Not telling family?

Command_0

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Evening all,

This is a little way off for me yet, but it is naturally something I have been considering as it currently seems very likely that I will apply to join the RMs in a couple of years' time.

When you get interviewed as an applicant, I am given to understand that you are likely (if not definitely) going to be asked about how your family feels about you wanting to join up. Of course I wouldn't want to lie, so what happens if your family is unsupportive or you haven't told them yet?

I'm really unsure about speaking to fellow civvies (especially close family) before passing selection and being given the 'green light', so to speak, to go to training. I just know that they probably won't be all that supportive because they won't believe in me - no matter how capable I am - until I have actually been accepted to start RT. I think they're just naturally and unnecessarily pessimistic; I don't think it should be taken as a reflection of my ability or lack thereof.

Also, when I was considering the Army my family was fairly supportive, but begged me to reconsider because they were worried about me putting myself in danger. Of course, on one level it's lovely that they're concerned, however it got quite overbearing and this issue would of course be worse with it being the RMs.

I'm not particularly concerned about holding myself accountable by telling other people etc; I'm sure if that became an issue for me I could let a couple of close friends know or something to keep me on track.

Is there anyone on here who didn't tell their family first?
Or if you did, did you end up regretting it?
Finally, how would this be viewed by interviewers?


Perhaps @Ninja_Stoker could shed some light on this, please?

Thanks very much for reading to the end!
 

Ninja_Stoker

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It's entirely natural for family, friends and partners to express reservations, particularly those with little practical first hand experience of the armed forces.

To give an example; I know my wife (no previous military service) would probably express significant reservations if our son were to join-up, whereas I would more likely support him if that's what he chose.

Odds are I'd probably even consider using reverse psychology, like my Dad did to me; "You won't stick it out...." to hopefully strengthen his resolve. It worked on me, in retrospect.

My tip is to involve your family from the outset, involve them in your decision and show them you mean business.

Recruit Training without support from home is a very lonely place to be when you are hitting the low points and want to quit.

Family support, or the lack of it, are definitely a pivotal make or break element of recruit training. Their support or at least that of a partner is pretty much an instrumental aspect on your road to toward a green beret.

For most families the fear of the unknown is what makes them initially reticent to support your choice of career - try to be honest and upfront, understand their reservations, don't dismiss them.

Best of luck.
 

Command_0

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It's entirely natural for family, friends and partners to express reservations, particularly those with little practical first hand experience of the armed forces.

To give an example; I know my wife (no previous military service) would probably express significant reservations if our son were to join-up, whereas I would more likely support him if that's what he chose.

Odds are I'd probably even consider using reverse psychology, like my Dad did to me; "You won't stick it out...." to hopefully strengthen his resolve. It worked on me, in retrospect.

My tip is to involve your family from the outset, involve them in your decision and show them you mean business.

Recruit Training without support from home is a very lonely place to be when you are hitting the low pointsvand want to quit.

Family support, or the lack of it, are definitely a pivotal make or break element of recruit training. Their support or at least that of a partner is pretty much an instrumental aspect on your road to toward a green beret.

Best of luck.
Thanks very much for your prompt response.

In retrospect, it does perhaps make more sense to 'ease them into it' - especially as it might, as you say, make me even more determined throughout application and RT (should I get that far); plus it wouldn't come as such a shock a couple of years down the line when they have perhaps just a few weeks to get their heads round the idea.

This is more just out of general interest now: how alarming would it sound to recruiters if it was clear that someone had yet to tell their family or their family wasn't supportive? Now I'm just being nosy ;)

Many thanks again.
 

Ninja_Stoker

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The choice is of course down to the individual however experience tells us that those who do not have the support of either their partner or family are a higher risk during training.

Those that do not have support usually have to balance this with a good level of evidence of living and working independently away from their family home.
 

Command_0

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The choice is of course down to the individual however experience tells us that those who do not have the support of either their partner or family are a higher risk during training.

Those that do not have support usually have to balance this with a good level of evidence of living and working independently away from their family home.
Right ho - thanks very much!
 

Kangarooj

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Id tell them if i was you, even if you dont think they will be supportive. I've learned to seriously not care about other peoples opinions of me, its your life not theirs, do what makes YOU happy.
My parents have always given me the whole reverse psychology treatment and what not ever since I was really young
Whenever I say I want to do something or that I'm going to do something they will always try and put me off or break my confidence and they will say that I am inexperienced or young and that they would just show a lack of faith in my abilities, my dad in particular has an extensive military career and would use his experiences as a means of trying to break my confidence with the royal marines. When I was younger I'd get quite wound up or upset, they'd carry on doing it though. Eventually I'd change from getting stroppy and getting upset to just simply replying "okay" and cracking on with whatever I'm doing.

"Okay" - not even in a patronising tone either
 
D

dodgyknees

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I can not give advice as I do not know your circumstances but what I would say as a parent who's son is going through training now, the sooner you broach the subject the more support you are likely to get. The application and selection process is not the easiest to navigate and you will almost certainly have a setback along the way. Having someone to talk to outside the process may be a real help to you.

I would also try and see it from your parents point of view. How will they feel if you have not included them in this life changing decision?

As I say, up to you what you decide to do, but in most cases I am sure that a little reservation at the start will be more than outweighed by the amount of support they will be able to provide once they have come to terms with your choice. Best of luck in your application.
 

Saz

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just adding my 2 penneth

my partner has a very unsupportive family and they told him he would never pass out as a RM and constantly remind him hes just a Royal Marine so believe me I get it when your family aren't supportive, however they need to know but its your life they cannot dictate how you live it
If they have concerns get them on the Parents and Partners section on here, you would be surprised how many parents use it to answer their questions and doubts
if they still don't come round to it then that's up to them but don't be fooled into thinking you can do this alone you do need a support network, doesn't have to be family but you will need someone
 

Chelonian

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Also, when I was considering the Army my family was fairly supportive, but begged me to reconsider because they were worried about me putting myself in danger.

Much sound advice above. I'll throw in a few thoughts for consideration:

Firstly, your parents want the best for you. That's perfectly natural. You're off to a good start here, although it may not feel that way. :) One problem in 2018 is that many parents are out of touch with the facts and the reality associated with a modern service career. Many only view it through the prism of sensational media coverage.

Education. Learn everything you can about the career you aspire to. Even the boring stuff, including pay, rank structure, pensions, return of service, reserve liability, education opportunities, family support, welfare, etc. Your Careers Adviser and this forum is a fine resource for such information.

Play the long game. Don't expect to convince your parents overnight. Crack on quitely with your research and training. It costs nothing but will demonstrate your determination.

Consider mentioning to your parents that you know that they have concerns about your career aspiration. Perhaps give them a sheet of A4 paper and ask them to jot down their specific questions and worries over a few days. This might help all of you to move away from the emotive and to start considering the facts. Once you have the list, research and answer the questions accurately. Take your time and do the job properly. You'll get plenty of help here with honest answers to specific questions if you need it.

As mentioned by @Saz suggest that your parents register here on the Partner & Parent sub-forum. They won't get any propaganda but will get frank answers from other families with very similar concerns. Best of luck.
 

Command_0

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@Ninja_Stoker
@Kangarooj
@dodgyknees
@Saz
@Chelonian

Thank you to all who have responded. Things seem much clearer having read your advice and it seems sensible to let my parents get used to the idea - I will also be recommending the 'Partners & Parents' sub-forum to them which I have no doubt will help them to feel more comfortable about the prospect of it all.

I now better understand the benefits of talking to my family about these things in advance, all thanks to your helpful and encouraging advice. :)
 

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