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Old Yesterday, 08:13 AM
 
10,622 posts, read 19,021,522 times
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Sounds pretty normal to me. I wish it was more, but it is not. They just need to know that you love them and that you support them. You shouldn't try to plan a career path for your kids. Be supportive of what interests them, and give them advice on how to achieve their own goals.
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Old Yesterday, 08:28 AM
 
6,772 posts, read 7,793,595 times
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They are your children. Not your friends. Don't ever let it develop into that. I hear it from parents and all i think of is "weird".

Kids don't want anything to do with their "out of touch" parents. But when they get in trouble, where do they go? To Mom and Dad. If they do that, then you have been a huge success.

Just continue what you are doing. You sound like a great parent. It is what it is...and it is like this for most of society. If it isn't, then something is wrong.

Good going Dad.
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Old Yesterday, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
10,626 posts, read 8,053,926 times
Reputation: 15065
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeminoleTom View Post
Hi-
I swear all I feel like at times is the person that pays the bills. No one really listens to me on advice, or really even comes to me for advice. My wife said that's not true but it feels like it. Our kids are good kids but they would rather be on their phones or playing video games, etc. My 17 year old son, who is going to be a pilot spends all of his time learning the ins and outs of that profession. The ironic thing is he didn't get that from me. He got it from my wife's side. I actually hate flying and am generally not a thrill seeker.

To be more specific, on the careers angle, I guess I just wish one of them would be interested in the engineering/computers/math route. I've been encouraging it for years and it seems all the kids hate math...lol. As I mentioned the 17 year old chose a career I have no interest in at all.
Your son is showing interests in that type of thing if he wants to be a pilot.
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Old Yesterday, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
10,626 posts, read 8,053,926 times
Reputation: 15065
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Bear View Post
They are your children. Not your friends. Don't ever let it develop into that. I hear it from parents and all i think of is "weird".

Kids don't want anything to do with their "out of touch" parents. But when they get in trouble, where do they go? To Mom and Dad. If they do that, then you have been a huge success.

Just continue what you are doing. You sound like a great parent. It is what it is...and it is like this for most of society. If it isn't, then something is wrong.

Good going Dad.
As I've gotten older, into my 30's, I consider my parents friends in a way. They're still my parents. But we're at a point where we can enjoy things together, as adults, without either of us reverting into roles that bring me back to teen status or them to parent status. Not to say that it doesn't happen, it always will to some extent.
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Old Yesterday, 09:09 AM
 
506 posts, read 268,692 times
Reputation: 1626
Remember when we were kids and our parents were always nagging, interfering in our lives, ruining our lives, embaressing us , listened to silly old music, didn't understand how life is today? Guess the cycle's repeating. That's alright...wait until they have children.
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Old Yesterday, 10:29 AM
 
1,070 posts, read 3,726,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOV View Post
As I've gotten older, into my 30's, I consider my parents friends in a way. They're still my parents. But we're at a point where we can enjoy things together, as adults, without either of us reverting into roles that bring me back to teen status or them to parent status. Not to say that it doesn't happen, it always will to some extent.
Makes sense. I've heard of studies that say "friendships with adult children" is one of the biggest happiness generators in old age. I know my parents and my wife's parents would agree with that.

The key is getting through the rough teenage years
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Old Yesterday, 11:01 AM
 
7,955 posts, read 3,729,087 times
Reputation: 24047
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeminoleTom View Post
Hi-
I swear all I feel like at times is the person that pays the bills. No one really listens to me on advice, or really even comes to me for advice. My wife said that's not true but it feels like it. Our kids are good kids but they would rather be on their phones or playing video games, etc. My 17 year old son, who is going to be a pilot spends all of his time learning the ins and outs of that profession. The ironic thing is he didn't get that from me. He got it from my wife's side. I actually hate flying and am generally not a thrill seeker.

To be more specific, on the careers angle, I guess I just wish one of them would be interested in the engineering/computers/math route. I've been encouraging it for years and it seems all the kids hate math...lol. As I mentioned the 17 year old chose a career I have no interest in at all.

I don't know, its not really what I envisioned as what it was going to be like as a father. I know teenage years are rough years and I'm feeling that. I try to stay positive with whatever they are doing, just feels like whenever I'm needed is when its time to pay the bills and if someone needs something. Is this normal?

Thanks for thoughts and advice.

Welcome to the world of parenting. Up to now, it was a dress rehearsal. Now the real fun begins.

Here's the thing to tell yourself over and over again like a mantra: It's their life now. My job is keep them alive and functioning until they're 21, to protect their soul and spirit. That's it. You're not their friend. But you're not their commander, either.

Teenagers are busy trying to figure out who they are. And they're smarter than you think. They know what they like and they don't like. And no matter how hard you try, they are going to take the path they want to take. Your job is to help them find that path, not steer them down the path you want.

I mean, hey, you already have a son obsessed with being a pilot. He seems self-directed, which is more than the average teenager can say. So what the hell are you complaining about?

The harder you push, the harder they push in the opposite direction. The more demanding you get, the more they'll lash out in destructive ways.

My daughter absolutely loved history in junior high and high school. But when she got into college, she decided to major in nursing. I said, "Why don't you major in history? It's what you love." Nope. Concerned about earning a living.

Hated nursing. Tried majoring in HR. Hated that, too. Finally, at the beginning of her junior year, she said, "Screw it. I'm majoring in history." It was like she became a completely different person overnight. Worked at it like a demon. Went to conferences. Delivered papers. Earned her Masters. Earned research grants. She's taking a two year break to work, but several Ph.D. programs are all courting her. I have no doubt that she's going to be fine.

My wife's friends were appalled. "You're going to let her do that?" was pretty much the unanimous response. Yet I don't see any of their kids being all that happy as sales reps or whatever else their job might be. Meanwhile, my daughter is making her way in the world and bubbling over while she does it.

Here's the thing. If you really love what you do, you'll be really good at it. If you're really good at it, you'll earn a good living. But, even more importantly, you'll be fulfilled and happy in life.

I'd have to find it, but I saw a fascinating chart a few years ago that mapped in detail the lifelong earnings of individuals by major. The usual pat observations were made, such as the average engineer makes more money than the average English major. But, guess what? An English major in the 75% quartile of lifetime earnings makes more than an engineer in the 25% quartile of lifetime earnings. That's the difference between someone who is passionate about his career choice and someone who is not.

So when your kids are making their choices, they know what will make them happy. Maybe they haven't applied that kind of bliss to their career choice yet, but they will. It's important for you to say, "You love this, so why not a profession where you get paid for what you love?"

My best friend is a lawyer. He is the managing partner at a huge law firm. Makes tons of money. But, guess what? He hates being a lawyer. Can't believe he's spent his career being a lawyer. He wants to do anything but be a lawyer. But he's kind of stuck.

So love your children. But love them as individuals with hopes, passions, and fears that are unique to them. You are not making an imprint of yourself, but rather helping a unique individual grow into fulfillment of their own unique gifts. When you abandon your own expectations in favor of their heartfelt desires, you will not only feel less stress, but you'll be amazed at the kind of people they become.

Your job isn't to force them into a profession. Your job is to teach them to live life with intention. Manage that and you'll be amazed at the results.


Watch this. Then watch it again. Then watch it once more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khOaAHK7efc

Last edited by MinivanDriver; Yesterday at 11:57 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 11:03 AM
 
1,793 posts, read 1,113,631 times
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You need to be involved with their emotional lives, instead of just as ”dispenser of life wisdom.” If you didn't do this when they were young, it's hard to start at this difficult phase. But try to make yourself available. Spend time with them one-on-one; if they're not chatty, make it some activity you can do together (go to a ball game? Work on a home improvement project? Drive them to practices? That kind of thing). If they come to understand that you are genuinely interested and will keep the judgment to a minimum...well, it may or may not work. They're still teenagers. But you're laying the groundwork for a good relationship when they're a little older. You don't want to appear to be interested in them as people only when you're old and in need of their help.
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Old Yesterday, 12:05 PM
 
2,061 posts, read 597,875 times
Reputation: 1274
Take heart. In ten years you will miss them. That was our life for years and years, paying bills, saving for college and raising responsible kids, all while working full time. Now we are retired and seeing it happen all over.
I wouldn’t have traded for anything.
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Old Yesterday, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Sandy Eggo's North County
2,611 posts, read 875,224 times
Reputation: 3576
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeminoleTom View Post
Hi-
I swear all I feel like at times is the person that pays the bills. No one really listens to me on advice, or really even comes to me for advice. My wife said that's not true but it feels like it. Our kids are good kids but they would rather be on their phones or playing video games, etc. My 17 year old son, who is going to be a pilot spends all of his time learning the ins and outs of that profession. The ironic thing is he didn't get that from me. He got it from my wife's side. I actually hate flying and am generally not a thrill seeker.

To be more specific, on the careers angle, I guess I just wish one of them would be interested in the engineering/computers/math route. I've been encouraging it for years and it seems all the kids hate math...lol. As I mentioned the 17 year old chose a career I have no interest in at all.

I don't know, its not really what I envisioned as what it was going to be like as a father. I know teenage years are rough years and I'm feeling that. I try to stay positive with whatever they are doing, just feels like whenever I'm needed is when its time to pay the bills and if someone needs something. Is this normal?

Thanks for thoughts and advice.
Hold on SeminoleTom.
The 17 year old wants to be a pilot? I have news for you. Every pilot is constantly doing calculations, even before entering the taxiway.
Every.
Single.
One of 'em.

Imagine playing monopoly without math. Can't happen.

Now, as far as you being a "walking wallet..."
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