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Why did it have to be a 'graduation' trip in the first place?

Dear Prudence, 

My 16-year-old daughter will be graduating high school in May. My 18-year-old stepson will not.

We had a graduation trip planned for the family but now, my husband wants to cancel it because it would be unfair and embarrassing for his son. I think this is completely unacceptable. I love my husband but he always wanted to be his son’s best buddy first. My stepson has zero chores or responsibilities beyond playing video games. He constantly got in trouble with his teachers for failing to do even the most basic assignments, but there were zero consequences at home. Anyone with eyes could see the writing on the wall, but my husband told me to stop nagging him about the subject. So I told him I would just go with my daughter on the trip and he could come or not. My stepson has already gotten into fights with my daughter over her excitement about graduation and going to college in the fall. I am tired of it. How do I make it to the end of May?

—Graduation

Re: Why did it have to be a 'graduation' trip in the first place?

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    banana468banana468 member
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    Well, I can see that a vacation would have been planned at the beginning of the year to honor the likely achievements of the two kids and when one failed to meet the achievement, it falls flat.

    So instead talk to the H but don't use the vacation as the conversation.  That masks the entire problem that is a person who failed to meet the requirements by his school so he could graduate.  Instead of saying whether or not he gets to go on vacation look at the bigger picture and ask what your H's plans are for the step son's future.  I'd be far more concerned that a child who has faced no consequences won't have any  into adulthood and he'll be your financial responsibility forever. 
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    short+sassyshort+sassy member
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    edited May 23
    Oof, sounds like the daughter skipped 1-2 grades on top of that since she's only 16 and graduating.

    It's a little weird to me that it seems no one has asked the stepson what he thinks.  He might be even more upset and embarrassed if they cancel the family vacation because he's not graduating.

    I want to know what both of the kids think.  Does the stepson want the trip cancelled?  If so, would the daughter be just as happy with a different generous gift?

    But if the daughter really wants the trip, then I don't see anything wrong with calling it a "girl's trip" and her and the LW going.

    When the stepson gets his GED, then he and his father can go on a "boy's trip" or the stepson can choose a gift of a similar value. 

    Edited to add: And totally agree with @banana468.  Oh, LW!  This is the smallest fish to fry!  You and your H need to talk about what's next for the stepson before he's 30 and still living in the basement.  With no job, no household chores, and no HS equivalency diploma.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    What you call the vacation isn’t the biggest issue here. What happened as to why he failed his senior year is. What his plan for a GED/HS diploma (summer school?) is. I don’t think you should cancel the trip or kick him out (unless graduating was explicitly required in order to go). Stop making it about graduating (or not) and take a family vacation. If stepson doesn’t want to go, and you’re not losing money on his travel arrangements, let him stay home. Your husband can do what he wants as well but don’t penalize your daughter because of what your stepson did (or rather didn’t) do. 
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    levioosalevioosa member
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    Well, this letter is just the premonition of divorce. 


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    ei34ei34 member
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    There’s a larger conversation to be had here. I’d be less worried about making it to the end of May and more worried about stepson’s impact on your lives in 5, 10, 20 years.  

    The H kind of sucks here wanting to cancel a trip that the daughter deserves.  And more than that, for trying to be his son’s friend first and not having responsibility/ consequences. (Curious as to whether LW’s H is coparenting the son with an ex, and LW is a bystander, or if the mom is out of the picture completely. If the latter, Lw could’ve/ should’ve jumped in more. If the former, I’d go ahead with graduation plans with my daughter.)
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    mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
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    I agree that the whole ass forest is being missed for the trees, but I truly think the H is wanting to cancel/postpone the whole deal until he can claim that his son 'graduated'.  IDK why it wasn't planned from the outset to just be a family vacation.  

    Anyway, I completely agree that there are much larger issues this brings up since it's hop, skip, and a jump to a 'failure to launch' situation if the stepson is allowed to be aimless and his behaviors excused for much longer.  I also get a sense of competition between LW and their H regarding these kids that's just gross as well.  I have questions regarding how they ended up married in the first place and also, how long they've been together/married.

    Getting to the end of May (hi, we're here!) isn't the question at all. 
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