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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Getting Parents to Accept Adulthood

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Author Topic: Getting Parents to Accept Adulthood
Member # 24617

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I am an 18 year old girl who is graduating high school this year. I have worked very hard and have been accepted to my top choice university. I hold a steady job and keep good grades, have a long lasting relationship with my boyfriend... I've never gotten drunk or high or done drugs of any sort. I'd say I'm a pretty good daughter. Now, for graduation everyone seems to get gifts like new cars or something of the sort. I'm not asking for anything except the chance to go to Bonnaroo, a three day music festival in Tennessee, while I live in Florida. I want to go with a few friends in an RV. I will save up enough money to pay for myself. I'm just trying to convince my parents to let me go. I'm about ready to go off to college and live on my own, however, they refuse to accept this. I don't know how to convince them I am mature enough to take this road trip and experience life!
Posts: 25 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Whining probably won't convince them of anything. [Wink]

You're getting ready to leave, and they're not ready to let go. This is commonly called Empty Nest Syndrome, and there's quite a body of literature on it. Part of what you need to understand is that they've birthed you, raised you, invested in your future, and now all their hard work is about to go out the door and try things out on your own for the first time. They're your parents: they're worried about you.

Are you moving out BEFORE the festival? If so, quite frankly, you won't be under their roof, and can go if you please. If you are still under their roof, negotiations are in order. Either that, or you can wait until the next time around to go the festival. [Smile]

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Posts: 2789 | From: The Evergreen State | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 25983

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I know firsthand how frustrating it can be for your parents to not be able to accept your new role as an adult. Heck, I'm 18 and my parents still won't let me drive or get a job! Once I get going with those, I plan to move out, therefore, never having to ask them permission to go anywhere. So unless you're willing to negotiate as DarkChild said above, moving out is probably your best bet. Good luck.
Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
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Member # 568

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My adulthood pretty much started the day my folks dropped me off at my dorm. It was scary. I didn't miss home but I had this weird feeling like I didn't know what to do with my hands. so ... much ... FREEDOM!!!

Anyway, what you might wanna do is make travel arrangements that don't scare your folks so much. Book a flight and hotel. Rent a car and drive out. Road trips are scary because Murphy's Law states that in the several hundred miles you'll be trucking, SOMETHING BAD WILL HAPPEN. That'll terrify any parent. But hey, if you can limit the drive, there's less chance of having a car accident. As for the plane ride, don't fret that. Planes have a much lower rate of having accidents than cars.

Isn't Radiohead playing Bonnaroo this year? That would be killer.

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Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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It might seem that they don't see that you've grown up... but sometimes with parents, it's a matter of them letting you out of the nest while still being able to feel like they can take care of you/offer support from afar.

I'm 24 and I still get into arguments with my parents about decisions that I make... sometimes they're right, sometimes they're wrong. But if you get along well with them in the first place, you can make sure that your relationship doesn't crumble as you move away from them.

Once you get to college, they might want to call you every day or even more than that. Let them know you're busy so that they give you some breathing room, and then make sure you pick up the phone yourself every couple of days and let them know how you're doing.

I second gumdrop girl on the road trip. Besides the fact that renting an RV usually runs in the thousands, a group of teenage girls traveling alone long-distance is a good target.
I traveled to Montana and Ireland alone when I was 20-21, lived both places for 6 months.
My parents were mildly worried the whole time, and I was cautious everywhere I went.

While you're traveling, don't broadcast your plans/hotel location, stuff like that. Make sure you have at least $100 in cash on you at all times in case of an emergency.

Posts: 455 | From: New York, NY | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 24617

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Thanks for all of the replies. I discussed it with my mom and she actually considered letting me go! We still have details to plan out but it seems she will be allowing me to travel the distance for a graduation gift! She said she can't really stop me now that I'm 18, but she can choose whether or not to pay for it lol. I feel like it was the first time she really treated my as a mature adult. [Eek!]
Thanks again for all the help and tips!

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Member # 27643

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I am 19 now and went through the exact same situation with my parents last year. It took a long time for me to convince then to let me go too. the way I went about it was scheduling everything down almost to the hour. I showed than all the confermation numbers and phone numbers for every place we were staying and made a copy of the schedule for them. Of course the car did break down, but everyone acted mature about it and we pulled through it. But when all was said and done and the trip was over, things have totally changed with my parents. I think now they really understand how responsible I am and they are more understanding of my decisions. Good luck with your parents and I really hope you can go because that sounds like so much fun!
Posts: 8 | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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