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Do you tell your child they can't live with you forever?

(32 Posts)
tigermoth Thu 10-Jul-03 22:38:47

Difference of opinion with dh on this.

Dh feels its a good thing to tell our 9 year old son that he can't rely on us to feed and clothe him forever. He thinks ds needs to realise that one day he WILL be leaving home, whether he likes it or not. He won't still sitting here eating his supper in front of the TV aged 40, so the harder he tries, the better behaved he is and and the more he learns, the more chances he'll have of getting a good job and a nice life etc etc etc.

I think this puts unnecessary pressure on my son and robs him of childhood innocence. Also, I am in no hurry for our children to fly the nest. Dh disagrees. He says he is looking forward to it His parents made him join the navy on his 16th birthday after he was expelled from school. He said it was the best thing they could have done given the way he was, and he never felt they had stopped loving him or wouldn't give him a home in an emergency. Times have changed and he wouldn't do this to a 16 year old, but the principle remains.

My heart sinks when dh starts telling our son that he can't expect a home with us forever and dh knows this - we just disagree! Incidently my son seems to take dh's ranting in his stride and does not seem upset. They have a very close and loving relationship. Ds probably doesn't believe him .....

Anyway, I just wondered who tells their child that they don't have a permanent home with them and they must make their own way in the world. Is this a good thing to say or not?

spacemonkey Thu 10-Jul-03 22:45:57

I can see what your dh means, but I think it's unnecessary to point this out to a 9 year old - it will dawn on him soon enough, and forcing the information on him may upset him. My dd (aged 12) has often said that she never wants to leave home (AAARGH) and my response to that is to say that by the time she's 16 or 17, she will be straining at the leash to leave us to go to college or uni and have fun with her mates!

I do hope I'm right ... !

WideWebWitch Thu 10-Jul-03 22:54:40

tigermoth, I'm with you on this. Atm my ds says he wants to marry me and go to university when he's older (bless!) but I won't be telling him about the harsh reality of paying his own way for a while yet. I know he's younger than your son but I think they grow up and realise this soon enough without us telling them. It does sound as if your ds isn't bothered though and just takes it as one of those things his dad rants about, so that's good!

ks Thu 10-Jul-03 23:26:28

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anais Thu 10-Jul-03 23:53:56

But so often with the "It didn't do me any harm" it actually DID do harm and that is why it's being replayed - like child abusers who go on to abuse (not that I am for one moment suggesting this is child abuse)

I'm with you, I don't think this is appropriate. When he's a few years older he will want to move out, it's something that comes with age, I don't think he should have the idea pushed on him before he is ready.

Tinker Thu 10-Jul-03 23:56:16

Yes, my daughter wants to marry me as well (and I want to marry her ) I agree with you tigermoth, it just seems so harsh and a bit brutal. What if he doesn't go away to college or get a well-paid job, what would your husband actually do?

Ghosty Fri 11-Jul-03 00:17:16

I agreee with everyone else. I think that all children however close they are to their parents will want to leave home eventually... I was about 15 when I began to count the days till I could go to Uni and not be told what to do anymore and I am really close to my parents.
I don't see what your DH thinks he will achieve by telling your 9 year old this.

Ghosty Fri 11-Jul-03 00:17:17

I agreee with everyone else. I think that all children however close they are to their parents will want to leave home eventually... I was about 15 when I began to count the days till I could go to Uni and not be told what to do anymore and I am really close to my parents.
I don't see what your DH thinks he will achieve by telling your 9 year old this.

Ghosty Fri 11-Jul-03 00:18:07

ooops ...

pie Fri 11-Jul-03 00:23:44

I agree with everyone here, 9 is too young to hear this!!! Actually though my mum would probably love your DH to come over to hers and tell my 24 year old brother to move his butt

Just out of curiousity though do you think you DH would say the same think if you had a DD? All the navy stuff and having to make his own way sounds terribly macho. No offence meant BTW

beetroot Fri 11-Jul-03 08:56:43

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Boe Fri 11-Jul-03 09:02:02

Think 9 is a bit young to tell hm this - surely he will realise that this is the way things happen as he gets older - or are their lots of geriatrics with their strange children still living with them where you come from??

My dad threw me out and I will always no matter what her age make sure that there is always room in my house for my DP - I think as a parent it is a responsibility.

My DD wants to marry my DP, I do too though - she has great taste like mummy!!

beetroot Fri 11-Jul-03 09:08:40

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hmb Fri 11-Jul-03 09:31:21

I think that 9 is probably too young but I do feel that it is a good idea to let them know at some time, probably in their late teens. My MIL ended up giving her youngest son a years notice and sold the house. He was quite happy to stay paying peanuts for a room in a very comfortable house will all bills, food and washing done for free, coming and going as he pleased. He was 25! He wouldn't go on his own, so in the end she had to leave home!

Pimpernel Fri 11-Jul-03 09:49:39

It does seem a bit young to be telling him that at nine, although with dd still only 7mo, I should point out I'm talking from a position of no experience whatsoever!

I don't remember my parents ever explicitly telling me that I'd have to move out sometime - it just wasn't necessary. I knew it already, and I wanted to move out in my late teens anyway.

Jaybee Fri 11-Jul-03 10:26:04

My ds is 9 and I feel that at that age he has a pretty good idea of how life works. He will sometimes say that we he gets older he is going to have a big car and a swimming pool - I just say that he had better work hard at school then to ensure he gets a good enough job to be able to pay for it - we don't tell him that he will be chucked out when he gets to 18 and I am sure he knows that we wouldn't do that but he is aware that he will have his own life - the current one is that he will be an Amelican Football player and will live in America - his house will be big enough for us to go and visit though - how thoughtful.
My dd at 6 also seems to have an understanding that you grow up and have your own life - hers is currently far more simple - she will be a teacher, have a flat and a cat, then a house and four daughters.
That's my kids sorted then....

berries Fri 11-Jul-03 11:01:19

Actually, I've already started to discuss the 'facts of life' with my 2 dds (7 & 5). Basically, that the effort they put in now will affect what they can do with their life later on, and if they want to have any choice over how they live, they need to get the skills while they can. I don't pass any judgement on what they want to do with their lives (ranges from hairdresser, posh spice & marine biologist) but do frequently stress that in order to decide later on, they have to work at it now. Implicit in this is that they will want to leave home & do things their own way (having a dog is a prime example). I think our role as a parent is to bring up our children to be caring, reponsible members of the society they live in (and preferably happy with it, but I can't do everything) and part of this is the knowledge that they will have to fend for themselves. It doesn't seem to have caused any problems so far, but we've still got a long way to go

rainbow Fri 11-Jul-03 11:22:23

I think that children are a lot wiser these days and don't need telling. You don't live with your parents any more and he will realise soon enough that 'grown-ups' move out. In the next few minutes he will turn 13 then 16 then 18 (Help!!) and his feelings will change and he will want more independence. My DS1 is 8 1/2 and we are just letting nature takes it's course. I agree with the majority here, let him be a child while he is still young enough, innocent enough end responsibility free to enjoy it.

Batters Fri 11-Jul-03 12:34:07

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beetroot Fri 11-Jul-03 12:44:56

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sis Fri 11-Jul-03 12:49:11

As ds is only 4yrs old - I can't imagine telling him that one day he will have to move out etc... like others on this thread, I too have said to ds that he can have a big car like uncle x if he has the money when he is older and he has taken that in his stride.

beetroot Fri 11-Jul-03 13:21:51

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SoupDragon Fri 11-Jul-03 13:37:42

I don't remember my parents ever telling me this and I certainly never assumed I'd live with them forever! I think it's actually pretty obvious to most children since we don't live with our parents. I think it's unnecessary to tell them. If told, your DS may then start worrying that you're going to throw him out!

It's not as if you're going to turf your child(ren) out as soon as they turn 18, generally it's them who decide to move out.

Rhubarb Fri 11-Jul-03 14:18:15

Typical bloke thing to say IMO! I would retort that daddy may not be living here forever if he doesn't shut it!

Lindy Fri 11-Jul-03 15:17:38

I'm with beetroot in that I think it should be talked about in a 'natural' sort of way, just as we talk about going to school for a pre-schooler, or having injections, or looking forward to birthdays etc etc.
Actually there are quite a lot of children who, not just for financial reasons, don't move away from the parental home and I will certainly be talking about to my son (probably before he's 9!).

PS My brother was another one who wouldn't leave home until his late 30s when my parents were so fed up that they sold the house & moved themselves!

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