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Old 06-03-2020, 09:14 AM
KB4 KB4 started this thread
 
Location: New York
547 posts, read 1,188,517 times
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How much do you parent your young adult kids who are no longer teenagers? My husband and I sometimes get into arguments because he still expects our son to do what he’s told, despite the fact that he’s 22 years old and just graduated from college. I just think it’s unrealistic to “control” a grown-up. Yes, he’s not yet fully independent but he’s been working while studying and paying for part of his expenses. He’s about to start a full time job abroad in a month or two – the COVID-19 situation has caused a slight delay in the processing of permits.

The latest disagreement happened because the son just told us that he would like to go back to college town for a couple of weeks to spend time with his friends and his girlfriend. My husband is really upset about it but unable to explain why. He just says he doesn’t want the son to hang around doing nothing. But it’s not like he’s doing much here apart from helping with the chores and dog walking. I feel like my husband still sees the son as a little kid who can be told to eat his vegetables, not to play with Johnny, and to go to bed at 8pm. He’s a good kid, graduated with honors, has a great job offer, his friends are hard-working and well-behaved. If he was doing something bad, I would see the need to “rein him in” but I think that arguing about harmless things is not good for our relationship. (To a certain degree I also think that people should be allowed to make their own mistakes - and to learn from them.) This disagreement is not the only example, there have been other cases.
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Old 06-03-2020, 12:14 PM
 
1,758 posts, read 1,066,798 times
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Is he living with you rent free?

Haha, at 22, I like to think I'd be kicking my son out the door with both feet. He'd have to couchsurf or otherwise pay his own way, which it sounds like your son is doing.

I see too many man-children in my neighborhood who either live with their parents, live in an attached apartment, or otherwise failed to launch. That's my nightmare.

I mean, temporary, if the guy is saving up for a down payment on rent or a house or something, sure. Though I sure hope he doesn't settle in our podunk town before he goes out and experiences the world. But even in that case I'd want him TF out of my hair as much as possible. YES! Go visit your friends! Take your **** with you! Don't come back!

I couldn't wait to get out on my own when I was 18, and I hope my son is the same way.
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Old 06-03-2020, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Southern NC
2,039 posts, read 4,502,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KB4 View Post
How much do you parent your young adult kids who are no longer teenagers? My husband and I sometimes get into arguments because he still expects our son to do what he’s told, despite the fact that he’s 22 years old and just graduated from college. I just think it’s unrealistic to “control” a grown-up. Yes, he’s not yet fully independent but he’s been working while studying and paying for part of his expenses. He’s about to start a full time job abroad in a month or two – the COVID-19 situation has caused a slight delay in the processing of permits.

The latest disagreement happened because the son just told us that he would like to go back to college town for a couple of weeks to spend time with his friends and his girlfriend. My husband is really upset about it but unable to explain why. He just says he doesn’t want the son to hang around doing nothing. But it’s not like he’s doing much here apart from helping with the chores and dog walking. I feel like my husband still sees the son as a little kid who can be told to eat his vegetables, not to play with Johnny, and to go to bed at 8pm. He’s a good kid, graduated with honors, has a great job offer, his friends are hard-working and well-behaved. If he was doing something bad, I would see the need to “rein him in” but I think that arguing about harmless things is not good for our relationship. (To a certain degree I also think that people should be allowed to make their own mistakes - and to learn from them.) This disagreement is not the only example, there have been other cases.
It sounds like your husband has control issues. Son needs to sit him down and explain that their relationship has changed. Now is the time when hubby can chill out and be his son's friend, not his keeper.
My grown kids would have never let me get away with that. lol.
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Old 06-03-2020, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
7,019 posts, read 8,614,282 times
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First, ignore the posts that say he's 22, kick him out, blah, blah, blah. I think you understand fully that Covid has created some unusual situations and delays in your son starting his professional life. He has a job lined up, etc. Some will just look at his age and rant.

Has your husband always been like this with your son or is it newish? I'm wondering if some of it could be the result of your husband having some difficulty with all of the unexpected changes in all of our lives the last few months? He expected one thing when your son graduated from college and that's not how it happened. He's now reverting to his old, familiar parenting style as it's comfortable in an uncertain time. How did he interact with your son while he was in college?

Is it possible he's reacting this way because he knows your son will be moving overseas? Your husband, without admitting it, maybe just wants these last weeks with him or has fears about him moving. Sometimes people lash out when the real issue is that they are afraid or sad. Sometimes the emotion we show isn't really the one we're feeling and have difficulty acknowledging.

The transition to parenting adults is a tricky one. You want to offer advice, but not overstep and to let them make mistakes. You seem to have a good idea of what's needed here. I see no problem with the trip to see friends as long as he takes appropriate precautions related to the virus. Do remind him that social distancing guidelines, etc. still need to be followed. I live in a Big 10 college town. Not all students left and there have been several instances of large parties that ignored state guidelines for gatherings, etc.
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Old 06-03-2020, 03:14 PM
Status: "Truth prevails" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
13,114 posts, read 16,589,421 times
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My son is 21 and daughter is 19- they we're both forced to come home from school and finish out their year. I view my son as a partner- we've always worked well together and he pulls weight around here, helping me put up the ceiling in the shop, building a whelping box for our soon to be mama dog, and a bunch of other stuff. I don't have to 'tell him' any of this. Maybe it's just the way he is..

He's also actively looking at houses near campus for rent. When he asks for guidance on that- I give it. But I won't tell him what to do. When he finds a place I'll be lucky to see him once a month. I know that.

They're adults. When they want guidance they'll ask. At least my kids do. I don't force it upon them and I certainly won't interfere with their lives any longer.

Some people must have a hard time understanding they have to grow up and figure out their way. That's how we did it.
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Old 06-03-2020, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Wilmington NC
5,945 posts, read 5,694,445 times
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omg, your husband is way off base. Your son is just biding time until his job starts? Send him off with your blessing and tell your husband to grow up.

My mom tried to control her grown children and guess what? We got in the car and drove away from her. She never forgave my dad for 'letting' us go. Let's just say we are not close to her now.
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Old 06-03-2020, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
18,511 posts, read 19,325,786 times
Reputation: 46472
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrah View Post
First, ignore the posts that say he's 22, kick him out, blah, blah, blah. I think you understand fully that Covid has created some unusual situations and delays in your son starting his professional life. He has a job lined up, etc. Some will just look at his age and rant.

Has your husband always been like this with your son or is it newish?
I'm wondering if some of it could be the result of your husband having some difficulty with all of the unexpected changes in all of our lives the last few months? He expected one thing when your son graduated from college and that's not how it happened. He's now reverting to his old, familiar parenting style as it's comfortable in an uncertain time. How did he interact with your son while he was in college?

Is it possible he's reacting this way because he knows your son will be moving overseas?
Your husband, without admitting it, maybe just wants these last weeks with him or has fears about him moving. Sometimes people lash out when the real issue is that they are afraid or sad. Sometimes the emotion we show isn't really the one we're feeling and have difficulty acknowledging.

The transition to parenting adults is a tricky one.
You want to offer advice, but not overstep and to let them make mistakes.
You seem to have a good idea of what's needed here. I see no problem with the trip to see friends as long as he takes appropriate precautions related to the virus. Do remind him that social distancing guidelines, etc. still need to be followed. I live in a Big 10 college town. Not all students left and there have been several instances of large parties that ignored state guidelines for gatherings, etc.
Excellent points.

"Is it possible he's reacting this way because he knows your son will be moving overseas?"
I wonder if this is the problem. When our daughter was accepted into the Peace Corps (for 2 1/2 years in a third world country) there were many people who didn't understand how we could "let her leave the USA". Heck, she was a grown woman, while we missed her it was completely her decision to serve her country.

Some of the other parents, of Peace Corps volunteers, had great difficulty accepting that their child was an adult and it made it much harder on the child to leave (and be happy in their new environment).

Talk to your husband, maybe he had plans to do more things with your son before he left and is feeling slighted. Perhaps you son can spend some time with his friends, and GF, and a little more time with you before he leaves.

And, remember that there are phones, computers and planes that reach overseas. It isn't like he is going on a one way mission to Mars for the rest of his life.
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Old 06-03-2020, 06:50 PM
 
8,997 posts, read 4,641,025 times
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What was your husband doing at 22? Maybe he has forgotten that at that age he, too, was an adult and doing what he wanted and not necessarily "minding his parents".
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Old 06-03-2020, 07:00 PM
 
2,564 posts, read 944,588 times
Reputation: 6570
He is a adult and your husband needs to treat him as one.
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Old 06-03-2020, 07:53 PM
KB4 KB4 started this thread
 
Location: New York
547 posts, read 1,188,517 times
Reputation: 483
Thank you, this has been really helpful, I need to talk to my husband to figure out what the issue is. It is totally possible that he is worried and doesn't want to admit it. Luckily we still have some time to sort it out.
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