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


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

  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 28,108 Senior Member
    I agree that OP should move slowly and watch self this summer. Once away at college there will likely be a natural drifting. The fact of the matter is to avoid major confrontations about these things if this is a real sore spot with parents. I agree that the OP has managed to apply, get accepted and have parents buy into his being so far away is a major hurdle jumped. But to push it too much too soon, could get the old funds withheld. There is the old Golden Rule, you know.

    One of my cousins got into a foolish fight with parents over co ed dorms many years ago. Parents were adamant they were not going to support that. Well...she was over 18 and it was her life, and etc, etc, and her parents simply refused to pay for college that term. She sure showed them. And the coed dorm dumped her out when she could not pay for it. You don't fight things like that when there is no winning.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,913 Forum Champion
    edited May 2014
    I think you should try not to talk about this issue much while you are still home--it really won't help.

    When you get to college, call them often, but don't talk about things you are planning to do, but rather about things that have already happened. Talk about your classes, and how interesting they are. Tell them about the paper you just got back with a good grade. Etc.

    I agree with the above, but would add....

    if they ask about your plans for the day or weekend, have some ready responses: work in the lab, homework, study with a female friend, etc.

    when talking about what you've done, stick to non-controversial stuff.....courses, profs, good grades, .....dont mention going out with friends, or other things that will annoy them.

    during the summer, talk about how excited you are about your classes, your major, etc....do not talk about the social aspect. if they bring it up, say that you will be busy focusing on your studies.
  • HuntHunt Registered User Posts: 26,918 Senior Member
    I agree with mom2collegekids, but I would also add that you should tell your parents the truth--just edited.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 13,965 Forum Champion
    The key is for you to take control of the communication between you and your parents.
    Decide how often and how long you will talk to your parents.

    Also at first try to make them at ease...."They had a safety talk about the blue lights..." "There is this great bus system if you need a ride at night" "My roommate/hallmate is in the same class as me and we can walk together." "I took a look at the local (house of worship if you have one) and looking at joining the student group there" "Some people were going to this fraternity party but I am so glad I found a bunch of friends that like going to dinner instead" or whatever is the case.

    Maybe after a while you lengthen the time between communications.

    1) Your parents want you to be safe. They want you to keep in touch with the family. They want you to conform to their cultural norms.
    2) You need to become an independent person. You want to be safe. You will explore different cultures/people/etc.

    Perhaps the best outcome is a little of both...
  • Niquii77Niquii77 Registered User Posts: 10,104 Senior Member
    OP, sometimes you're going to have to lie and tell half-truths so your parents can sleep peacefully at night.

    Depending on your university set up, there may be a service where someone can walk with you to wherever you're going, but sometimes it may take longer for them to get to you than it would've taken you to just walk by yourself! For example, my university has a service like that. If I wanted to be walked to my dorm from the library at 3 AM, I could either start waling by myself and have it take ten minutes or wait for someone to walk with me and have it take thirty minutes.
  • collegevettingcollegevetting Registered User Posts: 1,175 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.
  • T26E4T26E4 Registered User Posts: 24,274 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
  • perfectionist27perfectionist27 Registered User Posts: 63 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.
  • boysx3boysx3 Registered User Posts: 5,164 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.
  • kiddiekiddie Registered User Posts: 3,463 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
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 23,011 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.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,913 Forum Champion
    dont set up skype!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 13,912 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.
  • Niquii77Niquii77 Registered User Posts: 10,104 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.
  • perfectionist27perfectionist27 Registered User Posts: 63 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
This discussion has been closed.