Gutted, selfish, but gutted.

(178 Posts)
dotdotdotmustdash Sat 22-Oct-16 12:08:49

My Dd17 is currently spending a scholarship year in China studying Mandarin - it's a stand-alone scholarship she applied for during her final year of school and she's due to come home next summer. She's having a great time and has a boyfriend (one of last year's scholarship group who has been given a further 4-year scholarship).

She has applied for 2 courses for next year, one a vocational arts course and the other a languages course at a local top uni. I think gettin on the arts course is 50/50, but she has a very good chance for the languages course.

She broke the news to me yesterday that she's looking into applying for a full degree scholarship in China. I'm very upset. That would mean her leaving home at 17 and spending 5 years in China, with only a short trip (maybe 2) home every year. I was/am prepared for her to leave home for Uni, but this is so much more than that - effectively she's emigrating and I don't expect that she will ever come home to live. I wasn't ready for that and I regret giving her permission to apply for her current scholarship.

There's no guarantee that she'll get the scholarship, but she's pretty lucky and works hard so she probably will. I told her that I won't support her at all if she goes ahead. She did say that if she gets into the arts Uni (it's a Conservatoire) she'll come home, but she would rather do the languages course in China. I'm pretty sure some of this enthusiasm is coming from a relationship that's only a few weeks old.

How do I stay sane and do the right thing?

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popcornpaws Sat 22-Oct-16 12:39:53

You do the right thing by being there to support her.
At 17 she is still young but look at the experiences she is having already!
My DD left home at 17 to go to uni and i could never imagine saying i won't support you unless you do what i want!

If it doesn't work out so what? she's 17, let her enjoy being young and carefree with your blessing.

dotdotdotmustdash Sat 22-Oct-16 12:55:38


If I read someone else post what I have posted and responded, it would have been with exactly the same response as yours. If she was studying anywhere in the Uk, or even in Europe, I would have been supportive and encouraging about it. If she spends the next 5 years in China, I've lost her, I won't get see her grow up, or share in her life as she matures into a young woman. She's going to be a visitor here rather than a part of our lives. I don't know how to cope with that.

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user1476140278 Sat 22-Oct-16 12:57:02

It's not about you. It's her life.

I've emigrated and my Mother who I love and miss badly, makes me feel terrible about my choice.

It's shitty.

Wayfarersonbaby Sat 22-Oct-16 12:59:32

Could you encourage her to look at alternative options? There are great degree courses here that include a sandwich year in China (look at SOAS or Cambridge, for example). Those would give her the option for future work or study both in China and here. The worry for me (I work in HE) would be that it might be more difficult for her to make use of a Chinese degree qualification afterwards here or in the US, say. The ideal would be to have a degree which would give her options that are as wide as possible.

OhNoNotMyBaby Sat 22-Oct-16 13:00:44

Popcorn, I think you misread? The OP is saying she won't support her daughter at all. sad

I think that's pretty awful OP, tbh. I completely get why you are so devastated but I think you should still support her.

WordGetsAround Sat 22-Oct-16 13:03:09

You'll only 'lose her' and not see her 'grow up' if you say you won't support her in her choice. If you welcome her home and go and visit in China, you'll have a wonderful adult relationship with your DD.


Ebbenmeowgi Sat 22-Oct-16 13:04:32

My brother emigrated many years ago to study and me and my parents have a much closer and better relationship with him and his family than with another sibling who lives much much closer to home. We don't physically get to see him that much but we're on Skype all the time and I send packages and letters over, it's lovely.

Tbh when I was 17 right thru to my mid twenties I hardly saw my parents at all anyway, even living in same country. Because I was off living my own life, travelling, getting up to all sorts, it's a part of growing up. They would have supported me no matter what or wherever in the world I was living. I know it must be so so hard and you must miss her so bad but please don't make her feel bad for choosing to do something absolutely amazing with her life

dotdotdotmustdash Sat 22-Oct-16 13:07:35

The UK course she has applied for does spend 3rd year in China, I have no problem with that. It's a 4 year course so she would be home for 2 years, then away - I don't even mind if she works in China during the summer holidays (as previous students have done).

I absolutely will support her with any option, other than the Chinese degree option, I can't bring myself to encourage her live so far away from us, not at such an early stage in her life. Wayfayrers that's interesting, would a degree in Chinese from Edinburgh Uni be considered more useful? If that was the case it might lend strength to my argument.

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hellsbells99 Sat 22-Oct-16 13:10:13

Hi dotdot. Your DD won't be making any decisions yet thought. She can apply for all of them at the moment. By the time she has to make a firm decision next August/September, things could have changed. Don't alienate her, just support her and hopefully she will get into the arts course she wants here.

ChablisTyrant Sat 22-Oct-16 13:10:35

I also barely saw my own mother from 18 to 28 because I was doing my own thing and needed space to grow up. We are incredibly close and speak every day now.

Somebody once told me that we only borrow our children until they are ready to live their own lives. Let her go. She doesn't belong to you.

Fauchelevent Sat 22-Oct-16 13:13:44

Making your support conditional on your daughter making the choices you want is a sure fire way to breed resentment.

If she comes home and doesn't take the five year degree based on you saying you won't support her, she will blame you for the "what ifs" in her mind.

In adulthood your daughter will make many choices you don't like, that scare you... as long as she is safe, happy and healthy you have to allow her to make these choices. It's hard to adjust to, but she cannot rule her life around the fact that "you'll miss her".

klassy Sat 22-Oct-16 13:15:22

Wow! Great for her that she has that much confidence so young, I wouldn't have dared!

Why do you think you'll "lose" her? Are you not very close? If you are, this won't kill it. If you're not, there's not too much you can do now.

Physical distance isn't everything. She could move down the road and you could "lose her" if she got swept up into uni life, boyfriends, trips, internships, study abroad and so on. And aside from the odd trudge home at vacations, a lot of people at uni never saw their families and moved away right afterwards. Some didn't even go home much if they could avoid it.

Gripping tighter and telling her "no" won't help if she's determined, especially if it's young love - she has to make her own (possibly wrong) choices.

Bejazzled Sat 22-Oct-16 13:19:20

I feel for you and totally empathise with you. Obviously in the end up you'll support whatever she chooses - as mothers/parents it what we need to do, but that doesn't mean you have to be happy with it.

madgingermunchkin Sat 22-Oct-16 13:19:45

Dont tell her you won't support her.

I left home at 17, and ended up very far away from home. My mother didn't support my decision, and all I ever get when I phone home "when are you coming home?" Which means that phone calls get longer and longer apart because I don't want to have to deal with the guilt tripping.
As a result, my mother doesn't know me, or anything about me and I haven't been "home" in years.

You will only miss out if you push her away, as you are doing now.

The job of a parent is to raise their children to functioning adults so they can fly the nest and live heir own lives. If your DD does end up staying in the UK, it needs to be her decision, otherwise she will resent you for the rest of her life. And then you'll have lost her anyway.

dotdotdotmustdash Sat 22-Oct-16 13:20:54

Yes, we are close, she was very involved in music/sports until she left and I spend much of my week taking her to where she needed to be. She's never had a boyfriend before and wasn't part of a huge social set. I know she's having her first experience of true freedom and student life. I want to put her off making a decision while she's in China that will affect her life for many years to come.

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CalleighDoodle Sat 22-Oct-16 13:25:13

Would you rather she back because because youve made her feel terrible and have her resent you for taking away that opportunity?

dotdotdotmustdash Sat 22-Oct-16 13:28:42


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dotdotdotmustdash Sat 22-Oct-16 13:30:47

I don't think her options are too terrible - she had an unconditional offer to study at Edinburgh Uni for this year but she turned it down to go to China. She was really excited before she went away about the prospect of going next year, or even more excited about getting an offer from the Conservatoire for music. Either would be great options, staying on in China wasn't even on the cards until this week.

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nonameavaliable Sat 22-Oct-16 13:31:22

Wow op you are being incredibly selfish and not very nice at all.

This is NOT your decision it's your daughter's decision.

Personally if my mother was behaving like you are I wouldn't want to come home.

You have to accept she is her own person. China is an amazing country with lots of opportunities and interest for her.

The only decision you have to make us if you love and support your daughter or not.

If you support her you support her no matter the georgraphy.

You can live in the same town and never see each other, or you can live on different continent and still be close. It is all about the effort you put in.

In this day and age we have Skype, email, facetime, whatsapp, flights etc. It's very possible to maintain a good relationship over any distance if you can be bothered.

TheSnorkMaidenReturns Sat 22-Oct-16 13:35:01

I think I'd be really upset too - it's so far away! But the others are mainly right, you have to let her make her own choices and do what she wants to do. And just keep skypeing flowers.

FourToTheFloor Sat 22-Oct-16 13:37:30

Op you've only just heard the news. Take a day or two, let it sink in. Then give your head a wobble if you've still got this shit attitude.

You will lose her if you push her away. China is a fantastic opportunity and I can't quite believe you'd rather your happiness than your dd.

dotdotdotmustdash Sat 22-Oct-16 13:38:13

Wow op you are being incredibly selfish and not very nice at all.

Yip, I get that and I would post as you do if I were reading this. Unfortunately I feel very different now that it's real life. I know the future is full of possibles, but I thought I would have my little girl closer to me, at least for her education years. I feel sick.

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NerrSnerr Sat 22-Oct-16 13:39:04

What if she doesn't apply for China because of you and she hates the alternative? You are being hugely selfish. You should be proud you have such an amazing daughter. You may be damaging your long term relationship with your daughter if you continue not to support her.

Remember it's her life and not yours.

dotdotdotmustdash Sat 22-Oct-16 13:40:32

Btw, she doesn't actually need my support if she chooses to stay in China, it's a scholarship which includes tuition, accommodation and allowance. I can't stop her and she doesn't need my permission.

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