our opinions no longer matter as much to him. I think we as most parents just want him to be happy but just not sure about her. It seems as though he has been more willing to allow her to be first in his life (as she should be) but she always does want her parents want. I think I preferred when he was a teenager, at least then he pretended like he listened and my opinion mattered.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:47 AM
 
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They've been together for five years? That's pretty good for their age range (I'm mid-20s and have never seen relationship last that long in my peer group but then again that's just my experience). Kudos to them. I guess just hang back and give advice when/if he asks for it, or if you really think he needs it. What about the girl, does she have future goals/ambition?
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:55 AM
 
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There is nothing you can do. I had to sit back, and watch a literal "train wreck" that I saw coming in my son's life...it cut me like a knife to see it happen, and realize that I was completely powerless to stop the disaster. But, after the whole mess, he was alot more humble, and listened to me more.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:02 AM
 
Location: somewhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osito View Post
They've been together for five years? That's pretty good for their age range (I'm mid-20s and have never seen relationship last that long in my peer group but then again that's just my experience). Kudos to them. I guess just hang back and give advice when/if he asks for it, or if you really think he needs it. What about the girl, does she have future goals/ambition?

Yes, they have been together for 5 years, broke up once for about a month or so, then got back together.

I think this is one of our biggest issues besides the Momma's girl attitude, is her lack of ambition. She waits tables and would love to quit and stay home. We made the very serious mistake of letting her stay with us for a bit and I was shocked at how lazy she was.

She is an incredible artist but won't do anything with it.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:06 AM
 
11,671 posts, read 21,231,508 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajzjmsmom View Post
Many of you replied to my post about who had teenagers and I noticed quite a few have grown children.

Did you have a hard time letting go and letting them make their own mistakes once they reached the age where they were legally considered adults?

Our oldest son just turned 23 and it getting married this summer to his girlfriend of 5 years. We would prefer that they wait awhile longer, getting more settled and allowing her to go back to school, she dropped college about a year ago but they are insistent. This last year or so has been a hard one as I have had to learn to step back as it seems our opinions no longer matter as much to him. I think we as most parents just want him to be happy but just not sure about her. It seems as though he has been more willing to allow her to be first in his life (as she should be) but she always does want her parents want. I think I preferred when he was a teenager, at least then he pretended like he listened and my opinion mattered.
I'm on the other side of that- an early 30's woman who has always been particularly close to my mom. The relationship changes as the child becomes an adult- the parent becomes more of an "advisor" and I think most adult children appreciate the input to some extent.

One thing my mom has always done in my adult life when she didn't think I was making a good decision or just wanted me to think more about it was ask questions. She never said "don't do it" (even though I knew that's what she thought). Sometimes I changed my mind based on our conversations- because she could wisely bring up aspects I'd never thought of. Sometimes I didn't but I'd at least thought a little more abuot the situation before making a decision.

So in your situation, I'd ask him more questions. But be clear not to state your opinion. Don't say "DON'T MARRY HER" or "IT'S A MISTAKE"...rather ask, "have you two discussed how you will divide the household expenses and budget?" "have you two discussed how you will pay for a wedding?" "do you want a family? when do you think you might do that?" "what is your next career move and do yo know what those jobs pay?" "what will you do if your kids want to drop out of college & get married....how will you and your wife answer those questions? Can you be pro-education and not have completed your own?" He doesn't even have to give you answers.....just hopefully will think a rather large life decision through a little more clearly.

I will say- I know several people my age who married their high school & childhood sweethearts and 10 years into marriage, they're doing great! I think they have this added benefit of having grown up "together" - if one hasn't pulled away by now to do his/her "own thing", it's probably a stable relationship. It's the ones who freaked out right after college and married the first guy/girl they dated who are in the struggling relationships.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:08 AM
 
Location: California
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What's hard for me is seeing them unhappy. When my daughters last boyfriend asked my husband for her hand in marriage (she was only 21 at the time) I felt ill. I knew she wasn't happy and had encouraged her to think about ending their relationship every time she called crying about something. He drank too much, he was controlling, he put her down, etc. Thankfully she did break up with him.

That incident highlighted a huge disconnect between my husband, me, and the kids. When the boy asked him he was flattered to have been included and told him to go for it. If he had been paying attention to any of us he would have seen how crazy that was.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:15 AM
 
Location: somewhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurtleCreek80 View Post
I'm on the other side of that- an early 30's woman who has always been particularly close to my mom. The relationship changes as the child becomes an adult- the parent becomes more of an "advisor" and I think most adult children appreciate the input to some extent.

One thing my mom has always done in my adult life when she didn't think I was making a good decision or just wanted me to think more about it was ask questions. She never said "don't do it" (even though I knew that's what she thought). Sometimes I changed my mind based on our conversations- because she could wisely bring up aspects I'd never thought of. Sometimes I didn't but I'd at least thought a little more abuot the situation before making a decision.

So in your situation, I'd ask him more questions. But be clear not to state your opinion. Don't say "DON'T MARRY HER" or "IT'S A MISTAKE"...rather ask, "have you two discussed how you will divide the household expenses and budget?" "have you two discussed how you will pay for a wedding?" "do you want a family? when do you think you might do that?" "what is your next career move and do yo know what those jobs pay?" "what will you do if your kids want to drop out of college & get married....how will you and your wife answer those questions? Can you be pro-education and not have completed your own?" He doesn't even have to give you answers.....just hopefully will think a rather large life decision through a little more clearly.

I will say- I know several people my age who married their high school & childhood sweethearts and 10 years into marriage, they're doing great! I think they have this added benefit of having grown up "together" - if one hasn't pulled away by now to do his/her "own thing", it's probably a stable relationship. It's the ones who freaked out right after college and married the first guy/girl they dated who are in the struggling relationships.
This is all excellent advice, we have talked to him and asked lots of questions, he is intent that he is making the right decision, not only have we talked to him but so has my Mom, and he seems to think he is ready.

I have to be honest it is not so much him I am worried about as it is her and this unwillingness to make him first in her life. He had the opportunity for a career choice but because they would never be able to live near her parents she didn't want him to pursue it, even though it was a very good job with excellent benefits. I just worry that he is settling, but as others have said all I can do is just step back and hope for the best.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:16 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
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My son got married last July to a wonderful girl... he was 23 at the time. They had dated for two years and were engaged last January.
They are both college graduates, employed, and own their own home.

We have two 'kids'.
I did not have a hard time letting go and letting them make their own mistakes... because we already went through that in high school. We let them fail, while still under our roof for our consolation and our advice.
I think having them go through that earlier made it easier for them to make wise choices throughout their college lives, and now.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:18 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 88,940,518 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajzjmsmom View Post
Yes, they have been together for 5 years, broke up once for about a month or so, then got back together.

I think this is one of our biggest issues besides the Momma's girl attitude, is her lack of ambition. She waits tables and would love to quit and stay home. We made the very serious mistake of letting her stay with us for a bit and I was shocked at how lazy she was.

She is an incredible artist but won't do anything with it.
Two spouses working isn't a necessity for all marriages.

What if she plans to be a stay at home mother? Does she really need career ambition if that's her goal?
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajzjmsmom View Post
Yes, they have been together for 5 years, broke up once for about a month or so, then got back together.

I think this is one of our biggest issues besides the Momma's girl attitude, is her lack of ambition. She waits tables and would love to quit and stay home. We made the very serious mistake of letting her stay with us for a bit and I was shocked at how lazy she was.

She is an incredible artist but won't do anything with it.
Ick....obviously didn't know that when I wrote my first response.

Well, unfortunately you can't choose your children's spouses and he either doesn't care or is blind to her lack of ambition/laziness.

Does he make enough to support her & future children?

Have they ever lived together? I'm usually not for that before marriage, but it may be eye-opening to son to see how little housework/cleaning/etc she does.....and if she stays at home, that's how she woudl need to contribute to the family since she's not making $$$.
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