28 answers

Teenage Son Wants to Visit Girlfriend at Her College

My 18-year-old son wants to take bus from CT to IN to visit his girlfriend for a few days during his college break. My family and I want to see him here in CT for a week before his girlfriend comes home from break. (He has 4 weeks off; she has 3). Girlfriend wants to buy him bus ticket as a Christmas present. He and she feel I am not letting him be an independent "adult." Should I force him to stay home or let him go to IN?

1 mom found this helpful

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Boys will be boys! Forcing him will do you no good. If he is only going for a few days, what's the harm. If he plans to be there for weeks, that is a different story. They want to be together since they have been apart in different schools...... remember what it used to feel to be young ...... just let it be.

Regards, Aida

Just because you want him to come home doesn't mean he has to. He's an adult. He can make his own decisions about where he wants to be. How would you feel if someone forced you to spend time with them just because? You'd probably think it was rude.

The more you push him to stay in CT, the more he'll want to go to IN. I would let him go, it's only for a few days, and if you let him, he feels like you aren't trying to control him. He'll be much more pleasnt when he is home!

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As a mother who has already raised a son, who is now 28, and still lives at home, my advice would be to let him go. Technically, since he's 18, he really doesn't need your permission, but he did have enough respect for you to ask, which is to his credit.

If he's in college, he's certainly responsible enough to make the trip alone, on a bus, and this will give him the opportunity to meet some of her friends, and have some time alone with her, without worrying about fulfilling his family obligations, or hurting anyone's feelings during the Christmas holidays. If he wanted to drive to Indiana, alone, I would have my reservations as well, but on a bus he should be perfectly safe.

As a mother, I know that you might be worried about them sleeping together, and the consequences of that, but believe me, I've been through this, and you'll gain nothing by not treating him as an adult, except to make both of them resent you, and make him less likely to talk to you about the relationship. If they do intend to spend afew nights together, and be intimate with one another, they will find a way to do that, whether its in Indiana or Connecticut, if they haven't already, so keeping him home will just make him less likely to talk to you about it, if he needs to.

At 18, he's old enough to serve his country if he so chooses, so he's certainly old enough to enjoy a few days on his own. If you trust him, I doubt he'll disappoint you. You obviously raised him to be responsible, or he would have simply told you that he was going, not asked for your permission to go.

Also, if you don't allow it, his time on his college breaks may become a power struggle between you and the girlfriend, which could become a real problem someday, if they are really serious, and decide to marry. By letting him go, you are trusting her too, and acknowledging that you know that she is an important part of his life,, just as you are. That will go a long way in earning her respect too.

My feeling is that if you raise them right, and teach them right from wrong, and to act responsibly, without their being forced into it, then what you expect from them is usually what you end up getting.

I know that its hard for you to let him go, and that you will miss seeing him for that one week, but I truly believe that you'll build a stronger relationship between the two of you by trusting him, and letting him go. He's not a boy anymore, but is almost a man, and you'll gain his trust and respect by letting him be one.

Just my opinion.....but I pretty much allowed my son to make his own decisions at that age, and I've never been sorry. Even at 28, he is comfortable enough to come to me to discuss anything that's bothering him, and listens to what I have to say, which, I think, is a rare thing in this day and age.

My advice would be to trust him, and let him go. He's rapidly becoming an adult, and you need to let him be one, and give him some space.

3 moms found this helpful

Hi B.
Since I have twin girls that are also 18 and freshman in college. One is living on campus about 3 hours away and the other is commuting. Since we are still paying the bills, and they are living under my roof, they must abide by my rules.
This is however a tough call. Is she still living at home so he is meeting parents?
When I was 17, I met my husband to be. He traveled to see me about 500 miles often, and we traveled back and forth to see each other. Parents were always there but supportive. We were married at 20, and have been married now for 38 years and have 4 great adult children.
We are thankful our parents didn't put up a big stink as it was hard enough being apart and long distance dating. We didn't have to get past all the harsh words that were said, and the feelings of "your parents don't like me", which I have heard from others, even when they were local.
My boyfriend stayed at the neighbors, not our house, and mom said later she was thankful for friends that would help her in our situation. His parents had a huge farm house and I stayed at their home, with one of his sisters.
I guess I would insist he be home for Christmas and that she be at her home for Christmas and be thankful for the rest of the time you have with one or both of them.
Setting up rigid standards, or rules, sometimes causes them to feel as if they only have each other, therefore cling.
God bless you and give you wise counsel.
K. SAHM married 38 years adult children 37, 32, and twins 18.

1 mom found this helpful

I would let hm go and explain to him although he is going to see the GF he still needs to be with his family for the holidays. It's hard but you have to remember how you felt when you were 18 and "I'n Love". He is your son and he will always remember that. But now is the time he is growing up and needs to make his own choices. Talk to him be firm but let him figure it out.

1 mom found this helpful

He's an adult. He gets to make his own choices now! It's painful, to feel that he's choosing his girlfriend over family. But so normal. I remember that time in my life well, even though it was 15 years ago. I was angry and resentful when my parents guilted me into doing things that I didn't want to do.

He'll be home quite a bit during that 4 week break, right? Explain to him that while he IS home, you really hope to spend a lot of time with him. With and without his girlfriend!

But don't give him a hard time about going. It will only make the time you have together less fun, because he will be frustrated and feel disrespected.

1 mom found this helpful

Just the other side of the fence, as a way of expressing not doubt in you or your son, but where responsibilities lay for you.

You can't 'let' him be an independent adult; he IS one. Except for one area.

I believe in NY you are responsible for your children until they turn 21, unless they or you take steps to emancipate them. I don't know what other states do, or if this is a nationwide thing. My friend had the responsibility for her son until he turned 21, and while he wasn't having girlfriend issues, he WAS having issues with lightfingeredness. Since he was under 21, they were forced to provide him with food/clothing/shelter.

Not knowing what your son is like, and/or how he's changed, I can offer this: Talk to him, express YOUR wishes (you ARE the parent, and YOU have more experience than he does right now) and your thoughts, as well as what you see from his side. Find out where he is with this relationship (and since you have an issue with him going away on his own to stay with a girl - on his own - I am guessing there is a gray area in your understanding of how your son has changed.

Worst case scenario - they wind up 3 instead of two, and you will have an interesting time on your hands should he want to move back in.

Best case scenario - he's found the love of his life at 18 (totally possible) and he wants to spend time with her because it is impossible to do so during the rest of the school year.

And - it is YOUR house he will be coming home to after all this. What are your house rules? Should he want to bend them when he is out of your home?

Just some thoughts that I didn't see expressed, but I didn't get to read to the very bottom, DS is wanting dinner.

Good Luck!

Just because you want him to come home doesn't mean he has to. He's an adult. He can make his own decisions about where he wants to be. How would you feel if someone forced you to spend time with them just because? You'd probably think it was rude.

Hi B.,

I know you received the message of "let him go", and agree with the other mothers. You said your son has changed since she came along, and you may feel like you are losing a part of him, and you are, but you are gaining a young man, who is in college which is a plus for an 18 y/o these days. He sounds like a really good kid. Change with him, but always keep him close without him knowing.

All the best to you.

The more you push him to stay in CT, the more he'll want to go to IN. I would let him go, it's only for a few days, and if you let him, he feels like you aren't trying to control him. He'll be much more pleasnt when he is home!

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