I received a heartbreaking letter from a mom ( yes, I got her permission to write about it)

She is a first generation immigrant to England from Kerala. All she ever wanted was to ensure that her children were given the best. She worked so hard and made so many sacrifices for her family.


Two weeks ago, she registered her son for a ? speaking class because he is very shy and she felt he needed help. ( I think it is something similar to toast masters that teaches you to talk confidently) and it costed 180 pounds. Her  teenage son forgot to go for the class. This for her was the last straw.

Her son completed his A levels few weeks ago, haven’t applied for his undergraduate uni admission, decided to take a gap year without planning anything as to what he is going to do with his time off, haven’t bothered to apply for his L plate or go for driving lessons. He just sits at home all day and do nothing.

She doesn’t know what she should do, and is tired of doing everything for her children. She wants to know how I get my children to do things on their own.

I honestly don’t think I have any magic formula. The only thing I do is ‘not do anything for my children’. If my kids wanted to do something, they simply have to do the work. ( If I want them to do something like getting  Yaya to apply for her L plate, I find ways to make her do it. I have written about it) Basically I think if you did everything for your children and made their life really easy, it will be difficult for them to take responsibilities on their own..

btw, if I paid 180 pounds and if my kids forgot to attend the class, I don’t think I will take it quietly.. I can assure you all hell will break loose here.

8 thoughts on “Disappointment

  1. Wow, just wow. How can you go survive life like that? I get taking gap years, and if he was taking a gap year, he should at least take a part time job. My brother and I took gap years, however we used that year to prep ourselves for our careers (volunteer, studying for admissions exams..etc). I also don’t get staying at home and doing nothing consistently because I just can’t stand doing that myself all the time(here and there it’s fine, but not forever !), For me I need to go out and adventure or go places for ‘me’ time. I’d def would tell the mom to have a serious talk with her son, because honestly he won’t get far in life. I hope the kid will realize this and become successful. I’m sure he’s a smart kid !

  2. Hi Sarah,

    I have always wanted to ask you the same thing..What can you do as a parent to instill responsibility/ independence and maturity into a kid?From what I read about your kids, they seem to be all three of the above. I have very young kids; so, not sure if I am on the right track or not. I think every parent wants their kid to turn out to be responsible,independent and mature. Also, I have seen siblings who turn out to be different.
    If you can share any insights based on experience it will be great.


    • Ann: I read Gibran’s poem on children every day ( I don’t have to take the book and read, I know it by heart and I make it a point to remember that my role in my children’s like is to prepare them for their future.. Most Indian parents pave the ground for their children to walk.. I didn’t do that.

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