On the day my daughter's friend (former boyfriend) turned 18 he was kicked out of his childhood home. He took himself to the movies alone for his birthday. He pretty much knew it was going to happen because his parents had been shoving him out all summer while he was still 17. Yet, he was always expected to watch his younger siblings and he had some crazy rules to abide by (rules that were more appropriate for a 10 year old) while still being forced to pay for rent, food, laundry and his phone service!
Now, you might think he's some awful, bratty kid but he's quite the opposite. He's sweet, hard working and very respectful. I honestly can't tell you how he was at home because I do know that some teens act much differently depending on their surroundings. But from what I've seen, the family is very regimented and the kids are treated more like commodities. This boy was very active in his youth group (maybe not by choice but he never made it seem that way). I also know that this boy literally supported himself, paying rent even before he was 18, babysitting for free and taking his own laundry to the laundromat on his bike! He and my daughter were not welcome to hang out at the family home when they were dating. I think many of us here would agree that the best way to show you care about your child is to accept their friends, get to know them and make them feel welcome.
"M" is staying on some friends' property (I'll call it "camping" because it's basically a trailer with no running water or electricity) but has an open invitation to stay with us. He was employed but his hours were cut and then he eventually lost that job so there's literally nothing keeping him in his hometown at this point (it's about 100 miles away from where we live). He had already planned a long time ago to join the Air Force and he will be going to basic training in a couple of months. While I'm not sure how much of his decision was made based on his lack of choices, I think this is what he really wants to do. On the other hand, who knows what choices he would have made had his parents not treated him like a stranger. Regardless, he's committed and that's what he's going to do. I hope he will find comraderie but what I really hope is that his parents learn to appreciate their son and not be so cold-hearted! If he never speaks to them again it will be their own fault.
What do you ladies honestly think about parents who would treat their child like this? I was heartbroken when I heard this from my daughter. When taking the whole package into consideration, I've come to the conclusion that this boy's parents are nuts! Am I just a sucker or do a lot of parents work this way when dealing with children who are suddenly technically adults? Just wondering. I know we all have had different challenges with our kids and I'm new to being a parent of an adult so maybe I'm just out of the loop.