How To Handle Son's 'paralysis Of Analysis'

So here’s the deal:  Ole single pops (38, not that old) is now, after almost 10 years, has his son with him again, full time.  Now, son is 19 (yes, I started early), just in 3 weeks ago from the city where his mother and her hub had moved to.  Trying to get financial aid squared away for him for school.  Hey, vets, you know Post-911 GI Bill, you can TRANSFER (unused portion) to your kids?  That’s what I’m trying to do.  Seeing if I can get up to 70% paid, then FAFSA for the rest, and since I don’t make a lot, he might see some more money.  Now if I can just manage his transition from boy to young man better.  Seems mom either hovered over him or let him do whatever (divorce guilt?).  Anyway, now it’s me who has to square him away… like not sleeping in till 11am, which is impossible to monitor since I’m at work.  Then I have to worry about him thinking how can I parent him when I haven’t been there, except in visits?  But I decided I would parent first, friends later.  Already had to put him in his place.  He doesn’t have to like, but sure as hell has to respect me.  I make sure he knows its because I love him, he is my son.  I think he knows.  Its hard to do, haven’t been a full time dad, in 12 years, coming off another soon to be divorce, starting over (she took almost everything).  Then there’s the strangeness surrounding his mother and I.  I hope he see’s the effort I’m putting in and see’s the value of work.  Seems kids from the city he’s from now just are so cynical, and can only comment on things without actually doing.  They read or watch stories but are too afraid to make their own stories.  Last week we watched Tropic Thunder and when he see’s the actor/soldiers flying in helicopters, its just a scene.  When I see it, it reminds me of being strapped in a Blackhawk with my buddies, buckled in, doors open and trying to feel like I’m breathing from the rotor wash.  When he see’s the huey’s fly up or down (nap of the earth), again, just a scene, but I FEEL my stomach and legs tense up, remember clinging to my M16 very hard, thinking ‘this pilot is certifiable’ and ‘helicopters can’t do that!’.  Just seems kids read and watch stories, play games, but suffer from some sort of ‘paralysis of analysis’ and just can’t or won’t get out there.  Anyway, does anyone else experience this with there now young men, young women kids?
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2 Responses Jun 10, 2010

I agree w FG. As parents, we should teach by example. You have lived long enough to have had more experience with more things than your son, he will have his own memories too, one day. He can benefit from yours, if you share them with him, but he must live to make his own, in his own way.

You know when I saw your story it brought back a memory for me. When I was a little kid I can remember watching my dad fly over our house. i was pretty young and I will never forget that noise or the smell of the military base; it is like going home for me to this day but that is a different story. I am terrified of heights and I have tried over the years to overcome it. I have bungee jumped, repelled, and zip-lined, but the thing that helped me the most was skydiving. I was terrified and shaking the whole time I was up there before we jumped out that first time but then I thought about my dad and how he had done it many times I was able to get the courage to keep going toward my goal. What I am saying to you is this... keep sharing with your son and leading by example and it will sink in. You may not see it immediately but it will sink in. I admire single fathers that are willing to step up to the plate and nurture their children. Good luck.