I don’t know if this is going to make any sense to anybody, but before Teenboy gets his final A-Level results tomorrow and finds out his University fate I have to write it down.
Teenboy has, quite honestly, been spoiled his whole life. I’ve been there and done everything for him as much as I can and when I couldn’t his grandparents have been.
And so now Teenboy’s 18 and looking to either go to university or do…something else, who knows what, he’s looking at as a child who’s had to do nothing for himself. He’s never had to pay his own way, he has no comprehension of budgeting or paying bills and has never had to repay his debts to us.
Every time he has messed up (and there’s been quite a few of these) either me or my parents have stepped in to fix it for him. We don’t even just help him, we actually fix it from start to finish.
I know why we’ve done it, we’ve been trying to make up for his dad’s lack of input in his life. Every single time his father has failed him and let him down we’ve stepped in to fix his father’s fuck ups because it’s heartbreaking to watch your child be disappointed by a useless parent who has promised the world and delivered bugger all.
Quite basically (and I’m embarrassed to admit this) Teenboy is not mature enough or responsible enough to be going to university or even to have a full time job. He has never had to do anything for himself ever. I even got him his latest part-time job. I wrote his CV for him, I emailed it with a covering email and took him to the interview.
It’s got so bad now that his gran controls his finances because he thinks that money is to be spent as soon as you get it. He gets a weekly allowance. If he needs extra he has to put forward a good case to get it.
And now I’ve realised this I’ve had to work out a way to let go.
I can’t continue to keep fixing his life for him. I’ll be there when and if he ever needs me, but I’ve had to over the past few weeks step right back and let him make his mistakes.
Because the only way we learn in life is to make mistakes and hopefully learn from them.
It all came to a head and this realisation came to me when Teenboy and I were completing his student finance application (he couldn’t even do this himself!) and he kicked off cos it was getting a bit too hard and blamed me for him doing it late, blah, blah, blah, etc, etc, etc.
And I realised that night that I had to just let him make these mistakes. That I have to let him go forth and fuck up because when/if he goes to uni he won’t have me there to fix things. Maybe making mistakes will teach him that he has do things on his own and for himself right away and not leave them until the last minute.
Anyway, that’s why I’ve been struggling so much these past few weeks that I couldn’t write. I’ve been blaming myself for Teenboy’s inability to do life and trying to teach myself how to step back and let him go.
I’m ready for him to leave home, I wasn’t (and I don’t know if I am yet) ready to let him take on life on his own without me.
Do all parents of university age teens feel like this? Or is it just me? Did I fuck up?