19 answers

Help Make My 17 Yr Old Move with Us !!!

I have a 17 yr old who in June wants me to leave him here in MO. when the rest of the family moves to Alaska. He has a girlfriend of 2 yrs he wants to stay here for. He only sees this girl maybe once a week and talks on the phone about 9000 mins. a month,he thinks a 7.5o an hour job will support him. He could go with us and go to collage or get a job as a firefighter working 3days a week and making 50,000 a year. I have offered him a car and will help send him back here in 4 months if he really hates it. He will be 18 in July. He still don't want to go. He is not responsible he wont even learn how to take care of his checking account he says it's to much work. He thinks everything should come easy. He has been fired from his first 2 jobs.Any Ideas are greatly welcome. Thanks

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When I was 17...and that was not that long ago...there would have been little my parents could do to get me to move away from my friends. Alaska is a long way from MO...he doesn't know anyone or anything up there. And while his girlfriend and he are most likely not going to get married...he has been with her for two years. How ever trivial it may be...they have managed to work things out in their relationship for two years, and it's important to him.

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T. sounds really familiar to me i have a 17 year old who just moved from missouri and he has a pregnant girlfriend that lives in missouri, i know i really wanted him to stay here also but like i told him you are almost an adult you have to make your own decisions he choose to move back to nebraska where he told me he was going to get his ged and a job to support his baby coming in february. i know i probably havent been much help but i know what it is like to have a 17 year boy i wish you the best on this. A.

Hello T.,
Well.. speaking from experience (as the child) I wanted the same thing for my mother to do to me.. and she did.. but it was very difficult. You have to urge him that staying there for a girl.. no matter how much he knows or likes her.. isn't worth giving up something really good in your life. I did that.. then I decided to graduated H.S early and get married.. Young love isn't necessarily true love. idk.. I just think he should go with ya'll until he is 18.. and legally he does have to. I think it would be in his best interest to go with.

What a tough decision for your entire family to deal with. Definitely feel for you. His age makes it very difficult to 'make' him move. Would he go to college here if you didn't move away?
I'm not sure what could be said to make him move but to hopefully guide him towards better choices while he stays in this area. Hopefully take out some loans here and attend college here where he can work towards an education but still give him his freedom that he most likely wants at that age. Very tough to see a baby leave the nest....

My parents made me move the summer before my senior year in high school, and it was the worst thing they ever did to me. They took me away from my best friends, and my senior year was the worst year of my life. My Dad will admit NOW that he made a selfish mistake by making me come with the family, because he was more worried about having me with him than what was best for me overall.
If you allow your son to stay here, he will be forced to become responsible. If he doesn't, he has no choice other than to come to Alaska.
My parents had the same struggles with my younger brother. They always wanted to make him be more responsible and wanted to work everything out for him. The problem is that he didn't learn to take care of himself until they let him be on his own for a while.
I can't really imagine what you're feeling...I'm 28 and my daughter is 4 months old. But from personal experience, I think sometimes you have to let your children experience life on their own.

When I was 17...and that was not that long ago...there would have been little my parents could do to get me to move away from my friends. Alaska is a long way from MO...he doesn't know anyone or anything up there. And while his girlfriend and he are most likely not going to get married...he has been with her for two years. How ever trivial it may be...they have managed to work things out in their relationship for two years, and it's important to him.

Hello T., I truly feel where you are coming from with this situation. I am 44 years old divorce mother of two boys 21 and 18 years old. I currently live in Olathe and have been for the last 2 years. My children lived with from the day I had them until I moved to Olathe. My 21 year old made an agreement with his father to live with him until he got his own place. But my 18 year old, this child took me through some stressful changes. And has always been the type of person to "learn the hard way" in situations. One thing I have come to realize after a certain age my son had to learn on his own way. But I prayed that all that I taught him would come to mind at the right time. He recently said to me that he is very thankful that I NEVER held his hand in situations and he believes this is what made him a stronger person. Always making sure I am there for my children with emotional support and if they make the wrong choice that they pray and talk it out for help. Then if they still make the wrong choice explaining life is a learning experience...for example we teach our children to cross the street safely checking both directions for tracfic, going through this process several times...but then there comes a time when saying you go across the street without looking both ways you will be hit by a car. Then something happens and they finally learn that "fool you have to check both ways, or you will be hit." To me this is the same as life if you don't think through things and check out all possiblilty then you will have to pay the price and each situation carrying its own consequence. Good luck to you!


I moved out of my parents house when I was 17. Actually on my 17th bday. I was convinced that was the best thing for me to do...my step dad was an alcoholic and my mom wasn't much of a mom. My boyfriend (now husband) had an apartment and a job making about 8 dollars an hour. We made it...but we were determined to make it. I finsihed high school and we got married a year later. We have now been married for almost 9 years. I know we are rare. I don't think there was anything my mom could have offered me to change my mind. I had decided I would prove everyone wrong and if I turned back on that then I was proving them right. I was only allowed to see my boyfriend once a week when living at home. I guess I am no help to you. I just don't want you to feel like it is your fault if you can't talk him into moving with you. Make sure he knows that you are always there for him and him to never feel like you are gone once he moves out. My mom and I would be much closer if I felt like she hadn't shut me out of her life when I moved out. Best of luck to your family. Sorry I blabbed on and on and probably was no help. C.

It's always a tough thing to see children grow up and become independent. There's little you can do to make him go with you at this age. What I would recommend is you teach him how to live independently. Teach him how to budget, balance the checkbook, pay bills, do housework, etc. so he's better equipped to live on his own. That will be more valuable to him and help to keep him from making some major mistakes. I wish you well.

My parents decided to move when I was 16 and my brother was 18. He had already graduated from HS and had a serious girlfriend. He didn't want to go, but mom and dad made him. After about a month he packed up and left on very bad terms to go back to his girlfriend an his friends. Since he went to college int he fall it was only for a couple months, but it sure did strain things between him and my parents. If he is going to be a hs grad could be look at colleges in MO that have dorms? Maybe he'd be willing to move with you if he knew he got to come back in the fall to stay and go to school. I know Dorms are more expensive, but College loans really aren't too bad and have really low rates. My husband and I are 4 years out of school/grad school and his are paid off and mine will be in 2 months. It's not as scary as I thought they would be. I also LOVED the dorm experience and think I learned alot more outside of class at times.
Just don't be so sure that he isn't serious about the girl...my brother ended up getting married a year later to his girlfriend.


Hi, I understand your situation completely. My father was an officer in the Air Force for 22 years. We hit a move at a particularly bad time for my younger brother at 17 as well. We had been living in Lawrence, Kansas for 3 years when my father was ordered to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The move did not effect me, I was in my second year of college, but my brother had his senior year of High School left and was not happy about having to leave his friends.

My parents weighted all the options and decided that a high school diploma from Lawrence, Kansas would look better on a college application than one from a Las Vegas high school. Besides they had already decided to retire in Lawrence, so they would not have to sell the house. It was a very tough year for them. My mother stayed in Lawrence with my brother, dad moved into a studio apartment in Vegas, and I was in college in Ohio. We kept in touch with family conference calls every Sunday at 10 am for a year.

Since this is your son's senior year in high school I would discuse his plans for his future and how the move will effect the entire family. I'm not sure just staying for a girlfriend is a good enough reason to stay behind, but he needs to come up with a plan on how to make this work with you and your husband. Make him understand that if he stays behind you have certian expectations about how he conducts himself, where he lives, and make sure he stays in school to get that diploma.

You might also point out that this is his last year to be able to experience an adventure with his family. Alaska is a place not many people get to explore. As an Air Force brat myself I have come to appreciate the unique learning experiences that my father's career aforded me growing up. I was able to go places, learn about different cultures, and see the world in a very different way than most teenagers. He might not appreciate this right now, but I think in the future he will discover that he misses the excitement of going somewhere new and starting fresh.

Best Wishes,


As an Air Force wife, I'm sure that you are aware of how hard it is for you kids to start at new schools. Is this your son's Senior year? If he's graduating, I can totally understand him not wanting to move right before graduation. If not, I say take him with you. He's not yet 18 and you are still responsible for him. When I was 14 we moved to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. I absolutely hated it the first year we were there, but the second year was great. I was very upset when we had to move again. Get him a cell phone so he can call his girlfriend when he wants and remind him that it will be only four months if he really hates living there. He may surprise himself and really like it there, but he has to go there to actually find out. If nothing else, living in Alaska will be something he will always be able to say he did. How many other people can say that? Good luck!

If you're not leaving until June and he turns 18 in July, why make him go anyway? That's probably not what you want to hear but when he turns 18 isn't he legal age and free to do what he wants anyway? Not only that but does he only get to go to college if he goes with you? I don't know what your home life is like (happy, stuggles, very close family), but my thought would be, if he's going to be starting college in the fall anyway, sign him up for college here in MO, apply for financial aid so he can stay on campus or see if he couldn't live with family members (assuming there are some here). Probably not what you want to hear but why spend the money to have to bring him back in four months.

Hi T.,
Sometimes our kids don't make the choices that we would like them to. And a lot of the times, they make poor choices and mistakes. But it's a part of life and a part of their learning experience.

If you REALLY want him to move though, there is a possibility that he will move if he isn't separated from his girlfriend. I don't know how well you know his girlfriend or her parents, but if you know them well, have you considered the option of having his girlfriend move to Alaska also?

T., I was an army kid and couldn't wait to leave home. I stayed in Kansas and got married to a local. Sure enough, a year later my family moved to Hawaii. My brother was just starting his senior year of high school, so he lived here and finished a semester early, and then moved on to Hawaii to continue living at home. Some kids stay home, some don't. It all comes down to the fact that your son will be old enough to make his own decision, and no amount of bribery (car) or anything else will make him change his mind. When I was that age it would have made me fight even harder to do what I wanted. I always thought I had it so great as a military kid until it came time to grow up. Staying here and growing up is the hardest decision I've had to make so far, but it's been well worth it. I have a happy family and a great job. I am lonely without my family here, but we still get to visit a lot (they hop a lot!) and we talk on the phone daily. Maybe if you leave without him, he'll miss you so much he'll follow you to Alaska. I hope it works out for you. You never know what is going to be the best for your son. I know it will be hard for you. Try to make the most of the months you have left here with your son, and hope he'll change his mind. Good luck with your hubby's new assignment!

Hi T., I have to tell you my parents moved me to Oklahoma from California at the same age. At one point about a week before the move I had finished packing my stuff and told my mom I was moving in with a "friends" family, all this over the phone. Well, mom put her foot down and I made the move. As much as I loved my parents dearly I did not like them very much. Now 17 years later I thank them on a regular basis. My family is very close and I guess we were a lot like a "team", We worked together. My parents never promised anything but their love. I just hope this helps a least a little.
Good luck and GOD bless you and your family. E.

Personally? I don't think he's mature enough to live on his own. If he refuses to balance a checkbook, and can't hold down a job, he's destined to fail on his own. However, this could be a solution for you.
Everyone moves to Alaska. He's 17, therefore not old enough to force you to let him move out. If he decides that he wants to move back in a month, wish him the best...at that point, you did the best you could. However, in the meantime, make him understand how hard it is to live on your own. Have him watch/help you pay bills, maybe even charge him rent. When he realizes just how much money has to come in and go out to live the lifestyle you guys have, maybe it'll wake him up. My parents taught me this sort of thing by making me pay for my own stuff. I had to pay for my own clothes, gas, food, stuff like that. And I didn't get an allowance, if he has one, you have to revoke it, or the point won't get across. Trust me, I was the most stubborn 17-year-old ever, and it wasn't that long ago...Sometimes you have to give some tough love to encourage maturity. Good luck!!

It seems like you are worried about him being irresponsible and thinking everything should come easy, but you are still giving him the easy way out by giving him a car and taking care of his checking account for him. You sound desperate to get him to come, and that isnt appealing for a teenage boy to have his mom be so attached. Maybe you should let him know the advantages of coming with his family with out your own agenda being one of them and if he feels you are giving him the chance to make the right choice instead of trying to force it on him it will make him think about it more instead of automatically saying no. Teenagers always say no when their parents are trying to force something on them. They feel you are trying to run their lives and they want to be able to make their own decisions, so maybe try not pushing a career choice of being a firefighter or things like that on him might help. encourage him to do some research and make an infomed decision on his own.

I was a very stubborn 17 year old also. My parents moved right after I turned 18. I tried to go with them, I was miserable and it lasted maybe 2 weeks and I left. I missed my boyfriend and other friends. At 17 a lot of kids are not thinking of the future. It is the here and now that is important. If your son does decide to stay he will have to grow up fast. Could you possibly let him stay here and go to college? Best of luck to you and your family.


Is there anyone that he can stay with? Excluding his girlfriend's family. I am looking at it in his situation and to me I would not want to move away either. 2 years of being with the same person, and possibly being taken away, if you think about it, he is almost 18, Is he responsible? Do you trust him on his own? Does he have future plans that he will benefit from? If so, I think you should let him make the choice.

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