Skip to comments.A loving mother's advice: Hit the road, son (How I convinced my son to leave home)
Posted on 08/07/2012 7:11:58 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
I love my son dearly, and I was looking forward to seeing him, but I couldn't face another summer living with him.
For six months, it had been an ongoing topic of discussion. But by May of this year it was abundantly clear that the time had come for our 23-year-old son, Flannery, a UCSB graduate in film, to get a place of his own.
I live and teach creative writing to college students in Alabama during the academic year. It's not ideal living 2,200 miles from my husband, but it's what we do to make a dent in the $100,000 in college debt we owe for our kids. My husband teaches second grade in LAUSD, and I come home for summers. I love my son dearly, and was looking forward to seeing him, but I couldn't face another summer living with him.
When my school year ended, Flannery flew to Birmingham to drive home to California with me. I was excited about the road trip, which would also include his 21-year-old sister, Lucy, who'd flown in from school in New York, and their 13-year-old sister, Norah, who lives with me in Alabama during the school year. But I had braced myself to stay firm about Flannery's moving out.
In Alabama I don't worry as much about him. An actor-director-musician-screenwriter, Flannery lives an artistic life, etched in a noir palette of late-night L.A. It had been a relief to be far away from the ignored texts, thumping band practice and driveway cleanup after raucous parties. To clean up one post-midnight mess, I poured steaming water on the cement, while three raccoons rose up like misty figures from a Miyazaki film to observe the driveway debauchery.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Stop breast feeding him..... just kidding
Flannery will make a fine fluffer.
Many, many years ago, I stayed with my parents for a few months after leaving the service. When I told my father I was moving out, he simply said “Make it work because you are not moving back in.” From that point on, it never entered my mind to move back home. I knew my father cared for me but he was serious. When I moved out, my mother asked for the key to the house. That really hit me hard.....for about five minutes. I knew they were doing the best thing for me. It wasn’t easy, at times, but I made it work. Tough love works. I had to borrow $500 from my father once. My mother told me that until I payed him back, he would never loan me another dime. He never asked for the money but I payed him back in 30 days. I even got a second job.
Somewhere after Flagstaff, Flannery finally raised the subject: "You sure you want me to move? I need to tell this guy if I want the sublet." [answer: yes, definitely]
that's how she did it. It must have been horrifying
Success as a parent means raising your child to be independent and you are that. It is a good thing. I am proud of you and your parents. Keep it a life lesson.
Interesting that the parents could have chosen either California or Alabama for their daughter to attend school, and chose Birmingham. (The 13 year old could have stayed with her father, a grade school teacher, since he had the same work/school schedule.)
Kid is a film major. Parents spent what amounts to a house mortgage, for him to pursue a hobby.
And now, they're not satisfied with the result? Imagine that.
And I should give a rip because????????
A kid who's willing to do anything like that is OK,IMO...but I know that many (but not all) of today's kids are pretty lazy.
I did the same, right after college. Worked part-time for a few months while looking for a permanent gig.
The *second* that I got a full-time job, I was perusing the ads for a new apartment. Literally got a job one week, went apartment hunting the next weekend, moved out the following weekend.
Beyond a limited-term thing (like us), or an emergency ... why any young adult would choose to live with their parents is beyond me.
If she did breast feed this 29 year old, would it be just as appalling as if she were to clean up his puke on the driveway after one of his “raucous parties”?
Even Peyote fried California brains don't come up with that ?
Concieved at night in the desert under a flannel blanket ?
Just sayin' ....
It was sensible advice, as it was nice not to be starting out in a hole.
But long term? Or permanently? No way.
I'm still not getting over paying 100K for a film major. When would they start to see a return on that kind of investment?
After graduating from college, number one son lived at home long enough to save up for an engagement ring for his beloved - then he was in his own apartment, paying his own bills. What better training for marriage?
We often came home from work to find our refrigerator had been raided by number two son - the chef. And when it came time for him to buy his own restaurant, he knew where to come for help. “Can I borrow $200,000?” We still laugh about that! We did what we could and for the last 13 years he and his wife have run a successful business.
I honestly believe that preparing them from early on to leave the nest was among the best things we did for them.
Well, I’m glad that worked for you and your family, but life isn’t a one size fits all proposition. I could never treat anyone in my family that way.
On Married With Children, the daughter came in one day and asked about a junk car, “What’s that, in the front yard?”
The dad said, “Your butt when it turns 18.”
After college, I found a great guy and got engaged. My parents told me to stay home with them to save for the wedding. I was very respectful in my parent's home; paid my on everything (including food), had very few guests, and helped around the house. Most of the time, they wouldn't even know I was there.
Moved back only once: when we transitioned to Texas and I was trying to sub-lease my apartment. Longest two months of my life.
Only borrowed money once ($1,000), when medical bills devastated my family after my daughter's premature birth. It was the first bill we paid every month until it was paid in full.
I knew a few people who lingered at Mom and Dad's well into their 20's. Perpetual children.
Francis Coppola and Martin Scorsese both are both film school graduates. Do you think they are fluffers?
My nephew graduated from film school (film editing) last year.No,he's not a pervert...he's a film fan who's also a technogeek.My sister paid a lot more than $100K.Before he entered I begged her to send him to the state university (where he had a full four year scholarship) but little "Jimmy" wanted the $120K school.Today,he's traveling 120 miles a day,3 days a week to make about $5/hr (I guess he's an "independent contractor" or something).He's a great kid but has the maturity of a 10 year old and my sister can never say "no" to him (she was widowed about 8 years ago).
Makes it handy, Mrs WBill leans on them during the day for lots of grandkid-sitting. It's pretty much a win-win-win for everybody.
We've had a few lean times. Mom and Dad have always offered - "You can move back in with us if you need to." I've told them, "No offense, but if I ask, it means that we're 1 step removed from a cardboard box on a steam grate." It's still nice to have a net to land on, but nicer not to use it.
When my family was moving into a new house just recently, there were a few complications with the closing. We wound up staying with Mom and Dad for about a week while things were getting sorted out. Frankly, that was long enough. :-)
The bottom line is a kid has to have some skin in the game. I have a Jr and Sr in high school. They both have jobs and it’s pretty nice I am not dishing out money to them when they are out with friends. They are saving and enjoying the summer at their expense....not mine.
My dad gave each of his children a suit case for high school graduation.
Kid should have taken out his own college loans. I doubt very seriously that he would have signed for $100,000. Parents are idiots.
Flannery will get you nowhere.
By the time I got to the part about her cleaning up the driveway after sonny-boy and friends, I was ready to vomit myself.
If my kids are that needy and self-centered in their 20s, I will officially declare myself a failed parent, not writing articles showing it off.
Were Flannery a graduate with a degree related to the Oil and Gas Industry, he’d have a starting salary of about $80,000 and would be paying off his student loans himself.
However, that would require that he would be able to do math, something that seems to have escaped the past two generations of Americans. The totally worthless Dept. of Miseducation ought to be investigating that serious deficiency because it is dangerous to our nation’s future.
M two boys were good kids, one about 23 the other about 21 when my wife and I decided that after 22 years in the Navy we were going to build and move into our own permanent new house. The builder told us that we could close and move in in 7-8 months. We informed the boys that we would be moving within that timeframe, and that they would not be moving with us, so it was time to find other arrangements. After a few moments of silence, they looked at each other and said “cool!”. I was completely speechless, having expected recriminations and a battle. It was the best thing we ever did for them, I think. 16 years later both area successful in their lives, with wonderful families and they even come visit us occasionally. You just gotta let them grow.
My story briefly. I worked since I was 10. I started cutting grass, moved to a steel mill and then tried college - which I could not afford. After 6 years in the Navy the GI bill put me through college. Then I got a job in Texas and never looked back. The biggest debt that I had was $1500 for a nice engagement ring. All of my children moved out after college. I always figured the ideal distance between me and my parents was 250 + miles. I have always been independent, but I was prepared and had some good breaks.
She’s waaay past 18, but I still don’t think her butt looks like a junk car...:)
C’mon, you know they are the exception not the rule.
On his 18th birthday, one guy I know came downstairs for breakfast to find his plate broken and his fork bent backwards. He got the hint.
That’s what we did. Son lived with us for a few months after he got out of the navy. Then found someone to split the rent on a house while he was in college. The roommate was a deadbeat and didn’t help pay the rent so he moved back in with us for awhile. He never asked a dime from us, and was adamant that we don’t help him over and above a room to live in. We didn’t mind him being home for awhile. He saved his money, got married in May. He’s going to school and working. He graduates December of this year. Wife has a degree. They have no college loans - both are very thrifty. He was home only as long as he needed to be. We’re glad to have the house to ourselves!
So....at that rate, he'd only need to work 20 years to break even. :-)
The politically correct thing to say is: "Well, he's getting a foot in the door. We all started out at the bottom. Etc." But, since we're all FReepers here, I can say that it sounds like a lot of money is getting flushed.
If the kid is techie, then he'll find another niche as soon as he gets hungry enough. There aren't many smart, technically-oriented people waiting in line at soup kitchens.
But, the short term will be tough to watch.
Not starting in a hole made *everything* easier for me. So many of my friends went deep in debt with college loans. Or, ran up their credit cards while working towards a permanent fulltime position. Or, did both, while buying a car, etc etc etc.
Tough to be successful when you're already a monthly house payment's worth (or more) of debt behind, before even buying a house.
That spells either "genius" or "loser." No middle ground there.
I get the hint his parents were a**holes,....and cowards,too!
Sheesh,some of you sound quite sensible ,but some sound not like tough love but wild animals .
Sure ,teach your kids to work and be responsible.
You are mixing art with finance.
Could be a genius, who is not marketable, at least yet.
Could be a loser in both the artistic sense and financially.
So many have artistic interest without talent. I love music, own a grand piano; can't play worth a damn. But I still enjoy it. The piano cost $6,500 and is still worth the same today.
Some end up caregivers making life and death decisions for years so I caution anyone who discovers someone lives or lived "at home" past the day their 18th birthday rolled around to tread carefully.
Unfortunately, there's no support once that job is over. You've lost years (even decades) of work experience and retirement savings, not completed education plans, your peers have moved on and built families. You don't know where you belong in life because you had developed none of your own.
Parents owe it to their spouses and children to have planned for that possibility.
Young Master Madden should put his Film Skills to work and make an autobiography.
I can see how that situation can substantially impact a person's life in a negative way. Even if people willingly make that sacrifice, it will inalterably change a person's life. I know from whence you speak.
My husband's father put off getting married for years because when he came home from work at night, his second full time job was taking care of his ailing mother.
My brother acted as part-time caregiver for my grandparents for several years. He lived in their house, but he paid almost all the household bills out of his salary and helped my grandmother care for my grandfather (who had Alzheimers) in the evenings and on the weekends. Since their house was paid for, all he had to cover was the property taxes and the minimal utilities they used. Was a lot less expensive than an apartment, helped my grandparents immensely (physically, mentally, and financially), and he was able to amass a small fortune (that he eventually turned into a large fortune) because he wasn't out partying every night like his friends.
The folks I'm talking about are the classic bums. One I knew spent most of his time high, and the other had a job but blew almost all his money on movies and video games. Not surprisingly, they are no longer in my circle.
I think that Eastwood and Chuck Norris are the last living actors that I would care to bet on being 100% straight.
“Flannery? ... Conceived at night.... Just sayin’”
The name “Flannery” means Red Warrior and is an Irish name. Perhaps a family name. My father’s side is of Irish descent so we have a Maeve, Ryan, Norah, Meghan, Caitlin, Bridget (and so on). Just my opinion but I like family names.
My point, jokingly, was that if you excell at all four you're probably a genius, otherwise someone without a clear concept of what you want to do in life. Art vs. finance does not figure in this.
“I’ve never yet met anyone with a degree in film that wasn’t gay.”
You need to meet my son. He has a degree in film from Rice University in Texas. He is an award winning documentary film director and has lived in London 25+ years. He has a wife and a son. Definitely not a homo and doesn’t approve of that “lifestyle”. His work appears on the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and History channels in this country.
If I seem to be painting with a broad brush, be aware that I've got a background in the fine arts and design. In my circle there was quite a lot of crossover into film, especially animation. One of the main reasons I retooled and got out was the overwhelming predominance of homosexuals. 25 years ago a lot of them were closeted. I imagine few of them are now.