A question for parents of young adults...

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jc6chan
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31 Jan 2011, 2:45 pm

Would you expect your son or daughter to tell you EVERYDAY where they went and a little bit of detail how things went in each activity they did? What if they are 20 years old (like me)?

I kind of feel that my parents are invading my privacy. They always ask what I did EVERYDAY. My mum told me that "if there is something you did you're not willing to tell me, then there's something wrong with the activity you're doing". But I kinda disagree with that. There are things in life that I feel are not "immoral" but at the same time, I don't need my parents to know EVERYTHING I'm doing. I'm 20 years old for crying out loud!!

So what do you think?



Kailuamom
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31 Jan 2011, 3:28 pm

I can see how that could drive you crazy!

I think it goes to how much detail they want. Personally, I want any adult living in my home for free, to be friendly and basically share each other's lives to a certain extent. If my family member doesn't want to share lives, well - it might be that they need more autonomy and to move out. I won't be treating my kids like roomates, unless of course they are roomates and are paying rent. My cousin stayed free at our house for a few months and I routinely asked "what did you do today". I was making conversation and being friendly. In addition, I was trying to ascertain how the job hunt was going without having to ask over and over (because that seemed like nagging).

That said, if everything is going perfectly, I may want fewer details. If things aren't going as we are hoping (no job, bad grades....) I may ask more questions.



jc6chan
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31 Jan 2011, 5:48 pm

Kailuamom wrote:
I can see how that could drive you crazy!

I think it goes to how much detail they want. Personally, I want any adult living in my home for free, to be friendly and basically share each other's lives to a certain extent. If my family member doesn't want to share lives, well - it might be that they need more autonomy and to move out. I won't be treating my kids like roomates, unless of course they are roomates and are paying rent. My cousin stayed free at our house for a few months and I routinely asked "what did you do today". I was making conversation and being friendly. In addition, I was trying to ascertain how the job hunt was going without having to ask over and over (because that seemed like nagging).

That said, if everything is going perfectly, I may want fewer details. If things aren't going as we are hoping (no job, bad grades....) I may ask more questions.

The parents can still ask questions that are important like "are you coming home to dinner tonight" but I don't like it when they ask the details. Besides, I'm living in university right now and so there's no reason why they need to ask EVERYDAY. I'm not saying that I am unwilling to have conversation with my mother and father, but they should let me reveal whatever details I want. They shouldn't DEMAND details.



Kailuamom
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31 Jan 2011, 7:05 pm

If you aren't living at home, I totally agree! Also, it surprises me that you even talk everyday if you are living at university.

Anyway, when they annoy you try to remember that they only drive you crazy because they love you :)



bookworm285
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02 Feb 2011, 6:14 pm

My son is 21, and lives with his Dad. But if he lived with me, other than friendly conversation about his life in general, all I would want him to tell me is whether to expect him home for supper, or that night at all. What he did is His business.

I'm in my 40's and the one year I lived with my parents they drove me Crazy!

Recently I visited and said "I'll be back in a few days, I will call before I return." My Mom called me angry because she assumed the day I'd be back. (I was visiting my children!)

Yes, even at this old age, I can relate! I just have to remind myself it's because they grew up in a different era, and do love me.

Maybe you can compromise. Find things you did that you can share, elaborate on that, as if that's all you did, and keep private moments to yourself. That's not Witholding, that's being an Adult.



liloleme
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03 Feb 2011, 9:09 am

Its hard to let go of your kids but I think that your parents pressing you for information like that is invading your privacy. I understand them wanting to know you are ok and checking in but to persist and insinuate that you are keeping things from them is wrong, in my opinion. Just remember that your parents love you and are worried for you and that is probably what drives them to do this. You never stop being a parent even when your kids grow up and it was really hard for me and sometimes still is to back off and let them live their own life. I now refrain from involving myself in their problems and relationships. If they ask me for my advice I give it but I cant tell them what to do or who to date because they have to make their own choices. Now if my daughters were being physically abused by their boyfriends (or vice versa) or if I found that my son was abusing his girlfriend (or vice versa) or they were doing something illegal that would hurt others, I would step in. Other than that....I have to let them do their own thing and make their own mistakes, even if it hurts me to see them fall. So basically Im saying that I have to trust them to learn from their mistakes and to just do the right thing. Maybe that is what you should try saying to your parents. Something like "dont worry Mom, you taught me well, I am an adult and I need to do my own thing now".



Kailuamom
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03 Feb 2011, 10:35 am

I agree with what has been said, but with one caveat; I believe there is a different standard once the kids have left the nest and are paying their own way, v. Parents footing the bill. There is a reason that historically kids want to move out, its independence. I will not be providing that at the same level, just because they hit a magical birthday. They will have us backing off completely, once they don't need us anymore (financially).

I think that these days kids stay home longer because they want all the creature comforts their parents provide and want to be treated as full adults. I don't buy it. When I was a young adult, I was broke, had a roomate and lived in a crappy part of town because I didn't want to live @ home.

While I am still writing checks, I will continue to ask how was your day, and what did you do, how was work/school, blah balh blah. If those types of questions are too much, then I think that the child is ready to be on their own.

Now.... In the case of the OP it does sound like they are pushing harder than sounds reasonable. However, I can't make that judgement without knowing all the background.



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10 Feb 2011, 4:49 am

My parents rarely asked me what I did as a teenager or as a young adult, though they usually had a general idea of what I was doing.

I actually had a lot of autonomy compared to my siblings because I was so wary of strangers and stubborn and my parents never really doubted my judgement.

If you are living at home though, I think your parents generally have a right to know what you're doing. However I think parents should be reasonable in the behavior they expect of their adult children. I don't think it's reasonable to expect on adult child in their early 20's not to drink, go to parties, or have sex. But I do think it's reasonable to expect them to be law abiding and responsible in those activities.



greyray
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16 Feb 2011, 2:30 pm

Although i sympathise with your predicament.As a single parent to a 23 year old male with AS ,and new to the forum i might not make sense but in time i might get into it lol. I think honestly just through my own experiances It is very difficult for parents say of my generation to understand, not all but im sure a large proportion of parents still find it difficult to except certain ways that a child of theres Behaves with.As, unfortunately we come from a time of ignorance and exceptance of what is the Norm, So what we dont understand we become suspicious or the need for reassurance,You will find instead of going crazy over the fuss they make try think of there feelings and talk, this is so important explain how you feel get them involved introduce them to the Forum,When i was going through what your parents are going through and still am,believe me it isnt easy.A wise person said to my son YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THAT PEOPLE DONT UNDERSTAND. And how true that is so somtimes people with AS should try there hardest to realise it is just as hard for a Parent as it is for yourself,It is so important to talk there is many a war could be avoided by a construcive talk at the table


goodluck Greyray



DW_a_mom
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16 Feb 2011, 2:37 pm

It sounds like your parents are worried about you. I agree you have a right to privacy, and they are very much overdoing it, but parents are full of faults just like everyone else and they seem to be making a messy attempt at getting comfortable you really are OK, because they simply do not know any other way to do it.

So ... see what happens if you appease them. Fill them in with all the boring details. Tell such long stories they won't be able to hone in on the areas you've glossed over because they really are private. Drop a few goodies that they can feed on to offer you "advice" and otherwise get their "I can still help my child" fix. Eventually, hopefully, they'll build a sense of trust that yes, things actually are OK with you, and you are capable of working your way through your own issues.

My son has a way of giving me this look and saying, "do you really need to know?" that makes me realize he really is growing up and needs to be trusted. I think he'd tell me but I read the look, and back off. Away at school, your parents maybe aren't seeing the facial cues? Anyway, my son has such a strong personal code that I really don't believe he'd do anything seriously wrong, and knowing that is a big part of why I do back off. But I still worry. Can't help it. Programmed into me ;)


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jojobean
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17 Feb 2011, 1:13 am

borrowing some inspiration from DW, you could go on and on about absolutely boring details of your life and leave out the rest. You have a right to privacy. Dont bother arguing with them, (it does not seem to work for me either) Just leave out what you want to keep private. If they knew, they would not ask you, so how would they know what you are leaving out.


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RErnest
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18 Feb 2011, 6:54 am

Some people with ASD may find it hard to elaborate on personal questions, especially anything that has to do with emotion. I know that I most certainly did, and couldn't help but respond with short and vague answers. I still do. Usually, the "why" questions are the worst.

In terms of things like, "What did you do today?" For me, it was like having to sort out through all the stuff I did and relate it. That takes a lot of effort. I have serious trouble picking out what was the best and worst actions throughout the day, and so I couldn't help but focus on one or two things. How many details can one give, though? How many steps one took from point A to point B? You can only provide so much. Too much of this stuff had always screwed around with my senses. I wonder if this might be happening to you?

It could also be that you just want to get on with your life and do what you do best. Most of us on the spectrum tend to want to be involved in our own interests. Regardless of what it might be, most typical people tend to employ all sorts of these things in conversations. I tend to hate spontaneous conversation myself. I am very verbal, but I elaborate much more when I think. I don't have the emotional or maybe even the sensory framework to simply reply with immediate answers to emotionally-charged or personally-charged questions. I always feel that I am faking answers when I respond to such things. Sometimes, my mind may even draw a blank. I just get confused.