Parent Help

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Jen, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. Jen

    Jen Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, I recently got accepted to the SLS, and I was really excited. However, my parents did not share in my excitement. I contacted my CDC for help with persuading my parents, and he graciously offered to meet with the 3 of us to explain the SLS to them. Now, my parents are refusing to meet with him, are definitely not going to let me go to the SLS, and refuse to talk to me or listen to me about West Point. Every time I try to mention it to them, they either ignore me or get really mad at me for bringing it up again. Does anybody have any advice? Especially from the applicants that have gone through this with their own parents or from parents themselves?
     
  2. EagleScout13

    EagleScout13 USMA Class of 2017

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2011
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    6
    Hey I know you feel. I told my dad a while ago, but I only recently told my mom. She has always been against military and when I told her I wanted to go to west point, she started crying. She said I was breaking her heart. The only way I was able to comfort her was to tell her to think of all the doors this will open for me. And I told her if I hated sls, I would never bring west point up again. That's helped me so far.
     
  3. BigNick

    BigNick Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    3
    Our citizens have greatly benefited from and been protected by our military. However, some people do not understand or appreciate the sacrifices of our military. In effect, they accept the protection of the military but do not want to support the military in any way. They especially do not want their sons or daughters to be a part of the military.
    In my humble view, these people have a right to their beliefs but I have NO RESPECT for them.
    You will probably not be able to overcome your parent's political beliefs or dislike of the military. However, in most states you can make your own decisions after age 18.
     
  4. another13mom

    another13mom Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    2
    Jen - we do not have a military background, but our son was set on West Point. When he took the entire initiative on his own to apply, make all the appointments for the Dodmerb exam, prepare all the documentation for congressional nominations, get his transcripts and test scores ordered, etc., he showed that it WAS his dream and we then supported him whole-heartedly. These are tough issues for parents who are not military. You want your babies to stay safe forever.
    My recommendation would be to continue your application and write down all of your reasons for wanting to be in the Army -- it's not just about going to West Point - the end result is a serious commitment to the Army. You can research all the positive reasons for both West Point and a future as an Army officer - write it up and present it to your parents. If you need to pass on SLS for this year, so be it. But you can continue your West Point application process and have a year to bring them around. At some point they will realize that you will be an adult soon enough and it is your life to lead. But be kind to them in the process - they only want the best for you.
     
  5. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,180
    Likes Received:
    105
    Hi Jen
    Im a parent for a child who also wants to go to a SA.

    This is what Id suggest. see if you can trade them something they really want in exchange for them attending an admission event. Something like-ill wash all the dishes from now on if you go to this event on March 6th from 5-8pm.

    also babysit as much as you can to try to save up enough money to go-or pay for part of it.


    give them a hug while you talk about it-hugs are hard to resist.
     
  6. Jen

    Jen Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for all of your support. I'll try the hugs :smile: and maybe I will be able to get them to go to an admissions event in April. I've already offered to pay for the SLS, as I tutor in math for money, but they refuse to listen to me. I'll try and make a deal that if they go to meet my CDC and still majorly disaprove, then I will not mention West Point to them again. Hopefully they will take the deal. Thanks again for the advice. :smile:
     
  7. adoloris

    adoloris Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow Jen, I really feel for you. Perhaps someone from the local WP parent support group would be able to help--a sort of parental peer that your parents could glean information from. Maybe there is a parent of an alumnus from your school who went to SLS and or WP? #1 DS is at WP--didn't make it into SLS though. He really wanted it, worked hard, went to plan B college, reapplied, etc. DS #2 was accepted to SLS, went, liked it but realized that WP wasn't for him. He is currently AROTC. This is partly what SLS is about--getting a taste of WP. It is not much different than visiting other colleges, right? I hope this helps a little and good luck:thumb:
     
  8. Packer

    Packer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,877
    Likes Received:
    5
    You don't have to do SLS to get into West Point and the West Point application will not open until early summer. You may want to make a deal not to bring SLS up again but if you are truly interested in West Point you may not want to make a deal not to mention WP. It may take some time but if you take the initiative and show you are really wanting to do this they may come around.
     
  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,539
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    I don't know that I'd promise them that. If it's really your dream you're going to bring it up again... and they will know it. Also, don't promise to wash the dishes until the end of time either.... they know better. But promising them something realistic, perhaps something that they want you to do that you've been resisting... that sounds reasonable. Much more quid pro quo.

    It might also help if you could have a calm, rationale discussion (I know! I know!) about what their concerns/objections are you might have a shot at addressing them? The letter thing might be a good idea if you can find out their specific concerns and address them in a letter. I know discussing this stuff rationally between a parent and their teenage child is asking a lot and difficult to do (at least it was in our house) but its worth a shot.

    Personally, I can't see any parent wanting their child to be unhappy. I can see putting obstacles in the way of what they think is an unwise course, but I also believe they'll always come around. But then, I watch a lot of Disney movies. Perhaps you need to show them, in some fashion, how much this means to you?

    Good Luck
     
  10. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,886
    Likes Received:
    231
    Jen, as you are a minor, they can stop you from going to SLS. However, after you are 18, you can do as you please. Knowing that, I might say to them something along the lines of valuing their input, and life will be easier with their support, but you can certainly do it without it. Tell them you want them to be a part of the biggest decision of your life so far, and hope they will be. But if they choose to alienate themselves from your choices, then so be it. You will soon be of legal age and can do as you please. You will only run into issues dealing w/ DoDMerb as a 17 year old. Hopefully you have an early birthday, so that won't be an issue either.
     
  11. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,539
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    Moms know best!
     
  12. prest477

    prest477 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jen, when i first told my parents freshman year that i wanted to attend a service academy, they flat out said no. now, two years later, they both know that attending a service academy will be the best thing for me. at first, it took many failed attempts for them to finally listen to me. like your parents, they did not want to ever talk about it. but after 2 months of consistently bringing up the topic they finally caved and began to listen to me. by presenting my father with more adn more information about the academies, he began to soften up. my mother on the other hand was more work. it took a visit to west point this past october, which in the end convinced her the academy was best for me. she still has her nervous breakdowns (shes broken down crying hysterically 5 times already, and all i have done is applied for SLS) but that's just natural. your parents are more than likely just nervous about what happens after your four years at the academy- which is understandable.

    overall, my advice is to kept bringing the topic up, no matter how many times you get shot down. try to see if they would want to visit west point, as the tours and informational meetings are extremely helpful - plus they can ask whatever questions they have directly to a west point cadet or graduate. all in all, you will be able to convince them it will just take time. Remember, if there is a will, there is a way.

    good luck hope this helps
     
  13. hel2662

    hel2662 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know if this would work, but if you could emphasize the academic and leadership aspects of SLS (it is, after all a leadership seminar), that might help. You could even tell them that it looks good on college applications, which is true. I think that, since you've already gotten in to SLS, it is worth it to try to go. It will help you, as much as anything, figure out if the lifestyle is for you. My son had a blast when he went. I'm sorry you have to work so hard to reach for your dream.
     
  14. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,539
    Likes Received:
    1,002
  15. AcademyFriend1

    AcademyFriend1 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    1
    Jen, how about seeing if there is a teacher or guidance counselor at your high school who could talk to/with your parents about SLS or West Point in general? I am a teacher (and military veteran, although not a service academy grad) and I have talked to some parents on behalf of students interested in ROTC or the service academies. Generally it helps -- there are a lot of misconceptions out there about the military.

    Who you might get to intercede for you may depend on why your parents object -- do they think WP/the military would be wrong for you for some particular reason? Do they think WP is not prestigious enough (you might show them the Forbes magazine ranking)? Do they think WP/the Army is a bad place for women? Try to find a trusted adult at school and perhaps they could help you strategize.
     
  16. MMMom

    MMMom Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    When DS first started talking about service academies I was not at all enthused... not that I have anything against the military (my grandfather was a 2 purple heart decorated veteran of WWII) but it is just not the path I had envisioned for HIM. He attended a service academy sports camp last summer, and I thought that would send him running home ready to apply to State U. Ummm... no such luck. He came home more determined than ever. I am warming up to the idea, and attending an admissions event for one of his top 3 academies REALLY helped ME. More than anything, for a parent, I think it is fear of the unknown. As a mom, the entire prospect is scary but as I learn more it becomes less so and the positives are starting to reveal themselves. Keep working on your parents, but do it gently... I do think taking them to an admissions event would help, and I also think attending SLS would help YOU explain to them the things that you find appealing. Good luck!
     
  17. clamelken2

    clamelken2 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    I bought the national geographics "Surviving West Point" DVD series to have my mother fully understand what it meant to go to west point and serve. I think that giving them the opportunity to see the daily life of the cadets made her more comfortable with the idea of me going to attend west point! Best of luck :thumb:
     
  18. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    444
    Any idea why your parents are so against it?

    Just like your CDC, I always offered to talk to parents to answer any question they have.

    One time, a parent of a female applicant told me that her relatives were concerned about "sexual harrassement." My simple reply was when I was a cadet, I didn't witness it and what was the factual basis of the concern? No facts given.

    They are a lot of good suggestions given so far, but understanding why your parents are so against you even attending SLS might give you better suggestions
     
  19. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    16
    Jen,

    First and foremost congratulations. You want to become what I call the best and brightest in the country, that is what I call those of you make the commitment to attend SA'S. Let me try to give a parent's point of view. First your parents want what's is best for you. And unfortunately your a minor, so right now you have to do what they want. If you really want to attend West Point, do some things to put you in a position to get there. Attend boys or girls state through the American Legion, because it shows leadership and it something the SA'S look at. If you are a boy or girl scout work on achieving the highest rank (ie; eagle scout for Boy Scouts). This is your future and yours only, not your parents. If you truly want to go SLS, you may not have that option, because of Mom and Dad. Get a job and raise the money to go. If they will let you go. The SA'S may have options to wave the cost or give you help. Lastly, I read some of the post here they talk about dreaming. I tell my two kids this all time. " It is not about dreaming. It is about setting goals and objectives to achieve that goal." If you want it you are going to to have to do it all. Once, your 18 it is on your shoulders.

    Keep us all updated,

    RGK
     
  20. grad11

    grad11 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ask them to support YOU not the Army

    For a long time my parents didn't want me to join the military or go to West Point. They were afraid of what might happen to me, they did not want me to be far away, and they didn't want me to get hurt/killed, among other reasons. Ever since I was young I wanted to go join the Army, but my parents thought I would grow out of it. Then in high school and I set my sights on West Point. Still, my parents were not pleased with the idea of me serving. Fast forward to today and I graduated West Point last year and am a platoon leader in the Army. My parents are supportive of me and my decisions, but they are still not 100% thrilled with me joining. What I told them was that it was my life and I needed to live my dreams. I also listed out all of the reasons to join and go to West Point for them and constantly talked about it. I showed them that this was my dream and what I really wanted. The way I gained their partial support was by saying this: You may not want me to support me joining the military because you are afraid of me getting killed, but please just support me in accomplishing my dream. Don't expect a fast change in them, but from what I have seen most parents will come around eventually. I don't think I will ever get my parents to encourage me to stay in the military, but I know they will support ME living out my dream.
     

Share This Page