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How to let parents know it's time to let go

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Replies to: How to let parents know it's time to let go

  • collegevettingcollegevetting 1146 replies29 threads Senior Member
    I don't have a daughter, but if I did I'd appreciate some assurance you would NOT be walking alone very late at night (midnight or after, whenever the crowds aren't there) because that is when young women are more likely to be attacked. If I knew my daughter knew the college escort service number and would use it when sensible, when she wasn't with friends or fellow students) it would make me feel better. It isn't all or nothing. And I'm not Afghan.

    But it is your life.
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  • T26E4T26E4 23243 replies1031 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    edited May 2014
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  • perfectionist27perfectionist27 47 replies16 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for all the feedback. I think this is definitely a clash with culture. I live in an area with a lot of white, military families so I don't really have a lot of peers I can relate to (in terms of culture). All of my Afghan cousins live in different states and Australia and they commute to college from home. I'll be the first person in my entire family to move out for college.

    In our culture, it is common for children to live with their parents for their entire lives (ie. through college, marriage, and old age). So that being said, my parents believe they have been very permissive in their parenting.

    I will definitely make smart choices in college and make sure to keep my parents informed, but I need to find a balance between giving away too much information and cutting off all contact.
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  • boysx3boysx3 4993 replies174 threads Senior Member
    just an idea....now, and in the fall, be enthusiastic about being in contact with your parents, even if you have t fake it. Teach your parents to text if they don't know how. Set up Skype for them if they don't already have it. And remember, if you are the one to initiate contact, it can be on your terms while still putting your parents at ease.

    My kids were masters of this art.

    For example, call your mom on your walk to class in the morning--just to say hello (and that you are alive and thriving). It's easy enough to end the call when you go into your building. Keep it short, sweet and upbeat. Later on. call her when you are doing your laundry....and tell her you have a study group later, and you will call and/or text when you get back. Then text, saying you don't want to disturb sleeping roommate.

    You will be able to gradually taper off/wean your parents as they get more used to you being gone, while being reassured that they are still in your life and that you are doing well handling yours.

    If at first you "feed" your parents a couple of times a day, you will make it so they have no reason to complain. And if you do it on your terms and schedule, it shouldn't interfere with your enjoyment of college at all.
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  • kiddiekiddie 3785 replies232 threads Senior Member
    Funny about the call as you walk to class - my daughter loves to call me as she walks somewhere - just a few quick minutes to catch up on things
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  • oldfortoldfort 23365 replies307 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    Don't teach your parents to skype or text, but feed them with enough information to satisfy them is a good idea.
    edited May 2014
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  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama 84330 replies1049 threads Forum Champion
    dont set up skype!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  • wis75wis75 14374 replies65 threads Senior Member
    Silence is golden. Set up a weekly phone call arrangement- perhaps sometime Sunday afternoon-evening. My son was (still is) very noncommunicative but I feel knowing once a week your child exists is not too much. Do NOT let them expect more than a weekly chat. By that part of the weekend you will have had time to recover from the week's work/exams. Do NOT make any promises to do/not do xyz at college. This way you can honestly not have broken any. They should be able to trust you by now to "behave" "properly"- in quotes because definitions of those depend on many things. You can honestly tell them you are too busy during the week to call or be interrupted. You can call on birthdays and special occasions.

    Remember- they chose to raise you in the US, even if you were born elsewhere you are an American as well as your family heritage. You do have legal rights as an adult and once you are self sufficient (financially) you can afford to cut the apron strings/ties that bind...

    I highly recommend that you do not choose to drink alcohol or do any drugs et al. The loss of judgment could cause horrendous problems- even if it is as minor as answering their phone call while drunk. This goes for every college student, no matter how liberal.

    Do not tell them things you don't want them to know. Be safe- you do not want to be walking alone on or off campus at night except as deemed safe by your school. They should not know what you ate, who you spent time with, what activities you took part in- even if they are benign. Find ways to deflect questions you don't choose to answer (my son is too good at this). Feel free to distract by changing the subject or having to say goodbye.

    Teach them that the details of your life are none of their business- including any grades on homework and tests. You probably should tell them semester final grades. If they know any other results they may make too much of it- worrying needlessly, nagging you et al. If you get one top grade then others they may question why you didn't always get the top grade.

    Like all other HS grads heading off to college- survive the summer. Don't tell what you hope to do that you can't at home. It will all work out. btw- H is from India, there are many cultures in the US. No culture is necessarily better/worse than another, just a way of doing things. You need to feel free to keep the good and discard the parts that don't fit you. This will take years. I'll bet you don't intend to live the rest of your life close to family for example- your career could take you elsewhere.
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  • Niquii77Niquii77 9994 replies110 threads Senior Member
    Like all other HS grads heading off to college- survive the summer. Don't tell what you hope to do that you can't at home.
    Summers! When you get back from your freshmen year, you will encounter some hurdles, but your gained experience from being away at college will help you through it.
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  • perfectionist27perfectionist27 47 replies16 threads Junior Member
    edited May 2014
    Honestly, I could completely afford my education without monetary support from my parents but I do not want it to reach the point where I cut off contact from them. I just got in an argument with my mom and I asked her when she would finally let me make my own decisions to which she said "when you break all connections with me."

    She basically told me that if she feels there is any risk in going somewhere, I will not be allowed to go. In this particular case, I am forbidden from attending a concert that is 30 minutes away with my 22 y.o. brother ( and we have both been trained in martial arts especially mma since childhood). She still has the same argument that she trusts me, but she doesn't trust the world. She just can't protect me forever....

    I feel like this situation is completely unreasonable, and I don't know if I can survive this summer. At this point, I'm basically under house-arrest and I can't go out unless my mom accompanies me (which is really embarrassing as an 18 y.o. girl whose friends invite her to go shopping, go to concerts, etc) . I'm especially frustrated that my parents won't allow me to go places with my very mature, adult brother.

    Is there any short-term fix??? Thanks for all the advice so far
    edited May 2014
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  • SOSConcernSOSConcern 3905 replies8 threads Senior Member
    Can your brother lobby your father? It sounds like your mother has the major protection issue going on....

    Is there a way for you to get a summer job so you can get out?
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  • calmomcalmom 20864 replies168 threads Senior Member
    Is there any short-term fix???
    How would your parents feel if you got a summer job?

    I think part of the problem is your behavior and habits, not theirs. You wrote:
    I feel obligated to obtain their permission for every aspect of my life.
    So to start with, you have to break yourself of that habit. If you ask -- then you give the parents the opportunity to say no, and you are setting up a situation for an argument where their position will only be entrenched.

    If you had simply made arrangements to go to the concert with your brother, and then on day of the concert truthfully told hem that you were going to go out for the evening with your brother (without even mentioning "concert") -- you might have pulled it off. (Assuming big brother would cooperate with that plan).

    It's too late now because you've already had the discussion and know that your parents object to your going -- so if you were to go now, it would be seen as an act of disobedience.

    But start now to break yourself of the "asking permission" habit by simply going ahead and doing some things without asking first. Start small -- you could do things that are helpful to the house or family so they can't be angry when they find out. For example, you could drive or walk to the neighborhood store to pick up a few groceries -- or you can take on another household project such as gardening that requires you to go out of the house to pick up supplies. If your family owns a dog, take it for a walk. If you have younger siblings, offer to babysit and then take them out to an appropriate activity, such as a walk to a neighborhood playground.

    So you can gradually shift the pattern so that "asking permission" is replaced with simply letting them know after the fact what your have done - or not mentioning it all if it's trivial or become habitual. If your parents are likely to get upset if they can't find you immediately, then you can leave a note-- or as your confidence builds you will simply be able to announce where you are going as you walk out the door.
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  • megpmommegpmom 3093 replies21 threads Senior Member
    I realize that you are a teenager and, having raised several, I know that you are yearning for independence and emotions run high. But, please stop to consider the long-term. You want to be allowed to go away to college, so at this point you need to respect your parents and live by their rules. Try your best to avoid arguments this summer.

    If they do allow you to go to university in the fall, I would recommend communicating regularly with them - daily, if they want. But, also, try to live with some of the boundaries/values that your parents have raised you with. Not only will you not have to lie to them about your activities, but you will feel better yourself. You can still make friends, volunteer, have fun, etc without compromising your values.

    I have worked with many children of immigrants (and I'm married to one!). Remember, they only want the best for you and they are worry for your safety and reputation. I'm sure they are very proud of your acceptance to college and it is a HUGE step for them to allow you to go. Yes, the restrictions are hard right now - but they will not last forever. Once you get to school, you will be able to make more decisions for yourself and you will have more freedom. Relax and try to get through the summer with minimal conflict.
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  • stressedoutttstressedouttt 3981 replies131 threads Senior Member
    If your parents are letting you go away to college on your own, there must be a reason. They must trust you to be able to stay out of trouble, make the right decisions to stay out of trouble, and not have to call them every hour to walk across campus or something.

    .... Right?

    After you leave for school, I think they'll naturally start to let go, slowly but surely. I think it would be best if you eased off slowly as well. For example, there will be calls very often at first, but slowly reduce the frequency of calls as time goes by. I doubt that your parents are going to want to call you every hour for the next four years. After a while, even they'll find that annoying. Eventually, they'll start learning to adjust. Hopefully they'll start lowering the frequency of calls, but you should take some initiative in that too.

    Good luck!
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  • megpmommegpmom 3093 replies21 threads Senior Member
    My last word of advice: Do not sneak around, or lie to your parents. If you get caught doing this, they may re-consider their decision to let you go away to college. Let them know that they can trust you.
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  • GranataGranata 34 replies10 threads Junior Member
    This reminds me of the movie Dead Poets Society, where the guy's parents are extremely strict.. And then what happens..

    But anyways, tell them how you feel. You are a grown adult now and have every right to do these things. Of course, they just want to protect you, but they should understand that you are intelligent enough to take care of yourself (unless you've already proven them otherwise).
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  • collegevettingcollegevetting 1146 replies29 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    I honestly think your parents are making a serious judgment error. The only friends I had who went absolutely bonkers in college (to the point of dropping out) were those with parents so strict that freedom was like a drug to them once they got away. They had no experience to help them make judgment calls about where to draw the line for themselves.

    As for the summer, that is a tough one, since I have a hard time putting myself in your parents' mindset. I have always been convinced it is important to teach even children (which you no longer are) HOW to do things safely, rather than just prohibit it, wherever possible, so they learn judgment skills and just basic life skills. I wonder how your parents think you will be able to judge safe from unsafe people if you are not given any rope to try these skills out? I would think your brother would be the perfect set of training wheels to let you bridge to the college experience, and give you some 'backup' while you learn how to smoothly distance yourself from people you simply don't care to know. It is a skill like any other, and needs to be learned.

    I don't know if there is any way you can suggest the benefits of that to them.
    edited May 2014
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