Stepping back is hard.
T.’s son from his first marriage failed calculus and English class and did not graduate this past May. He would have gotten his associate degree but since he failed two classes, the graduation plans got canceled. He kind of waited till the very last moment to announce the bad news, just in time for T. and his grandparents not to buy plane tickets to fly all the way to California. Well, at least he was aware of that.
Right after the graduation fiasco the young man decided to enroll into a very intense officer training program where he finished week 8 of 10 before he got sent back home due to a physical injury. The intense training definitely took a toll but thankfully he is recovering well, both physically and emotionally.
In the perfect world, at the ripe age of 23 the young man should be well on his way to be finishing up his graduate degree but here he is, instead, having finished only 2 years of the associate program, without graduating. But then, of course, the world is anything but perfect.
T.’s son is a kind, well-mannered, well-behaved and sensitive young adult. He is also a very average student, his grades have never been impressive and there is a history of him failing a few classes (both in high school and during his time at a community college). He enjoys computer classes, coding, graphic design and all that relates to it but otherwise he does not like to study. Forget math, chemistry or English classes, all these are going down the hill whenever he takes them.
Now that he is back from the officers training, the question arises ‘What to do next’?? Everyone is worried. T. jumps in with endless advice, grandparents jump in with suggestions, all of them basically circling around the idea of going back to the community college and finishing up that unfortunate associate degree. This is where I am jumping in with my 2 cents wondering why would he do that while it is loud and clear that a) he is not a motivated student and he, himself, says he is just too lazy to study b) the associate degree alone gives him absolutely nothing and c) is it all worth it for him to take a mountain of students loans just for that?? My idea is that he shall pursue his passion in coding, graphic design and such. Take some classes focusing just on that. Forget associate and other degrees if he is not motivated to study. In my humble opinion, improving skills he is actually good at is what it is about at this point. Something that would give him skills that could translate into making money.
Well, basically the young man got blasted with all these pieces of advice not necessarily asking for it. He says he will figure it out
It’s hard to step back and not comment, not give advice and just watch his next step, especially T. is having a hard time to do so. It is his son after all and I know that he worries. This is the time of letting go though; at 23 I emigrated to the USA all by myself and I immediately started working, supporting myself and sending as much money as I could back to Poland to help out my parents. I had responsibilities, I had so much in my plate. So I chime in saying that and I get everyone upset. ‘You know it’s not the case with the kids here. At 23 they still need support’. They need encouragement, good example and taking on more responsibilities on. That’s what I think they need. They cannot learn any other way.
So I am trying to step back and not advise anything and I keep asking T. do same. What are YOUR thoughts here? What is the magic age when your adult children need to start being responsible for themselves and their actions all by themselves?