Absent adult children

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Absent adult children

Post  7777Trinity on Sun 23 Feb 2014, 6:14 pm

We have 5 children, all grown and out on their own. Four have graduated with a Bachelor Degree or higher and the fifth is currently in College on the G.I. bill, he just got out of the Army. Four of the Five are married with children, all our grandchildren are 6 grandson's in 3 years time.

Here is my question, if we call any of our kids they don't answer their phones 99% of the time and they NEVER or very RARELY ever call us. if we email or text, same thing no response.

We thought we have done a great job raising 3 girls and 2 boys. All three girls graduated with a 4 year degree or higher, married men with the same educational standards and waited to have children at least 2-5 years after they married. All have been gainfully employed and have never been a blight on society, no record etc.

Our two sons, the oldest unmarried but is in Graduate School working on a Master's Degree. The youngest son is married, just finished a 3 year tour in the Army and is in school full time and working part time. He is married with 2 small boys. Neither of our son's have ever been in trouble either.

So on paper it looks great, but we hear from them only at Christmas time. We try to visit or arrange for them to come see us and that is challenging at best. I know we were strict with our kids, but it paid off in the result of 5 really good human beings on the planet, working, not on welfare and have never had run in's with law etc.

So why is it like pulling teeth to get a phone call or email once or twice a month from these guys????? Any Ideas???

P.s. I know they are all busy, but when I was raising my kids and my mother called me, I tried to get back to her the same day or at least the next day.

Trinity
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Re: Absent adult children

Post  milo on Mon 24 Feb 2014, 10:16 am

Have you talked to them about this? Maybe they need to hear from you that it is important to you. People their age (and I assume I'm in their range) are stuck in this very disconnected world where human contact occurs less and less often. It's not an excuse, but maybe an explanation of sorts. Perhaps some of them would be more responsive if they knew how important it was to you?
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Re: Absent adult children

Post  7777Trinity on Mon 24 Feb 2014, 10:51 am

Thanks Milo! I will do that Smile

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Re: Absent adult children

Post  kimsmom on Tue 04 Mar 2014, 8:39 am

How about scheduling a family reunion this summer where all children and grandkids come for a weekend or more. Sometimes once people reconnect they stay in touch more often. That way you can let your children know face to face how much you miss them and want to get to know your grandchildren better.

They not only get to see you and your husband, but also each other which is always good.

I feel your pain. I moved when I was 25 years old to Orlando, Florida. I spoke to my mom every Sunday morning and often times in between if something important happened that I needed to know or visa versa. My mom and I also wrote letters once a week. This was back in the 80's when snail mail was all we had to work with.

My daughter is in college now and complains that her father (we are divorced) calls her every night like when she was living here at home. I told her to be glad he cares enough to call and try to get him to call less often. It hurt his feelings so he calls every night. I told her that I just need a text once a day. I usually get one. If not I ask her sister, who for a short time, is still living with me, if she has heard from her. If so I am good. I usually do not call her. She does not want to talk anyway unless she initiates the call.

Let me know how things go. Out of the five, no one lives in the same town as you? How far is the closest child? Maybe a weekend visit with that child to start things off and get the ball rolling for the summer reunion would be good. That child can then say that they had a great visit with you and your husband and would love a get together in the summer. Worth a try...

Good luck and my thoughts are with you!

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Re: Absent adult children

Post  7777Trinity on Tue 04 Mar 2014, 2:11 pm

Kimsmom
Thanks. I did email my oldest daughter and she has just been swamped, I saw her last August. I saw our youngest daughter in January, stayed with her while I was seeing the Nerve Decompression Surgeon for migraines in Boston. So that was good. Our middle daughter we saw at Christmas, she is expecting their first in April and we hope to go see her then.

We saw our oldest son at Christmas and our youngest son in January.

The kids are all over the place. Naples, FL, Chicago, IL, Boston, MA, Lexington, KY and Wilmore, KY. I would love to gather them all up in put them at least in the same State Smile

This would not seem so bad if I wasn't struck down with migraines 15-17 days each month and then trying to recover the next day...I need a life of my own where I feel like a competent human being again, where I can contribute my skill set somewhere. Instead I feel like a blight to my family and wasted space on the planet Smile I guess a lot of us on here do though.

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Re: Absent adult children

Post  Cluelesskitty on Tue 04 Mar 2014, 4:05 pm

Trinity, I am very sorry if I will ask private questions and perhaps troubled questions, but if you really want an answer..

What I noticed from your post, you only mention 'dry' facts about your children- how well educated they are,
how many of them, their marital status, how many kids of their own they have and their geographical stats.

Nothing about how close you guys were while you kids were growing up,
happy, robust, free spirits, encouraged to follow their dreams and seek their own paths in life?

There must be  a reason why this is happening. If you really want to find out what could be causing this distance
today, we can try to discover why,  but again, I warn this could turn out to be a bit stressful path, I don't know..

Risa

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Re: Absent adult children

Post  7777Trinity on Tue 04 Mar 2014, 4:48 pm

Risa:

When my children were very young my husband died. It was a cerebral hemorrhage from high blood pressure. I was in severe clinical depression for about 7 years. I was not accessible to my children physically or emotionally, it was devastating for all of us. I was placed on several different anti-depressants and none of them helped, in fact I got worse from the side effects. I had no family nearby and was completely alone trying to cope.

In the midst of this, was the "Migraine Monster", my world came crashing down around me. Some days I sat in the same chair all day until it was time to pick them up from school.

Ironically, I am writing a book now called "My Migraine World", it chronicles the beginning of migraines, the motor cycle accident and how it affected my marriage(s) and my children. I decided to write this book because there is not enough real life information out there that speaks to all the areas migraine strike in a person's life. I thinks it's important for anyone with migraine who had the courage to actually get married and have children. There are times I wish I hadn't because between the "migraine monster" and clinical depression from my husbands death, I was a worthless human being. I mean that to say, I could not be counted on to show up or do anything.

Writing this has been emotional for me and eye opening. I am sending the first 8 chapters to my children, it will be awhile before I will have it finished and ready for publishing. But what it does do, at least for the, is let them know I have always loved them, even when I was so completely broken.

Thanks Risa for chiming in and for being so direct. I was already on my way there Smile

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Re: Absent adult children

Post  Cluelesskitty on Wed 05 Mar 2014, 6:56 pm

I understand. And I am very sorry for what you went thru, and going on thru. I am not judging you, albeit it probably sounded like that.
I just wanted to point out that if something is not happening in the family the way it should be, then simply something must have
caused it.
As there is always action and reaction.
I was hoping that asking my questions - more for you to you, than to mine or whoever else benefit, it may have helped you to reflect
if there was something in the past and/or still is something that may stop your children from wanting to come or call you more often.

From what you told me so far, my guess would be - at partly no fault of your own, there was not much of  chance to properly
develop close family ties.
That would be my main biggest concern. From here, my reasoning is, with a lack of close ties, there really is not a motivation to visit or call,
because - what for? if there is not much closeness.
I am speaking from personal experience - I have absolutely no close ties with my sister. Never did. I feel no need or want to call or visit her.

The question is - how do you put past like that behind you? How do you rebuild life anew?
In my opinion, I would start with one family member at a time and ask, what's stopping you from coming to me, calling me more often -
- but honestly? - and keep my mouth shut, just listen, even if my blood would boil at the answers.
I think it's important first to learn their side,
and perhaps maybe only to learn their side, because, what's the point, it's to make your children keep closer to you, no?
And whatever I would learn, I'd try to maybe change something? I'd sure hope mere intimate talking would help a lot..


I want to stress again it's what I would do if the problem regarded my children, not sister, and in no way I am judging you.
Just analyzing the situation like a backyard psychologist I am always trying to be, lol.

Risa

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Re: Absent adult children

Post  Porsche Fan on Thu 06 Mar 2014, 2:01 am

If I'm out of line Trinity, I don't mean to be.  Feel free to call me out.

Despite wives, husbands, children, jobs...IMO when mom or dad calls you answer--flat out.

I loved my mother, but she passed in 05.  She had the same type of heart problems I have--but I've had better treatment.  She was a tough lady that would rather suffer through even life-killing pain than go to the ER.  I performed CPR on her when she collapsed for nearly 15 minutes.  Everyone's attempt failed.

My dad was with me at the time--I had to teach him 2 man CPR on the spot.  Stressful--I think it's the worst thing a father and son could ever have to do.

In my book, when a parent calls you call back ASAP.  My brother is an absentee relative as I'll call it.  It's respect and love to talk to your parents.  Flat out, I have an allegiance with my father.  There's nothing that would stop me from calling my dad back immediately.  As I get older and see what is really important--I'd make certain decisions.  I'm not married (yet, lol) but in my book parent(s) come first.  I've seen how fast they can leave us.

Some may say I'm overzealous.  I call it loyalty.  If I got married and someone declared a statement to the likes of "spend less time with your dad or me, or it's over."  Next morning divorce papers would be filed.  Kids of course, could temper my feels.  My situation is different.  I didn't get sick late in my years, but have been sick for over 20 years.

IMO Adult Children need to get their heads  in the right location.  You have one set of parents.  Once they're gone...they are.  I will admit, I've had wonderful parents that were more like best friends than acting as a parent.

My dad's my closet advisor.  I trust him the most.  I know he will not let me down.  However I understand he will pass someday.  Scary, but that's life.  Not many have the type of relationship that I have with my dad.  It's always been tight, rock solid.  I had the same with my mother.  Each situation is different--thus which makes my comments, just that.  Comments.
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Re: Absent adult children

Post  7777Trinity on Thu 06 Mar 2014, 9:59 am

PF
I don't think you are out of line at all. I never treated my parents this way and they were far from being ideal parents. I think my children have learned to live life without me to an extent.

I can't force them to love me now that I think clearly. It does make me sad that in their younger years I was battling both clinical depression from my husbands sudden death and migraines. There really isn't anything for them to actually pick or point at that would have made them angry at me. They just grew up distant emotionally and it was something no one could fix for me or them at the time.

I do email and call them about every two weeks. The never answer the phone when I call and rarely email back. It makes me sad, but really there isn't much else that can be done. The one thing that might be positive about this, is that when I do pass away one day; they will not really grieve because they didn't allow themselves to get close to me, even in these latter years.

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Re: Absent adult children

Post  Cluelesskitty on Thu 06 Mar 2014, 6:46 pm

If I may still be open, Trinity, what I detect from this is certain distance between you and your children, T.
You say you email them every two weeks.

Maybe try writting to all your children  more often, at least two times a week.
these don't have to be long messages, just something short but interesting
and inquisitive, sort of a carrot on a stick that will in a way force them to reply,  involve in dialogue,
like "hey, we had a tons of snow fall again yesterday, unbelievable! how's the weather in your parts,
do you have to shovel the white stuff much?"
- something to this tune, so they won't have to delve into long and deep emotional hence awkward stuff. if you get my drift Smile
Don't wait for an answer, keep sending just  light bits.. (maybe not always with a "carrot stick"), and wait patiently.

I think you can do it with ease, since you can write Smile

I believe with time, it could work. Along with the dinners at your place.

Another idea for much, much later when your relationship improves, what about if you try to start new traditions,
like gently suggesting at some  right time to  start having  family Thanksgivings, Easters, Christmases at each kid house?
maybe they'll like that, too..?

Risa

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Re: Absent adult children

Post  Cluelesskitty on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 3:35 pm

Hey Trinity, if I may ask, how are things with kids? have you tried anything, perhaps, or no, is there any change,
and how are you?

Risa

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Re: Absent adult children

Post  7777Trinity on Sun 16 Mar 2014, 6:55 am

Risa:
When I do reach my children they are kind and loving and keep me up to date on what's going on with them. It's just not that frequent, but that's okay. I have to respect that they have their own lives and what matter's is that we all love each other Smile

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Re: Absent adult children

Post  Cluelesskitty on Sun 16 Mar 2014, 3:58 pm

I get your answer Very Happy


Risa

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