Author Topic: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings  (Read 13387 times)

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Shalamar

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2013, 12:27:21 PM »
My 18-year-old daughter really wants to move out, but she's at least realistic enough to realize that she doesn't have enough money to make it happen just yet.  She's currently between jobs, plus she's going to be starting university in the fall, so she's prepared to wait until she's ready.  Her friend/potential room mate, however?  Not so much.  He keeps saying "We should go shopping today and buy (really frivolous item, like a cake pop maker) for our new place!", and my daughter keeps saying "You mean, the place that we don't have yet because we can't afford it?  And don't you think it would make more sense to buy POTS and PANS before getting a cake pop maker?"

NyaChan

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2013, 12:36:25 PM »
My 18-year-old daughter really wants to move out, but she's at least realistic enough to realize that she doesn't have enough money to make it happen just yet.  She's currently between jobs, plus she's going to be starting university in the fall, so she's prepared to wait until she's ready.  Her friend/potential room mate, however?  Not so much.  He keeps saying "We should go shopping today and buy (really frivolous item, like a cake pop maker) for our new place!", and my daughter keeps saying "You mean, the place that we don't have yet because we can't afford it?  And don't you think it would make more sense to buy POTS and PANS before getting a cake pop maker?"

Yikes, I think that's a good hint to your DD that her potential roommate may not be the best person to rely on.  Kudos to her for resisting the cake pop maker though :D

cwm

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2013, 12:44:27 PM »
Inviteseller, you're not a bad mom. You're doing exactly what you need to. My parents had to have a similar talk with me.

My dad's insurance changed while I was in college and I was restricted to one of two small local pharmacies, none of the chains would honor it so far away from my hometown. I didn't want to have to do anything different and basically stopped taking my medicines for a bit. That was a Bad Idea, but it wasn't until I was in a very dark place sobbing for five hours straight that I realized that nobody else really was going to take care of me. I found a pharmacy the next day and was much better within a week.

Part of that was my anxiety, sure, and going off the antidepressants (which were also anti-anxiety) didn't help any, but it gave me just enough of a kick in the butt.

Stand firm. You've given your DD good options. She doesn't get to dictate to you what to do. If she chooses not to take the options given, she has made her own decision.

magicdomino

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2013, 01:02:44 PM »
*invitemom, stick to your guns.  If your daughter is grown-up enough to live on her own, then she needs to act like a grown-up, not play at it.  Would it be too much to suggest that if (when  :) ) she moves back home and she isn't going to school full time, that she pay some rent?  If you don't need the money, you can quietly stuff it in a savings account and give it to her later when she matures a little more.

At 18, I wasn't capable of taking care of myself due to severe shyness issues, but I was also smart enough to know it. 

Dindrane

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2013, 01:28:45 PM »
When I was in high school, my mom changed jobs. Since her work number was the primary "something is wrong with Dindrane" daytime contact at my school, somebody needed to update their records with her new phone number. I threw a little snit fit about my mom making me do it, because after all, I was not the one who had changed jobs and necessitated this bit of paperwork. I think I just refused to have it updated, but my mom also didn't have the school change it, and it went unnoticed because the school never had to call my parents during the day.

So, clearly, even when I was 15 or 16, and even when the thing I had to do was because of no action I had taken, my parents adopted the (entirely reasonable) attitude that I was perfectly capable of dealing with my school's administration, and it was therefore my job to do it.

Since I went to college in the same city that my parents live in (although I lived in the dorms rather than at home), they continued to insist that I be the one to deal with my school, even though they theoretically could have done some of the logistical things themselves. Even when it came to paying tuition (which they were paying for), I still had to be the one to actually deliver the payment. I didn't always like that they forced me to take care of things myself, but honestly, the only reason I ever had for not wanting to do it is that I am shy and it was hard and annoying.

It took until I for real moved away (about 2,000 miles away...) after college before it occurred to me that some things are annoying and hard no matter who does them, and it was never fair of me to expect my parents to do those types of things on my behalf once I was capable of taking care of them myself. I didn't learn that lesson for real until they were truly too far away to do more than give me advice, but it was a much easier lesson to learn because they'd been pushing me in that direction for so long.

So in other words, I think the only way to truly teach that concept to a child who does not understand it intuitively is to deliver some tough love, exactly like what you are doing. Not everyone will understand it intuitively, and that alone does not doom them for life, but those who can't figure it out on their own have to be taught.

I can also say that I completely sympathize with being in a situation where you are sick and there is nobody there to take care of you. It sucks. The first time I was sick in college, I had the biggest pity party you could possibly imagine. Even though my parents were in the same city, they didn't actually do anything for me (it was just a cold, and there wasn't really anything they could do). They did provide me with a lot of sympathy over the phone, and listened to me complain a little bit about how I had to take care of myself when I was feeling crummy. And then they told me to get some rest, get some orange juice from the dining hall, and go to the health center on campus for some medicine. They also advised me to maybe stock up on at least the medicine when I was feeling better so that I would have it on hand the next time I felt crummy.

So I think that providing sympathy for a situation that sucks (because it's no fun to be sick no matter the circumstances), providing advice on how to deal with it, and suggesting how to avoid at least some of the problem in the future is the best way to respond to this type of thing. If your daughter isn't interested in listening to any of that, then there's really nothing more you can say or do, and further discussion would be rather pointless. She won't want to hear you say that (I never wanted, and still don't want, to hear it when my mom says the exact same thing to me), but it makes you a very good mother if that's how you handle it.

Even now, I still feel the compulsion to state for the record that life is unfair, when I have to do something unpleasant. My mom is the most frequent recipient of that statement, but we've come to a tacit agreement that she will listen to me say it once, and I will stop whining once she has. And then I will take care of it (or not, and face the consequences).


*inviteseller

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2013, 01:43:57 PM »
I thought my dad was just the worlds biggest meanie growing up because <gasp> I had to do things for myself!  I am so grateful because when I moved out at barely 19 with a room mate, I was able to make the transition with just a few minor bumps while my room mate was clueless.  I have always tried to teach her self sufficiency, but she does have some mental health issues and her anxiety causes her a lot of issues.  That is the reason I attempted to tell her that she was not ready to move out..but nooooo, I am an idiot, she is a big bad adult and she can handle it on her own!  ::) 

She did finally go to the ER last night and she has bronchitis, but she doesn't have the co pay money for the meds ($5) and she cried to me about that.  I was nice enough to tell her to go to the pharmacy and have them call me and I would pay that over the phone..haven't heard from anyone yet.  She was offered a job at McDonalds, but she is now complaining that she has to buy black shoes, show that she actually resides at the address she is staying at (her ID lists my address and they won't accept that) and she has to dye her hair back to a normal color. You see, my non thinker decided for her 18th birthday she was going to dye her (natural and beautiful blonde)hair smurf blue!  Yes, everyone, I did wait till I got off the phone with her before I broke into gales of laughter over that one!  The "I told you so's" are just coming fast and furious.   And I am now contemplating canceling her cell phone because the agreement was I would pay for it as long as she was in school and she quit her GED classes (and she had maybe 2 weeks left!)

EllenS

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2013, 02:04:33 PM »
A parent is supposed to do for their child what they are not able to do for themselves, and train them in the skills they need to become an independent adult. This starts from dressing themselves as toddlers, to doing their own laundry, paying bills and making "business" phone calls when they are more grown up.

You offered to provide for your child's medical needs when she did not have the money.  Everything else is stuff she is able to do for herself, and should.

I think if you are going to cancel the cellphone contract, you should give her notice ahead of time.  Doing it without saying anything comes off a little PA. 

cwm

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2013, 02:37:31 PM »
A parent is supposed to do for their child what they are not able to do for themselves, and train them in the skills they need to become an independent adult. This starts from dressing themselves as toddlers, to doing their own laundry, paying bills and making "business" phone calls when they are more grown up.

You offered to provide for your child's medical needs when she did not have the money.  Everything else is stuff she is able to do for herself, and should.

I think if you are going to cancel the cellphone contract, you should give her notice ahead of time.  Doing it without saying anything comes off a little PA.

I agree so much with this. You're letting her make her own decisions and live with the consequences of them, but make sure you let her know ahead of time. How scary would it be to be broke, sick, and then all of a sudden have no working phone for anything?

Shalamar

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2013, 03:00:47 PM »
Quote
Yikes, I think that's a good hint to your DD that her potential roommate may not be the best person to rely on.

Oh, believe me, you're preachin' to the choir with that one.  :)  My husband and I don't like this boy because he's flakey and doesn't treat our daughter well*, and we're reeeeally hoping that their plans to share a place together don't happen.  We know better than to say "WE FORBID YOU TO HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THAT BOY", however.

* To be clear, there's no romance there, nor any chance of romance - he plays for a different team.  He's a lousy friend, is all.

EllenS

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2013, 03:35:08 PM »
So I think that providing sympathy for a situation that sucks (because it's no fun to be sick no matter the circumstances), providing advice on how to deal with it, and suggesting how to avoid at least some of the problem in the future is the best way to respond to this type of thing.

I think this is a great point.  Adults who no longer live under their parents' roof, or are subject to their authority, have a "mentoring" relationship with their parents, rather than a "dependent" relationship.  She has asserted that this is what she wants, and you gave her the benefit of some good advice.

I would not be too hard on her, though.  This is a huge change in roles and relationship, it is not easy for anybody, it is emotional, and this is a lot of "firsts" for her. It's kind of like being a mom with your first newborn baby - you may have some idea of what needs to happen, but you've just never done it before.  There's a learning curve.  Hope it works out well for both of you.

Harriet Jones

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2013, 03:44:04 PM »
A parent is supposed to do for their child what they are not able to do for themselves, and train them in the skills they need to become an independent adult. This starts from dressing themselves as toddlers, to doing their own laundry, paying bills and making "business" phone calls when they are more grown up.

You offered to provide for your child's medical needs when she did not have the money.  Everything else is stuff she is able to do for herself, and should.

I think if you are going to cancel the cellphone contract, you should give her notice ahead of time.  Doing it without saying anything comes off a little PA.

I agree so much with this. You're letting her make her own decisions and live with the consequences of them, but make sure you let her know ahead of time. How scary would it be to be broke, sick, and then all of a sudden have no working phone for anything?

ITA -- if you cancel her phone, let her know first. Also, would you be cutting off your only means of contact with her?

MOM21SON

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2013, 04:44:48 PM »
She was notified that her phone would be cut off.  She quit school.  The deal was it would be paid for as long as she was in school.

Given the OP's update. I would certainly cut the springs, now.  It's the only way she will learn.

*inviteseller

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2013, 05:21:35 PM »
She has been warned about the phone..I wouldn't just cut it.  She was told the rule when she quit school to go follow along with her friend, who is another master of making choices before thinking them through. And actually, I can cut it without telling her..phone service is in my name, I bought the phone, and she broke our contract.  She wants to be an adult, part of that is realizing she can't just bebop around anywhere and expect me to still take care of her.   As far as keeping in touch with me, seems to be I only get a call or text when she needs something  >:(.  I have adopted a very neutral tone when she starts whining and when she is done with whatever rant I just say "And what do you think you should do?". 

Harriet Jones

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2013, 05:29:22 PM »
I'm not saying that you shouldn't cancel the phone - just warn her first.  If it's been a while since you mentioned the no school == no phone deal, I don't think it would hurt to actually tell her that phone will be cut off on X date.

MOM21SON

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #29 on: July 15, 2013, 05:32:54 PM »
She has been warned about the phone..I wouldn't just cut it.  She was told the rule when she quit school to go follow along with her friend, who is another master of making choices before thinking them through. And actually, I can cut it without telling her..phone service is in my name, I bought the phone, and she broke our contract.  She wants to be an adult, part of that is realizing she can't just bebop around anywhere and expect me to still take care of her.   As far as keeping in touch with me, seems to be I only get a call or text when she needs something  >:(.  I have adopted a very neutral tone when she starts whining and when she is done with whatever rant I just say "And what do you think you should do?".

From my experience, you should follow through with the agreement.