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My 17 year old DS wants to... UPDATED #12

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
...move to Los Angeles this summer. Knowing one person there. Having no job, nor any job experience yet. To be a singer/actor. With an amount of money that would be easy to blow through if he can't find a job right away. Am I crazy to think this is a little, well, crazy?

This is my first time seeking advice from the parenting boards. As a little background, I've been a long-distance non-custodial parent most of my boys' lives. Their dad has raised them to think for themselves, which is very good, of course.

I've talked to DS about the idea of working for awhile but he just wants to get out of the middle of nowhere (eastern WA). I've suggested he move to the Portland area so he could be in a metro area and still close enough to both parents that we can help if he needs it. But he's 17. Need I say more? His dad has also made sure he knows the downfalls of moving like this and that he can stay at home until he has work experience and more money. He's visiting me for the second half of June so we'll have more time to talk about it. He does have a good head on his shoulders and can be very determined about the things he cares about.

Any insight? Thanks!
post #2 of 15
when does he turn 18? I don't think I would stop my kid from doing this if they really, really wanted to, but I would look into all the legalities of him being off on his own before he's legally an adult -- by that I mean I'd look into it with him, and see what pitfalls he might encounter, obstacles, etc, and he might choose to wait until he's 18 to go??? Or not...

yes, it's crazy, but that's what's fun about being a young adult. I would make sure my kid knew that I was 100% supportive of them doing this, so that they wouldn't hesitate to call if they got into trouble -- the last thing you want is for him to feel like he can't come to you if he needs help because he fears the "I told you so"... even subconsciously.

good luck!
post #3 of 15
I just moved out of LA a year ago. I have lots of contacts there, and a (very few) of them are even low-level "industry." PM me if you want more information.
post #4 of 15
Sounds crazy! And exciting.

I do agree that he should consider waiting until he is 18, since he probably wants to be able to sign all the papers for himself.

Otherwise, he has a good head on his shoulders and is determined? More power to him.

(I know, I know... I'm saying this, but there is no way I could be this calm if DSD decided to move. She is s trouble-seeker though, so that's a whole another story. )
post #5 of 15
When I was 17, I moved 3000 miles away to a city where I knew one person. I found a crappy minimum wage job, moved into a rundown apartment, met more people, stayed a couple of years before I came home again. It wasn't always easy, but I survived and am so glad I did that. It can be a great experience with the right attitude. Remember being that age, in that space? The world is totally open, possibilities abound! How exciting for your son. He should go. If he really really hates it, he can call home and you can send him a ticket back.

Also, kudos to your son for bucking the trend of his cohorts. I have a daughter who's a couple years older than your son. She's on her own but all of her friends (who run in age from about 20 - 25) still live with their parents. Personally, I was chomping at the bit to get away, and I can not think of one friend I had at that point who hadn't moved out by 18 or 19 years of age, maximum. Most were out by 17. Your son sounds like an independent, confident young man. Good for him!
post #6 of 15
If he's committed to this course of action, then how prepared is he?

Does he know how to budget?

Can he grocery shop and prepare nutritional, frugal meals?

Does he do laundry, basic housecleaning and home maintenance?

Does he have job-hunting skills - resume writing, interviewing, on-line networking?

Can he navigate large public transit systems on his own?

If this is what he really wants to do, then making sure he has independent living skills is probably more useful than trying to dissuade him.

Good luck to him!
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks, everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffani View Post
when does he turn 18? I don't think I would stop my kid from doing this if they really, really wanted to, but I would look into all the legalities of him being off on his own before he's legally an adult -- by that I mean I'd look into it with him, and see what pitfalls he might encounter, obstacles, etc, and he might choose to wait until he's 18 to go??? Or not...

yes, it's crazy, but that's what's fun about being a young adult. I would make sure my kid knew that I was 100% supportive of them doing this, so that they wouldn't hesitate to call if they got into trouble -- the last thing you want is for him to feel like he can't come to you if he needs help because he fears the "I told you so"... even subconsciously.

good luck!
I should have written that he'll be 18 in a few weeks and will be graduating also. His dad has definitely talked about pitfalls and I have as much as I can, too. DS knows we support him but that I, especially, am concerned. I'll have to let him know for sure that he'd never get an "I told you so," just a "Come on back!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
I just moved out of LA a year ago. I have lots of contacts there, and a (very few) of them are even low-level "industry." PM me if you want more information.
Thanks, lolar2. You may well have mail eventually, possibly next month when he's here visiting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie Mac View Post
When I was 17, I moved 3000 miles away to a city where I knew one person. I found a crappy minimum wage job, moved into a rundown apartment, met more people, stayed a couple of years before I came home again. It wasn't always easy, but I survived and am so glad I did that. It can be a great experience with the right attitude. Remember being that age, in that space? The world is totally open, possibilities abound! How exciting for your son. He should go. If he really really hates it, he can call home and you can send him a ticket back.

Also, kudos to your son for bucking the trend of his cohorts. I have a daughter who's a couple years older than your son. She's on her own but all of her friends (who run in age from about 20 - 25) still live with their parents. Personally, I was chomping at the bit to get away, and I can not think of one friend I had at that point who hadn't moved out by 18 or 19 years of age, maximum. Most were out by 17. Your son sounds like an independent, confident young man. Good for him!
I'm really glad to hear about your experience and your daughter's. He really is confident and pretty independent, though I'd feel better if he had some sort of job experience. I sure do remember being that age, and love how tenacious he's been about this desire. It actually helps me some to know he's scared about it all, if that makes sense. I guess because I know that means he really is thinking about it, which is a good thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
Sounds crazy! And exciting.

I do agree that he should consider waiting until he is 18, since he probably wants to be able to sign all the papers for himself.

Otherwise, he has a good head on his shoulders and is determined? More power to him.

(I know, I know... I'm saying this, but there is no way I could be this calm if DSD decided to move. She is s trouble-seeker though, so that's a whole another story. )
Yeah, he really is pretty prepared considering he hasn't had a job before, so that's a very good thing. But I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks it's crazy--and exciting! lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
If he's committed to this course of action, then how prepared is he?

Does he know how to budget?

Can he grocery shop and prepare nutritional, frugal meals?

Does he do laundry, basic housecleaning and home maintenance?

Does he have job-hunting skills - resume writing, interviewing, on-line networking?

Can he navigate large public transit systems on his own?

If this is what he really wants to do, then making sure he has independent living skills is probably more useful than trying to dissuade him.

Good luck to him!
And this is where my concerns come in and I wish he'd stay for awhile in the PDX area or even Seattle, closer to family. I think he could really only say yes to the laundry/basic housecleaning/home maintenance. I honestly have no idea if his dad is working with him on any of this but will email him (DS) today to find out. He's certainly smart enough to learn all of this easily. The more I know he can handle for sure, the calmer I'll be about it.

Thanks soooo much for your replies, everyone! I really do believe that if he's prepared he'll be okay in the end but it's hard not to fret. I think something that's making it harder for me is that he's my baby and is now all grown up and I've had so little opportunity to be a "hands-on" parent with him. We have a great relationship so it's easy to talk about how we each feel. Thanks for helping me get better grounded about this!
post #8 of 15
The part that caught my eye was that he wants to be a singer/actor. Is he really hoping to get into acting? Does he have an agent? Theatrical resume? Is he planning on going to auditions? Does he have headshots? Most importantly, does he have enough wisdom and common sense not to be scammed or taken advantage of in his pursuit? If he has an agent, what does his agent think about the move? If he does not, does he know how he will go about finding a reputable agent?

If he wants to act, he will need the flexibility to go to auditions on very little notice, so I am guessing something like waiting tables at night would be his best job bet. And I am biased, because I have worked in the criminal court system, but the food and beverage industry in my area has a reputation for unhealthy drug and alcohol use, so this would be something I would want to discuss with him also.

I think a 17/18 year old moving far from home and learning how to support themselves is not a bad thing, but I would want to discuss potential problems ahead of time and feel certain that he would know where to turn for help.

I hope his adventure is an enjoyable one!
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teensy View Post
The part that caught my eye was that he wants to be a singer/actor. Is he really hoping to get into acting? Does he have an agent? Theatrical resume? Is he planning on going to auditions? Does he have headshots? Most importantly, does he have enough wisdom and common sense not to be scammed or taken advantage of in his pursuit? If he has an agent, what does his agent think about the move? If he does not, does he know how he will go about finding a reputable agent?

If he wants to act, he will need the flexibility to go to auditions on very little notice, so I am guessing something like waiting tables at night would be his best job bet. And I am biased, because I have worked in the criminal court system, but the food and beverage industry in my area has a reputation for unhealthy drug and alcohol use, so this would be something I would want to discuss with him also.

I think a 17/18 year old moving far from home and learning how to support themselves is not a bad thing, but I would want to discuss potential problems ahead of time and feel certain that he would know where to turn for help.

I hope his adventure is an enjoyable one!
Yep, those are things I'm concerned about and I don't feel he's prepared enough (not much at all that I'm aware of) in the ways you mention. He could put a theatrical/musical resume together, I do know that, but I don't know that he has one. And he's talked about knowing a job in the food industry is probably the way to go, so I'm definitely concerned about the drug and alcohol issue. Especially because I do know he drinks already.

Sigh... I can see I need to talk to him more about it, at least to get some questions answered for myself so I have a better idea what's going on. It's hard not being there because it means I really don't know a lot. And his dad won't say a lot, just says vague things like DS knowing the risks and downfalls and that he's made sure DS knows he can stay at home for awhile, no problem. I really don't know how much of the possible issues DS realizes are there.

Thanks so much for your thoughts, Teensy. Part of me wants to panic and tell him it's a terrible idea, he's not prepared, etc., but I know that's the last thing that needs to happen!
post #10 of 15
It may be helpful if he can find some classes that he can take...perhaps at a community college or acting classes in which he could meet people and begin to develop a support structure. Community colleges have lots of networking opportunities with regard to housing as well.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine21 View Post
It may be helpful if he can find some classes that he can take...perhaps at a community college or acting classes in which he could meet people and begin to develop a support structure. Community colleges have lots of networking opportunities with regard to housing as well.
Good thought! I'll suggest that to him.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm so relieved--but not gloating, I promise! DS has ended deciding to move to Portland instead. We both think it will be a really good fit for him. He's coming for a visit on the 18th of June and will most likely be going to his own place somewhere straight from my place. I'm pretty sure the thoughts some of you had helped get him thinking even more about it all. Needless to say, there was some whooping and hollering on my part yesterday when I read his email and I'm guessing the upstairs neighbor wondered what that was all about! .
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arianwen1174 View Post
I'm so relieved--but not gloating, I promise! DS has ended deciding to move to Portland instead. We both think it will be a really good fit for him. He's coming for a visit on the 18th of June and will most likely be going to his own place somewhere straight from my place. I'm pretty sure the thoughts some of you had helped get him thinking even more about it all. Needless to say, there was some whooping and hollering on my part yesterday when I read his email and I'm guessing the upstairs neighbor wondered what that was all about! .
This sounds like a great way for him to get started! Congratulations!
post #14 of 15
Yay! I was just about to post before reading the rest but it sounds like you guys have it worked out.
I moved out when I was 17, and then within 6 months by parents moved 500 miles away. Now. 13 years later, I am still doing great on the east coast while my parents have been in the midwest for all of these years.
He is embarking on the adventure of his life and I'm so excited for him.

I'm about to take a vacation to visit my parent's home in a few weeks so this post reminds me of me.


ETA: weird coinky dink, I am setting off to visit my folks on the 18th too. :-)


( PS Im glad he is waiting, it was really hard for me to get utilities hooked up as a minor when I had my first apartment. :-/ )
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Mountaingirl! He'll need his dad to co-sign for him on the apartment and maybe utilities too, since he has no job and no work or rental history. But I think we're all much more comfortable that he won't be so far away with no family. I won't be surprised if he moves further away in a few years but I think this is a better way to get his feet wet. He's all grown up (well, this/next week) and on his way!
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