Am I the only one? Anyone secretly looking forward to sending DS/DD off to college?

<p>My soon to be freshman at college is a great student, attractive and talented, but has been difficult to live with... forever. We worry about how things will be socially at college, but secretly we look forward to peace at home. I feel like a failure as I have been unable to teach the social skills needed for getting along. I am sure things will be okay for a short time, but then, I have to believe the "nasty tone" will appear. Tolerance and sharing are not strong points to say the least. We hope we are wrong. Over the years we have tried counselors and considered medication, but never took the final plunge there. Now we are wondering if we were wrong not to give it a try while we could monitor behavior. As parents we are sad.</p>

<p>Sorry to hear that... Are you sure he does not have Asperger? Your description made me think of that...</p>

<p>We have wondered it over the years and even talked to teachers about it, but they all seemed just laugh it off and/or say something like, "a very inward child" or "very cerebral".</p>

<p>I often say mine will be leaving with my foot in her posterior. Many parents at freshman orientation (I work in higher ed) express similar sentiments. You are certainly not alone.</p>

<p>My cousin was like that. In his highschool years, he was never out spoken or even very friendly, when we went to a family wedding/gatherings together, he was always the quiet one's on the table and sit there without any expressions on his face. Later on, in one of my cousin's wedding, however, all of a suddern he lighted up and was making funny and witted remarks. My brother pulled me over on the side and asked me "Whats happened to Doug?" as we all knew he was not like that. Well, I guess the college education turned him around. Now, Doug is a successful lawyer in Phily and defending his clients in the court everyday of the week.</p>

<p>I feel awful for even starting this post. It is not an easy thing to admit publicly. As parents our emotions are a mess. One minute we feel sad about the approaching date and then BANG! Every word to us has such a nasty tone. I used to pray each day for the patience to parent a "strong willed" child. Sometimes I am successful in maintaining myself; Other times I yell back. It doesn't take much now for me to go right to 10. All this for a kid that from the outside most people would think is a gem. We are told that we are the only ones that are treated that way, but I find it difficult to believe as there have been no dates and a fairly small number of friends. </p>

<p>It is too late to try medication, right? Yes, I know it is. Maybe over Christmas break. Is a month long enough to monitor a med?</p>

<p>artloverplus...that is what we are hoping for. We hope that in college some connections with other smart kids will be easier than in HS where the top kids can be left out. Living in the honors dorm may make socialization easier as there will be more students to choose from, even though it may be filled with many others who are less experienced socially. We worry, but we are still looking forward to some peace here at home. I hope there is happiness at college!</p>

<p>Most teachers are not qualified to diagnose Aspergers. What kind of meds are you considering? Obviously something needs to be presribed by a doctor, and do that they would need a diagnosis. Which likely would require some testing. Requiring cooperation from your kid. And if they are 18, the kid does not need to allow you to see the results, even if you carry the insurance. A "counselor" or psychologist cannot prescribe, you need an MD for that (psychiatrist or regular physician).</p>

<p>If it is Aspergers (and might be, Aspie's often have horrible social skills and have no idea how hurtful their behavior can be to others), there is no medication that I am aware of for it. There are tools & techniques for you and the Aspie person, but no meds.</p>

<p>Some people just have that kind of personality with no underlying medical problem. As mentioned below, college (and a real job!) can sometimes knock it out of them. By the time they leave for college, it is pretty late for mom & dad to be effective in modifying that behavior. You may just need to hope the world gives them some knocks to help the process along.</p>

<p>How does he behave with his friends at home? How is he when you're not around? What do others think of him and his behavior? That will give you more insight as to how he will "do" in college.</p>

<p>My younger daughter makes us crazy almost all the time - she stubborn, rude, arrogant, nasty, etc. etc. etc. And yet, people can't believe it! Teachers, family friends, her friends think she's kind, polite,helpful, anything that's 180 degrees different than what we generally see at home. </p>

<p>We're a bit worried about how she'll keep it up once she's in college full time with little down time but there's no way to predict and we can only hope she'll deal.</p>

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My younger daughter makes us crazy almost all the time - she stubborn, rude, arrogant, nasty, etc. etc. etc. And yet, people can't believe it! Teachers, family friends, her friends think she's kind, polite,helpful, anything that's 180 degrees different than what we generally see at home.</p>

<p>We're a bit worried about how she'll keep it up once she's in college full time with little down time but there's no way to predict and we can only hope she'll deal.

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<p>This is my son, much of the time. We are hoping for the best, we know he has it in him.</p>

<p>amtc and bengal..add my youngest to that...same here</p>

<p>On the other hand - I always said God gave use the Senior year and summer before they leave so that we would be glad they were gone. Have had 4 go to college and for the most part, the transition has had ups and downs and difficulties. Some starting earlier in HS as they try to become independent. They have to separate and they are afraid to do so. Makes for some odd behavior some times. </p>

<p>If the behavior is just with you I would not think it was something that needed medication. But keep in touch with him and see if he is settling in OK. Know though they often complain to Mom when things really aren't that bad. They complain and then get back to life. I learned to be an active listener without taking action Just encouraging them to talk about their own ideas for solutions.</p>

<p>Don't worry, mom. Your son is who he is. You gave him the life skills that you could- they are obviously good enough for him to be successful thus far. He was accepted into a college and wants to go, right? It sounds like he has morals and enough social skills to be a good person (no run ins with the law...). It is normal to want your child to be gone- and normal for them to be champing at the bit, eager to leave.</p>

<p>Regarding the Asperger's/autism spectrum. Perhaps he has traits that fit. He can have a happy life with them if you think it fits after checking off the boxes on a survey. But all seemingly unsocial behavior is not that. There is a range of normal.</p>

<p>Here's something that may help you. Read up on introversion and extroversion as basic personality types. Some 75% of the population is extroverted, a minority does not thrive on the same social situations most people need. My strongly extroverted personality style is in direct conflict with my son's introverted type. If I had been aware of the different needs I could have prevented a lot of conflict. I also could have interpreted his need for down time instead of people time as normal for him. Most people, parents included, may see a social problem when there is actually none because they expect different things.</p>

<p>Another consideration is the traits associated with giftedness. Some of the traits cause children to be less tolerant of their agemates and out of sync with them. Both of these are factors in being different to varying degrees from the general population. btw- 75% of highly gifted people are introverted. Much of the literature based on studies has come out in more recent years- wish it had been available sooner. I am only mildly gifted (hey- we say mildly retarded, there are two halves to the Bell curve) but can see how these two factors have affected my life. Hard to be different from my social and intellectual peers. Being a middle child/younger sister didn't help either.</p>

<p>Like Kermit said- "It is hard to be green". Hopefully your son will find his niche in college. My son dislikes it when I pull the intro/extro bit on him as a reason for conflict. He, of course, is all knowing et al despite his youth. Four years away and being 20 is helping. I hear around age 25 they become more likeable- and now I believe we will both survive with an intact relationship (leaving for college sure helped) to enjoy that.</p>

<p>PM me- anyone- if you want me to find the sources I have read over the last 5-10 years.</p>

<p>Posts #8 and #13.....really excellent advice! I was going to add something, but they covered it best.</p>

<p>Good luck, AJMorganCT, and don't feel too guilty. Your son is leaving home at the same time most other kids are leaving home, so there's no reason you shouldn't allow yourself to be happy about it.</p>

<p>There's a good chance that having some distance between you and your son will actually improve your relationship with him. Maybe he has just felt ready to be independent for a long time. Or maybe he'll appreciate you more once he has a taste of life without your constant support. Or maybe he'll realize he needs help and will be more receptive to your overtures.</p>

<p>One way or another, the situation is what it is, and you have a right to be happy. So be happy!</p>

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Like Kermit said- "It is hard to be green".

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<p>Eh, actually, "It's not easy being green." :)</p>

<p>My foster son has some of the same issues. He is an arrogant know-it-all without many close friends. Granted he has been dealt some tough breaks in his life, but if I hear him rant one more time about how "stupid" his teachers are and how "ignorant" we all are when we have a different opinion - I'm going to scream. But he's just a sophomore in HS, so we have 3 more years! I will be glad when he goes off to college. I am kind of hoping for someone to cut him down to size. My biological S is probably more intelligent than him, but S is quiet and non-confrontational. They are in the same grade, so the competition is horrible. Foster S just quit football team (his best hope for scholarships) because the coach was an "idiot." Just don't know what to do with him. (But, we love him like are own in spite of everything!)</p>

<p>I will be happy to see my S start college. Not that he's miserable to be around. But he's really outgrown the whole 'family at home' dynamic.</p>

<p>He has a wide group of friends and I really haven't seen much of him this summer. He's very social, while my H (his stepdad) and I are quiet introverts. </p>

<p>So I will be happy for him.</p>

<p>And over the years, I have seen a difference between how he interacts with his family and how he interacts with teachers and peers. I think as parents we haven't always seen him at his best. We've heard the sulky complaints, had him not help out around the house as we've asked. The things we want to do are boring or stupid.</p>

<p>But to his teachers he's a respectful, insightful young man, and his friends think he's the nicest, funniest person alive. So I think he'll be ok. I do worry about his future SO, hoping he won't go all Mr Sulky Complainer on her ;)</p>

<p>After venting here today it allowed me to move foreword toward some solutions. I found a site for Susan Fee an author and counselor that really impressed me from what I have viewed so far. I will be getting her book, "My Roommate is Driving Me Crazy" and some other publications that seem good. She had some sample videos and excerpts from her books that look very positive. She seems very solution oriented and emphasizes conflict resolution skills and increasing assertiveness as a replacement for passiveness and aggression. </p>

<p>I have to admit that I later came back and read the updates on this tread and your posts are great and much appreciated. Some of you provided support and information while others made me laugh out loud. Both steps in the right direction. Thanks loads!</p>

<p>I wouldn't worry too much. He (or she) shows you his/her harsher side because you're their parent. That's what I do to my parents (because I know they love and respect me and won't be overly judgmental) and I am very similar to your child. If his teachers or fellow students don't mind him/her or their personality/quirks, then he/she will be fine at college. Chances are he/she will show the nicer side to his/her new college friends, like I do.</p>

<p>Edit: And trust me, after this first summer home from college my mother is ready to see me go away again gladly. You are not alone in that respect.</p>

<p>No, you are not alone. My friend calls often feeling so guilty that she feels this way. Her son is a gem to me, but he doesn't treat her too nicely. OTOH, her younger son is an easier child to live with. Plain and simple.
Another girlfriend reminded me when one of my boys was really pushing my buttons "There is a reason momma-birds push their babies out of the nest, and it's usually their sassy mouth.". Take it for what you will, but her point being, if they were acting like lovable angles, they'd never learn to fly.
You are far from alone. Remember you are on cc. Your target audience is slightly different here, but there are still those that admit (gasp) to wanting to tip the nest.</p>