Knowing where to draw the line


#1

My parents told me that I need to cancel my boyfriend's visit this weekend as I'm not fully recovered from the cold I got a week ago. They also informed me that I will not be able to visit with him or work at my part-time job during the semester to keep my grades up, because a 3.5 GPA is good, but not great.

My boyfriend thinks that I should push back because we're adults, make my own decisions as to what will affect my grades, and let him come this weekend since we're both feeling up for it, even with me recovering from a cold.

I'm feeling tension from both sides, and I have no idea where to draw the line with my parents. Do I accept whatever they say unquestioningly?


#2

kind of hard to help with out specifics, like how old are you? Are you in college or high school? if you're in college, are your parents paying for your schooling?


#3

It would be helpful to have more information.

It sounds as if you are a college student or at least an 18 year old high school student. How old are you? Do you live at home? Are you financially dependent on your parents? What is your family culture?


#4

[quote="verdantmemories, post:1, topic:182240"]

I'm feeling tension from both sides, and I have no idea where to draw the line with my parents. Do I accept whatever they say unquestioningly?

[/quote]

missing info: how old are you?
If you are old enough to make your own decisions, are you ready to be living on your own and supporting yourself? Yes it does make sense to live at home if you are in between jobs, finishing school etc., but when you do so you should sit down with your parents and establish ground rules. You are not a child so should not be treated as such, but you are not a guest in a hotel, either.

If you are feeling as if both your parents and bf are trying to control you, as you say, that is a problem, because if you stay with him you might be moving from one controlling relationship that denigrates you, into another one that does the same. You need to find out why this is happening, and what you can do to change it, and what is operating that prevents you from asserting your independence.


#5

[quote="SMHW, post:3, topic:182240"]
It would be helpful to have more information.

It sounds as if you are a college student or at least an 18 year old high school student. How old are you? Do you live at home? Are you financially dependent on your parents? What is your family culture?

[/quote]

I am an eighteen year old college student; I live at home, and as long as they're not allowing me to work during the school year, I am definitely financially dependent on them. As far as family culture, I'm not really sure what information you're looking for there.


#6

I am going to assume you are in college. (By the way a 3.5 is good and most people would be proud of that GPA).

I think the following questions need to be answered by you and your parents.
-How essential is that money to your daily living expenses?
-Do your parents plan to give you money to replace that lost income since they are telling you to quit?
-What do they propose as an alternative?
-What GPA are they hoping you get?
-Are you taking more/less credits now?
-Are their expectations realistic?
-Could you work less hours than you currently do?

If you feel that having the job is a must then when you speak with your parents about the job, you need to make strong points about:
-How the money is needed (if it is).
-How you have been able to succeed and do well with the job
-Lay out steps you plan to take to improve time management, etc to do better in school with the job. Show them you have a plan and stick to it. Maybe even ask for their input on it which will show you are even more serious and value their input.
-How the job is valuable to your resume (if it is) and how it helps you develop other areas and build life skills, etc.
-If this doesn’t work, how about suggesting a compromise to work part of the semester and show them equal/improved grades - if they meet your agreed upon standards then you keep the job, if not, then you quit.

Ultimately when it comes to visitors in the home, your parents have the final say and you should respect their decision, even if you disagree with it. Will you get to see your boyfriend at school? Or will it be a really long time before you see him again? I would suggest letting your parents ‘have this one’ and not to argue with them… but you can express your feelings on it without being adversarial.

Your boyfriend should be supportive of you. He should not be trying to drive a wedge between you and your parents. Be warying if he starts to do that.

I am a big proponent of giving kids/young adults a lot of freedom if they have proved they deserve it and can handle the responsiblities that go along with it.


#7

Well, I’m afraid that since you live in their home and are financially dependant upon them then it would not be a great idea to “fight the power” so to speak. In fact “honor thy mother and father” is very appicable.

I’m sorry that doesn’t necessarly mesh with what you would like, but I’m sure your parents have your best interests (and capabillities) in mind.


#8

While I agree with what you say here, I don’t see any harm in her discussing how her parents decisions are making her feel and explaining her side of things without being argumentative. By doing so, it keeps communication open between them and gives her parents a better understanding of where is she is coming from and that she is a young adult/maturing. In the future they may take what she says now into consideration when they are setting ‘rules’ or making choices that affect her. If she remains silent and just accepts what they say, her parents may not realize she is frustrated with the decisions that were made.


#9

If you are 18 you can do as you wish. However, so can your parents. You do not have to follow any guidelines that they set up for you. Nor are they obligated to support you in any manner. This is a discussion that you should have with your parents and come to some conclusions on.

Be open, honest and respectful.


#10

I don’t disagree with your points necessarly, but I would advise caution that the issues not be pushed too far. Hence my answer, it’s best to prepare your self to not get what you want, and be OK with that.

I agree with most of the points you’ve posted, 3.5 is a terrific GPA and maybe if I were the father I might personally allow more freedom. Then again, I’m not her father, and I’m sure he’s in a much better position to judge the situation than I am.


#11

[quote="jjdrury81, post:9, topic:182240"]
If you are 18 you can do as you wish. However, so can your parents. You do not have to follow any guidelines that they set up for you. Nor are they obligated to support you in any manner. This is a discussion that you should have with your parents and come to some conclusions on.

Be open, honest and respectful.

[/quote]

You are so right..... now that you know everything.... go ..... you are an adult do whatever you wish. Okay perhaps this leans hard towards sarcasm. My suggestion is that perhaps your parents do have wisdom and knowledge that you and your boyfriend do not yet possess.
Sit down with them and have an adult conversation and if necessary have a mediator help out ..... an Uncle or Aunt or someone each of you trusts to keep things in line. As a child (you will always be their little girl even when you have children of your own ) you have a responsibility to listen to their viewpoint. If you disagree you need to come to some compromise, but as long as you are dependent on them they do have a right to point out to you that what they want carries a lot of weight. Many people think that when you reach the age of 18 you are an adult. Legally yes .... mentally, maybe yes, maybe not.
As young adults we tend to be influenced by outside forces that are not always in our best interest. Since you are here on this site I will give you some advice ( my opinion )
Spend some time in prayer .... especially in Adoration. Listen to God, wait for the Holy Spirit to guide you and do not let your boyfriend have undue influence over you. You have a lifetime ahead of you .... do not make a decision now that binds you and causes you a lifetime of pain. Your parents have your best interest in mind , but may not know what you want, Talk with them and make an informed decision.


#12

I think you have already received some sound advice (puzzleannie is great for that :)), but I just wanted to add a few thoughts.

I don't think that "pushing back" is the solution. You should honor your parents, especially if they are still providing for you. However, that doesn't mean you can't have honest civil conversations with your parents where you let them know of your concerns. It may even make them realize that you are becoming an adult. ;) "Pushing back" could come off as a "temper tantrum" and might only serve to give your parents the impression that you are still an immature teenager in need of strict rules. In my mind, it would only serve to confirm to your parents that they are doing the right thing.

In regards to the boyfriend visiting, I personally think that you recovering from a cold is a rather silly reason not to have someone come over, but nonetheless, it is your parent's house he would be coming to, not yours. It is their prerogative to make decisions about who they have stay at their home.

In regards to the part-time job thing, I might point out (respectfully, of course) that, many times, students with part-time jobs get better grades. Sometimes, having obligations like that forces us to structure our time better and more efficiently than if almost all of our time is "free time." In college, you are in class maybe 3-4 hours a day. Even subtracting 8 hours for sleep and 2 hours for meals and personal hygiene, that gives you ten hours of "free time". Maybe it's just me, but it seems unrealistic to expect that you would study for 10 hours a day. If it were me (and it was me ten years ago), I would spend all my time playing video games and then maybe get around to studying "after this next level". Far better to schedule 4 hours a day for work and then two 3 hour study periods.

Of course, maybe your specific area of study requires more study time than mine did. :shrug: Certain fields might require that much daily study time. I know for me, less free time makes me more productive, but you might not share that same foible.

This is just an idea, but maybe you could draw up a proposed weekly itinerary that shows how you will be spending every minute, whether in class, visiting with friends/your boyfriend, working, etc. This would allow you to see for yourself (and then show your parents) how much study time you will have available. Maybe if they see it that way, they will see that you are able to fit in all these things and still get plenty of study time in. Perhaps that would make them more open to allowing you to do these things that you want to do.


#13

[quote="Jay82, post:6, topic:182240"]
Do your parents plan to give you money to replace that lost income since they are telling you to quit?

[/quote]

My parents have been paying me a $75/week allowance for meals/gas/miscellaneous expenses. I'm also a consultant for two direct sales companies and I make a decent direct deposit each week from that.

However, I'm really not as concerned about not working during the school year as about not being allowed for my boyfriend to see me during the school year. It's a long distance relationships, so we're talking about potentially 2-3 days per month, if not less.


#14

Sigh.

Boyfriends.

How long have you known him? How much has he provided for you in your life?

How long have you known your parents? How much have they provided for you in your life?

Are you Asian? For Asians, often 3.5 isn’t great. (Don’t bash me. All my kids’ friends are Asians. I know what it’s like!)

If you’re American, well, your parents might be using that as an excuse to keep you away from someone they have observed, but don’t like very much.

And the fact your BF wants to defy them, get together anyway, pronounce you both “adults” (laugh at that in 5 years. Or even 4 years. Or 3. You’ll be amazed how differently you see life at age 20…)

You’re not adults till you’re paying for everything yourself and working and managing your life without your parents financial help or their roof over your head. They are trying to get you there without any interference from BFs who think you’re already there because BF has ulterior motives.

BF doesn’t show a lot of respect for your parents. I venture a guess his grades are not as important to him. He wants you to push back and be defiant. Red flags!

You need to know this: Real independence is not something you need to rebel to obtain. You don’t need to push back, yell, disobey or anything else to be independent. Those are the tactics of a 15 year old.

You EARN independence by letting time go by, fulfilling your responsibilities in a way that earns trust and your parents feel they can let go of the control as you show you can control yourself. It’s like teaching a baby to walk. Mom and dad hold onto baby’s hand. Baby breaks away. Baby falls down. Mom and dad aren’t trying to control baby. Mom and dad are holding baby up till they feel baby can stand and walk on her own.

If you feel conflicted, as PuzzleAnnie said, it’s because you’re being pulled between two people you feel want to control you. Your parents are doing it out of love. Your boyfriend’s motives may be murkier. How well do you really know him? BFs come and go, parents are forever. This situation can end with lots of pain and drama and mistrust or you can show your parents that you can handle higher grades, BF and work. After one semester, maybe they feel you have overextended yourself.

Also remember a son’s relationship with his parents at this age is often different than a daughter’s. Your parents are looking out for you. Remember that. :thumbsup:

(still wondering who told kids they were adults at age 18. They’re not. They’re still morons, most of them!) :shrug:


#15

That’s the thing though; they won’t be involved at all. He’s staying with a friend, not at our house, and we’ll be going to the city, rather than hanging out all day at home. It won’t affect them at all, it will only affect him, and he is willing to come with me recovering from a cold.


#16

We’ve been friends for five years, dating for a year and a half. My parents like him, they have no problem with him. And in your description, he is an adult. He lives in his own apartment and pays for his own college working a full-time corporate job.

He has a slight bit of resentment towards my parents I admit; mainly because once we planned a trip for him to come out and visit, and last minute my dad decided he didn’t like the idea, and made him cancel the trip, wasting the money he spent on a plane ticket.


#17

Your parents don't like the idea because maybe while they "like him" they don't want you to become too bonded right now to someone you've known since you were 13. This is a time for you to expand your world. If he's a keeper, he will keep. The fact he supports himself is good. HE might be an adult, but YOU are not!

And if there is anything to him, someday when he is the father of a teenage girl, he will find himself feeling very sympathetic to your dad and a little ashamed of his own presumption when he was young.

Most parents don't want their daughters to become too enmeshed with one guy so young in life.

While your dad might have been nicer to help pay for the cost of the cancelled ticket, the fact they are trying to keep some space between you two maybe is because they want you to finish your education first.


#18

A lot of people seem to be assuming poor motives for your boyfriend. I don’t think that is necessarily fair. You should honor your parents and even as you are a young adult you do need to follow certain rules if you are living at home. That said I do think without hearing their side of the story preventing you from dating your boyfriend all semester seems a bit drastic over a 3.5 gpa!!

It sounds to me like the issue with your parents is more that they don’t want you seeing your boyfriend than concern about a cold (but I could be wrong).

How long have you been dating your boyfriend? Has he met and interacted with your parents much? Do your parents like or dislike your boyfriend in general? If they dislike him have they told you or have you asked them why? Have either you or your boyfriend given them reasons in the past for your parents not to trust the two of you alone? Would your parents be more accepting of you seeing your boyfriend if he sees you at their home?


#19

[quote="kaws, post:18, topic:182240"]
A lot of people seem to be assuming poor motives for your boyfriend. I don't think that is necessarily fair. You should honor your parents and even as you are a young adult you do need to follow certain rules if you are living at home. That said I do think without hearing their side of the story preventing you from dating your boyfriend all semester seems a bit drastic over a 3.5 gpa!!

It sounds to me like the issue with your parents is more that they don't want you seeing your boyfriend than concern about a cold (but I could be wrong).

How long have you been dating your boyfriend? Has he met and interacted with your parents much? Do your parents like or dislike your boyfriend in general? If they dislike him have they told you or have you asked them why? Have either you or your boyfriend given them reasons in the past for your parents not to trust the two of you alone? Would your parents be more accepting of you seeing your boyfriend if he sees you at their home?

[/quote]

It really is just the cold. They said he could even visit the next weekend, but we had picked this weekend because it was the only time in a long time that worked for both of our schedules.

How long have you been dating your boyfriend? A year and a half.

Has he met and interacted with your parents much? Yes, we usually have dinner with my parents every time he visits.

Do your parents like or dislike your boyfriend in general? They like him.

Have either you or your boyfriend given them reasons in the past for your parents not to trust the two of you alone? Not at all, in fact we're always ten minutes early for curfew.

Would your parents be more accepting of you seeing your boyfriend if he sees you at their home? No, they have no objections to us going out and about.


#20

Be respectful of your parents wishes. To honor your Father and Mother was placed as the fourth commandment with the first three governing man’s relationship to God. The fact that God placed our relationship with “the parents” immediately after our relationship with Him speaks volumes to His intent. Even before He commands us not to kill, He commands us to Honor our Father and Mother.

Be cautious of anyone, boyfriend or otherwise who advises that you break one of God’s commandments, to please yourself and mostly to please him. A person who exhibits selfish behavior to the detremant of your relationship with your parents and with God, is not good husband material. Selfish people can change, but it takes a damascus road experience sometimes.

You are growing mature, and you will need to “have that talk” with your parents, politelly requesting that they recognize that you will “naturally”, by maturity begin to assume more personal responsibility. But do not expect them to let go completely until you graduate, so until then, be patient and respectfull of them.

And 3.5 is Outstanding grades. Congratulations.


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