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Hey everyone! My daughter is 17 and will be starting her Senior year this fall. We recently met with a Navy Recruiter and she took a practice ASVAB test, scored a 73, and was to be sworn in this Thursday. Needless to say, she isn't being sworn in, yet. She said she got REALLY nervous thinking about being away from home for so long. I completely understand how she feels. That is a HUGE decision to make at her age. We have a wonderful relationship and I am afraid that because of that, she is second guessing her decision. I personally would feel horrible if it was because of me she chooses not to go. She has been thinking about it off and on for about a year. I told her no matter what her decision was, I would stand behind her. On a personal level, I want to see her join. She is a very intelligent young lady and I think the Navy would give her so many opportunities and I would hate to see her pass them up. She said she can do it physically and I know she could do it mentally. She is a very strong person. She is just nervous about leaving home. I have even talked to her about the option of the Navy Reserves. She seemed interested in that as well. I am hoping that in the next 6-7 months, she matures more mentally and decides to join. Regardless, she has and always will have, my full support. She wants to be a homocide detective. You have to be 21 to join the Police Academy. She talked to her recruiter about being an MA and he said she would be great at it. I just don't know how to be supportive and yet not push her decistion away from the Navy entirely. She has not said yes or no, just I'm not sure yet. She has time, she doesn't graduate until May/June of 2010. My question to you Moms out there is... have any of you gone through this with your sons/daughters? I really want her to go and I don't want to PUSH it on her because she will steer away from it. I just don't know what to do. I know ultimately, it's her decision, but I think she would do great! Any suggestions? Thanks to you all for listening.

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The Navy is a great starting spot for any young person. She only commits to the minimum time period at the start and then can move on if she finds that it isn't the right thing for her or reenlist if it is the right thing. Check out the MA page on this site for more information, and share those pages with her. She will then be able to make a more informed decision. The education is focused and directed and she will come out a step ahead of other 21 year olds that don't have the experience and make her a stronger and more promising candidate for the Police Academy. She may also find that she has other interests. The DEPPER's page on this site would also be helpful. What would she do after HS until she can go to the Academy? Where else can you get paid while you are getting an education?
Thank you. She said she would just merely work after HS until she is 21. I do not want her to do that. I told her she would not keep her sharp mind if she did that. From what I have personally read and from what her recruiter is telling her, it all seems to be the same. Her recruiter is a great guy. Very understanding. He told her she could join when she felt ready and not to rush into a decision she would later regret. I commend him on that. Some just want to get your kids in as quick as possible. Not all, some. I can't have that with her. She is my daughter. I can't just let go without her knowing in her heart this is what she wants.
Just because she took the ASVAB test doesn't mean she has to take the oath. Once she takes the Oath she can't change her mind. Tell her to let the talk to her recuriter and ask if she can take her oath at a later date. I signed up when I was 17, went in the DEP program. DEP can be for a year. She is only going to be a senior she has 2 fears. 1--Will she want to do this after she starts her senior year? what if she gets a great boyfriend? What is she going to feel missing her best friends? These are normal fears. I had them. I held off until after graduation. Once I realized my friends were going to colleges or doing other things I went in. 2--How is she going to be able to handle being away from Mom and Dad? Have her go up to the recuriters office when other people are coming home from basic, they can tell her all about what happens in bootcamp. And find out how they become family. That is the cool thing about the Navy, you become family, depend on each other, you find friends and will be able to talk to someone feeling the same way you do.

Good Luck
Thank you for your response.
She hasn't takent the actual ASVAB test, just a practice test. Her recruiter told her it would be 15 months before she left for boot camp. We had talked to her recruiter prior to our last visit and only got basic information. She just called me one day and asked if I would be upset if she met with him by herself, without me and my husband. I didn't mind. After all, it's her decision. Much to my surprise, she called me back and asked me to come to the office to sign the paperwork. When I arrived, I had additional questions for her recruiter. Such as, where and how long is A school and what happens after that? He told me and that's when I think it hit her that she was actually going to be leaving me. I'm glad she found out then instead of it just happening to her. That would have been awful. To your questions.... She does not currently have a boyfriend and told herself that she didn't want one until she knew what she was doing after school as having one now would only make her decision to leave harder. She's a really smart kid! I am sure that she will miss her friends and she is great at making new ones, I really think it's me. Our relationship is so great! I told her I would visit her as much as I could and was allowed where ever she ended up and she could call me, no matter the time, whenever she could. I think I am also going to let her read all of these posts as well. It may help.
you can change your mind after the oath before bootcamp!
My son thought of joining the service off on on from the time he was about 5 years old. In his senior year he was really serious about this but he never enlisted. After graduaton and 2 years of jobs he hated he started talking about it again. I told him to make himself a list of reasons to enlist or not enlist and then to think about it. Matt enlisted in the navy in 2007 he said that he did make the list and the reasons holding him back were not very good. I told Matt that he needed to do what he felt was best for him and that in 20 years I didn't want him to look back and regret not following his heart. Matt in far from home now and I miss him so much, He does miss home, friends and family but he has grown so much, his world is so much bigger. He has new friends and the navy is his family. Matt says enlisting is the best thing he has ever done and is glad he did choose to enlist. Tell your daughter to make a list, to take her time doing it and to follow her heart.
That is exactly how I feel. I do not want her to do something now that she will hate and regret later. Her leaving will be one of the hardest things for both of us to go through. BUT, she is a very strong person. I know she can do this. As everyone knows, you ALWAYS want whats best for your children and you want them to do great things. This is all I hope for mine. I actually have mentioned the pros and cons list to her. I'm not sure if she has done it yet or not. I will mention it again. Thanks for your response.
To Matt's Mom: How difficult a job we moms have: watching them grow, basically ordering and arranging their whole lives and then stepping back and say "You make the decision dear". Our grown children do need to make their own decisions. This helps them judge the results and steer their goals toward what they want in life. I've been using your list idea all my life, and telling my kids to write pros and cons about decisions they find difficult. My dad passed that on to me. My son is not yet 21, and he's on his first deployment. His experience is maturing him in ways the old part-time job never could. I'm thrilled he will have these memories and job experience whether he stays in or gets out. We are all going through a homesick/missing him phase right now. All of life goes in phases, and when my son is having a rough time, I tell him the trouble has an end date. He just doesn't know what it is yet. Best to you, Lenora
You are truly and understanding Mom, just don't push or keep bringing the subject up - get her on here to post something to Angie - aka - Hoppi - she is a career counselor and I'm sure she could answer any questions she might have (she's also my daughter and she's more than qualified to answer, as she went through the same thing, a whole lot of years ago) - meaning that she had pre-enlisted and something happened to put it off for several years, but she still went in and has made a wonderful career of it - and learned so much. (Can you tell I'm proud of her) Angie will answer questions honestly, and that is important - the only dumb question is the one that doesn't get asked. Making a list of the reasons for and against is also an excellent idea. And you Mom will always be there for her not matter her choice.
Thank you. I try to be as understanding as possible. I will definitely have her talk to Angie about some things. Thank you for the advise. I will absolutely always be there for her and stand behind her 110%.
My son is soon to be 20 and joined the Navy just over a year ago. He had been living in our local town, working and going to the local junior college. You know, small town, dead end. Even though he decided to enlist, he was still very anxious about leaving his friends behind...it was his greatest concern. Now he realizes that not only does he get to keep the friends he had, he has many new friends besides that he wouldn't have otherwise met if not for his military service. You are doing the right thing by supporting your daughter...and tough love is needed. With all the technology these days, except for the time at boot camp, they are still connected to us in SO many ways. My son and I text, E-mail and talk on almost a daily basis except when he's in the field with his Marines (FMF Corpsman). I think we talk more now when he's away then when he lived under our roof! Share with your daughter that no matter if she moves away for college or to join the Navy, she will always miss home...it’s just a fact of life. We are ALL so anxious to grow up and be the next year older, until it comes time to consider and we actually have that epiphany that this change will happen and does happen, whether we want it to or not. I joined the Navy when I was 18 over 35 years ago. If your daughter is strong, I don't believe that she is afraid to go, I believe she is afraid to leave....you that is. So, a little more tough love and your bird will soar on her own. Going in early, if that is her desire, is great as she will get credit for some of her time and if she is in the Delayed Entry Program, a chance to promote earlier if she attends meetings and completes the book work. I had a wonderful career. I was enlisted for just over 11 years, picked up a commission as an officer, finished an undergraduate degree and 2 graduate degrees while on active duty, married in my 30’s and had 2 wonderful sons, not to mention retiring in my early 40’s...it was and IS a great life and it is a GREAT opportunity. Good Luck and God Speed!
Thanks for the reply.
I think it will comfort her to know that she can still contact me almost daily. I believe I text her more than we physically talk anymore. Heehee. But yes, I will completely agree with you. She's not afraid to go, she's afraid to leave me. I don't think it is all me, but probably most of it. I am actually thinking about joining the Navy Reserves next summer. I'm not to old... yet. : ) I even told her if she wanted to wait and we do it together, that would be an option. She laughed at me. This is something that I would like to do as well. It will be a heck of a lot harder for me to do it than her. I'm not 17! I just want the best for her. As does any parent.

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