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Old 11-28-2012, 06:02 PM   #41
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I would like to know what his kids have done exactly. Maybe alcoholism, prostituting, doing hard drugs, putting their kids at risk every day, maybe even abuse going on.... Who knows? I still believe some of the comments here are very harsh without knowing the facts.

My brother was a piece of sh!t towards my parents. He made them cry for years and his kids suffered a lot from his very nasty divorce. Did I send him angry emails ? Yes. Did he deserve them ? Yes. Would I be happy for these emails to become public? No.
Did your emails help?

And regarding the Commodore, did he mention any of these things, or do you just have a very active imagination?
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:09 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by haha
Did your emails help?

And regarding the Commodore, did he mention any of these things, or do you just have a very active imagination?
My emails did not help. I have not spoken to my brother in many years (his kids talk to me but not to him).

Re: the Crews' family, I am only extrapolating, as I have no idea what that family went through. But I am aware of many family secrets, and I can tell you that sometimes things are not pretty at all. I just hope some of the comments above would not be so harsh without knowing all the facts.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:32 PM   #43
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This is my last post on this topic, as I see many people have strong feelings. Interesting that many of these strongly approving of the letter are non-parents.

My reason for disapproving of the father in this case, is that no matter what happened, and we have zero reason to think it is any more that Daddy not getting his expected prestige dividend from his expenditures on fancy educations, and by his wanting to control his adult children, rather than accept them. And he is clearly not a reticent person. If there were any of the issues you suggest (with no evidence at all), would he be worried about them not reaching their achievment potentials? After all, he is blaming them for divorces! A divorce is completely legal, and happens at least once to half of all married people.

But leaving that aside, even if there are things to be regretted in the children's lives, this father's response is guaranteed to make things worse, not better.

It might take self control, and a degree of empathy to try to help rather than to just dump. But he apparently has neither of these virtues. So he chose to dump. And he even justifies this by saying he felt much better afterward. Well congratulations, Commodore. So does every bully who ever lived feel better after he abuses someone.

So, from his POV, best case he is justly worried. Worst case, he is offended and "disappointed".

Either case, his response makes him an idiot, which is all I said.

Ha
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:56 AM   #44
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Your points are well taken, Ha. Thank you for taking the time to elaborate.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:02 AM   #45
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I can understand why he would be disappointed with his children's slacker lifestyles; but as others have said, they are not drug addicts, criminals, etc., and are entitled to make their own decisions.

His reference to being ashamed when other parents describe their children's successes is revealing. Why should his kids feel responsibility for supporting his competitive nature?

It is not easy being a parent ... or a child. They should all cut each other some slack.

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Originally Posted by haha
And regarding the Commodore, did he mention any of these things, or do you just have a very active imagination?
Apparently he retired from the RN with the rank of Commander. Not sure why you have 'promoted' him a couple of ranks!
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:35 AM   #46
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In any event, a rant like this damages the adult child, and permanently impairs whatever relationship the parent might hope to have with him or her. It is simply bad parenting, no matter what the circumstances. Can any person imagine any situation made better by a son or daughter hearing what a disappointment they have been? Doesn't this guy realize that they already know he is not happy with them? Which in today's world is really no one's fault but his. Disappointment is owned by the disappointee, not the one who allegedly created the disappointment.

Ha
Damages the adult child? I hope an adult can handle some tough love. What now? They need to see a psychiatrist? I think it's ok to let your children know that they've wasted their talents. I've seen enough situations where parents provided their children with ample opportunities only to have the children throw them away and live downright pitiful lives and often mediocre lives. So, yes, I see no problem in a parent voicing such disappointments. I think the English culture is very different; parents have high expectations. I am not surprised that most people in England, who read the letter, took his side. In America, we tend to coddle more and accept our childrens failings more because "as long as they're happy doing what they're doing, we are fine".
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:43 AM   #47
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I would tend to give the dad (letter writer) the benefit of the doubt.

My guess is that the dad is spot on since his wife agreed to him sending it and the eldest daughter seems to confirm that it was not totally out of line. Sounds like the kids are slackers/underachievers who were provided the opportunity but failed to grasp the golden ring and made some pretty bad decisions and the grandparent's concern is more with the impact of their children's behavior on their grandchildren.

Reading between the lines it was NOT the letter writer who made the email public, but the eldest daughter.
I am way too out of the loop to have an opinion. The only thing that bugged me was the father upset over not having "bragging rights" over his children to his friends.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:46 PM   #48
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None of these decisions were made with any pretence to ask for our advice.
In each case we have been expected to acquiesce with mostly hasty, but always in our view, badly judged decisions. None of you has done yourself, or given to us, the basic courtesy to ask us what we think while there was still time finally to think things through.
Well, golly, it's a mystery to me why none of them came to dear ol' Dad for his helpful coaching and astute mentoring. Because, after all, parents want their adult children to be dependent on their advice (and criticism) for the rest of their lives. It's so much easier than becoming an independent grownup.

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A bit surprised a military officer would not have made known his expectations/values much earlier in their lives. Perhaps he was a totally detached father or simply said, do what I say, not what I do.
I suspect it was absentee parenting due to long hours at sea and long hours onboard inport.

In other words, absentee parenting. And suddenly he can't figure out why their first 18 years didn't make them into mature adults.

I have to admit that lately quite a few U.S. flag/general officers have been mired in their feet of clay.

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I am glad to hear that the daughter took it constructively. While depending on the circumstances the frustration could be understandable, my concern was that the letter would not make things better...
Eh, I wonder if that optimism about her turnaround is premature. Let's wait another 10-20 years and see what type of long-term care she arranges for her patriarch. Then we'll know her true feelings.

Crews could've said something along the lines of "Your mother is very disturbed to hear your complaints and your blow-by-blow recitations of the drama in your personal lives. I understand that you're going through some tough times and that you might want our help. You'll always have our love and our support, and we'll be happy to offer our help sometime if you take the opportunity to visit for a long discussion about the situation. Otherwise I think your mother would appreciate less details and more good news."

But no, he needed to pile on for a good tongue-lashing.

Since he seems to have agreed to the publication of his letter, I'm going to post it to Facebook's "Cold War Submarine Veterans" group. There are at least a dozen British submariners there, and I'm sure at least one of them has served with the good man.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:39 AM   #49
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Since he seems to have agreed to the publication of his letter, I'm going to post it to Facebook's "Cold War Submarine Veterans" group. There are at least a dozen British submariners there, and I'm sure at least one of them has served with the good man.
Don't forget to follow up here with any amusing responses.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:07 PM   #50
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Don't forget to follow up here with any amusing responses.
Shared responses, a few blog posts, an eBook or two...
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