Question: Dear Luise: I’m sixteen. My parents have never lived together but they are friends and have partnered in raising me. My Mom decided to move to another state in June when my two half/brothers, who both settled there after college, both had babies. I am on the honor roll in school, have a lot of great friends, just learned to drive…and you know what’s coming, right? Why should I have to give all of that up just because she finds grandchildren more appealing than a teen-ager. I admit I’m not the easiest person to live with, but neither is she. I tried really hard to accept this and I just can’t. My Dad likes his job and doesn’t want to move, either. I’m with her right now for the summer, but I want to go “home” when school starts. She’s laying a big guilt trip on me. Have I told you enough for you to give me some feedback? I’d sure appreciate an outside opinion. Thanks, Mandy
Answer: Dear Mandy: I’m in your corner. Your life is working and there are a lot of sixteen year-olds who just can’t say that. Friends are extremely important at your age, as is the familiar. It sounds like your Dad is willing to be a somewhat-single parent until you graduate. I know how your Mom probably feels about her first two grandchildren, and I honestly don’t think she chose them over you. I think she thought you would move with her and eventually adjust.
Try to let her know that you need to do what will work best for you, just like she did. Spend as much quality time with her this summer as you can, and don’t let yourself be manipulated into staying, if that feels wrong to you. You are very close to the age where you will be leaving home and taking over your own life. This is good practice. Most decisions don’t produce perfect results. They are usually loaded with lots of pros and cons to weigh and then work through. If you do go back and live with your Dad, you will have your friends but you will miss your Mom…probably a lot. It won’t be easy, either way. Blessings, Luise