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May 17, 2017 / Wednesday Chat with Bill

Little Magpie: All - this is our first child going away to college and this one is planning to go a long way away.   How did you deal with kids going away to college?

Bill: Little Magpie: Great question about releasing kids to pursue their college goals. There is no formula but I will share what we did with our kids. First, we had them spell out their goals for us (in writing). We knew we were going to be helping them financially (although not everything) so we wanted to know they were not just floating or doing dumb things. We wanted to know there were real and measurable markers they were trying to hit. Second, we set up a routine for staying connected. In this day and age of technology it is easier than ever so we wanted a weekly, dependable, face to face way of communicating so we could get a read on how they were doing. Third, we talked up the opportunities they could have in a new, stimulating environment since we wanted them to become better people as a result of going to college. Fourth, we outlined the conditions under which we would bring them home. This included such things as willful sin, irresponsible choices, choosing a peer group that dragged them down, failure to perform in school at their ability and disrespect for us as their parents and the sacrifice we had made and were making to invest in them. Hope that helps.

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May 17, 2017 / Wednesday Chat with Bill

Swan: Hello all

Bill: Good evening. I actually changed the color of my text before typing anything this week!

Swan: Hi, hope all is going well for you and Pam this week.

Bill: Swan: We are having a good week. Spoke at a marriage conference last weekend in San Diego. We fly to St. Augustine, FL tomorrow morning for another conference this weekend. Good stuff.

Swan: Bill - sounds like you are staying busy. Florida, fun place and if one has to go this is the time of the year to do it before the heat and humidity sets in next month.

Bill: Swan: I agree. I enjoy Florida but the humidity gets me since we are used to the "perfect" weather of So Cal. When we get back, we will begin in earnest getting our boat moved and then moving in.

Swan: Bill - I hope brin makes it into chat tonight, she is going through so much with her husband and it would be good for her to chat with you.

Swan: I grew up in St. Louis so was familiar with heat and humidity, spent a few years on the east coast during my husband's active duty years, but must say the years we got to be here were much nicer weather wise.

Swan: Bill - You aren't moved on yet, bet it will be nice to get settled in and just not be living in limbo.

Bill: Swan: That would be good. I don't anticipate Little Magpie since her D has an event tonight. It still amazes me how much trouble people create in their lives and how much of a need there is for people to talk through the challenges and their responses.

Bill: Swan: There are a few days of maintenance to do before we can move the boat. We own it but haven't moved on yet. It will be very good to have a stable address - even if it is floating!

Swan: Bill - I know I created my fair share of trouble and during the years that I blamed someone else for it, I was miserable. I hate that our lives have been disrupted by my husband's MLC, but to be honest it has brought me to a place a peace with God and the ability to take that hard look at myself and face the ugly of my own actions. It would be so much easier to just throw all of the responsibility on my husband, but I can't do that anymore. Likewise, I will not accept responsibility for his choices and actions anymore either. I did that for years too, some were fooled all that time and many have since told me that too much didn't make sense during those years, but now that they have seen who my husband really it, it all makes sense. I don't know why I put so much effort into taking on responsibility for unfavorable actions, I guess I just didn't want him to be viewed in a bad light, I seemed to be more concerned with his career than he was, he always behaved as if he was Teflon and nothing he did would adversely affect him. Maybe I saw it as a way of protecting our family or I just couldn't allow him to fall on his face, control could have been a factor too. I am still trying to figure out some things because I don't want to repeat them.

Swan: Bill - When I worked at Del Mar Beach on Camp Pendleton, we have people who lived on their boats at the Marina and some of them loved it, they were a community themselves, watched out of each other and many voiced how they loved just being able to lift anchor and travel for a little bit whenever the mood hit.

Swan: Hi Little Magpie

Little Magpie: All - Hello

Bill: Swan: This is why you are so good in the chat rooms. Rather than blindly accept the way things have always been you are looking to "figure things out." One of the healthiest things we can do in life is take full responsibility for all we should and release all responsibility that is not ours to carry. It is just a complex journey. There are so many emotional, social and relational issues involved that it gets difficult to sort out. Thanks for being on the journey.

Bill: Hi Little Magpie.

Little Magpie: All - Sorry I am late but my computer hadn't been on since Friday and I needed to try to make sure I didn't have the ransomware virus. My scans came up clean so I am praying they were correct

Bill: Little Magpie: Welcome. Glad to hear your computer passed your test.

Little Magpie: Bill - Thanks. Hope that my antivirus protection was able to detect it. It is pretty scary when you wake up on Monday morning and hear that this thing is out there and it keeps changing

Swan: Little Magpie - good your computer passed, it is scary what they are doing now, so far it has been mostly businesses (guess they want people who can actually pay the ransom) but it is only a matter of time before everyone is at high risk. Virus scan software is definitely worth the price.

Little Magpie: Thanks Swan.   I wasn't able to read anything before I got in so I hope you are both doing well

Bill: All: For what it is worth, I have found ESET to be a lean and powerful antivirus program. I grew frustrated with other products that bogged down my machine but have found this one to be a good answer. It has effectively blocked suspicious websites, blocked virus attempts before they started and pops up clear warnings. Stay safe!

Little Magpie: Bill - I will note that one.

Swan: Bill - I might have to try that one, I have always used the same antivirus program and it does tend to bog my computer for a time. Thanks for sharing.

Swan: Little Magpie - other than the computer scare, how has your week been, how are things with your daughter?

Little Magpie: Swan - Eldest still has no job; youngest has her last High School Concert tonight. She was accepted into her top school overseas and we need to talk to the school about some things that weren't spelled out in the acceptance letter so it is still stressful.   Work is preparing a new CRM and it is a lot of work to get it ready to launch

Little Magpie: Swan - and the acceptance is on a time crunch. She was given 30 days to accept or reject their offer

Swan: Little Magpie - definitely a lot going on in your life

Little Magpie: All - this is our first child going away to college and this one is planning to go a long way away.   How did you deal with kids going away to college?

Little Magpie: Bill - How are your folks?

Swan: Little Magpie - my son attended college local, started his family young, so he is still going to college to finish his degree. My daughter broke my heart when she went to school, she made plans to attend the local junior college, then would transfer, but two weeks before she was to start, she and her father had a blow up and she ran away (she was over 18, so it technically wasn't running away, but that is how it felt to me) and she wouldn't have any contact with either of us for almost 18 months. So, I guess you could say I didn't deal with it and what I did deal with I didn't do very well.

Bill: Little Magpie: Great question about releasing kids to pursue their college goals. There is no formula but I will share what we did with our kids. First, we had them spell out their goals for us (in writing). We knew we were going to be helping them financially (although not everything) so we wanted to know they were not just floating or doing dumb things. We wanted to know there were real and measurable markers they were trying to hit. Second, we set up a routine for staying connected. In this day and age of technology it is easier than ever so we wanted a weekly, dependable, face to face way of communicating so we could get a read on how they were doing. Third, we talked up the opportunities they could have in a new, stimulating environment since we wanted them to become better people as a result of going to college. Fourth, we outlined the conditions under which we would bring them home. This included such things as willful sin, irresponsible choices, choosing a peer group that dragged them down, failure to perform in school at their ability and disrespect for us as their parents and the sacrifice we had made and were making to invest in them. Hope that helps.

Little Magpie: Swan - I am in denial. I also have to renew my passport so I can go over with her before school starts. It expired two years ago and I just need to figure out the finances to renew it.

Swan: Little Magpie - I have to say in hindsight I am proud of both my children, they may not have done college or live as I had planned for them, but they are both educated, honorable people. My daughter works for a law firm, she isn't a lawyer, but the lawyers say they would be lost without her; she is the one that actually runs the firm. My son has gone as high as he can at his job and last year changed his major and is excited about moving into a new field when he finishes his degree soon. We have to allow them to grow, but it is so tempting to be the mother hen and just sit on them so they are always safe.

Swan: Little Magpie - I agree with Bill, especially if you are taking any of the financial responsibility, it is reasonable to have measurable markers.

Little Magpie: All - Thank you for your insight. It really helps!   Swan: I just wish she would be in the same country or state so we could visit easier but this school or at least the country it is in has been a choice of hers for a long time so she is following one of her big dreams

Little Magpie: Bill - you didn't answer about your family

Bill: Little Magpie: Thanks for the reminder. I have two answers: They are getting older and they are doing ok. Their age makes them needier than I am used to and the need to look in on them regularly is definitely there. They have had a lot of attention this year so they are functioning well and know they are loved.

Little Magpie: Oh, All - my H did his usual on Mother's day. He did get a card and so did my youngest but didn't prepare anything else. I was lucky that I pulled a few dollars out so we were able to go to lunch as a family or we wouldn't have accomplished that. It's sad

Little Magpie: Bill - we are getting to see my elderly parents tonight as they are going to the concert. My b and sil are driving them

Little Magpie: All - and we went to my parent’s church to worship with my mom and dad

Bill: All: Let's keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfected of our faith so we can deal with the inconsistencies of this human journey. He will eventually cause all things to work together for good even though the road here is bumpy and painful. LM - enjoy the concert tonight - I think it is great your parents will be there. Swan - thanks for your solid and consistent input. Blessings on you both. See you next week.

Little Magpie: Bill - Thank you for directing our eyes in the correct place

Swan: I need to head out as well; I have transportation duty for my grandson tonight and have to get him over to youth group at the church. Have a great week, see you next Wednesday.

Little Magpie: All - Thank you and have a blessed rest of the week

Little Magpie: All - this is our first child going away to college and this one is planning to go a long way away.   How did you deal with kids going away to college?

Bill: Little Magpie: Great question about releasing kids to pursue their college goals. There is no formula but I will share what we did with our kids. First, we had them spell out their goals for us (in writing). We knew we were going to be helping them financially (although not everything) so we wanted to know they were not just floating or doing dumb things. We wanted to know there were real and measurable markers they were trying to hit. Second, we set up a routine for staying connected. In this day and age of technology it is easier than ever so we wanted a weekly, dependable, face to face way of communicating so we could get a read on how they were doing. Third, we talked up the opportunities they could have in a new, stimulating environment since we wanted them to become better people as a result of going to college. Fourth, we outlined the conditions under which we would bring them home. This included such things as willful sin, irresponsible choices, choosing a peer group that dragged them down, failure to perform in school at their ability and disrespect for us as their parents and the sacrifice we had made and were making to invest in them. Hope that helps.

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