Author Topic: RSVP-ing for an "adult" offspring.  (Read 4383 times)

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snappylt

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RSVP-ing for an "adult" offspring.
« on: December 14, 2012, 09:13:37 PM »
Just curious to hear some opinions about RSVPs and "adult" children who still live at home.

Background: We have a son (I'll call him "Ron") who graduated from high school in June but who still lives at home while he waits for a place to open up for him in a job training program in another state.  (He has been accepted into this program, so we know he will go at some point in the coming months, but the start date keeps shifting.  Yes this is a reputable program; one of the date shifts was because of a paperwork error our son himself made.  I'm trying to stay anonymous by not giving many details.)

Question: Some long-time adult friends of our family have invited us and all of our children to attend a ceremony honoring their teenage son.  There is a catered supper after the ceremony, and of course they will need to know how many people are coming for the caterer.  Ron says he wants to attend with us and his brothers.

I'm happy to have Ron come along - except I'm a little worried that he will change his mind at the last minute and be a no-show.  If I pass along Ron's name as wanting to attend, and if I gently remind Ron that once the hosts give the caterers a head count it would be rude for Ron to not show up, have I done my duty as far as etiquette is concerned?

The reason I ask at all is that Ron has developed the habit of telling us that he'll have certain meals here or do certain things with us, and then he will just "not show up" (and not call) when we have expected him.  My wife thinks that is perfectly fine.  She is glad for Ron to have friends his age to do things with and thinks it is far more important for him to do things with his friends than to keep his word to show up to do things with us.  I'm glad he has friends, too, but it hurts my feelings a bit, for example, when I ask him if he'll have supper with us, he says yes, so I go to extra work to cook a meal he likes, and then he just doesn't show up - and usually doesn't call, either.  I've learned since his graduation to not count on him keeping his word about plans, as he seems to feel free to accept a "better offer" if one comes along.  Ron does this roughly once or twice a week. (My wife thinks I'm being silly and she has absolutely no problem with Ron not showing up when he has promised to.)

OK, the reason I'm asking today is that it would not surprise me one bit if Ron is a no-show to our friends' son's ceremony and dinner, if one of Ron's friends suggests a "better offer" at the last minute.  If Ron is a no-show, does that reflect badly on anyone else besides Ron?

(Yes, I know I'm asking about something that hasn't even happened yet, but I am curious to hear opinions.  Thank you!)

Venus193

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Re: RSVP-ing for an "adult" offspring.
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2012, 09:36:54 PM »
Based on the rules regarding formal invitations, I think Rob should be free to decide whether or not to attend and take the responsibility for saying yea or nay to the hosts.

For your home situation you need to impress upon him that it is rude to say you will be home for dinner and then not do so without a good reason and an explanation as in "Sorry I can't come home for dinner; we have an emergency at the office."

LeveeWoman

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Re: RSVP-ing for an "adult" offspring.
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2012, 09:38:30 PM »
I would not RSVP for him.

Sharnita

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Re: RSVP-ing for an "adult" offspring.
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2012, 10:35:04 PM »
I definitely wouldn't tell them to expect him.  Did he get his own invite?  If so I'd let him answer form himself.  If not I think I'd answer in the negative.  It sounds like there is a skight chance he could be at the jobs program even if he doesn't ditch.

If your wife is fine with him doing that to her and the family that is one thing (I wouldn't agree but it isn't my family). However it is unacceptable to dump that behavior on friends.

Shoo

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Re: RSVP-ing for an "adult" offspring.
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2012, 11:10:26 PM »
I think that if Ron can't be counted on to honor an affirmative RSVP, he shouldn't be included.  Simply tell him he can either commit 100% to going and you WILL be holding him to it, or you will simply decline to include him since he has become rather unpredictable in keeping his commitments.

Because, yes, it will definitely make you and your wife look bad if you RSVP yes for Ron and then he doesn't show up.  Unfairly probably, but it will look like his parents didn't teach him any manners.

Sharnita

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Re: RSVP-ing for an "adult" offspring.
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2012, 11:13:24 PM »
I think that if Ron can't be counted on to honor an affirmative RSVP, he shouldn't be included.  Simply tell him he can either commit 100% to going and you WILL be holding him to it, or you will simply decline to include him since he has become rather unpredictable in keeping his commitments.

Because, yes, it will definitely make you and your wife look bad if you RSVP yes for Ron and then he doesn't show up.  Unfairly probably, but it will look like his parents didn't teach him any manners.

Well, since his mom thinks it is OK, I don't know that it is completely unfair.  It sounds like one parent is giving him the message that it is OK to do that to people. It is unfortunate for OP  but I think there needs to be a clear line drawn for ROn and his mom.

Shoo

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Re: RSVP-ing for an "adult" offspring.
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 11:15:10 PM »
I think that if Ron can't be counted on to honor an affirmative RSVP, he shouldn't be included.  Simply tell him he can either commit 100% to going and you WILL be holding him to it, or you will simply decline to include him since he has become rather unpredictable in keeping his commitments.

Because, yes, it will definitely make you and your wife look bad if you RSVP yes for Ron and then he doesn't show up.  Unfairly probably, but it will look like his parents didn't teach him any manners.

Well, since his mom thinks it is OK, I don't know that it is completely unfair.  It sounds like one parent is giving him the message that it is OK to do that to people. It is unfortunate for OP  but I think there needs to be a clear line drawn for ROn and his mom.

Yes, you're probably right.  In that case, I change my vote to Don't Include Him.  It will only make you look bad, OP, when he fails to show up.

blarg314

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Re: RSVP-ing for an "adult" offspring.
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 11:50:26 PM »

If he's in the habit of RSVPing yes, and not showing up, then I would go with either RSVP no for him, or tell the inviters that you don't keep track of your son's social calendar, so they should ask him themselves.

It's perfectly reasonable for your son to have his own friends and interests, and not be considered a +1 in the family unit the way the younger kids are. *However*, that means that he turns down invitations to do stuff with friends of the family, not that he says yes and then doesn't show up because he's found something better to do, or simply can't be bothered. That's not being independent, it's being rude and inconsiderate. It makes him look like an inconsiderate boor, and some of that will splash on the parents who passed on the RSVP.

I think what I would do was tell my son that as he can't be depended on to show up, I would no longer be passing on invitations or RSVPing for him.



Maude

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Re: RSVP-ing for an "adult" offspring.
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2012, 11:50:35 PM »
xtra work to cook a meal he likes"

Why are you pandering to this boy?

SoCalVal

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Re: RSVP-ing for an "adult" offspring.
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2012, 01:38:52 AM »
xtra work to cook a meal he likes"

Why are you pandering to this boy?

I didn't interpret it that way; I figured that's something people like to do for the ones they love.  However, I think DW giving Ron a pass on his behavior is enabling him.

I'd say let the friends know you won't be RSVP'ing for him, take a stand with DW that Ron *will* be responsible for his own RSVP and let Ron know that he will have to own his RSVP.  It might be tough love for both DW and Ron, but it needs to be pointed out to DW that it does OP, DW AND Ron a disservice to not have him suffer the consequences of his actions.  He's going into a job training program soon.  Anyone recall the current thread regarding asking for time off during the holidays and how the guy burned that bridge by preferring to take the time off?  Well, I could see Ron thinking it's okay to blow off this or that in the job training program because he wanted to do something more fun because no one made him stick to his commitments or called him on it (not criticizing you OP -- I could totally see my DF doing this because he'd want to be the nice guy and not be "too hard" on this person or that person).



cicero

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Re: RSVP-ing for an "adult" offspring.
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2012, 04:49:45 AM »

If he's in the habit of RSVPing yes, and not showing up, then I would go with either RSVP no for him, or tell the inviters that you don't keep track of your son's social calendar, so they should ask him themselves.


I agree - tell the inviters that they will have to ask him.

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BarensMom

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Re: RSVP-ing for an "adult" offspring.
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2012, 06:32:08 AM »
Snappyit, please ask your wife to come to this thread.

Snappyit's wife, you are enabling your son's rude behavior.  This is doing him a grave disservice which will have an adverse effect on his career, social and family life.  No one will trust or respect a man who does not keep his commitments, big or small.

MerryCat

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Re: RSVP-ing for an "adult" offspring.
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2012, 09:32:53 PM »
Snappyit, please ask your wife to come to this thread.

Snappyit's wife, you are enabling your son's rude behavior.  This is doing him a grave disservice which will have an adverse effect on his career, social and family life.  No one will trust or respect a man who does not keep his commitments, big or small.

Giant POD to this! I wouldn't stay friends with someone who pulled something like this regularly. Even if they weren't doing it to me, I wouldn't trust them with anything too important because they've already shown themselves to be a flake.

snappylt

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Re: RSVP-ing for an "adult" offspring.
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2012, 12:24:20 AM »
Snappyit, please ask your wife to come to this thread.

Snappyit's wife, you are enabling your son's rude behavior.  This is doing him a grave disservice which will have an adverse effect on his career, social and family life.  No one will trust or respect a man who does not keep his commitments, big or small.

Giant POD to this! I wouldn't stay friends with someone who pulled something like this regularly. Even if they weren't doing it to me, I wouldn't trust them with anything too important because they've already shown themselves to be a flake.

OP here.

Thank you, everyone, for your comments.  I found the original invitation tonight and reread it. The RSVP date isn't for a couple of weeks yet, so I've decided to wait until the day before the deadline day to respond.  I'll ask Ron again that day or the day before, and remind him again that our hosts will be telling the caterers that he's coming (if, indeed he still says he still wants to come).  I know he respects and likes our hosts, so I'm hoping that'll be enough to get him to keep his word about coming.

I'm not going to invite my wife to join us here; she doesn't enjoy Internet groups and, honestly, I suspect she'd be annoyed that I asked outsiders for comments about our family.  I think she'd think I described her attitude toward our son fairly.  She has said several times that Ron's 18 and an "adult" now and that we need to back off and give him lots of freedom to come and go as he pleases.  Actually, when I think about it, Ron knows what his mother's attitude is, and that may be part of why he feels free to break promises with us, because he knows she clearly doesn't mind when he does that to us.  I'm thinking that if Ron believes me when I explain that our hosts will be stuck paying for his dinner even if he doesn't attend, he won't want to do that to our hosts.

Anyway, my wife said to me that if Ron does say he wants to go but then is a no-show, that her opinion is that will reflect on Ron, not on us, because Ron is an adult and is responsible for his own actions now.

And to the people who asked about invitations, this was a printed invitation that came inside an envelope addressed to "The LT Family".  The hosts invited us all together in one invitation, so I'm thinking the socially correct thing to do is for me or my wife to reply for us all, since we're on the same invitation...  (It's for a ceremony and dinner honoring their teenage son, who knows all our sons, so that's why they included our children.)

Thank you again for sharing your opinions.

Iris

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Re: RSVP-ing for an "adult" offspring.
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2012, 01:47:26 AM »
I think this may be one of the very few situations where it is okay to not present a 'united front' with your wife. I would be content with saying (this is very rough, I'm sure you can come up with MUCH better wording) "Your mother wants to give you your freedom, and I fully support her in that. However, as a father to a son, these are the etiquette expectations on a young man that I think it's important for you to learn."

Honestly, this kind of flakiness can impact on his life personally and professionally and I think as a dad you are within your rights to say something. You could present it as a 'guy thing' if it goes over better with your wife. For example, say he meets a great girl that he really likes. Any young woman worth her salt is going to show him the door the very first time he does something like this - even if it is to his parents. In fact, especially if it is to his parents. I would strongly discourage my DDs from dating someone with that kind of lack of respect personally. It's on a par with pulling up to the kerb and honking for a date, to me.

Anyway, on the OP. I would rsvp no, and I would tell him why. If he is an adult then he is old enough to feel the consequences of his actions. If one of those consequences is that his father is afraid that he will embarrass the family and is not willing to vouch for his good manners to an outsider then he deserves to know.
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