Monday, November 20, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

Should graduates get to camp out alone?

RECOMMENDED READING


High school grads want to go camping on their own: discuss

Q: My child is a senior in high school and will be graduating in June. Instead of the usual beach week, my child's group of eight to 10 friends wants to go camping. I think this is a great idea and fully support it.

Within this group of kids, there are two couples. The mother of one of these four kids insists on going along, even though she has given her child permission to attend the same out-of-state college as her child's significant other.

All of these kids will be 18. They are all trustworthy, smart, churchgoing kids with high morals. They want to avoid the beach week party atmosphere and have their own fun. My child is frustrated, and several of the kids are considering canceling if the parent goes along. Am I viewing this from the wrong side?

Anonymous

A: I think the only way to view something from the "wrong" side is to view it from only one.

As long as you waited to form your opinion until you considered the perspectives of others — including the seniors, the other mom, anyone who knows anything about camping, and, for some literary flair, a disinterested omniscient narrator (who's cringing, I suspect) — you satisfied your obligation to be fair.

After that, if you feel strongly that this mother is overstepping, then talk to her.

Or, if you believe well-behaved 18-year-olds have earned the right to be treated as adults, and that's why you think the mom is overstepping, then back that up: Let your child and the rest of the group decide how they want to handle their uninvited guest. It's within their developmental range to cancel the trip, renegotiate its terms in a way that satisfies this mom, or grudgingly have her along.

And if you believe "high morals," church-going and smarts inoculate anyone against impulsiveness or temptation — I'm not accusing, I'm merely being thorough — then history just fell off its chair laughing. Don't ask more than human beings can give. The trust you need here is trust that these seniors can handle themselves, not that everything will be s'mores and campfire songs.

Living responsibly is freedom; the alternative, chains

Q: What are the options when your partner finds a topic of dissension (the couple's financial position and habits, for instance) to be boring and doesn't want to discuss it?

Won't Discuss

A: In Hax World, you'd secure your accounts, break up with this partner and seek adult companionship. I freely admit that world isn't everyone's happiest place.

The business of life is boring to execute, much less discuss, yes. Neglecting it, though, or putting your fingers in your ears and saying "NAH NAH NAH NAH" while other people deal with it for you, leads to the kind of excitement functional people don't want to have, such as eviction, foreclosure and repossession; ruined credit; lost jobs, job-hopping or chronic underachievement; resentful grown children who wish you'd prepared for other choices besides homelessness or crashing with them; retirements projected at a dozen years after your expiration date; and the accompanying, unrelenting stress. Living responsibly is freedom; the alternative, chains.

If your partner is worth all this, then soldier on and disregard the childish attitude toward "boring" things. Otherwise, I strongly suggest you insist or cut bait. Oh — and secure those accounts either way.

Comments
Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’ has a Dia de los Muertos theme and is, well, lifeless

Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’ has a Dia de los Muertos theme and is, well, lifeless

Disney-Pixar’s Coco was more enjoyable three years ago when it was titled The Book of Life and came from Twentieth Century Fox.Both animated features spring from Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos celebration, the annual "day of the dead" when departed rela...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Tell Me About It: Couple considers living on one income

Couple considers living on one incomeQ: My husband and I, both unhappy in our jobs, have determined that with some strategic penny-pinching, we can live on one salary for a while. The question now is, whose salary?The argument for my husband quitting...
Published: 11/20/17

Tell Me About It: Consistently treat twins as individuals

Consistently treat twins as individualsQ: We have 11-year-old identical twin boys who are wonderful and very different little guys. They both do well in school and their other activities, but "Dylan" is pulling ahead a bit, particularly in sports. We...
Published: 11/19/17
With Harry Potter’s Christmas, Universal Orlando proves holidays are big business

With Harry Potter’s Christmas, Universal Orlando proves holidays are big business

ORLANDO — Christmas has finally come to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando in a new holiday attraction opening Saturday. In addition, Universal Studios has completely upsized its holiday parade with more Macy’s balloons, stunning floats and snowy effects ...
Published: 11/17/17
First look: Harry Potter’s Christmas finally arrives at Universal Orlando

First look: Harry Potter’s Christmas finally arrives at Universal Orlando

Christmas has finally come to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando, with the promise of warm butterbeer, a Frog Choir singing carols and a magical light show projected onto Hogwarts Castle nightly followed by fireworks. It opens to the public on Saturday. C...
Published: 11/17/17

Tell Me About It: Mom’s stroke threatens plans for children

Mom’s stroke threatens plans for childrenQ: Recently you gave advice about how it’s "never the perfect time to have a baby," and that’s true, but does the calculation change any if you’re planning to be a single mom?I’m 36 and a year ago I broke up w...
Published: 11/17/17

Tell Me About It: Wife uses silent treatment to be cruel

Wife uses silent treatment to be cruelQ: My wife is a wonderfully sensible person and appropriately sensitive. She is the oldest of three sisters and often feels left out. The age and geographical distance make it understandable that her two sisters ...
Published: 11/16/17

Tell Me About It: Woman takes mom’s advice the wrong way

Woman takes mom’s advice the wrong wayQ: I was laid off recently from a job of 15 years. My confidence took a blow.When I told my mom, she said, "Hurry up and update your resume. And don’t forget to add your Employee of the Year award." I had of cour...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/19/17
5 under $5: Sand sculptors, free ice skating, Pinellas Trail performances

5 under $5: Sand sculptors, free ice skating, Pinellas Trail performances

1Sanding Ovations: This annual Treasure Island sand sculpting competition brings master sculptors working in 150 tons of sand. This year artists come from Ireland, the Netherlands, Singapore, Russia, Lithuania, Canada and the United States. An adjac...
Published: 11/15/17
Weekend fun: St. Pete Beach BikeFest, Chillounge Night, Christmas at Universal, Busch Gardens

Weekend fun: St. Pete Beach BikeFest, Chillounge Night, Christmas at Universal, Busch Gardens

BIG WHEELS: St. Pete Beach BikeFestThe new St. Pete Beach BikeFest at the TradeWinds resort and runs through Sunday with daily poker runs, an expo, a bike show and competitions. But the real draw will be free concerts on the beach, including former M...
Published: 11/15/17