Update

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by LauraH, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    After two days my son called me today and apologized for the other night. He's coming over, primarily because he's expecting a check in the mail that could be here any day, but also presumably to discuss Thanksgiving. I had tested the waters last night by texting him to see if he still planned to be here. No response at that time. He did come by yesterday to pick up his suitcase which the airline had shipped to my house. He was civil but distant, and i wasn't much warmer. I wanted to hug him tight but didn't feel he would be receptive, so I held my peace.

    I'm a little anxious about how this meeting will go. I felt like telling him he couldn't come until this evening because I had to work (which I do) but since my work schedule is strictly my choice I also felt that this might be more important than a few extra dollars. I just don't know what to expect or what his motives are, aside from getting his expected check. At this point it could go any number of different ways because emotions are still a little raw on all sides.
     
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  2. Deni D

    Deni D Member

    Laura ~ I hope everything went well with your son's visit.
     
  3. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Laura, I hope the visit went well. Fingers crossed that as I type this you are all sitting around having a nice chat.
     
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I dont think you can parent an adult. in my opinion thats the wrong word. We can suggest but they have all the veto power. To this day I leave my adult kids alone regarding their decisions unless they ask for my advice or opinion. in my opinion we CANT parent a 25 year old so I dont call it that. I dont even give Bart advice unless he asks for it. The others make good decisions but sometimes I would do things differently than them, even if its not a bad idea, but in my opinion its none of my business to say so.
     
  5. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    It actually went very well. We all had a nice dinner around 9, which is late for most people but it works with my husband's work schedule. By the time we were done and visited for a while it was too late for him to get home by bus so we called an Uber for him. The normal tension in the room even when nobody's bickering, making a scene, or causing drama didn't seem to be in here this evening. I didn't feel like I had to walk on eggshells to avoid drama. That's a small miracle! So just appreciating tonight and not looking ahead to what may or may not happen in the future. All's good for one night at least and that's enough for now.
     
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  6. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    You're absolutely right, and I stopped offering unsolicited advice, except in rare cases, because he seems to resent it when I do. I may ask him a leading question, like tonight I asked him if he had started doing his online class for a job he's been offered. (I'm afraid he's running out of time and the job will fall through). He simply said "not yet" so I let it drop and didn't pursue it any further because I interpreted that as him not wanting to discuss it with me.
     
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  7. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Sounds like a great night.

    Relationships with adult children...treat them like you would a good friend. Don't offer advice unless asked. Don't nudge or badger. Don't bring up unpleasant past. Encourage, compliment, flatter. So easy to stray from the norms of friendship.
     
  8. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    Except friendship is a two way street. My friends and I share about our lives, our kids, our pets. My son tells me very little about his every day life and if I ask him about something I usually get grunts or one word responses. If I mention something I'm doing or interested in I also typically get grunts or one word responses unless it is something that directly affects him. He's extremely self-centered and self-involved and everything else is secondary.

    But it is what it is and this is the reality of my relationship with my son. It is not likely to ever change significantly. I've given up expecting "friendliness", "courtesy" or "respect" and now will settle for simple civility.
     
  9. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Oh my, I didn't mean to suggest that our kids are our friends or even like friends. What I meant to say is that the only way to have a relationship with our kids is to treat them like we would a friend. That is, not like our children. There are boundaries in friendships. If a friend doesn't want to talk about something we drop it. If a friend made a mistake we don't judge or even mention it again. This may not help anyone else. But it helps me. It helps me put boundaries on what I talk about with my kids, on what I say to them.

    If my kids or friends share I listen. If not, fine. I agree that if a friend doesn't share there's not much friendship. Maybe a kid will never share. With my oldest I found that this approach did keep communication open. Not on all topics for sure. There were distinct topics that were off limits. But then, sometimes that happens with friends too. All I'm saying is that using this as a guideline has helped me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  10. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    One other thought. My personal belief...personalities are formed very young, perhaps before birth. Nature more important than nurture. I don't think that we can change the cores of personalities. But i firmly believe that we can improve relationships. No, you can't change a narcissist to a caring, compassionate, "give you the shirt off his back" type. But you may, assuming both sides are willing and trying, be able to form a reasonable relationship with him. That may be a phone call once a week for 10 minutes. Who knows? But something better than screaming tantrums. You had a good night, something to be happy about and build on.
     
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  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I dont think boys share as much as girls. My girls do share and are a lot like friends. Good friends.

    Sonic is very kind but quiet but when he shares its one big blurt!

    Bart shares about himself and has no interest in hearing a two way conversation. Wont even ask how we are doing.

    If I had only had Bart, I would not know that you can have a fun, good, kind friend relationship with an adult child.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  12. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    I have different relationships with different friends and different relationships with my kids. My daughter is my friend and doll baby but still needs direction at time and listens. My oldest son is physically handicapped and I am his care giver but I am also his sounding board and his companion as well as his social scheduler. My youngest son--the difficult child, I recently told him I am no longer going to just treat him as my kid but as an adult and when he needs something from me he is going to have to spell it out and ask. I am no longer going to interpret what he needs and then be told I was wrong and helped when he didn't need help. He can ask for help and I will tell him if I am willing to give it and what my terms for the help. No emotional terms, only financial since the help is financial. So far he has made good and paid me back what he borrowed.
     
  13. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    Absolutely agree on that. It took me a while to learn that one, though. It is completely possible to have a "friend" relationship with an adult child. My mom and my sister were best friends, and my brother and his older son are as well. I always dreamed that my son and I could have that kind of relationship when he grew up but I've long since decided that a dream was just what it was, not likely to ever become a reality.
     
  14. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    The only way I know that type of relationship is possible is by watching other family members and friends with their grown kids. I envy them that.
     
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This sounds good Tired.
     
  16. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    This is the policy I try to stick to, also. I don't respond to "I don't know where I am going to go!" or "I just don't know what to do!" except to say, "well, what are your ideas?" or "I'm sure you will figure something out." I do not offer help they have not directly asked for, or try to solve problems for them.

    Now that S has directly asked, I have to figure out what to do next...
     
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  17. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    I just give the best advice I know to give and leave the rest up to him. Or sometimes I don't have an answer for him but I'll try to talk him through the process of coming up with an idea on his own.