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Surprising conversation with Son Saturday night

dadof4kidsdadof4kids 620 replies61 postsRegistered User Member
edited July 23 in Parents Forum
I just typed out a ridiculously long post, which was cathartic but no one other than me would want to read it. Here are the cliff notes.

My oldest is a rising college soph. He only looked at 2 schools, the state flagship he always wanted to attend which offered him a great scholarship, or a directional U in a neighboring state where his girlfriend went. Guess which he chose?

I thought when he had something major he wanted to talk about Saturday night he was engaged or about to be a father or both. Instead he said that basially everything I told him 18 months ago was correct and he made a horrible mistake. He wants to transfer to the in-state flagship. He is pretty sure the girlfriend of 3 years will break up with him over it, and even if she doesn't he probably will break it off. He feels like he is surrounded by people who aren't that smart and have no ambition at his current school. She fits in perfectly there. He does not. And he realizes that she has been discouraging his ambition for the last 3 years.

In my mind, all of this is correct. However, we have had a bit of a rocky relationship for the last couple of years, so after it became clear 18 months ago that he was not going to listen to me I have been very supportive of his school choice. Also because of that I am trying really hard to respect his choices now, whatever they are and I told him so.

I made a few calls yesterday, and he can still get into the school for this August, although not living where he wants to. I'm not sure if I should advise him to wait a semester or year to start classes, or if he should start there in August. I don't want him to make rash choices, although I think it is probably the right one. And he is actually wanting my advice right now, which is a first.

Any advice for me? I can give more info, but am trying to keep this a readable length.
edited July 23
56 replies
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Replies to: Surprising conversation with Son Saturday night

  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33093 replies358 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Since mine were little, I've had to suggest questions or their own thinking points. Asking for advice doesn't always mean you get to "tell" them.

    And if he later regrets all or part of this decision, you don't want to be blamed.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5090 replies72 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Tell him you can swing it for this year and see what he says.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5090 replies72 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I guess it depends on timing. If you need to know right away or not. And I wouldn’t shy away from the conversation and mess around with a Jedi mind trick to get him to come around eventually.

    Don’t let him know it’s a done deal, perhaps. Only mention you looked into it following your great talk just to see what it entails and it’s possible to have it come together for fall, if that’s what he really wants.

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  • dadof4kidsdadof4kids 620 replies61 postsRegistered User Member
    Ok, I was a bit heavy-handed with the editing. Here's some more info.
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  • HPuck35HPuck35 1975 replies15 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Transfer now. Waiting could cause other issues; lack of focus resulting in poor grades, taking classes that may not transfer resulting in wasted time and money, etc.
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  • thumper1thumper1 73712 replies3213 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Good luck to him. He is a rising second year student...so will have three full years at his new college. Re: the girlfriend...what will be will be. Maybe they will both grow and change....and could end up back together.
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  • dadof4kidsdadof4kids 620 replies61 postsRegistered User Member
    @thumper1 Thanks. That's pretty much what I told him. 19 may feel like a lifetime to him, but it is certainly not too old to have a reset.

    And Re: the girlfriend that's almost a direct quote of what I told him. I also pointed out that while he feels like a jerk for breaking it off now, if that's the direction this is headed it's much better for both of them to move on now. The longer he puts it off the less fair he is being to her. I don't think he realizes this yet, but I'm 90% sure he will break it off when he sees her this weekend. He won't be able to be around her without feeling so guilty he has to tell her. Which will make for a crummy weekend for both of them, but probably in the long run it's a good thing for both of them. Just hard to see that sometimes when you are in the middle of the situation.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5090 replies72 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Agree with @websensation

    And it won’t help but it doesn’t hurt to remind him you wouldn’t have met his mom if you hadn’t broken up with the previous girlfriend. Or anyone with their current partner.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3657 replies16 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Well the other possibility is they have a long term relationship. I did and it worked out. If she doesn't like it then she can break up with him. There should be no reason he can't change schools to better himself.
    Secondly, do NOT wait to transfer him to his new school. Do it now. He already made his choice. He just wanted your verification. Cool, he wants his dad to say yes. So... Say yes! He already made the decision. Score one for dad 👍.
    At some point all you can do is support and love your children. As my kids get older 20/22 we seem to be getting closer. It's all part of them maturing.
    At his age it's OK for him to think about "him". This will bring you guys closer also.
    Good job!
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  • dadof4kidsdadof4kids 620 replies61 postsRegistered User Member
    Me too @Knowsstuff! His mom and I have been together since high school. So I think part of it is he sees that.

    I think in his mind the school change is a done deal. He just isn't sure how to handle it with her yet. Personally I'm hoping she just gets mad and ends it with him. That's cleaner in my opinion.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3657 replies16 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @dadof4kids. That's where I was going. Lol....
    Good Luck with your son.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5090 replies72 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 24
    Ok. Most people, I dare say a vast majority, have had a boy or girlfriend prior to a long term uninterrupted marriage. You guys are good!
    edited July 24
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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1552 replies25 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Congratulations! Isn't it nice to know "kids" do listen to their parents after all?

    Whatever it takes to start at the state flagship school - do it ASAP. Once you know you want to make a change, any time waiting for that is burning daylight. Looks like you are all on that path. Very exciting! Good luck!
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