Comment: Very comforting. Prompt and helpful response. Questioner: Ardis
Subject: Our Adult Son
Question: Hi, and thank you for listening. My husband and I have been married for 25 years and have a 27 year old happily married daughter (my daughter from first marriage- my first husband was murdered when our daughter was a year old), she has a two year old son.
We also have a 23 year old son who is living at home. He is single and has a wonderful girlfriend. He is going to Junior College part time and working part time at 2 jobs. He would like to have a career in Chiropractics, but school has been difficult for him academically. He still has many credits to earn at Junior College before he can apply to Chiropractic College. I have a suspicion that he is no longer going to class but may be unable to tell his father and I (for whatever reason!).
I have told him that college is an option, not mandatory. Actually, he is not open about most anything. He doesn’t offer information about where he is going (broad statements like to work, but no details about where the job is that day), or even about what he did that day. He doesn’t call to let us know he won’t be home for dinner. He is very closed. Alot of times the behavior could be considered rude and my feelings are hurt very deeply. I feel that I am losing my son. As you can imagine it causes me MUCH anxiety and stress and worry. I don’t worry that he is doing anything wrong or illegal, he just doesn’t offer much information.
This leads me to ask an abundance of questions, which irritate him after the first couple of questions are asked. If he could only understand that if he offered the information I wouldn’t have to ask any questions! Or am I wrong in wanting to know where he is every minute? He is 23, almost 24 years old after all, I know I didn’t tell my mother every move I made when I was that age! So, am I being over-protective, and expecting something that I shouldn’t? I see him making decisions that have undesirable consequences and it’s hard to watch, I love him so deeply. Do young people not see things so clearly?
I would appreciate it if you could ask me questions about our situation that would help you determine how to help me. What are the stages a young man goes through in trying to gain his independence? I really thought I was a good parent as I have always been very involved in my children’s interests and activities. I wanted to enjoy their triumphs and cry with the hard times.
Now however, I am wondering just where I went wrong to endure the treatment we are getting with the silence and moodiness and “secrecy”. I am to the point where I am desperate, and have had “dark thoughts” about wanting to continue to live, this is too painful.
Can you help?
Answer: Dear Ardis, You stated you thought you were a good parent. Please trust that you were because regardless there is NOTHING you can change now and you are not responsible nor are your adult children’s choices about you any longer. It is all about them. What choices they make. However what concerns me is your son living at home and being rude to you. It is unacceptable to be treating anyone he cares for this way. Now having said that could it be a reaction to your interrogating him.
Personally if he isn’t in school he needs to move on. You don’t really owe to your adult child to keep him at home. Especially if he is not being up front, honest and respectful to you. As for his decisions you only have a right to speak out if they affect you personally. If he is doing something illegal or brings friens home who are then you need to set your boundaries to keep you safe.
His safety is now his responsibility. Think of his life as a car. The care is now his property and his responsibility to take care of so stop cleaning it out for him you are only annoying him and making yourself resentful. I know it is hard to let go and even more so when they are at home however if you don’t get this right he could be living with you when he is 40! 🙂 LOL