The Original Poster (OP) presents an ultimatum to his oldest son, reminiscent of the one he faced years ago. As OP clings to the principle of raising self-reliant adults, tensions rise when his wife contemplates defying his wishes. The looming decision threatens to disrupt the very foundation of their family.
OP and his wife have three children, aged 17, 15, and 10. Their oldest is still determining his plans after he graduates high school at the end of the year. OP is faced with deciding how to guide his child’s future properly.
OP recalls the choice his parents once gave him: to pursue higher education, get a job, or make his own way. Inspired by their ultimatum, he sets the same expectations for his oldest son in no uncertain terms.
Voyage Around the World
Instead of conventional paths, OP had chosen a two-year sailing adventure immediately after high school. With experience and connections in the sailing community, he traveled globally, proving it wasn’t merely a vacation.
A Decision to Work
Although coming from a wealthy family, OP didn’t opt for a leisurely life living off a trust fund and dividends from stocks invested in his name. He enrolled in university to avoid disappointing his lineage and later joined the family business.
A Mother’s Concern
OP’s wife feels he’s being too harsh on their oldest son. They have the resources to fund their children’s education. The debate in their household revolves around the balance of support and independence.
The Middle Child’s Path
Their 15-year-old daughter shows potential to follow the time-honored path to university straight after high school. She is on track to earn both an academic and golf scholarship, demonstrating a different approach to future planning.
The Youngest’s Uncertain Future
At just 10, the youngest child’s aspirations remain a mystery. Yet, he knows the family’s expectations about productivity and independence. He is blissfully enjoying his last carefree year of elementary school.
Before tying the knot, OP and his wife had agreed on a fundamental principle: to raise their children as productive members of society. This shared vision is now being tested as the parents have opposing standards for how their children should proceed.
Accusations of Cruelty
The oldest son and OP’s wife believe that OP’s expectations are too harsh. He feels torn and adamant that his child should explore opportunities beyond his computer. If he weren’t pressured to succeed, OP feels certain his son would stay home and play video games all day.
A Father’s Offer
OP has proposed multiple alternative paths for his son, hoping he’d find something that piques his interest. But the computer remains the young man’s sole focus. He would rather escape into mindless gaming than confront any path that takes hard work and determination.
OP feels that once his child turns 18, he must step up, with or without a clear plan. Backing OP’s perspective, the grandparents have stated they won’t financially support the grandson if he doesn’t choose to study or work.
A Wife’s Retaliation
Tensions escalate as OP’s wife considers using her salary to support their son. She’s prepared to defy her husband’s wishes, creating a rift between them. She doesn’t want to see her son pressured into a life he doesn’t want and thinks he needs more time to decide.
Limits on Support
OP decides not to evict his son but makes his intentions clear. He’ll reduce financial aid, including the grocery budget, hoping to instill some sense of responsibility. Eventually, the son will be made 100% responsible for his own care.
Choices and Consequences
If his wife chooses to fund their son’s lifestyle, OP can’t control it. Their individual perspectives on parenting start to diverge significantly. OP contemplates the best course of action, torn between supporting his child and teaching him about real-world responsibilities.
Reflecting on Personal Experiences
OP remembers his journey from sailing to joining the family business. He wonders if similar experiences might help his son find direction. The family remains at a crossroads, each member having their own beliefs and aspirations.
Was The Father’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts his story online for feedback and perspective from the internet community. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “It doesn’t sound like you’re helping him understand his options. It’s been 20 years, the job landscape has changed, and the opportunities and careers available to you when you were his age will be different than the ones available today.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “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 Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “Does your wife think it’s feasible to support him for the rest of her life? What’s going to happen to him when both of you are gone? It’ll be a far worse fate for him at that age than when he’s still young.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “He’s not even 18 quite yet, and already he’s being threatened with food insecurity. I understand wanting to try and motivate someone, but that’s cold. He’s your kid, right? Why offer threats in response to his perceived lack of ambition?”