How Do I Tell My Parents??

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Jenn_30, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. Jenn_30

    Jenn_30 Member

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    I am 16 and I have always wanted to join the army. I am strongly considering going to West Point and I have already been accepted into SLS. How am I supposed to tell my parents. I haven't really mentioned it to them before and I have no family in the army. They will be completely shocked. What do I do?
     
  2. air_power

    air_power Member

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    Start by being more interested in military things. Guns, tanks, fighters, history.

    If you are already really big into these things, then it shouldn't be too much of a shocker, as you've always been into those things and want to be part of them.

    If not, then start small. Get into Civil Air Patrol, or JROTC to become familliar with the military and decide if you fit in.
     
  3. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Jenn,

    They're your parents. They love you, unconditionally. Simple answer: you tell them. Find a quiet family time and bring it right out, "Mom, Dad, I'm thinking about going to West Point for college and becoming an Army Officer. What do you think?"

    What will be their reaction? Who knows? I'm assuming shock will be pretty high up there ("What! Our little girl wants to join the Army!!??"). Probably a little fear as well ("In a time of war!!??"). But most likely, the first question out of their mouths will be "Why?"

    Be honest with them. Give them your honest feelings why you want to join. Expect their reactions to those feelings (again, most likely shock and awe). But most importantly, DO YOUR RESEARCH before you talk to them. Have some answers to some basic questions. Better yet, ask them to look up the answers to the questions you all will have together with you. Starting here on these forums is a terrific place to search for that knowledge, for you and for them.

    There are a LOT of parents on here as well as cadets, all of whom have little to no military experience. They have been in the same boat as you (guess i should say Tank. If you want a boat to share, the USNA link is right below this one). There are also a LOT of really great individuals on here willing to listen (OK, read) your questions and give you honest advise and feedback.

    Just my two cents, but nobody is going to have your interests at heart more than your parents. They will always be your best guides in this. Get them involved. Talk to them.

    "Mom, Dad, I want to go to West Point....."
     
  4. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Just curious how you got accepted to SLS without them knowing. Does West Point send anything by snail mail anymore? :smile:

    I'm with Bullet - talk to them. You also might want to contact admissions and see if there are any admissions outreach sessions in your area. If so then you could take your parents and they can find out just what it's all about.
     
  5. Jenn_30

    Jenn_30 Member

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    Well, I told them and it wasn't as bad as I thought. They were a little upset and confused but didn't really have much to say. I have a feeling there will be a lot more questions once it sinks in. I asked them about SLS and they said that they would think about it, which is better than nothing. All I know is that is good to finally have them know and to be able to talk to them about this.
     
  6. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Glad to hear you have taken the first step. There will be time ahead for your "announcement" to really sink in for your parents, and I'm sure once the initial shock wears off, there will be LOTs more they are going to want to talk about.

    Now is the time to start doing that research I told you about. You're not going to know all the answers to all the questions they are going to have. Heck, you're not going to know all the answers to all the questions YOU are going to have. Like JAM said, there are lots of resources out there (besides this forum) to help both you and your parents along the way.

    Wishing you the best of luck as you take those initial steps towards the Long Grey Line. Bullet
     
  7. Jenn_30

    Jenn_30 Member

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    Thanks for your help! I have really appreciated it.
    Hopefully I will be joining the Class of 2014!
     
  8. jbrown

    jbrown Member

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    Good Job Jenn,

    It must be quite a relief. They may be better with it than you expected, or maybe they are shocked and need to have it sink it, or maybe they think you will change your mind in time, and they are taking a wait and see approach.

    Or some other scenario.

    Either way, it's great that you talked to them. Now show them how much you want it by continuing to research it, get your ducks in a row and start taking all of the steps to bring your dream to reality.

    I would suggest including them in it, by seeking their advice and input along the way, if they feel they are a part of it, they may be less resistant later on. Get them so literature to read about the Academy.

    Just continue the great job you've already started and you'll be fine.

    jb
     
  9. pedro4

    pedro4 Member

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    My experience

    My son asked me years ago what the best colleges were. I told him about Harvard, Stanford, Princeton...and I mentioned that many of our leaders came from the service academies. His junior year he asked to attend SLS-I knew nothing about it. He came home from that with one goal-West Point. My family was a super liberal/college professor/antiwar/Eugene McCarthy delegate type family. But everyone, and I mean everyone in my family is super supportive and proud of my son for wanting to attend WP. They are now sending me articles about the school, the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
    All these abstract arguments about foreign policy now have a human face. They all got a copy of "Absolutely American" for Xmas and they are even more enthusiastic.


    They still do not get it, but they feel a sense of pride for what my son is doing. Tell your parents staright out. You might be surprised. Good luck.
     
  10. sterling

    sterling Member

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    Your parents may never be on board with this but if you have the inner calling they will need to accept it. Part of your job will be letting them know, helping them cope and in turn they need to provide support to you. The box with handles is real. As a cadet parent I see the taps emails and hear the news " six months after graduation I will be deployed". People will claim that you are getting a free education...in my book it is one of the most costly around.
    Yet they will have a new family. You may not know all the names but I can assure you there are parents who will drive for hours to rescue stranded cadets, open their homes for a warm meal, hot shower, comfortable bed without being "their cadet". These same parents will teach "how to survive" and in turn your parents will become teachers.
    On R day we did not see our cadet, while others commented on how they found their "Waldo". My wife and I did not realize that we did see our Cadet ...in 1300 faces. If you want this put your heart and soul into it don't just settle and get your parents involved. Our son did well on the SAT his MALO told him he could stop retaking it when he got a perfect score. Read the Honor Code and recoginize that your parents will live it too ( the part about not tolerate those who do doesn't come with qualifications). Finally, one last piece of advice: when the dvd "Summers at West Point" comes don't let your Mom watch it...good luck
     

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