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Advice from Parents about parents...

RockatologistRockatologist Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
Hello! So I am a student, but I was hoping that some parents might be able to offer more advice on how to communicate with my parents.
So to start with, I love my parents. We've always been close, and I have so much respect for them. Also, I am a first year student, on an accelerated track (yes it is my first year of college, but i'm looking to graduate undergrad with in the next 2 years). I am a huge planner (some times to a fault), and I'm trying to focus on my career and getting where I want to be. With that being said, I am out of state at school, the only times I was able to go home/see my parents in general since college started in August was for Christmas. I have been offered an amazing paid internship this summer, which is going to take me across the country for the entirety of the summer (meaning I will leave after my spring finals, go to said inernship, and return from said internship just in time for fall semester). The sad part is this means that I won't be able to see my parents until christmas, a year after I saw them last, at the earliest (but even that is in question, I had a wonderful research experience with a professor over spring break, and there are talks of us doing another trip over christmas). Of course, neither I nor them are made of money, so I can't afford to fly home to see them for a brief time, but at this point It is very realistically that I won't be able to see them (or my hometown for that matter) for over a year.

So for the first 17 years of my life, I never spent more than a weekend away from my family (parents and siblings), and now I saw them once in a 6 month time period, and am unsure of when I'll see them again. Of course this upsets them, and me too, but at this point I have a responsiblity to myself to be a functioning self-sufficent 'adult' (gosh that feels strange to say). How can I make them understand that I still love them and care about them, even if I have to move on with my life? I try to call them multiple times a week, and be supportive to my younger siblings, and I know being the oldest, it is my responsibility to set the standards. I know they are proud of me, but I can also tell that they are upset at how quickly their little high schooler has moved away from home (and I absolutely refuse to move back in with my parents, I established that quickly, that I will never 'live' with them again, but only visit).

So to reitterate my question, is this normal? for me to feel some pressure in my relationship with my parents to be both self sufficent, but also stay close with them? and how can I make them understand that I am trying to do what is best for myself, and them? of course I still love them, but undoubtively we have grown apart some simply because we are so far apart physically. any advice appreciated :).

Replies to: Advice from Parents about parents...

  • yucca10yucca10 Registered User Posts: 976 Member
    Very normal. It's sad for all of you to not being able to visit for so long, but you do what you need to do for your career. Maybe you can still find a few days to visit on your way to or from the internship?
    Do you tell you parents much about your life? If they feel they know what's going on with you, they still can feel like they're a part of your life, and this makes separation easier. Eventually your relationship with your parents will become that of an adult, not a dependent teenager, and this is a whole new level of connection which may well be even closer than before.
  • Rivet2000Rivet2000 Registered User Posts: 751 Member
    Transitions like this are always tough. I agree that staying in contact and sharing your experiences will make things easier. However, just be honest with yourself about visiting. I've never heard of an internship that's not flexible in ending time that would allow a visit.
  • ChaosParent23ChaosParent23 Registered User Posts: 348 Member
    edited March 13
    My son is only a high school senior, but he's already researching post grad programs over seas. Yes, it's hard to think about not seeing him... but it's even harder denying him something that so obviously excites him. I guarantee your parents are feeling very similar mixed emotions. As long as you make a concerted effort to communicate, I'm sure they will be fine. They're going to miss the heck out of you though!! As painful as letting go is, it's part of the job description.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 28,870 Senior Member
    Yes you will miss each other. So call, Facetime, send email, and write real letters on paper to each other. Put aside some of your internship income so that you can afford to go home more often. Find small things that you can send to your family in a care package. This is all part of the process. You can still be emotionally attached even when far away.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 22,691 Senior Member
    edited March 13
    I have 2 kids and they've had many summer internships. They've always been able to have time off between the internship and fall semester. Most of those internships were for 8-10 weeks. I would have a hard time not to see my kids for a year, that wouldn't happen in my family. I would either go visit them or pay for them to come home. If you want to see your family, your can ask to end your internship few weeks early. Yes, your school and internship are important, but your family is just as important. My older daughter had an opportunity to work away from home sophomore summer, but we asked her to live at home that summer because we knew it was going to be the last time she was going to live at home for any length of time, and we were right. She went on to get a great internship the following summer away from home and the rest was history.

    As a parent, I've had to give up some great job opportunities for my family and I have never regretted it. Hard for me to believer your internship manager wouldn't understand you need few weeks off before the school starts to see your family.
  • NorthernMom61NorthernMom61 Registered User Posts: 3,991 Senior Member
    It's hard and comes with bittersweet feelings, but your parents want you to pursue your path to success. Our only child daughter goes to school in the northeast US and we have jobs overseas in Asia. We only get to be with her a couple times a year. She'll be graduating and starting graduate school, it will probably be even less then. But, we are still very close. We want her to keep progressing, and we understand that she can't be with us as much as we'd all like. We have text time twice a day, and also FaceTime and Skype.

    Welcome to the realities of adult choices. There are almost always pros and cons.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 12,771 Forum Champion
    1) Take initiative to keep in touch. It sounds like you are doing that with the calls.
    2) Share photos of yourself and what you are doing with them
    3) See if they can come out to visit you. or See if you could take a long weekend to visit them.
  • gpo613gpo613 Registered User Posts: 190 Junior Member
    As a parent there isn't anything I wouldn't do for my children. Well I probably wouldn't pay a bribe to get them in a school. I love them to death, but I would never hold them back from doing things while in college or as an adult due to being too far away from homebase. Kids have to live their lives. There are always ways to visit.

    I didn't see my folks while I was in college much. I wasn't home ever break and spent a summer at school. Right after school I moved away for a job. That was many moons ago. I visit when I can, but that is part of life.
  • jenericjeneric Registered User Posts: 192 Junior Member
    @Rockatologist Big hugs to you! It's difficult to want to establish yourself as an adult while still wanting to be a "great child" to your parents. A lot of people have given some good suggestions. I just want to let you know you should not feel guilty for living your life. When my oldest D left for school in another state, I told her to never feel guilty for leaving- that no matter how it seems, that the rest of us will be fine- her sister and her parents. Hopefully, you got that message from your parents, but if you didn't, I'll say it, because it's important to hear. The fact that you are branching out means your parents did a great job raising you. My goal was to raise independent kids who went off to live their life and be happy, where ever it took them. Maybe your parents are just having a harder time- maybe you are, but know this- parents want their kids to be happy even if it isn't exactly the way they (the parents) want them to get there. It seems you are doing a great job communicating. Keep that up! Any chance they can come out and see you? If they are making you feel bad or guilty, maybe you should tell them that. Sometimes parents don't realize their comments aren't helpful.

    Just realize that they are the parents- it's their job to let you go- they need to get used to it, that's not your job. Your job is to get your education and become a self sufficient adult- and it sounds like your are well on your way.

    I will say, one thing that helped me as a parent, was hearing how much my daughter loved where she was and what she was doing. Happy D = happy me! Also realize if you are struggling with being far away- that's okay too. It gets easier! Good luck to you and have fun experiencing new places!
  • anna8691anna8691 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Send your parents this post. You sound utterly thoughtful and mature to me. They can be very proud of you.
  • citymama9citymama9 Registered User Posts: 2,575 Senior Member
    If money is an issue, can you get a job during the school yr in order to save up for a a RT ticket home? If there's a will, there is a way. I would beg, borrow or steal (don't steal) in order to see my child. Do what you can to get home for Thanks giving or meet your parents halfway somewhere.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 13,631 Senior Member
    Video chat. Skype for a big picture, cell phone app otherwise. Can be a weekly thing. I do not recommend too often, btw. Keeping in touch does not need to be a physical presence. It sounds like they made the adjustment to your first semester away and will do fine. You always miss your kid but as parents we need to realize they need a life of their own.

    btw- many of us have sons we never heard from, no matter how close geographically. Son is getting better at that- sort of. There have been CC threads about this. It sounds to me like you have done well with moving on from childhood to young adulthood. Kudos to your parents for not insisting you stay close to home. I understand the finances bit- it is not worth trying to have a job in addition to school just for a ticket home. Current tech allows for both audio and visual contact- you get o see changes there and they can see your new place et al.
  • Waiting2exhaleWaiting2exhale Registered User Posts: 2,729 Senior Member
    I have to think that moving away from your home, your parents and siblings to attend college, does not have to equate to "moving on with [your] life." Not at 17.

    I don't think it is the age of 17 which is important here as much as the idea that you established a rather permanent line in the sand of what would never happen again, living with your family, and somehow think it should be an easy pill for them to swallow.

    When my first kid out to college walked through the gate check area at the airport without looking back I thought the floor had fallen out from underneath me. It was 4:00 in the morning and I'd prepared his whole life for him to take the steps he was taking in those moments, but not to have the moment fade to black while his back was to the camera. It took my breath away.

    I wonder if the space you are seeking to carve out, and the new definition and understanding of self you are seeking to establish, is one that has too-swiftly had the floor fall out from under your family. Too completely taken their breath away, though the calls from afar seek to soften the impact.

    As you carve out a place - out there in the world - remember that you are taking little pieces of them with you. Little pieces of themselves that they no longer have are out there in the world, where you are.

    You are the elder sibling at that. Those little guys/gals are just aching to see you and touch you and hear your voice again. Up close.

    I second all those who have said to you to try and arrange a way to see them before too long.

    I wish you well in this.

  • fendrockfendrock Registered User Posts: 3,179 Senior Member
    edited March 16
    After my younger daughter left for college, she never lived at home again (and she easily could've, she spent two summers in dorms less than a 45 minute drive from our house).

    It can be awkward to live at home after moving out. The family routine changes, and, at the same time, you are most likely enjoying living on your own and only being responsible for yourself.

    I personally can completely understand this and, as a parent, would not find it a difficult pill to swallow.
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