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December 15, 2010


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reluctant blogger

Ah we are so alike in some ways. I could have written this post. I think in exactly the same way as you and had almost exactly the same situation with my son on a camp with the same result. People sometimes ask how come my children are courageous and adventurous and think it is just in their genes, but actually I think it is because I have allowed them to be so, and when they have had moments of insecurity or self-doubt encouraged them to see something through (because they said they would do it) and then they feel soooo good that they have achieved it that they feel they can indeed do anything.
We have this from time to time with activities - trampolining or whatever. They'll go off it for a while and ask to leave and always "persuade" them to stick it out to the holidays or whatever and they nearly always end up carrying on.
I always remember a friend of mine saying to me, a few years ago, that the worst thing she ever did which kind of messed with her mind for ages, was quitting Uni before the end. When she said she wanted to - no-one tried to help her talk herself round, not her parents or her tutors and she so now wishes that they had supported in that way rather than just said "oh fine, yes, come on home, dear."
Oops sorry my comment is almost as long as your post!!

gary rith

Oh gosh, San Diego colder than his home...and we have had snow etc every day for awhile now :)


Perhaps seeing his family over the holiday will get him over his “homesickness’ enough to stick it out? I hope so. My girls have built plenty of “character” because I insisted they gut things out.

green girl in wisconsin

I'd make my kid tough it out. But how difficult for him and his family and yours--I'm glad you have a good, honest flow of communication about it anyway.

mom taxi julie

I think it depends on the kid too. My middle one seems to get really bad anxiety sometimes. Toughing it out just makes it worse. The other 2 however can just suck it up lol.


My kids know that we will not let them out of a commitment. Pedro comes from a family with a different point of view. He will have the benefit of your input so even if he doesn't stay he will be able to use that insight if he has regrets later on.


The Brazilians are like the Europeans, used to having their parents do all the work, chores, cooking etc. It's not that they're spoiled so much as their culture is more helicoptery than ours.

My French cousins are in their 40's and one just now moved out of his parents home. Where my Aunt and Uncle did everything for him. The kid never lifted a finger.

I think his culture shock about having to participate in the family via actual work probably got to him.

Baby Favorite

I admire that you're that kind of a parent; I wish I were more like that. I tend to rescue my kids (justifying it along the way, of course), and then hate myself for it. I need to think of YOU the next time one of these situations arises.

I'm sorry Pedro is leaving. I think it's a real shame he isn't able to tough it out.


What struck me the most about this post was your observation that Pedro can't see the value in doing something if he isn't 100% happy with it. While I can understand a teenager saying that (since I work with many who express similar statements on a daily basis), I think it's unfortunate that his parents are backing up his decision to come home. I understand that being away from his family during the holidays would be difficult ... but it could have been a really good learning experience. And the more that people cater to your immediate wants, the harder it seems it is for you to learn that not everything is going to be 100% awesome 100% of the time and that there is some value in learning to get through rough patches.

You know, like when you are only 84% happy. : )

Busy Bee Suz

I agree with you on the 'sticking it out' part. Maybe he will change his mind? Although, it sounds like as wonderful as it is at your home, it is perhaps 'less work' being at home. Maybe he is a lazy guy??? :)
Any way it ends up, he had a great experience at your home (with your super family) and that will last him a lifetime.


In Pedro's case, I think he should stick it out, but I am in no position to judge.

I admit to rescuing my teens this morning. The 3 of us overslept, waking up at 10am when the 9th grader looked out the window and yelled "SNOW DAY!" Um, no (although they did release school 2 hours early). I probably would have driven them to school, but my 12th grader just spent an entire day yesterday doing ISR (in school restriction) for being tardy 4 times this quarter. Another tardy would have earned him 2 more days of ISR, which I find to be a tremendous waste of time plus it takes away from important instruction. Something is terribly wrong about not allowing kids to learn as a punishment. So.... I called the school and said they were home due to illness; I failed to clarify that the illness was mine. (I stayed home sick today, drinking tea and taking naps.)
Yes, I rescued EB (and gave H-J a treat). I know I took the easy way out. My husband thinks it was a terrible decision on my part.


I agree with you Jenn. I was such a home-sicky kind of kid - cried in my bunk at night during years at summer camp, sleepovers, even my first year of college! All these years later, I still remember laying awake at night feeling sad & homesick but somehow finding a way to deal with it & overcome.

I think hardship & loneliness help us to develop that inner resource/power to cope & leave us with the intuition/knowledge that we can do anything we need to do.


I agree with you, but I also think there is no point in you trying to talk him into staying. You shouldn't feel bad about not finishing out the year - it is his decision. From everything you have told me, his wanting everything to be easy probably isn't going to change. Hopefully your family influenced him, even if in some small way.
When I was 15, I spent a summer away from home, working at a camp. It was tough at first, but it really prepared me for college and living on my own. I am so glad I stuck it out.


totally agree, and what Lanes said ... 100% enjoyment?! Time to suck it up a bit.

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