Girl/Boyfriend & Rday

Discussion in 'Coast Guard Academy - USCGA' started by laxmom4boys, May 1, 2010.

  1. laxmom4boys

    laxmom4boys Member

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    I want to ask parents of cadets how they handled the girl/boyfriend and Rday issue! Son desperately wants his girlfriend to be there when we drop him off for Rday, but my husband and I have huge reservations about this. We all know it will be very emotional day and we really don't want the last thing he sees when he says goodbye, is a very sad (and probably crying) girlfriend. Since we have family in So CT, we're thinking about letting her come up with us for the few days we'll spend visting them (pre Rday), and then sending her home on a train the morning of the 27th (before we head to New London). How did you all handle this and what do you think is the best solution? Thanks for your advice!!!!!

    USCGA Class of 2014, Proud Parent
     
  2. shellz

    shellz Parent

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    You are on the right train of thought, IMHO. It is so emotional at the end of the swearing in, and your boy is going to need all of his energy focused on the tasks that lie ahead. He does not need the worry of seeing his GF crying and upset.

    Good luck with your decision...or your son's decision. :wink:
     
  3. BruceRTalbot

    BruceRTalbot Member

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    My cadet looked totally shell-shocked during the 10 minute good-bye after swearing in/group photo. Lots of crying all around us from female cadets. Very nervous parents. Everyone knows you are about to walk away and go home, leaving them there.

    My gut reaction would be to reduce the drama as much as possible. The cadet doesn't need to be worried about "keeping a stiff upper lip" in front of the boy/girl friend. Promise the boy/girl friend you will take them out for the Mystic Flag presentation. Its a wonderful event and the swabs have it more together by then. BE SURE TO BRING WATER AND A POWER BAR for the the good bye, they will thank you for it. R-day is a tough day for everyone. Smile at your cadet, tell them you believe in them and to help their shipmates.

    My two cents.
     
  4. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    or you could be sending your son/daughter off upset at you for not letting them have their girl/boyfriend there. The last thing they are going to see instead is a "very sad (and probably crying)" Mom. What's another person in the mix in the end?

    six in one, half a dozen in the other. You can go either way, but if it really means that much to him then why not let her be there. If it's not that far of a drive anyway then what is stopping her from driving there herself, then what to do?

    -Your friendly devil's advocate. :biggrin:
     
  5. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    I agree with Bruce - have the girlfriend skip R-Day, and if they happen to still be together 4 weeks later, bring her to Mystic.

    On R-Day, those final 10 minutes go by way too fast, much confusion, much emotion. At Mystic, she'll be able to spend much more time, relaxed at-ease time, perhaps an afternoon restaurant meal, and enjoy all of the stories from the last month.

    Be selfish, Mom - keep him all to yourself on R-Day. You'll still be his mom at the end of the year. The girlfriend? Doubtful.
     
  6. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Time for a chat with you son. Alone.
    Feel him out and perhaps he doesn't want her to go but she wants to go. If so, be prepared to be the "bad guy" and be willing to be responsible for making the "decision" for your son.
    If your son is on the fence - they you need to explain and talk about rationally how the day will go. She will have many hours, likely, of boredom. He shouldn't "forget" about her but this is his time to move forward without distractions etc.
    IF they insist then lay down some ground rules...... i.e. NO Crying!
    (what is with all the crying, anyway?)

    Honestly, I have moved a bunch of kids into civilian colleges and never once had a significant other or seen a significant other tag along. In colleges and service acadmies alike - this milestone is generally reserved for the parents. Especially when the incoming is directly from high school.

    I do know a family that brought 20 members to R-Day at West Point. They all had a blast and it worked out very well for them.... in a case like this - the more the merrier!
     
  7. momofacgcadet

    momofacgcadet Member

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    I guess I didn't see a lot of girlfriends/boyfriends saying goodbye, just parents and siblings. Maybe there are but I reallly did not see that. Anyway, perhaps you could consider treating your son and his girlfriend to a really special night for them to say goodbye, the night before you leave for Connecticut. To be honest, I think if you tell your son it will probably be a really awkward time for him and emotional and that he may not really want his girlfriend to see him that way, that may help. Maybe tell him that it is better to say goodbye in a more controlled atmosphere, at home. We didn't cry and he didn't cry, but I guess there are a lot who do. If my son had had a girlfriend at the time, I think I would have discouraged it and told him it just isn't the place. As others have mentioned, the chance of them being together by the end of the year is like 5%, even though they aren't going to believe it now. His focus that day needs to be on himself, not on her or honestly even you. That's a hard one mom!
     
  8. Sweetness62

    Sweetness62 Member

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    We did not bring the significant other to RDay (very good decision for the reasons stated by previous posters), but did for Mystic Flag, which was a very difficult day also. They see a more reserved individual, who seemed to be always looking over their shoulder for cadre, unable to make a decision, because they haven't been allowed to in the past 4 weeks. But, 2 years later, the happy couple is still going strong, not that it isn't difficult for both (there is that 1% factor).
     
  9. laxmom4boys

    laxmom4boys Member

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    Everyone has given us some great advice and I truly appreciate it. The three of us (dad, son, & I) will be sitting down in the next few days to figure everything out. I am definitely leaning towards her not being there for many of the reasons previously stated. Again...thank you all!
     
  10. USNA1982BGO

    USNA1982BGO Retired Staff Member

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    Recipe for a Tough Day
    Here's what we've seen during the 4 R Days we've attended.
    Ingredients:
    1. Incoming Swabs are exhausted from lack of sleep due to nerves the night before, ditto for parents.
    2. Emotions are running high from all sides. Incoming Swabs are getting up really early (Alfa, Bravo and Charlie are reporting 0645) meaning you should be through the gate no later than 0615 to find a place to park and get settled with your Swab in Leamy (or where ever they are checking in this year).
    3. Family members who may be sending their first kid off to college or their last; no one can predict how you're going to feel when you see them check in and head for that bus to go up to Chase Hall.

    Add:
    1. 8 hours of walking around
    2. Eating lunch in Leamy Hall with all the other shell shocked parents and siblings
    3. Parent briefings and so much information coming at you your head feels like it will explode.
    4. Heat and Humidity (or it could be pouring rain; LET's HOPE NOT!)
    5. Waiting in anticipation, looking for your Swab in that sea of blue (can't really recognize them; darn, that hair is gone!

    Mix into this:
    1. A significant other from another family
    2. Not knowing how they're going to handle all of this but very predictable at 18 or 19
    3. Hours of boredom following around the significant other's family

    Possible outcome:
    1. Peace, love, joy and butterflies flying around everyone's head. No tears, only smiles and silly laughing
    2. Everyone fighting for the 10 minutes of the Swab's life while they are terrified to be late back into formation after you've spend 3 of those minutes trying to find them in the sea of parents and swabs.

    It's your call :eek:
     
  11. fairwinds

    fairwinds Member

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    Thanks, USNA1982BGO, for your "recipe." After reading that, I'm seriously considering leaving swab-to-be's younger brother and sister with family, rather than having too many personalities/opinions at R-day. I want that weekend to be all about him...what he wants to do, where he wants to eat, etc.

    Although, I really do like the post that someone had about 20 family members present. Sounds like it could have been a fun party atmosphere and maybe lightened the mood, which could be really helpful on what might be a really emotional day!!
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    The fewer the better....I thought it was easier to focus my last seconds with just my parents, instead of trying to make sure everyone else was ok.

    There will be time to hang out with people on Thanksgiving, you want to keep R-day SIMPLE! :thumb:
     
  13. USNA1982BGO

    USNA1982BGO Retired Staff Member

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    ^^^
    Well stated, "I thought it was easier to focus my last seconds with just my parents, instead of trying to make sure everyone else was ok."
    In general, the Swabs are kids programmed to please and RDay shouldn't be one of those days that they have to try and make everyone happy.
    IMHO older brothers and sisters are good to have there if the family has ok'd it with the incoming Swab; after all, these next four years they too are going to be sucked into the Academy life. (What a memory for a younger brother or sister to see their sibling being sworn in and marching for the first time!)
    Bringing extended family, friends, dogs, next door neighbors, the mail person, not a stellar idea...the day just gets way too complicated and you, mom & dad, will be responsible for making all of them happy. This is not the day to have to be the party planner. There's just far too much information being shot at you all day long and you'll want to meet and bond with other parents while your "party" stands at the sidelines.
    Side note: we brought grandparents for DD #1 and they didn't understand that we didn't have the time for that morning cup of coffee leaving the hotel, very awkward position. DD didn't want to break down in front of anyone and there were far too many questions being shot at her in the short 10 minutes. We then realized all we did was stress her out; not good (we apologized in a letter written on our way home) :rolleyes:
    Best advice, bring the gang to Parent's Weekend.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  14. USNA1982BGO

    USNA1982BGO Retired Staff Member

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    ^^^
    Post Script:
    Reality of how much time you'll spend with incoming Swab on RDay.
    1. Waking them up/Breakfast
    2. Driving to CGA and parking the car
    3. Getting out of the car and walking into Leamy
    4. Waiting in line with them during processing (if they permit that)
    5. 10 minutes after parade and group photo

    How many people do you want to share that with? :confused:
     
  15. sandhills

    sandhills Member

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    Son said NO to girlfriend going to R-day, it would be too much stress on him. He also said no to grandmother (too much stress on her), to dog (too much stress on the dog) and to sister (he thinks she's just too much stress in general, but he may change his mind on this one, they are very close in age and even though they would not admit it, to each other).

    It's really his call 100% who goes and stays, and this is even down to us. If he wants to jump on a plane and go himself, well, it's his call. Let's face it, from R-day forward, our swabs-to-be become their own person and parents basically become a very loyal and committed support group and huge cheering section and I guess a source of funding and logistics when and where neccessary.

    Now, as far as Eagle stops, we are to bring girlfriend IF a visit is possible. Grandmother is next on list if she is able, dog is to go if grandmother is not able and if weather is not too hot...for the dog, not us. Sister is an option. Flag day, girlfriend is to be there, we are an option, a phone call to grandmother will do, email a picture of the dog and sister....what sister....I have a sister?
     
  16. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    10 MINUTES?!?!?! They told us 5 mins....and then gave us a minute or two (atleast that's how long it felt.)
     
  17. shellz

    shellz Parent

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    Son had 10, I think, but ran back early. Didn't want to be the guy who was late back to formation. So, all in all I think we had 7 minutes, which I am glad we didn't have to share with anyone else. Mom, Dad and Son was just perfect.

    BTW, the 10 minutes was more than enough. He was ready. We were ready. And although I only cried a tiny bit, I saved it for when he was running back to his company. I would have made it tear free, but he stopped about half way back, turned and gave a little smile and a quick wave goodbye. I get weepy just thinking about that. It was the last moment of his carefree growing up years, and the beginning of something bigger than himself.

    Pretty cool to think that it's been almost a year and we've all survived. Good luck to all who are about to take this same journey! :smile:
     
  18. USNA1982BGO

    USNA1982BGO Retired Staff Member

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    This isn't going to be a popular post, but I'm putting on my armor :rolleyes:
    With regard to Eagle. This will be your Swabs first opportunity to really get away from the grind of the Academy. That being said, it is not a vacation cruise, it is still part of Swab Summer and their training.
    It is also the first real opportunity to get their eyes out of the boat and get to know their fellow Swabs on board Eagle. And, it is their 1st real college experience of leaving home and traveling to parts unknown.
    <ducking to avoid the things being thrown at me>
    That being said, I would ONLY port hop and meet your Swab IF your Swab begs, pleads, cries or throws a tantrum for you to meet them. It's their time to spread their wings, it's their college experience and how many of us would have wanted our parents showing up or joining us on such an adventure?
    < armor is on> This is definitely one of those issues that needs to be debated before they get to CGA. For some Swabs seeing their family waiting for them in Miami or Savannah or Wilmington will be exciting; for others it could be uncomfortable.
    Sometimes good intentions on our part as parents is misconstrued as helicopter behavior by our kids. We've got to let them go sometime and USCGA really does take good care of them and prepare them for their future in the Coast Guard. :thumb:
     
  19. robin820

    robin820 Member

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    You hit the nail on the head USNA1982BGO with regards to the Recipe of R-Day.
    I am glad our son did not have a girfriend before he left for CGA. I really did not want to be sharing him the few times I would get to see him. He also commented that there were a few people who got dumped on, or shortly after, r-day. Some of the "significants others" do not fully grasp the what the swabs will endure over those 7 weeks and, chances are,that they will not even have much time to think about them.
    It is a rough situation, but I agree with letting R-Day be about the family and pick another time for girl/boyfriend to visit. You really have so little time with them that day, it would almost be better to drop them off at the gate!
    The last picture I have on R-day is sons back as he walked away to join his company...
     
  20. laxmom4boys

    laxmom4boys Member

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    Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions as to how to handle the Rday/girlfriend issue. We have all agreed that my son's, girlfriend will stay at home while we bring him to the CGA. Instead, we have decided to stay at home as long as possible before travelling to New London in order for them to have as much time together as possible. In the meantime, we are giving them a summer to remember (albeit only 4 weeks) with trips to the beach, amusement parks, movies, going out to eat, and just allowing them to be together as much as possible. Although it took time, everyone is in agreement that this is best solution for all involved.

    This forum has once again been a source of support and information. I am anxious for the listserve to open up tomorrow because I need all the support I can get, especially when I think that Rday is only 4 weeks away!!! Thank you all!

    Proud Mom
    USCGA Class of 2014
     

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