Personality Change

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by dadof6, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. dadof6

    dadof6 Member

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    Anyone have any opinions on how their son or daughter changed from the time they entered BCT until say Thanksgiving break.. did you first see a positive or negative change at first? Did they talk more or less? Were they more confident? what can we expect? Just curious thanks.
     
  2. tutmom

    tutmom Member

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    My DS has always been a focused person, but I believe he has become even more focused after his first year at usafa. He just seems to totally live in the moment and give all his attention to whatever he is doing.
     
  3. cadetmom100

    cadetmom100 Member

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    I would say the most obvious change I saw was a signficantly increased level of maturity.... now my DS was a 17 kid when I sent him off to BTC, but still, I when he was home at Thanksgiving he had truly morphed into a young man. It was awesome to see how much he had grown in a few short months!
     
  4. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    I would assume that when they finally get to see their DS / DD at Thanksgiving or Xmas break, besides finding their children a lot more mature, most parents found the young men and women they sent off oh-those-so-short months ago to be just a tad more courteous to their elders, were amazed that they kept their rooms a little more tidy, and saw they no longer slouched when standing or sitting.

    Amazing what living six months in that environment, away from their parents oversight and influence, will do to them. You sent them off as your child, and they return to you pretty much a responsible adult.

    And you'll be oh-so-proud of that fact at the same time you're shedding a tear over it.

    Or so I heard....
     
  5. dohdean

    dohdean Member

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    As a parent of a C2C female -- I think parents have to also be ready to see what some might consider to be negative changes in their cadet; changes in their perceptions of themselves, sadness (especially at holiday times) as to what they are missing by not being at a civilian school, sadness when dealing with comments from their high school friends and parents of their high school friends about "you're not the same person," lowered self esteem, difficulty with school work, etc.

    You read lots of happy postings on these forums -- but there are plenty of cadets who deal with sadness, loneliness, difficulty finding a niche, difficulty adjusting, etc. Undoubtedly, someone will post -- if your cadet is unhappy -- they should gut it out or leave. But it isn't that simple. I don't think you can predict how your son or daughter will react unless (maybe) your son or daughter has grown up in a military family and has a firsthand understanding of at least some of what they are going to be experiencing. Some Basics, then cadets, will find a niche, encounter successes and be happy from the start -- others will struggle -- others will face major disappointments while at the academy (academic, medical, etc.) -- some of those who struggle will decide to stay, others will decide to leave (or will get in academic or other difficulties and be required to leave). It is a day by day process -- which is still true for some cadets as they get to be sophomores, juniors and seniors. This may be especially true if your cadet's friends from home all seem to be super happy and successful at their colleges -- being a cadet is not (as we all realize) like being at a civilian school.

    There is no one answer to this question -- you can support your Basic/cadet but they will have to find their own way -- either through the Academy or elsewhere.
     
  6. Mikeandcris

    Mikeandcris Parents of 2014 Grad and F-15 Pilot

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    Return of the messy room

    Before my son returned for Thanksgiving, my wife had been saying how glad she'll be to see that the Air Force taught my son to make a bed and keep his room clean. Imagine her dismay when he came home and clothes hit the floor and the bed was unmade all day!! It was kind of funny. Someone posted a comment that because cadets are under such intense pressure on campus, they see home as a sanctuary where they don't have to conform to all the rules. In the grand scheme of things, an unmade bed is pretty far down the list of life's priorities. So, if your son or daughter had a messy room before they left, odds are they'll have a messy room when they visit at Thanksgiving and Christmas. He also seemed to blend right in with his old high school friends at Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, that was over 6 months ago and he has only been home for three days since then. We'll be curious to see how he interacts with his old friends when he's home for three weeks in July.
     
  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I actually didn't see much of a change with my son. He became more responsible for himself. He's always been courteous. He has learned how to take care of himself. He has become more prepared. When he's planning for a ski trip, trip overseas, to another base, etc... he is a lot more organized. He makes sure he has everything he needs. Without anyone reminding him. Like mikeandcris, when my son is home, his room is a disaster area. However; when he leaves to go back to the academy, he leaves it spotless. So in that respect, it's a major improvement.

    Personality wise, the first year was unique. When he came home for a weekend or holiday, he'd try and hang out with his friends. I warned him that by the 2nd or 3rd time home, his "Best Friends" from high school would gradually grow further apart from him. It did. But he also realized that by seeing his friends from high school, that he has a much better future ahead of him than most of them. Besides having a guaranteed job; for at least the first 5 years of commitment; his education is far superior than most of his friends. Even those who went off to some very prestigious schools.

    I will admit that coming from a military family, where there is no other family living in town except for his mom/dad/sister, he's always had to be closer to us. That has made the academy an easier adventure than for many new cadets. But all in all, the academy, and later the military, is only what you want it to be. There are a lot of cadets who say they really want the academy and the military, but they don't. They have no idea what they're getting into. Even many who come from military families have no idea what they're getting into. But if they truly want to serve their country; if they truly want to take this great education and better themselves; and if they truly want to become independent and part of a "new family", then they will do fine. Unfortunately, there's a lot who really don't want any of that. They just say/think they do. Could my daughter make it at the academy? No Way in Hell!!! Wouldn't happen. Yet, she was able to graduate college in 4 years, with a 3.85 gpa and now has a very successful job and career ahead of her. Yet, she grew up in the same exact military family. Then again; she was accepted to some of the best colleges in the country, but she chose state university. She wanted to be close to home. She was tired of moving around in the military. Each kid is different.
     
  8. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    I absolutely agree on the messy room. I don't think our son made his bed the whole time that he was home.

    Our son came home and definitely had changed. He was more quiet and deliberate, and I would say less spontaneous than he had been. The first few days he met up with friends each night and spent a lot of time with them. However, that was probably the last break that he spent much time with his old friends, except for a very few close friends who he still keeps in touch with today.

    Keep in mind that what may look like a negative change at first may just be the process of changing for the better. Our son's percieved lack of spontaneity has become a maturity about thinking things through in his decision making.

    Definitely be prepared for whatever happens. Every cadet will be different.

    Another thing- Don't push for them to talk about everything that they've done since they left. If they want to tell you, they'll let you know. Our son didn't really start talking about his life at the Academy until his 2 Deg. and Firstie year. He lived the life 24/7 when he was there, but didn't really care to talk about it all the time when he was at home.

    Stealth_81
     
  9. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    When my FIRSTIES were 4*, they came home knowing and speaking what we refer to as "AirForce talk," something which was not used (nor tolerated) in our home. I now have a "Cuss Can" which is filling up with each visit home. $1/swear, $10 for grossly inappropriate topic. Perhaps I have a couple of slow learners?

    I noticed that my sons feel they are far more mature than *I* feel they are! but they do exude a confidence which other college students do not. (Some might even say arrogance)
     
  10. thederek

    thederek Member

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    THIS is right on the money...I feel like I don't take anything for granted anymore

    "sir" and "ma'am" are now a part of my vocabulary, before they were not. However that doesn't mean we're bludgeoned over the head with it, it's a sign of respect. Also, personally if someone houses me and feeds me now I feel an obligation to make their job even the tiniest bit easier (making beds, cooking, etc).


    Personally, I swear a lot but I did before I showed up here, too. My family doesn't really mind, but the inappropriate topics that spring up between my brother and I usually occur out of earshot :cool: ...as for the confidence, definitely. Just the amount of crap that we go through we know we can handle so much in the future. Little pet peeves get erased entirely. While some of us may be arrogant, the vast majority (from what I've seen) become so much more selfless and generous with their time, effort, and resources.
     

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