Fatherly Advice

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 15, 2009 5:55 AM GMT
    Situation: Father and son are very similar in their pigheadedness and have been for some time. They’ve been fighting for the majority of a decade over issues ranging from how to properly cut grass to tenants of major world religions and political party affiliation.

    Son has made less-than-stellar life decisions over the last eighteen months resulting in run-ins with the law and the loss of an academic scholarship. Son is currently paying for these mistakes monetarily, legally, and academically as best he knows how (father has not helped in any tangible way). Son has also made concessions to father and has very seriously attempted to be empathetic.

    It is not working.

    Son has recently learned through various means that father is making no effort to change and wants to punish son for poor decisions to prove a point. Father views son as a failed investment, both financially and morally, and has told son this to his face several times. Son maintained composure.

    Being nineteen years of age, with places to stay, jobs available, and enough street smarts to not get shot, son is contemplating sticking it to father because son is tired of trying to meet him halfway. Son has no interest in, or need for, father’s money and no desire for father’s company.

    As you’ve probably guessed, I’m son and in desperate need of advice on whether or not I should just cut my losses and leave. Any advice from those with experience or anyone with a level head would be much appreciated 

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 15, 2009 10:55 AM GMT
    I personally think deep inside you know what the answer is.

    Your father almost sounds just like mine but.
    -He was never there for me.

    -Said he was tired for paying for my mistakes.

    -Was verbally and physically abusive.

    -He lied like no other.

    -Alcoholic

    -Cheap/stingy

    I've decided to not have him in my life anymore because, who honestly needs someone dragging you down and telling you your not going to get far in life.

    My mom got full custody of me now since he moved to chicago and life has been good so faricon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 15, 2009 11:10 AM GMT
    You're 19!. Get your ass out and earn your way. Since when is it written in stone that parents have to pay for college, carry a child until they can quote 'make it on their own' ?? His legal responsibility for you ended when you blew out 18 candles on your cake, budd.
    As for the father's company, well, if you don't want to work in that job, find a new career.
    THEN maybe the father will start respecting you when you haul your own load.


    If you were looking for sympathy, look in the dictionary between 'soap opera' and 'syphillis'
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jun 15, 2009 11:56 AM GMT
    StudlyScrewRite said

    THEN maybe the father will start respecting you when you haul your own load.

    If you were looking for sympathy, look in the dictionary between 'soap opera' and 'syphillis'



    I think some of Studly's commentary to you was a bit "screwed"

    To begin with, its really pretty difficult for us to give you alot of detailed
    advice based on a lack of personal knowledge about you and your situation.
    From your reading, I don't think you are looking for sympathy and just want some practical advice.

    Because of the relationship, you do need to take responsibility for your own path...it sounds like the interaction with your Dad is mostly poison and anything you may choose to do would be "wrong". Live apart from him,
    be gainfully employed and think about what you want to do.. meaning going to college and set some prudent long term goals.... and do whats necessary to put your legal issues behind you in a responsible way.

    The paragraph about "son sticking it to father" needs to be history. Thats part of the problem here.. you feel jerked around so you keep reacting. Part of being a man is to suck it up and move forward. I'd seriously suggest you think about your future with your Dad..... someday things may improve.. don't sabatoge it now.. and be short sighted. Move forward with your future and don't focus on the issues with your Dad.

    Next weekend is Father's Day. Send him a card. I don't care if he is an SOB, take the initiative. If he doesn't appreciate it, you will. You made the effort.

    Your 19 years old... and many 19 year olds are still trying to figure things out, Some guys are in their 20's before they really get their act together and start thinking about their futures... you have to do it now. Think
    carefully and make good decisions... you'll be glad you did for the rest of your life.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jun 15, 2009 12:37 PM GMT
    My advise: Get the job, move out on your own and maintain a civil relationship with your parents. Don't get into discussions that you know will turn into arguments. It's easier said than done, but you need to stand on your own for yourself, not to prove something or punish him. If you live in an area where there is a community college, save money and enroll for at least one course and go until you can get an associates degree. The few years of sacrificing are worth it to have a degree, especially in this economy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 15, 2009 1:11 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan said
    StudlyScrewRite said

    THEN maybe the father will start respecting you when you haul your own load.

    If you were looking for sympathy, look in the dictionary between 'soap opera' and 'syphillis'



    I think some of Studly's commentary to you was a bit "screwed"

    To begin with, its really pretty difficult for us to give you alot of detailed
    advice based on a lack of personal knowledge about you and your situation.
    From your reading, I don't think you are looking for sympathy and just want some practical advice.


    Yeah it was kinda hard to reply to this because of the lack of history
  • hoo4u

    Posts: 119

    Jun 15, 2009 3:52 PM GMT
    My advice. DON'T BURN BRIDGES. Keep it civil. Even if you go out on your own. Don't try to stick it to anybody. What's that going to prove? Your dad sounds like he is concerned for you and isn't expressing that in a way you appreciate. Until you have walked in his shoes, you may never appreciate where he's coming from. Sounds like you are ready to go out on your own, which may be best for both of you right now. But do it with a clear heart and good intentions. Good Luck however it goes.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jun 15, 2009 4:08 PM GMT
    You're 19 and you've admitted you've made mistakes and that you are paying for them
    That should be it
    Your post is a bit obtuse in that it goes round and round without telling us what you did and what was your father's response so it's hard to judge who is right and who is wrong
    Living my younger life with a Father who was never there and when he was was verbally and emotionally abusive I always would tell people ....
    Does your Father have your best interests at heart?
    If the answer's yes ... then you got nothing to complain about
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 15, 2009 4:40 PM GMT
    holdenout saidSituation: Father and son are very similar in their pigheadedness and have been for some time. They’ve been fighting for the majority of a decade over issues ranging from how to properly cut grass to tenants of major world religions and political party affiliation.

    Son has made less-than-stellar life decisions over the last eighteen months resulting in run-ins with the law and the loss of an academic scholarship. Son is currently paying for these mistakes monetarily, legally, and academically as best he knows how (father has not helped in any tangible way). Son has also made concessions to father and has very seriously attempted to be empathetic.

    It is not working.

    Son has recently learned through various means that father is making no effort to change and wants to punish son for poor decisions to prove a point. Father views son as a failed investment, both financially and morally, and has told son this to his face several times. Son maintained composure.

    Being nineteen years of age, with places to stay, jobs available, and enough street smarts to not get shot, son is contemplating sticking it to father because son is tired of trying to meet him halfway. Son has no interest in, or need for, father’s money and no desire for father’s company.

    As you’ve probably guessed, I’m son and in desperate need of advice on whether or not I should just cut my losses and leave. Any advice from those with experience or anyone with a level head would be much appreciated 



    Well, now, you have to get your shit together, stop whining about the stuff you have no control over, and move on.

    You may, or may not, endear yourself to your dad, but, you need to get off the pity pot, learn from your mistakes, learn, and lead, through your errors, and good judgments, exercise more judgment, and do the best that you can.

    Your dad will do what your dad will do.

    Just like someone who got sick with HIV, or some other bad judgment, turn it into a positive and LEAD others, rather than whine, about your situation.

    The human brain doesn't mature until around 30 and sound judgment is the last part of that process. Learn to judge your situations. Learn to judge others. Learn to assess your situations. Good judgment is critical in your maturation.

    If your dad sees you maturing, and sees you make some progress, he may well become more involved in your life again, or, as you mature, you may decide you'd rather do it on your own.

    Stop whining; get busy.

    It's stupid for you to maintain a contentiousness relationship with your parents. Get your crap together, get some time under your belt, learn some judgment, learn from experience, take care of yourself, and the rest will fall into place. Quit crying and get busy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 15, 2009 4:49 PM GMT
    Not having all the information from your Dad's side, my immediate reaction upon reading your post is that you're being a bit of a spoiled brat and that you need to grow up. You admitted that you had made some bad decisions that ended up in a lost college scholarship and run ins with the law. These sound like not simply bad decisions, but really bad decisions. Losing a college scholarship is no small thing to a parent, especially in these economically challenging times, when said parent is likely expected to pick up the tab that the scholarship once covered if said son is to continue his college education. You say you are paying for your mistakes, as you should, and hopefully you will come through this phase wiser and more mature as a result. But, don't kid yourself, parents pay for their kid's mistakes too, and sometimes "tough love" hurts them just as much as it may be hurting and annoying you. In the meantime, give your dad a break. He's the only Dad you've got and I would bet that he has helped you many times in the past, and he will probably be there in a pinch to help you again in the future, but for now he is playing the "tough love' card because, as I said earlier, you need to grow up. Parents continually being there to bail out their kids who make serious mistakes are only enabling those kids to make more of them.

    I hope the above didn't sound too harsh, but I lost my dad to cancer 2 years ago and, while we had many a run in over the years, I would give anything to have him around in my life now. Sometimes we don't appreciate what we've got until it is gone, and when your parent is gone, they are gone for good.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 15, 2009 4:55 PM GMT
    You can't control how your Dad feels or acts. The only person you can control is yourself. I am certain your Dad loves you or you would have already been booted out on your butt.

    Keep it civil with your Dad and understand that he has years of experience behind him and probably hates to see you making mistakes and not listening to his voice of experience.

    The best thing you can do is prepare to move out on your own sometime in the future, AND maintain a decent relationship with your Dad. As you mature as an adult, and as your Dad sees you living a life outside of his home, you will both grow a stronger relationship than you have today. It's hard for parents to see their children as adults when they still live in their home and see them making mistakes daily. Of course, making mistakes is how we learn and grow.

    Good luck, man. The last thing you should do right now is close the door to you Dad. Leave it open. Let him see you as an adult making your own decisions and living your own life. Things will get better.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 15, 2009 4:55 PM GMT
    I can relate to your situation but it is important to know that in there (his soul) he loves you. He has done all he can do to guide you and his failure, is that he probably thinks he has failed. You have made many realization and that is a start. Start making those decisions that will make you a better man and show your dad that neither you or him failed each other. Loving someone is not about the tangibles (money, college, clothes). For right now you need to only worry about yourself and build on improving yourself, whether it is getting a job or finishing school. Your nineteen so I would think you feel he owes you more. You got to let that go there is only one person you need to worry about and you know who that is. Avenging yourself against (sticking it) your dad is a lose lose situation. Let that go.

    in closing when my dad die, I sobbed harder and missed him more than I ever did. In the end he was still my dad and he taught me much. Some of the things I considered selfish and cheap about him were just hard lessons he was trying to teach me. I am grateful he cared and only learned that in his last years.
  • rvdredrocks

    Posts: 31

    Jun 15, 2009 6:48 PM GMT
    As a father of two great sons I come at this from a different perspective. My dad died when I was very young so I lack the father-son relationship from that perspective also.

    Most every one who has responded has counseled you that its time for you to stand on your own two feet and take full responsibility for your life. I quite agree. I would be very surprised if once your dad sees you doing this that he won't respond accordingly.

    Fortunately, I have always had a very positive relationship with my sons who are now in their mid to late thirties and leading remarkable lives. They are the greatest treasures in my life.

    Yes we had issues to deal with while they were growing up. But, from an early age I sought to have them take responsibility for their actions and realize that all decisions have consequences - some good and some bad. They had jobs starting in their early teens and both earned their way thru college as I did.

    I think many parents indulge their kids way to much and thus undermine their maturing into responsible adults.

    I treasure my relationship with my sons and value every minute I get to spend with them. My oldest is married and has two children of his own. The youngest like his father is gay and has been in a great relationship for over seven years now and I feel like I have acquired a third son.

    Yes its time for you to get out in the world and stand on your own two feet if for no other reason that being able to respect yourself. Have a good journey!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 16, 2009 1:02 AM GMT
    I have 3 sons, ages 24, 17 and 14.
    The desire to"even the score" and "stick it to him" is the mentality of an immature "boy", that still needs to learn a few more things about life.
    Even the best dads are not perfect. If you are not being beaten and abused, take the hint that you need to earn some respect for yourself and give some respect to others. No need to burn the bridges, but putting some distance between you and your dad may be the best way to develop a better relationship. Dad may need time to process and understand what you are about and what you have been doing. Sometimes we are all too close to the events to recognize what is going on and stepping away allows for a better perspective. Make your plans, and carry them out the best you can. If you are successful, you won't have the time, energy or need to "stick it to him", and you will have improved yourself and earned the respect you want. "Success" is always the best revenge if you still need something to rub in someone's face.....but I bet you won't need it.
    Be well, do good and grow up in the process!
    Good Luck. icon_cool.gif
    Sporty_G
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 16, 2009 4:03 AM GMT
    Hey guys, thanks so much for consturctive criticism and some good "talkings to," as well as encouragement.


    Recognizing that y'all don't have all the facts or even another perspective I can see how it would be difficult to respond -as some of you have pointed out, in any specific way. I attempted to keep the post short without revealing too much personal information (my sordid past!) or bashing my father too much.

    Having spoken with mom (the voice of reason in this family) and putting about twenty-four hours between the conversation that instigated the post, I have come to the conclusion that my dad and I are both too stubborn and too different to make any real progress at the moment. That said, I'm not going to be burning any bridges and I'm doing my best to avoid confrontation.

    This decision has been affirmed after reading more of your responses and, just to clarify, I will be moving out to start working and supporting myself. My question was more or less how open the lines of communication between my father and I should be once I'm in my new place.

    Again, thanks for the older and wiser perspective and a genuine desire to help. Gotta love the RJ community!

    -Ryan
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jun 16, 2009 4:06 AM GMT
    Ok, here's the first thing. You're both idiots in this situation. You for doing all the crap that got you into it and contemplating ways you can stick it to your dad for what he isn't doing for you, though he doesn't owe you anything. He's being one because he's acting like a child and doesn't realize people at any age need help sometimes, and just because your over 18 does not mean you know everything. My advice is you need to get your shit together, not to stick it to your dad, but because that is what needs to be done. Getting on the right track isn't about proving a point to anyone but yourself. You know what you have to do and how to do it, so stop moaning and get on with it with or without your father's presence. If he loves you, he will eventually come around; if he doesn't and stays a prick, that's his deal, not yours. Either way, you are your own man and need to take the reins of your life.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 16, 2009 4:22 AM GMT
    From a Dad's point of view - it is time for you to move out. Honestly, you are both acting like children in the relationship. One of the most difficult things for a parent to come to grips with is their child as an adult - and to have an adult relationship with them. It is also difficult for the child to grow out of their child's relationship with their parents and move on to having an adult-adult relationship. You are both locked into ways of dealing with issues and problems and are dealing with them like child-child = argue black is white, fight, pout, sulk, have temper tantrams ...

    He is being an ass, also you've admitted you have made some bad decisions, cut your losses - move out now before you irreparably damage the relationship. Put some time and distance between you and your Dad - it may not look like it now, but there will come a day when you will both want to patch it up - from that day forward you can start to build an adult-adult relationship.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 16, 2009 5:57 PM GMT
    Two Words: Grow Up.

    Three Words: End The Drama.
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Jun 16, 2009 6:02 PM GMT
    When I was about 16, my father and I began to struggle in each others' company. By the time I left for college, we had gotten in a physical fight at one point. It was terrible.

    It was time for me to move away. We stayed in contact, now and again-- but there were times we wouldn't talk for months.

    Now, I'm 33. My father and I are the best of friends. He hugs me and tells me he loves me and tells me how proud he is of me.

    I think BOTH of us grew up a bit... and we needed space to do it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 16, 2009 6:50 PM GMT
    That's it exactly.
  • silverfox

    Posts: 3178

    Jun 16, 2009 7:02 PM GMT
    I too would love to hear Dad's side of the story.

    I would also like to hear Mom's side since she is, as you put it "The voice of reason".....
    I wonder if she is the voice of reason because.....she agrees with you? Sides with you against your Dad perhaps?
    I would love to know, if ...you had followed "stubborn" Dad's advice 18 months ago if you would be in the situation you are today?


    These one sided perspectives of a story can be misleading. I am not saying this is the case here, but really...it is difficult to figure out what is what without taking some liberties and drawing conclusions based on one side of the story.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 16, 2009 7:08 PM GMT
    Punish him by doing this.....


    Handling your shit and doing it on your own. Get a job. Get out of the house. Stay in school, at whatever means it takes. HANDLE YOUR SHIT! If he's doing this to "prove a point" then he'll come around once he sees a "man" handling his shit! I know mine did and now he's the BEST EVER and sounds like the same for a few others on here as well.....