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Would you send your kid off to another country to volunteer because you thought they were lazy and spoiled???

I just sent my 22 year old off to Costa Rica to volunteer for a month! Why? I must say that watching MTVs show Exiled inspired me to want to send my daughter somewhere where she can learn a life lesson about appreciating the things she has and how fortunate she is.

I wouldn't have even sent her had she started working. But she turned down numerous job offers because it wasn't what she was "looking for" and now she has nothing! So off to Costa Rica she went!

She actually left this Sunday. We had a fight after she left through the phone, text messaging and then email when she was there....then things got better, then they got worse and now I'm not sure.

I signed her up for 2 weeks renovation and construction and 2 weeks childcare in an orphanage. I feel she really needs a reality check... read my journal post (since the space here is very limited) for my whole story....

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strongmom61

Asked by strongmom61 at 10:16 PM on Jul. 24, 2009 in Adult Children (18+)

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Answers (19)
  • Will you send me as well? I went to Costa Rica for two weeks when I was 17 and I really enjoyed it. I went on a mission trip through our church. We helped with VBS and also helped organized a back to school drive for the community. I think what you did is awesome and when she gets back I am sure she will thank you. You gave her a wonderful opportunity and hopefully it will open her eyes to how well she has it at home.

    JeremysMom

    Answer by JeremysMom at 10:23 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • Good for you! There are too many people waiting for an incredible job these days, without realizing that if they get busy with SOMETHING, there is a much better chance of the INCREDIBLE to happen! I'm all for your approach.
    mummolly

    Answer by mummolly at 10:25 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • no I wouldn't do that. I have three kids, oldest 25yo, 21 yo and 17 yo nearly, one son and two daughters. I would put mine in community volunteer service where I could keep an eye on them if that much trouble were caused. Two many missing natalie hollaways for my comfort.

    But I'm sure you researched things well. I'm sure she'll come back quite grown. It's not what I would do but I don't fault you. You had the strength to do it now keep that strength while she's gone and to whatever degree you're allowed to be in contact with her, do that. Be a bit sympathetic and encouraging. Let her proudly tell you of accomplishments. Probably part of her troubles is that she feels that you listen but don't hear what she says.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:27 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • You sent off your 22 year old! I started treating my 3 sons like adults around the age 16. My 21 year old (youngest) has a great job and has just bought a house with a pool. He only has an IQ of 80 because he was born premature and had developmental delays. He hasn't been able to pass the GED because of problems with math. He also has bipolar distorder and a genetic immune deficiency disease. Like he says he is doing the best with his abilities.

    One of my other sons was a nurse by the time he was 19. We homeshchooled and he passed his GED with honors and was able to start nursing school at 17.

    A 22 year old is an adult. You can't make them do something they don't want to. Why is she letting you do that?

    GailllAZ

    Answer by GailllAZ at 10:33 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • Trust me I've been hitting my head against the wall asking myself, Where did we go wrong? I blame us for making life too easy growing up, but that stopped awhile ago. We cancelled her cell phone back in February, I sent her to live with her grandparents when she refused to take jobs and we hardly support her financially. I've tried talking to her about her future. I'm really confused at times. However, she sent me a really great email that has given me hope that maybe she will learn from this experience and I didn't just waste my money... I've posted her email that she sent me about her first day of volunteering and what she thought of it so far...

    As she continues to send me emails I will post them...
    strongmom61

    Answer by strongmom61 at 11:39 PM on Jul. 24, 2009

  • I can't believe you are forcing a 22 year old to do anything, you have no right to do so as she is no longer a child. For goodness sakes do you think the fact it appears you treat her like a child might contribute to her acting like one. Back off mum. If you don't like her choices at this age the only thing you should be doing is asking her to find her own home. Have you heard of the concept of boundries.
    Waxing_Lyrical

    Answer by Waxing_Lyrical at 8:38 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • All kids are different. Some grow mature at an early age and others don't. Some love school some don't. So I think when a person think it's wrong to force your kids to do anything you have to ask whether you still care about them and whether some kind of intervention is needed. Do we sit on the sidelines and watch them screw up and say "they're old enough to make their own decisions", or do we continue to give them a guiding hands, sometimes even a push if we know it is for their own good? So they way I see it, as long as your kids live under your roof, thye have to follow your rules and they don't like it then let them find another roof to live under. Let my kid see that life could be a hell of a lot worse. Kids today don't realize how fortunate they are to have been born to the right parent and in the right country.
    strongmom61

    Answer by strongmom61 at 10:43 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • I think what you did should help her to see the world with differ eyes. But I'm surprise at her age. Living at home and not working or trying to find a job it may be to late.
    KathyH105

    Answer by KathyH105 at 1:34 PM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • My Dad helped me get a job right after graduation and sat me down and told me "this what you need to do" he laid out how I was to pay a certian percentage of the bills. He left the bills out and a calculator and I would figure out my percent. I didn't mind at all. When she comes back her volunteer work will look great on a resume and she will see that she can be productive and love that feeling.
    pnwmom

    Answer by pnwmom at 6:13 PM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • isn't that where they are kidnapping and killing Americans? Yeah , that was smart. Why not send her at least to a safe country?
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:15 PM on Jul. 26, 2009

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