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Old 03-26-2015, 10:17 AM   #201
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I'm the parent of two young children (1 and 4). One thing I think I will encourage is going away to a college that is at least an hour drive away. My starting inclination is to pay full tuition and books, but expect that they pay their basic living expenses themselves via part-time jobs.

I think having the kids live at home during college may delay the natural push towards independence that moving out provides.
I completely agree with this because I lived through it myself.

My Dad died when I was 16, and my Mom wasn't ready to live on her own yet. Basic things like handling the finances, balancing a checkbook, running the household, etc, had always been done by Dad, so there was a lot for her to learn and get used to.

She made me a deal, that if I lived at home and went to school at the local university, she'd cover all the costs so I wouldn't have student debt. Even though the local university was pretty cheap (I think my TOTAL college costs for four years were just a few thousand dollars) and I'd gotten a high ACT score and probably could have gone to a MUCH better school (same state, but a few hours away) on a partial scholarship, I took her up on the offer and lived at home instead.

And as horrible as it sounds, I've always considered that a mistake that I would go back and change if I could.

The reason is, with Dad gone and me as the only child (I do have older siblings but they're much older and moved away from home before all this) Mom got very controlling. She was always a "my house, my rules" kind of person, and I was basically treated like a little kid all through college. I had a ridiculous curfew (8pm IIRC) for a college student, couldn't go out and party, didn't have many friends because of it, etc. And anytime I tried to challenge her on it to get a little more understanding and freedom, especially for an early 20's college kid, she got angry and defensive.

Basically, the college experience for me was nonexistent.

When I graduated, Mom was ready to live on her own at that point, although she still wanted me to find a job locally so I could be close to home, but no way was I having any more of that. I took the first job I could just so I could get the hell out and finally start having some freedom and independence.

I don't have kids, but if I ever did, I would FORCE them to go away to school. In fact, I'd encourage them to go to school in another country to get a completely different view on the world and be exposed to more things.

I would never want a kid to go through what I did, which was a complete lack of learning freedom and independence, and the college experience. That's one of the most formative times of somebody's life, and I would never deny them that.
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:34 AM   #202
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My god. 8pm curfew for a college student?


That is an extreme case indeed. The polar opposite of the family that moved without telling their son when he went to college.
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:24 PM   #203
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I was the only child of controlling parents. When I was a toddler they moved to a home close to the university they wanted me to attend. I lived at home throughout my formal education (which they paid for) and for the first two years of my working life, paying rent as soon as I had earnings. I had minimal social life in university. I understood that this was something I had to get through to achieve financial independence and as soon as the opportunity presented itself, I moved to another city, began my "real" education and never looked back. I believe my parents were proud of my achievements but disappointed that I did not fulfil their vision of becoming their primary caregiver. Gee, I wonder why their plan backfired?
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:58 PM   #204
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I felt that living away at college was an important part of the college experience. The older son went to a state university 2.5 hours away and he was fine with that. He lived in the dorm all 4 years and although his dorm was a typical dorm the chaos and antics didn't bother him because he lived inside his computer (Computer Science major) and was fine with that.

Our younger son went to that same state university for one semester and although he enjoyed having his brother there and they spent time together, the chaos and partying ruined the whole thing for him. He felt that the freshman classes were a waste of time and he didn't need all the free time that left him living among the party animals in his dorm. He complained to the dorm staff but they were part of the problem. He finished the semester, skipped one semester (lived at home, worked and paid a household contribution) and then transferred to a local state university so his credits transferred. As part of his transfer process he had an exit interview and told them exactly why he was leaving.

While I was sorry that it didn't work out for him in the dorm, it was because he isn't your typical drinker/drugger/time waster, so I was proud of him that he stuck with his standards for himself rather than going along with how the other students behaved.
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Old 03-26-2015, 01:07 PM   #205
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I refuse to be a soft parent just so they'll "like" me.
You're not considering all the alternatives rodi.......

You don't necessarily have to be a "soft parent" in order for the kids to like you. Rather than that, I just gave some thought to how I delivered "hard."

Worked for me and I completely agree with Ha.
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Old 03-26-2015, 01:32 PM   #206
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From looking at our kids' friends, I wold agree with katsmeow that going away and at what age depends on the individual kid and the school environment. I see some have thrived with moving to a far away state or even a different country and were okay from day one, and some weren't really ready to live away from home yet and had trouble making friends or flunked / dropped out or both. Maybe they would have flunked or dropped out at a local community college, too, but it sure would have been a lot cheaper way for the parents to find that out.

Some kids have handled the party lure of being away by taking classes half time and are on the 8 year graduation plan, while the parents provide 100% of the support both still work full time themselves.
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Old 03-26-2015, 01:55 PM   #207
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My parents were the opposite of controlling. Other than a reasonable expectation of civility, there was really only one rule.. we were expected to let them know where we were and when we would return home. That's it... no curfew, etc. If I told them that I was at my girlfriend's drinking and wouldn't be home until 8 am the next morning that would have been fine.

I do recall that one time when I was a senior in high school and I lost track of time, forgot to call and arrived at home at 4 am and Dad was waiting at the top of the stairs.... it was not a pleasant experience!
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:01 PM   #208
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If I told them that I was at my girlfriend's drinking and wouldn't be home until 8 am the next morning that would have been fine.
Spending the night at a boyfriend's house would have resulted in severe consequences for me. I remember being explicitly told that if I got pregnant I would be booted out of the house and disowned.

I didn't agree with it, but when you live in a dictatorship you either rebel and take the consequences, develop Stockholm syndrome, or meticulously plot your escape. I went for door #3.
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:10 PM   #209
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I was lucky at the trust and freedom I had but I suspect there was a little reverse psychology going on in that they were figuring that if they gave me enough rope to hang myself that I wouldn't hang myself to spite them.

My birds & bees "talk" was pretty much limited to a stern Dad saying "You aren't screwing around with [girlfriend's name] are you? If you are, I hope you're using protection."
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Old 03-26-2015, 04:06 PM   #210
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I didn't agree with it, but when you live in a dictatorship you either rebel and take the consequences, develop Stockholm syndrome, or meticulously plot your escape. I went for door #3.
Funny how times have changed. My mother went to nursing school and then did a short residency away from home at Johns Hopkins. She was offered the job opportunity of a lifetime, but her father, a very nice man, demanded she return home, not willing to consider any option where she lived away from home while unmarried.

When I went to college one of my criteria was "how far away from home is it"? I went as far away as possible, and we all were probably better off for it. My first summer back I paid room and board and let my folks know I would be respectful but considered myself no longer subject to their rules. I believe my sisters tried to do the same but were unsuccessful.
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Old 03-26-2015, 04:38 PM   #211
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Funny how times have changed. My mother went to nursing school and then did a short residency away from home at Johns Hopkins. She was offered the job opportunity of a lifetime, but her father, a very nice man, demanded she return home, not willing to consider any option where she lived away from home while unmarried.

When I went to college one of my criteria was "how far away from home is it"? I went as far away as possible, and we all were probably better off for it. My first summer back I paid room and board and let my folks know I would be respectful but considered myself no longer subject to their rules. I believe my sisters tried to do the same but were unsuccessful.
Expectations have always been different for women. The risks of partying and promiscuity are greater for females.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:12 PM   #212
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On the kids living at home for college, a few more comments. As I said below, not every kid is ready to leave home and live in a dorm (or apartment just because he or she is 18 or whatever). So, for them, I think living at home and going to school locally with criteria as to when they can go away works well (and worked well for us).

When I went to college I think I was ready to go away and would have been fine in a dorm environment. My mother simply wouldn't allow it. I wanted to attend the University of Texas (and was accepted), but she wanted to me to go to school at one of the local colleges. I did. She was not quite as bad as LoneAspen. I did have a curfew but it was reasonable. We did have one huge fight when I was 21, just about to graduate (I went summers so I could graduate in 3 years). I wanted to drive over one evening to see a friend attending another college (she lived with her grandmother). I would have to drive on a freeway near a bad part of town and my mother was scared to death I would have car trouble and wouldn't let me go (long before cell phones). I argued against it saying I was 21. She told me that if I went she wouldn't pay for me to go to law school (my parents until then were willing to pay for me to go to law school). So, I didn't go.

When I applied to law school, she wanted me to go to a law school that I could commute to. I applied to the far better school that I actually wanted to go to (a few hours away) and a couple of other out of town schools. I told her that I didn't get into the local school (and I didn't, since I didn't apply to it)....

With my kids that lived at home during college or part of it (we still have one daughter at home who is 18 and in CC and one son living in an apartment at college an hour away), I gave them a lot more freedom than my mom gave me. And, I've always been mindful of age and don't treat an 18 year old like a 16 year old.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:42 PM   #213
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I feel that if you ever become financially dependent on your children, you've failed at life.

In addition, I believe that having kids with the expectation that they'll look after you in your old age is incredibly selfish and callous. Ever think the kids might have better things to do than wipe your a**?

There are many reasons to have kids (so I'm told; I never saw the upside personally), but creating a financial safety net should not be one of them.
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Right. And how's that working out for them?

In my opinion, those countries are either economic disasters (Greece, Spain, India), or sound like miserable places to exist due to cultural and legal facism (China, Saudi Arabia). North America is a utopia compared to virtually every other country in the world. THEY should be emulating US, not the other way around. Binding familial generations together in financial co-dependence seems like a great way to constrain ambition and initiative. You've seen the end result as European socialist nations teeter on the brink of bankruptcy.

What's the point in working my butt off and putting in a bunch of overtime if it's just going to get spent buying diabetes medication for my obese dad who took care of himself neither physically nor financially? Let the government pick up the tab.
There have been complaints in the rant thread that it was lacking honest-to-goodness rants. Well, we have a wonderful example of a rant (see above). The rant above is emotional, powerful, angry, tries to make a point (or two) and bounces around in sort of a weird way. It's got it all. Unfortunately, the rant was placed in the wrong thread.
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:32 AM   #214
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Thanks to one and all for an interesting discussion.
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