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Warts and all

(40 Posts)
Lillie Thu 13-Jul-17 07:06:09

When our DS was little we moved to a beautiful part of the country, mainly because both my parents had recently died and because a good job in a specialist skill came up there.

Since many happy years in the area, DH and I have moved back to the place where were born, went to university, met each other, had first child (DS) etc.
Now every time DS visits he is derogatory about the place, saying he doesn't know why anyone would want to live here, he can't see what it has to offer and how he is glad he lives in a "nicer" place.

I am not one to get easily upset, but I find myself very sad over his comments at the moment and can't quite see what he is trying to achieve by constantly criticising. sad

absent Thu 13-Jul-17 07:10:08

It isn't really anything to do with him is it? I assume that he is an adult with his own life, which he would expect you to recognise but not criticise. He needs to realise that you are adults – not merely parents, but individuals – with your own lives that he should recognise and not criticise. It really isn't anything to do with him is it?

Imperfect27 Thu 13-Jul-17 07:31:18

I see a link between this post and the 'Ungrateful son' thread begun by Sheian yesterday - and doubtless many others ...

Our children do take a very long time to mature ... way into adulthood!

Your son seems to be expressing regret about change. As you spent the substantial part of his childhood in a preferred place (does he still live there?) he is sad that you left it ... but has not fully come to terms with the fact that it was your right and your choice. Has he stayed local? Did he hope you would be nearer to hand e.g. for when grandchildren might come along one day? Whatever his reasons for regret, they are based in self-interest.

I sometimes think that the more secure they are as children, the longer this process of maturing and realising we are people too takes!

Have you borne remarks in silence, or are you able to say he is beginning to sound like a broken record and how sad it makes you feel?

Eglantine19 Thu 13-Jul-17 07:39:08

It's odd how some people need to do this isn't it? They want you to like what they like. When I downsized from a big house in the country to a small one in town my sister was so negative and critical. Not enough storage space, too close to railway station, could only have one person to stay, garden not big enough for vegetables, people walking past all the time. Actually most of those were pluses to me and why I moved. She could only see it from her point of view and the life she wanted.
Maybe your son is the same.

Marydoll Thu 13-Jul-17 08:10:58

My children before they left home, said they would never under any circumstances live in our small town when they had homes of their own. Two have moved back and bought homes, the third has bought a flat ten minutes away in the town where I was brought up! smile

Lillie Thu 13-Jul-17 08:54:36

Your comments about seeing things from one's own perspective are probably true, but the derogatory remarks are what I find insulting. Coming from a generation who travel the world, who embrace different cultures, who pretend to be tolerant etc. one's own children are infuriating when they stamp their feet and criticise their parents' choices.
Like Eglantine's sister too, their reasons can only be based on self-importance. I'm guessing also you are right Imperfect27 to say a mature attitude towards parents takes a long time, even in adulthood. I know our DS would never criticise his friends' choices, most of whom have made successful careers in the city, so I suppose he saves it all up for us as parents. It's just a shame when we look forward to his visits to us and then feel deflated afterwards.
A broken record is just about right!

Baggs Thu 13-Jul-17 09:42:34

Why don't you tell him he's being rude and ask him to stop it? You could also mention absent's point. Has he always been critical of his parents' decisions?

MissAdventure Thu 13-Jul-17 09:50:32

Its quite offensive, I find, when the place you live is criticised. It used to get right under my skin when it was done to me; almost as if it was a judgment on 'the kind of person' who would choose to live here.

Elegran Thu 13-Jul-17 09:56:16

How about telling him it is just as well you are not forcing HIM to live there too, as he wouldn't like it at all. Then add that of course he can't force YOU to live anywhere either, and you like it where you are, you were happy in the previous area, but now this suits you much better. Tell him some reasons.

Ask him why he likes where he lives now, and tell him a few reasons why it suits him but wouldn't suit you, and add that everyone is different.

Finish by asking him not to criticise your choice and you won't criticise his.

Jalima1108 Thu 13-Jul-17 10:03:00

Just tell him you're not inviting him back to live with you - ever!

We have a 'friend' who criticises everything we say or do and sneers constantly but at least I can avoid him if possible although it is difficult.
I think you will have to tell your DS quite bluntly that what suits him may not necessarily suit you and you are very happy, thanks very much.

goose1964 Thu 13-Jul-17 10:07:46

My kids do the same, except this is where they last lived at home so know the area. I just say it suits us

radicalnan Thu 13-Jul-17 10:16:26

Is he still at primary school? If he is an adult then he needs to be told to mind his own business and stop behaving like a pratt.

This generation of young adults and even the slightly older ones seem obsessed by their own self importance and opinions.

Tell him to shut up he is a bore. It is another form of bullying to chip away at people like that.

Lewlew Thu 13-Jul-17 10:21:17

How old is DS now?

I remember my parents wanting to move back to my dad's hometown when he would retire. I was in my teens then and could not understand why as we lived in a city and all my friends and such were there. Fast forward 15 years and after having visited his hometown for summer hols, I moved there myself ahead of their retirement! I loved it and spent over 25 years there and consider it my hometown now even though I moved to the UK.

So... he may be centered on where he lives at the moment. Yes, he is obviously immature in verbalising his opinions so rudely, but I do understand his thinking. He just needs to learn some tact.

Where you now live is your choice and he does not have to live there himself, so he needs to grow up and stop whingeing over something that has nothing to do with him. If this is how he treats his friends, he won't have many for long. People like that are hard work!

Kim19 Thu 13-Jul-17 10:23:00

How about 'I find your dislike of the area somewhat comforting in that you're definitely here to see us' or 'at least that means you won't ever consider coming back to stay with us'. Done jocularly and with accurate timing this could hit the spot. Good luck!

quizqueen Thu 13-Jul-17 10:31:40

You have chosen to move back to a place which you deemed more suitable for you now for whatever reason but, by your own admission the place you chose to bring your son up in was a much nicer place, so it's no wonder he cannot understand your reasoning for your present relocation.

LouP Thu 13-Jul-17 10:31:47

Why not tell him exactly who you chose to go back there…. sentimental reasons. It is where you were born, where you went to Uni, where you met your DH and where HE was born . To my mind that is reason enough . If he can't see that then he must be very unfeeling plus unkind.

MissAdventure Thu 13-Jul-17 10:39:54

It doesn't matter what he can and can't get his head around. Its just plain rude to keep harping on about it. I'm sure he wouldn't say it to others in his life, like his work colleagues.

Blinko Thu 13-Jul-17 10:55:43

Our son too considers that he lives in a 'nicer' place. A few years ago, when he was settling with his now wife and starting a family, he was most derogatory about where we live which is where he was brought up. We found it very hurtful at the time. He does seem to have mellowed somewhat now.

I do so agree, Imperfect27, that from our experience, the more loving and secure the childhood, the longer they take to become mature adults.

Sometimes as parents we can't do right for doing wrong, it seems to me. Their turn will come.

Jane43 Thu 13-Jul-17 10:56:26

He is saying what he thinks and may not realise it is upsetting you so much. I would say, " you probably don't realise how much you are upsetting me by criticising where we have chosen to live." Explain why you have made the move and tell him when he reaches your age he will have different values and will understand that happy memories are more important than superficial things.

We have lived in a few different places but I recently returned to a place where I spent many happy years in childhood and my teenage years to visit a friend in hospital. I had some time to kill and walked around the town - to be honest it is a bit run down but I was overwhelmed with happy memories as I walked around the familiar streets. I'm sure if my husband shared my memories we might have considered moving there in our twilight years.

My friend has lived there all her life and so have her five siblings. They all say the town is "a bit of a dump" but wouldn't live anywhere else as they have happy memories and are a very close family which they alll value as they have helped each other through hard times.

Nelliemaggs Thu 13-Jul-17 11:00:36

Kim that made me laugh. I have one offspring who has been known (but not often or rudely) to make disparaging comments about the area in which the kids were brought up and I and one of them still live.
My memory is hopeless and my timing even worse, but I will try and remember your suggestions.

IngeJones Thu 13-Jul-17 11:32:23

I don't really see how this is a problem? He's moaning about the place, not you. You are not the place, it's not personal. He's just making conversation. Why not make it into an interesting comparison of pros and cons? Maybe your place will lose on points, but since you live where you want to live and he lives where he wants to live I don't see why this should cause conflict.

IngeJones Thu 13-Jul-17 11:33:28

Actually just say that to him if you're sick of the subject. Just say "look son, you live where you want to live and we live where we want to live, end of subject" And smile and offer him more cake.

Irenelily Thu 13-Jul-17 11:48:22

I am intrigued to know why he does it - what does he hope to achieve? It is like childish boasting - I live in a better place than you! Nah! Nah! Nah!
Next time he makes a remark, I would calmly say " Yes, it is a lovely place and we enjoyed living there, but now we've decided to move back to our roots and enjoy our memories. It suits us. Each to his own, so you enjoy your home and we'll enjoy ours!"

Alima Thu 13-Jul-17 11:48:30

Is your DS isn't married with a young family and wishing like heck you lived closer to help with childcare is he? I think Inge Jones has hit the nail on the head, I would definitely be tempted to tell him to stop. Do hope you are both happy back home!

JanaNana Thu 13-Jul-17 12:55:36

I can understand your feelings. My friend"s sister had emigrated to Australia with her husband and two children for a better life in the 1970"s. Quite a few years later on, on one of their visits back to the UK I was invited to go out with them all for a meal before their return home. As the conversation continued I asked their daughter who was now in her twenty"s did she remember the house were she was born and the shop her mum had worked in thinking of the nostalgia her mum had for it all. I was quite shocked when she said " what a b----dy s----y place it all was ..and she would,nt be coming back again on their next visit. Her parents were upset to say the friend mortified ...and other people at the meal trying to smooth things over while the daughter seemed to enjoy the attention she had created regardless of her insulting behaviour.