<p>If I hear one more time 'but we only have xxx days together left', I'm going to scream.</p>

<p>There is laundry from his last three summer treks sitting in the laundry room (I don't do his laundry any more.) There is no indication of any interest in gathering the items needed for dorm living (I'm not talking about anything extravagant here, let's talk paper for note taking, pencils, toothpaste, towels, etc.) How are any items going to get to the dorm (e.g. a trunk, suitcase, garbage bags)? Does he have a copy of his schedule of classes?</p>

<p>He is expected at school on Tuesday.</p>

<p>I had planned a small 'send-off' party on Sunday, but I was informed he won't be home, he's going to his girlfriend's family event. </p>

<p>This from a mother that is used to super-organizing everything. </p>

<p>So I have two concerns. One is his total focus on the girlfriend (I'm not sure she isn't creating this sense of total immersion in the relationship. She is a rising HS senior and somewhat overbearing with my S. She calls 6 times in an hour if no one answers the phone.) One is the fact that he's not getting prepared to leave (I'm talking physically, let alone emotionally).</p>

<p>I had promised myself that I was going to make him be the one getting things together to go, I wasn't going to take over. Half of me thinks that he just won't be going to school on Tuesday. And half of me wants to become the overbearing mother and tell him that he's not going anywhere until everything is ready.</p>

<p>Certainly this isn't the first time this has happened?</p>

<p>Paper, pencils and toothpaste can be bought at school. Clothes can be packed dirty. The phone can be unplugged. Ignor it. When he gets on campus there will be other cute girls to distract him.</p>

<p>Yup, and I read your post and think "at least the kid has social life". My son has been on the lonely side this summer, working and waiting to go to school 3,000 miles away in 8 will be strange not to have him home but it is time for him to find something and get out of the small town we are, I say be happy your kid is happy, pack the clothes dirty, let him buy stuff when he gets there and there will be cute girls. Go through the parents thread and read the long post about the girl with bipolar will make this seem okay.</p>

<p>The next time GF calls or comes over, tell her you know she wants to spend time with your S before he leaves so……………..why not help him get packed and go with him to buy the items he needs for his dorm and classes. In fact just put the GF in charge; the end result is - your S gets packed and off to school. And his HS girl friend ……….* “out of site….out of mind” *. Good Luck.</p>

<p>Tututax1, good idea. I actually had suggested to my S that they could do it together and nothing has come of that. But I'll try your idea and suggest it to her.</p>


<p>Ebeeeeee, I know we have it so much better than others. After all, he's going to college! For that and for his sense of self and his friends and all that we have, I am grateful.</p>

<p>But we are part of that ever-reaching American society. it's frustrating when you see your kid do things that you don't like. Part of it is his lack of courtesy to us, his parents. So long, see ya! He knew I was planning a cookout, but he blew it off to do something else. Part of it is my sense that it would be a whole lot better to show up at school without needing to do laundry and buy supplies. </p>

<p>I apologize if I appear too callous or ungrateful.</p>

<p>"He knew I was planning a cookout, but he blew it off to do something else."</p>

<p>I have empathy for you because it's a big transition in our lives as parents when our kids fly the nest.</p>

<p>At the same time, however, did he want a cookout? Had you taken the time to ask him what he wanted to do as he got ready to leave for college? I fully understand that you were trying to do something loving and supportive as he went off to college, but it may be that he preferred to be with his girlfriend or friends, not hang out with family. Even if you had asked him in advance about the cookout, it's possible that he didn't realize until now what it would be like to be virtually saying good-bye to his childhood friends and moving on, so that's why he chose them and not the more family-oriented event. </p>

<p>I know it's hard, but try to look at things from his perspective because his moving on is a major transition for him, too, and all of this is new to him, so his focus is understandably going to be more on his own needs than yours.</p>

<p>Meanwhile, the clothes can be packed dirty. They really do have washing machines at college. He can get toiletries, etc. at college, too. Anything forgotten can be mailed to him. What can't be mailed are those final hours that he has with his girlfriend, who at this stage in his life may be his main focus as he leaves home.</p>

<p>As much as you don't want to, I think it is time to just let him be. It is his way of dealing with the impending departure. As long as he is with GF, he doesn't have to face the fact that he is leaving. By doing laundry, packing and whatnot, he has to face the reality that he is leaving his family, his friends, his niche. It is probably bothering him more than you know. And the gathering you planned is as a send-off he may see as all about having to say goodbye. THe GF probably has something planned to tell him he is still loved and wanted "back home." That is where his comfort zone is. Unless you want confrontations, you will probably just have to leave it all for him to do. And maybe just a family dinner that is not about the "send-off" but letting him know he still has a family home that loves him and that he will want to come home to. </p>

<p>And yeah, there will be lots of distractions once he gets there. GF may not even be in the picture for long. </p>

<p>Just leave the work and packing for him to do.</p>


<p>I'm not asking him to 'focus on my needs'. I'm asking for a little common courtesy. He know we were having a cookout on Sunday. I had asked him if that was ok with him. Did he 'request' the cookout? No. Am I tailoring the last few days exclusively around his desires? No, nor do I think I should.</p>

<p>Yes this is a time of transition. Apparently I as a parent haven't done a good job of preparing him, because he is acting like a kid going into 1st grade and not doing anything that is his personal responsibility. And yes, I feel that some preparation is important. And yes, I don't think he should ignore the rest of the family in favor of the girlfriend for the two weeks prior to leaving. And no, I don't think I should tailor our life around his because 'he's going through a lot'. And no, I don't think it's a healthy act on his girlfriend's part to call 6 times an hour. And I think that part of my role as a parent is to somewhat monitor this and not just step back and watch what's going on.</p>

<p>I guess it's different in your house. We all raise our kids differently.</p>

<p>I guess I now know how others handle this. Thanks for the input.</p>

<p>Apple - you need to chill.</p>

<p>Used to be so organized but gave it up? Sounds like a previous conflict. Your son will get done what he has to and the less involved you are the better for all involved.</p>

<p>two quick comments -- </p>

<p>I think it is typical for kids, especially boys, to do some regression right before a big life change. He is trying to hold onto what is comfortable and secure before heading out to the scary, new world of college. It is a short time period -- and while he may be up all night before heading to college, it has been done before. Time to let him be an adult and reap the rewards of his behavior. I would not step in and assist unless he nicely asks you for something specific (i.e., mom, can you buy me some toothpaste when you are at the store). If he gets to college and is missing something, I would not send it -- I would tell him to pick it up when he comes home Thanksgiving. That is what growing up is all about. </p>

<p>Let him and GF be for right now -- college for him and senior year for her will be distracting soon enough. It is a short term thing.</p>

<p>as far as the cook-out -- now that is a different story! I tell my kids that I expect the same behavior out of them that I do from any other adult. I find cancelling out on family social events to be very rude. It doesn't matter whether you want to attend or not or whether something better comes along -- you go. I have been to plenty of parties, cook-outs, etc that I really didn't want to go to. But it was an obligation that I agreed to. If he had told you at the beginning when you talked about it that he didn't want to go, that would be ok. That is what an adult does. But to cancel later -- no. Not unless some medical emergency comes up. That is rude, juvenile behavior that I would not tolerate.</p>

<p>just my 2 cents</p>

<p>Apple17; This is a stressful time for all, and I'm sorry your son is behaving the way he is. In my book, even a stressed kid has the responsibility to show up for a cookout that has been planned for him - regardless if he would rather be hanging out with the girlfriend and her family. He made the committment so he should be there - and you have every right to call him on it. He doesn't have to like it, but he does have to act civil and talk to the guests!!!! Regarding the packing and getting ready - I really think this is a form procrastination; going away to college is a big thing, it is a big task to actually think and plan and look at that transition - and some kids don't want to face it until they are down to the wire and the car is ready to pull out of the driveway. I would talk with your son about his obligations for the cookout, and then offer your help with the packing....
I've been there with the packing issue - DD headed off for 5 months of study abroad in Chile... stayed up until 6 a.m. finishing editing a final paper for a class that she took an incomplete in, woke around noon, continued editing, emailed off paper, and at about 2:30 p.m. started packing....left for the airport at 4:30 p.m. I must admit that I aided and abetted; finishing the paper was important, so I prepped for packing by laying out all her stuff on my bed and printing out lists of things to take... but I was pretty frustrated with the whole process since she had had several months to get prepped and ready to go, and she had promised that she wasn't going to end up doing the "last minute frantic getting ready" thing this time. But she is in Chile and happy, and it was okay that she threw everything together at the last moment.<br>
I hope things work out with your son. Talk with him - but put your foot down on the cookout issue! :)</p>

<p>apple17..I hear you. You did not sound ungrateful AT ALL. You betcha a little common courtesy....the other day DS called me to ask who had been driving his car...excuse me! I let him know that rudeness was not to be tolerated. As for the cookout, I would not feel you were out there at all if you told him that he needed to be with you on that day. After all his GF's parents aren't footing the bill for this education which is a gift not a right and his GF's parents didn't raise him for the last 17 or 18 years. I do not agree with the "you need to chill out" posters at all. I guess I was just feeling my own situation and thinking that yours didn't sound all that bad....</p>

<p>Ditto on Anxmom's sense of the cookout and responsibility. Afterall you wouldn't want him to think that everything that has been expected of him for the last few years is suddenly out the window just because he is going off to college.</p>

<p>Oh how I can relate. Last summer we were dealing with very similar issues with my son. He didn't blow off planned family time but we had to fight for even a few minutes with him without the girl friend. Hard as it was to let him take the consequences of not packing until the last minutes, we did let him do that. The girl friend got more & more obsessed with him as the first semester progressed and did not throw herself into her Senior year like she should have. It caused a great deal of stress all around. The relationship ended over Christmas break and he found a new girl friend at his college shortly after the second semester started. We tried very hard to let him have as much time as possible with her when he was home over Thanksgiving & Christmas and kept the family time to a minimum. The bottom line though was her continued obsession, demand for his time, and distress that he was actually enjoying college without her by his side managed to drive him away from her.<br>
It's hard right now to let him deal with the consequences of not packing etc. but you have to let that happen. As for the cookout, he needs to honor that and be there, especially since he did agree to do that.
The hardest thing for me was coming to the realization that someday, sooner rather than later, another female would be first in his life. That's as it should be and when it happens, I hope I'll be ready :-)</p>

<p>Personally, I would give in on the cookout because it sounds as though the event was going to be very much focused on the fact that he is leaving. Some kids seem to need to NOT focus on this. Forcing him to participate in a send-off event could add a lot of unnecessary stress to his life at a difficult time.</p>

<p>How about combining your cookout with the party with the girlfriends family?
We have progressive dinners here- where we have a course at different houses, but this could be much easier- have the barbeque at one house and dessert at another.
It would give your families a chance to get to know each other better, and your son would appreciate the gesture I am sure.</p>

<p>Little too late for this advice, but, if the girlfriend calls six times in an hour when no one picks up, you can just call HER parents and say, "Sarah is a lovely girl, but can you please tell her that it is inappropriate for her to call our home when no one picks up. She can leave a message on the answering machine, and we really will tell Son that she called."</p>

<p>Agree with, love, and was going to suggest myself that you should involve the GF in the packing/purchasing process. Use her as an ally! </p>

<p>Yes, these often fizzle out over Christmas break.</p>