wait -but did he get the scholarship?OP here again.
No, he did not. I'll share more of the story below.
As a parent of a high school senior, I cannot imagine sitting quietly and letting my son make such a mistake. This is his future he is trying for. My son is a typical "know-it-all" teenager too, but part of being a parent is too teach them things, to help avoid big mistakes (if possible).OP again here.
If my son was planning on wearing inappropriate attire, and arguing over the definition, I would simply say that he needs to look up the meaning. A scholarship interview is too important to sit back and let him learn from a mistake. Now if it was something like a dinner, wedding, etc then I would not say anything. That would just be embarrassing, not possibly impact his future.
I'm not judging the OP, just saying my point of view. We all parent in different ways.
Nalapuppy, believe me, I think I know where you are coming from. I was raised in the style I think you are mentioning. Also, I myself was NOT advice-resistant as a teenager. FWIW, I was the kind of teenager who worried too much and usually tried to please
authority figures. (I'll bet you'd have liked me if I had been your child!)
My own children are NOT like their father (me). They are very independent thinkers and doers and don't seem to want approval nearly as much as I did.
The one son I wrote about here, particularly, makes his own decisions and digs his heels in quite thoroughly. He gets very angry if his mother or I try to guide him differently than he wants to go.
He will, sometimes, listen to other adults who are not his parents, though. So, a time or two when he seemed to be making some decisions my wife and I were really worried about, we were able to steer him in to visit with another adult whom he likes and respects. The other adult told him the same things we told him, but he was willing to actually listen to the other adult and agreed to modify his decision.
(Please, I am not intending to get snarky here!) You mentioned that you wouldn't allow your HS senior son to make this mistake. Let me just ask you, if your 17½ year old son was bigger and stronger than you and he stubbornly dug his heels in and insisted
upon dressing his own way, exactly how would you force
him to comply with you? (I hope your son is not like I am describing - I hope he is more willing to accept reasonable guidance from you!)
I'll grant you, I didn't try that
hard. I have learned to pick my battles with this young man because he is very
strong-willed. In this case I gently suggested that he should pick dressier clothes, and when he insisted he was right, I stopped pushing.
In this case I already had some serious doubts that my son was likely to win this scholarship program. While his test scores were very very high, and he had glowing recommendations from professionals in that field of study, his actual school grade average was maybe a tad below average. This is a scholarship program that attracts many
more applicants than spaces available, so my educated guess was that when they took a look at his actual grades, he would be eliminated because of his grades.
mentioned any hint of my doubts to my son, by the way. I only made positive, encouraging comments (and silently hoped I was wrong about his chances).
Now - if he had had great grades to go along with his test scores and recommendations - if I had thought he had a better chance to be among the very few who actually get into that scholarship program.. I wonder if I'd have risked an explosion from him to try to insist
that he wear dressier clothes. Maybe I'd have pushed a little harder - although with this son, I doubt he'd have listened any better if I had
Did I worry about my decision to not make a big deal about his clothing? Yes, because of my own personality, my initial tendency is to feel guilty. So when he rejected my gentle advice the night before, I felt badly for him, because I was 99½% sure that I was right - and I was.
I'll never know if it was his grades or the way he dressed at the interviews - or a combination of the two that led to him not receiving this scholarship program. But I do think he himself said he learned a lesson that day, and this particular young man, I've found, seems to need to learn lessons independently like this, because he doesn't want to listen to his mother and me.