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Ask SpecialistMichael Your Own Question
SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 508
Experience:  Senior Information Specialist
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i suppose this question has to do with family counseling: I

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i suppose this question has to do with family counseling: I grew up with pretty poor parents, my mother makes around 40K (maybe less) and my father is bankrupt and is a day trader (though from what i hear, not a successful one at all). He has a wife who is a hair dresser, and an 8 year old son. I currently have a great job that probably pays more than both combined (around 53K). My parents were slightly negligent and very much misinformed when coming to the states. They both got citizenship in the early 1990's and were told that I would automatically become one too. By the time i was 12 or 13, they realized that this was not the case. From what i understand, the issue was dragged on and I finally got my green card at 18. Unfortunately that means that I have to deal with the Naturalization. Here is where money comes into place: I figured that I should just pay the $800 and move on. However, a little part of me feels like its my parents responsibility to at least pitch in a little. Then another part of me feels SO guilty asking my parents for anything. My mother says its their responsibility no matter how old I am and how much I make. My father thinks its crazy for me to expect him to pay any of it (especially since he has so much more to deal with). How should I go about thinking about this issue? And, i guess, similar issues when I get such opposing views?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 5 years ago.
Hi there its Mike again. I hope your interest "list" is growing and you are getting your organization on the things to do on that "melting pot".

I'd love to work with you again but I will have to step out for an hour or two. In the meantime I have a couple questions but this doesn't mean you can't work with someone else if you don't want to wait. I have been fortunate enough to help other customers in similar "reasoning" type of situations.

So until I return some thoughts and a question or two. Keep in mind we can continue correspondence but I will leave this as a first answer for you to read.

You have to consider a couple of things. You are the adult now, and you are responsible(I know this because we have worked together before :)). So the part about your naturalization, if its a priority for you, and if you can afford it just get it done so its out of the way. This way its complete, you don't have to worry about it and then if you feel completely compelled to address it in the future, at least you are not hanging on a deadline - something that would be your responsibility. This will also bring a tremendous sense and affirmation of independence because while as a child you had to depend on your parents, you are no longer a child, you have a great paying job with great ideas for the future as well as being young and able to do what you like

As far as your parents, its human nature to expect them to have taken care of the things for you. As far as the US is concerned(which is much different in other countries) the parents are expected to provide reasonable care to children up to age 17 or 18 - but again this is a cultural expectation and shouldn't be cookiecuttered to other cultures and countries with different situations. Misinformation is a tough call because its tough to say whether it was lack of initiative that confirmed what they were told, or if they truly did their own research on the subject and made the choice based off of that.

Communication is the other part about this. Do you think your parents are concerned with this? Do you think they feel guilty to the point, and are able to make up for this. Another consideration is in the grand scheme of things do you feel if you parents paid the naturalization fees that it would complete the feeling for you that they might be slightly responsible for this and other things or do you think this would open the door for larger issues. If this issues weighs on your mind(not so much the financial but the responsbility part) it would be important to talk to your parents so they know where you stand. Also so you can actually get that off your mind and know that they know and so they can validate your feelings and acknowledge them.

If its financial I would say pay it now if you are able to but then if its a weighing issue(the picture of responsibility or lack of) then it would be important to express your feelings to your parents, provided they would be willing to listen and approach that person after you are all finished with the process.

I have to get up from the computer for a couple hours but would love to work with you on this if you would like. If you want I can reply to you when I return and we can continue but if this has helped so far please remember to press accept so I am credited and remember we can still correspond after any acceptance.

Good to see you back - talk with you soon
SpecialistMichael and 42 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hey Mike! So great to hear from you again too! I definitely have time (I'm kind of at work anyhow :))

Communicating to my parents is not a problem at all. We have a pretty tight relationship as to how open we are with each other, and have a very "NOT-daughter-parent relationship". This probably stems from the fact that I've had to take care of myself and grew up in a pretty flexible home (obviously this comes with pros and cons). I know my parents want the best for me and have wished that they could provide for me, but simply could not. That being said, they DO feel guilty for not being able to provide for me and the fact that I have to deal with the reprocussions.

I guess in my mind, I just want to do what's right - what is fair and just - and find that the line is very blurred. But I suppose maybe that mentality does not belong in the family. In any case of how this goes - whether I pay all of it or some of it - someone will feel a little guilty. I guess my question has less to do with the emotional state of the issue and more "what is the RIGHT thing to do". Or maybe there is no room for this type of thinking when it comes to family -- you just do what's best.
Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 5 years ago.
Communication is key but you need to get the process completed. I can tell you immediately that you are at a societal advantage if you have been self-reliant from an earlier time. There are people who are completely dependent on others because they weren't able to overcome certain issues that would develop self reliance. I used to see this with a couple of my college friends, their parents held on so tight for so long, for even the elementary types of tasks that they become lost when it comes time for critical thinking or conflict solving. You wouldn't have this issue as you have stated because you simply were making bigger choices sooner.

The easiest thing will be taking care of it yourself but nothing says you can't run it by them - especially if they volunteer to help a little with it. Doing it this way will get it out of the way, positively reinforce you and your choices(while eliminating the issue) but also give you a chance to present it differently and use it as an example to express how you feel to your parents. Its important that you explain the feelings that you have with your parents so they are aware of your feelings. As I mentioned before this is important so you actually know that they know, but also important for them to acknowledge and validate and perhaps offer some help on it. Since the process should have otherwise been completed before that would have been your relationship, so eventhough your feelings are thinking from a parenting standpoint as I think the fees sound reasonable to you.

Whats right is going to be different for everyone. Get the fees taken care of now, then explain to your parents your feelings on their responsibility with the situation and toward them. This will open the door to learn more of potentially "why" it may have happened that way, but more importantly give them the insight they wouldn't have unless you shared it AND giving them the chance to validate your feelings and perhaps apologize or assist.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yea, this is basically how I went about it. Thanks so much for the reassurance.
Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 5 years ago.
Ah great :). Anything thats reasonable is usually the safe bet :).

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