All growed up

Being a parent is tough.  It's not just the middle-of-the-night bottle feedings, the pit-of-the-stomach fear as the teen takes the car for the first time, or the did-I-make-the-right-decision moments that come up all the time.  Part of being a parent is actually being tough:  saying "no" and sticking to it, standing up for what is right when everyone else is going in another direction, making your kid do the things he doesn't want to do and putting up with the nastiness.

Eldest Son is now at a point in his life where we can't really tell him what to do.  He's 19, out of the house and legally an adult.  And, as people at this point in their lives are wont to do, he is making some foolish choices.  These foolish choices may or may not end badly;  that's the problem with foolish choices.  However, Dear Husband and I had to have a chat with him this weekend and say,  "We can't tell you what to do, but we can tell you that we think you're making a mistake.  AND (here's the biggie), we don't have to support you.  That's means you're not getting any more money from us.  Your cell phone is cut off, and you're on your own.  We can't tell you what to do, but we don't have to subsidize stupidity."  Big boy choices = big boy responsibilities. 

Of course, he's fine with this, because he doesn't see anything wrong with the choices he's making.  Since both Dear Husband and I have been 19, we have the experience and knowledge to back up our tough decision.  Eldest Son thinks he's all growed up, and we know he's not.  It's one of the tough things about being a parent.  Tough or not, it's what parents have to do.

5 comments:

  1. Tough love is as tough on parents as kids sometimes.

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  2. Good for you. We've told our 5 kids the same things. Our youngest are 19, and our 23 year old is living in the local men's shelter, having lost numerous jobs, apartments and his car. Taking care of him would only further enable his indolence.

    The 22 and 35 year olds are doing fine.

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  3. My kids are much, much younger but my mother told me the same thing, "At 18, you're out." So that was it.

    Granted, things are different now than then: the economy stinks, cell phones are practically indispensable and expensive credit is too easy to get.

    I would say that if he begins moving earnestly in the right direction - that is, towards compromise - you might in kind.

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  4. Oooh, tough one. My kids are little. I don't look forward to these moments.

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