Sometimes, parenting can be like solving a puzzle, especially when your kids are growing up and things start to change.
A social media post recently caught people’s attention as a parent shared her worries about her 19-year-old son, Gabe. He’s back home for the summer after his first year of college, but something’s different.
Featured Image Credit: jhandersen /Depositphotos.com.
The original poster (OP) explained that before college, Gabe was a considerate and thoughtful kid. But this summer, he’s acting like he doesn’t care about anyone else.
He won’t do even simple favors like closing the door or bringing in the dog when it’s raining. Even on Father’s Day, OP shared that he forgot and didn’t show up for the cake, which made his dad really sad.
Punishment Too Severe?
Things came to a head when OP had to rush to work at night. OP asked Gabe to put away the leftovers before leaving, but when she came back, the food was still out. Frustrated by her son’s conduct, OP straightaway went to her son’s room, and an argument ensued.
OP told her son that if he cannot do anything for this family, they also won’t do anything for him. OP even took back the money she gave Gabe for a trip and told him to pay for it himself. Gabe wasn’t happy and called her names, but OP’s daughter seemed to agree with her decision. Meanwhile, OP’s mother thinks that OP was extreme in her response.
Worried about her son, OP turned to the online community for advice.
The comment section erupted into a dynamic exchange of views, with different users expressing a range of opinions.
One user, ProvoloneJones11, came down hard on the side of tough love, stating,
“Tell your son he’s an adult, and adults have to contribute to get things. If he wants to act like a child, then you’ll treat him like one.”
This perspective highlights the idea that a certain level of responsibility and respect should naturally accompany the privileges of adulthood. The user indicated support for OP’s decision to revoke financial support for her son’s trip as a means of teaching him the value of reciprocity.
Another user, AgnarCrackenhammer, was particularly incensed by the mistreatment of the family dog, suggesting,
“Leaving the dog in the rain would’ve been enough for me to kick him out.”
Are There Other Issues At Play?
Geo_1997 took a more empathetic stance, raising an interesting possibility.
“Unless something has happened while he was at uni that you aren’t telling us, like arguments or letting him down or something that has caused him to turn cold with you.”
This comment raises the important consideration that there might be hidden complexities at play, perhaps unspoken incidents or disappointments, that could be contributing to Gabe’s newfound attitude.
In a similar vein, Electronic_Fox_6383 injected an element of compassion and understanding into the discourse, urging OP to consider potential underlying issues.
The user empathized with Gabe’s behavioral shift, suggesting that the son could have had difficulties with life at college that OP is not just not aware of.
Son Or Tenant?
Lastly, offering a pragmatic suggestion, Mdthomas recommended that If OP’s son can’t even be bothered to help with little things, she should draft a lease and start charging rent.
This response proposes a practical approach to addressing the issue by introducing consequences that mimic the responsibilities of adulthood.
In the end, this post paints a vivid picture of a parent grappling with the transformation of her child from a thoughtful teenager into a seemingly indifferent young adult.
While some advocate for tough love and immediate consequences, others emphasize the importance of delving deeper into the underlying causes of the behavioral shift.
Ultimately, OP finds herself at a crossroads where decisions about discipline, communication, and empathy intersect, demonstrating the complexities of parenting during this pivotal phase of life.
What would you do? Let us know in the comments. Do you think the OP from this social media post was wrong?
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