He doesn't want to study in America

Posted in: Forums > Living in Chengdu • 13 posts • NewestRSS

  • merior
    August 14, 2011
    70 posts

    You can't assign your dreams to someone else especially one who's scared of the unknown and scared of failing.

    If this lad lacks focus then sending him to an overseas university won't change that and there are good odds that he'd drop out before the first year was out. From the sound of it he has some maturing to do. I doubt if he will succeed in business either at this stage. Perhaps when he's grown up a bit then a Western University degree will become an option.

    My stepdaughter rejected the path her mother mapped out for her, chose the 'wrong career' and married the 'wrong man' but she is happy in her marriage and successful in her job. And that is the best you can hope for.

  • sanxingdui
    August 16, 2011
    23 posts

    Time for the tough love.

    Ass; meet boot!

    Kick him out the door and see how long it takes for him to go hungry. You did your job. 18 years is long enough.

  • Penningnites
    August 16, 2011
    16 posts

    If I was in your shoes - I'd ask him to set a date by when he will have moved into his own apartment and made a good career move with the understanding that at that date he needs to be willing to reconsider going overseas to study further by taking an honest look at his progress.

    Teenagers the world over think they have their future covered - but they also usually discover fairly quickly how right their parents were. At his age this is his decision to make but if you handle this correctly you allow him to appreciate what you are offering him:)

  • sonyfaye
    August 18, 2011
    3 posts

    allow a little rude word from me. What kind of family is your wifes'? Is it a rich one? Sounds like any rich loser kids in China. If he starts from poor, you will feel much better.

  • Wisedragon
    August 18, 2011
    24 posts

    My first reaction to this missive was "when did I write this?". Then I realised the American angle and remembered that I am a Brit. But I can make one winning bet with absolute certainty: my step-son is far, far worse than yours. You didn't even use the words; zombie; doss house; tattooed; laundry basket;haircut;19 pairs of shoes; mold; flies; slamming;decibels;KFC litter and a long etcetera.

    The only thing going for him is after Shanghai Music school he is on the road to being in his chosen profession: a rock star. He will be 27 in 9 years or just less. Anyone pining for a son ? He can be rented.

  • Wisedragon
    August 18, 2011
    24 posts

    Then again. California to we furreners does sound like the End of the World, beyond the Pale. Maybe he'd like a less decadent and financially secure place to drag himself around. How's about... name any Chinese City.

  • fyen18
    August 18, 2011
    22 posts

    Hi James,

    I see your situation many times. The root of the problem here is that the people surrounding him have spoiled him. Children should be spanked when they misbehave. If you keep giving them everything they want, they will keep wanting everything even when they are adults. Most likely the divorce affected him as well since both parents showered him with attention out of guilt.

    Unfortunately, he will be of no contribution to society no matter how old he gets. Sure he might 'get' a job, but that was because his Daddy or Mommy had some 'guanxi' to get him the job where he will be hated by his colleagues and will be too humiliated to not quit. The only way out of this is if he were to undergo some sort of calamity to shock him out of his fantasy world. And no, his parents will probably not cut his stipends either, and will not force him to work for a living either because it will kill the parents to see their child like that... the parents 'care' for little johnny. This is the truth, something that most people either don't care to share with you or dare not to 'insult' you with it.

    Good luck,


    P.S. Who in their right mind would wanna go to Cali anyways?

  • Ai Zhe Xi
    August 19, 2011
    7 posts

    Oi, what a nightmare.

    The problem is that he isn't self-motivated. Doing that is a bit of an issue. Unfortunately, if he is like most teenagers, he will have the near-super power ability to not give a shit about any of the real problems that occur in everyday life.

    There are a few ways you can tackle this:

    If you can, try to talk to him on a realistic level. Maybe start with saying that it's okay if he doesn't want to go, but that you'll have a talk with him about his other options. Make a list of all of the expenses he uses. How much money does he use on utilities, housing, food, transportation, recreation? If he sees all that he spends on just a daily basis, he'd understand how painful life can be. (Granted, Sichuan province has a relatively low cost of living rate, but I imagine that will go up in the coming years). Just make him aware of how much he really spends. Then tell him he has to be able to support that by himself, with no help from his parents. I tell him that it's alright if he doesn't want to go to school, but that if he doesn't, then he's on his own. Odds are, he'll take you up on the challenge and get a job. He'll feel good about himself for proving you wrong, and he'll try to take care of himself. I imagine he'll eat cheap food that doesn't taste very good, but he'll be so happy that he's "winning," it won't matter. It'll take a while, but eventually things will wear down. He'll get tired of not having money to go play with. Or that people stop thinking he's special. He'll see that supporting yourself isn't fun because you have to have a real job that pays an honest wage. I think if you go this route, you'll either do a late-enrollment, or enroll him next semester.

    The flip side of that plan is that your nagging might make him settle down fast. Depending on what job he gets, he probably won't have time for / be appealing to the ladies. But if he actually did make a good amount of money, then it works out.


    You can force him to go, and he can cry and pout all he wants. He'll purposely flunk out of school, leaving a festering scar on his academic record. It's childish, but it's the only way he'll be able to get back at you for making him do something he didn't want to do. Fact is, children develop most of their social behavior before the age of 6. So even if you discipline them afterwards, there are still some tendancies that are going to show up. I imagine if he came from a well-to-do family with wealth, then he's a spoiled brat who has had everything given to him, and only worked because it was "what people do."

    At that point, you're going to have to find a way to make school a priority for him. He's too old to treat him like a child, but he's not an adult yet. However, he is old enough to make mistakes that can ruin the rest of his life.

    To be frank, I'm a sink or swim kind of guy. So if Jr. is giving you some trouble, throw him in the water. When the thrashing stops, and you see a few air bubbles come out, drag his sorry ass back and ask him, "And what did we learn?"

    Break his pride. Get him to accept that he needs to go to school. If he doesn't like it, tough. Let him swim in the pool for a while until he realizes that going to school is a pretty sweet deal compared to the real world.

  • gavinski
    August 19, 2011
    6 posts

    Penningnites advice sounds good. You might actually also show him this page and everyone's comments and he will see how his behaviour will be perceived by non-family members and non-Chinese. This kid really needs some kind of shock or scare to force a major change in his thoughts and deeds/

  • Wisedragon
    August 20, 2011
    24 posts


  • splintercell
    August 21, 2011
    24 posts

    what ever happened to personal choice ?
    go kid, choose your own path, deal with your own destiny.....

  • the tool
    August 23, 2011
    3 posts

    I strongly disagree that kids become spoiled because of being treated too nice, given too much power, too much freedom, or because of lack of spanking or punishment.

    I don't want to make a list here, so let me just say that I think that is something to think about, question and reflect upon.

    I think the best solution is to show him overwhelming evidence of his inabilities but tell him directly that you DO support his plan, believe in his potential and him staying in Chengdu. But! that he does not have what it takes right now, and that that is totally normal. Brutally illustrate his lack of skills.

    Tell him how much more prepared he will be to do his Chengdu thing after Uni in Cali, and that if he hasn't changed his mind after the first year, you will revisit the question.

    Otherwise, he can stay here as he wishes and

    He needs to be out of your house in less than 1 week, better stay with friends and get a job, no hard feelings.
    You will give him a deposit on his first rental, but no rent money,and no other money (food, phone etc.), no hard feelings.

    Change the locks to your house
    And don't let him come back more than once per week for a meal (meeting outside for tea is fine).

    You can revisit what to do at spring festival.

    The important part of all of this is to be very loving and kind if you kick him out. Don't do it in anger, make him feel welcome to call anytime etc. It is extremely important that it isn't given as a punishment or abandonment, but as treating him like an adult. He said he is a man, so now you are treating him like one. The once a week meal should be your friendly invitation to sincerely check in with him and enjoy the time together. Send him very short, warm postcards, emails or phone messages, just to say hi and you hope all is well. In other words, keep the love coming at him, but not the assistance.

  • clayuk
    August 15, 2013
    120 posts

    Chinese military service

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