Caught in the crossfire of parental expectations and youthful rebellion, the Original Poster (OP) imposes an ultimatum on his oldest son, mirroring his own past. A power struggle ensues, with the family’s wealth at stake and the son’s future hanging in the balance. As OP and his wife grapple with their differing views on parenting, a surprising revelation about the son’s true passions throws a wrench into their long-held beliefs.
OP and his wife are parents to three children: a 17-year-old boy, a 15-year-old girl, and a 10-year-old boy. The oldest shows no plans or aspirations beyond high school, raising concerns for the father. Despite the family’s wealth, OP believes in the value of hard work and intends to enforce the same rule his parents imposed on him.
Ultimatum on the Table
Drawing from his own experience, OP presents an ultimatum to his son: go to university, secure a job, or leave the house. This reflects OP’s journey of world exploration and working as a sailor before pursuing higher education and joining the family business. Despite this, his son remains unresponsive and disinterested.
A Mother’s Worry
OP’s wife expresses concern over this seemingly harsh approach, arguing their son is not ready to face the world. However, OP is insistent, arguing that they have sufficient funds to support his education and the younger siblings’. Tensions rise between OP and his wife regarding the best approach to handle their son’s situation.
The 15-year-old daughter appears to be the model child, on track for both academic and golf scholarships. She seems more likely to reap the benefits of the family’s wealth due to her commitment to personal growth. This stark contrast to her older brother highlights the growing issue at hand.
The Innocent Observer
The youngest child, only ten years old, is aware of the family’s rules but is too young to be affected by them. His future remains uncertain, but he is aware of the potential repercussions if he chooses not to work or study.
A Solemn Vow
OP and his wife had agreed to raise their children as productive members of society even before their marriage. This decision is now tested as they face their oldest child’s reluctance to conform. It underlines the significance of the current situation and how it challenges their shared values.
Resistance at Home
The oldest son and his mother view OP’s expectations as excessive, arguing that he is too young to be entirely self-sufficient. OP attempts to provide alternative opportunities, but his son shows no interest beyond his computer activities. This raises the question of whether the son is merely resistant or genuinely lacks direction.
A Father’s Dilemma
OP is at odds with himself, torn between his belief in personal responsibility and the challenging situation with his son. Despite having the resources, he refuses to financially support an idle lifestyle.
Adding to the pressure, OP’s parents back him up, declaring they won’t provide any financial support to their grandson unless he works or studies. This intergenerational agreement is a testament to the family’s belief in hard work and self-sufficiency.
A Wife’s Defiance
OP’s wife threatens to use her own salary to support their son, undermining OP’s intentions. She is adamant in her stance, challenging the existing dynamics. This threatens to deepen the divide between OP and his wife.
A Cut in Budget
OP decides to reduce the household budget by 20%, including stopping payment for his son’s bills, to encourage him towards independence. This decision creates a tangible tension within the household, amplifying the looming possibility of the son having to fend for himself.
As the situation intensifies, the family bonds begin to strain. The rift between OP and his wife deepens while the son’s relationship with his father and grandparents is tested. The household is in turmoil, emphasizing the weight of the son’s decision.
In the face of adversity, the family members begin to understand each other’s perspectives and worries. The son realizes the value of independence and responsibility, while the parents recognize the pressure their expectations impose.
Was The Father’s Behavior Appropriate?
Still believing that hard work is the keystone of good character, OP posts his story online for feedback. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “He’s not going to get sudden inspiration on how to spend his adult life by staying home and doing nothing.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “It doesn’t really sound like you’re helping him understand his options. You’re just giving him a list of things you think he should do based on your own childhood. It’s been twenty years, the job landscape has changed, and the opportunities and careers available to you when you were his age are going to be different.”
A Third View on The Story
Another person stated, “All your efforts will be pointless if you and your wife can’t agree. I think you need to talk this out further with her. Make her see you’re helping him in the long run by making a firm boundary on this.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “I’ve seen this play out before. The wife just wants to give her baby some time to find himself and figure out his next steps. This goes on for years. The son locks himself in the basement and plays video games all day.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.