Telling parents.....

Pet228

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Hi all, basically I’m 18 and I’ve known for the past 2/3 years what I want to do with my life. I live in Northern Ireland so obviously joining the British military is quite a controversial topic especially in the area where I’m from. I’d been giving subtle hints to my parents for a couple of months and I came home from school one day to a stack of sheets on my bed. The sheets had a bunch of reasons why I shouldn’t join the marines as well as pictures and articles of marines who are now amputees etc from Iraq and Afghanistan. There was no words said at all and me and my da didn’t speak for a week or two after that. It still hasn’t been spoken about and I think he hopes that the articles etc had the intended effect but they haven’t. I’m going to apply anyway but I really want my parents to support me and understand that I’m not throwing away other opportunities such as uni and that this is truly what I want to do with my life and not just some silly 18yr old ‘seen too many war movies type of thing’.

I know it seems like a big rant but any advice at all would be appreciated, thanks in advance!
 

sbradb

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When I decided I wanted to apply my parents were dead set against it too (despite having family already in). After I turned 18 I sat my parents down for an ‘adult discussion’ and basically explained to them that it was something I had to do and that if I never even attempt it I will regret it for the rest of my life. After this conversation my parents understood reluctantly at first and said they were behind me- since then they have done their own research as well as listened to my own about life in the RM and they’ve come to realise the massive potential it provides as a career and/or stepping stone and hard work that has to go in to it!

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
 

Pet228

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@sbradb nice to see others who’ve had a similar situation, think I’m going to have to go with the ‘adult discussion’. Hopefully that will maybe get them used to the idea that this is what I’m going to do no matter what. Thanks!

@arny01 your 100% right, no point looking back in 5 years time and saying ‘what if’. Being using your training plan also, it’s given me big improvements, thanks!

@ThreadpigeonsAlpha i think that’s what I’m going to need to explain to them, and hopefully they’ll realise that they’re over reacting. Thanks!
 

Ninja_Stoker

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As a parent myself, I can also think of probably more reasons not to join, than join.

If my son elected to join, my wife would probably divorce me, after stabbing me.

Simple fact: Your parents probably didn't do what their parents wanted them to do either. Ask them.

My advice? If we all do what everyone else thinks we should or shouldn't do...we would do nothing.
 

Bean97

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I only ever had this issue with my Dad but it wasn't a big problem for me because I lived with my mum and she has always been super supportive of it.

I remember when I told my dad that I wanted to join (He is a pacifist) and he didn't speak to me for a long time. During this time, I thought about it a lot internally as well because I didn't want to create a huge rift in my family and lose that side of my family just because of my ambitions. In the end, I kept chipping away talking about it trying to get him familiar with the idea of it. He will never be happy about the fact that I am trying to join the Royal Marines but I think that he respects how much it means to me.

I think the turning point for him was actually seeing how much effort I am putting into trying to get this career. So if you can get your parents to see how much it means to you and how badly you want this career path, then I do believe you might be able to get them onside. But make sure you are honest with them!

I'm sure it'll all work out eventually mate :)
 

Chelonian

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I live in Northern Ireland so obviously joining the British military is quite a controversial topic especially in the area where I’m from.

Our parents want what's best for us. But they don't always do this from an informed position.
Don't expect to change their minds overnight. Demonstrate your committment to your career aspiration by quietly getting on with your training. Research the job; know your stuff. Even boring stuff like the pension scheme. Make an informed decision about your career choice and then communicate it over time.

Maybe suggest that your parents join the Partners & Parents sub-forum here. They won't find any propaganda; they're more likely to encounter other parents who initially shared their concerns and who were more opposed to their lad's career choice than they are. Your parents will be able to ask straight questions and they'll get honest answers from others in their position.

Some here understand the sensitivities which linger in some parts of both NI and the Republic.
Best of luck.
 
D

dodgyknees

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Honesty is always the best policy. It may cause some issues at first but the vast majority of parents want their children to be happy. If, as you say, you are going to apply anyway discuss it with them and let them know you are joining with or without their blessing. I would suggest you have a clear idea in your own mind why you want to join and explain them to your parents. You may also wish to explain your plan B; Ie, if you don't get in or don't like it once you've joined what will you do, go to Uni a year or so late or something else?

It's important to ask for their support showing you have thought things through, but at the end of the day you are over 18 so you must do what you want.
 

Scooter1

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I'm from Ireland too and have had the same issue mate.. Parents just instantly stopped speaking about it with me the minute they heard 'Royal'.
Eventually they started mellowing out, because everytime they asked what I was doing after I finished uni I'd just say 'Marines', what else can they do but accept it when it's all you talk about?

The one problem is all my mates are against it, so I have no one to really talk about it with unless I come on here, I'd urge you to stick around and go back through old threads and read up on everything!
 

Pet228

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@Ninja_Stoker thanks for the advice, I understand where my parents are coming from and hopefully after I sit them down and explain to them what the Royal Marines are and what they do that they’ll maybe warm up to the idea.

@Bean97 thanks man, I think once they understand what it takes to even get close to rt and that I’m willing to put in the effort to get there they’ll change their minds!

@Chelonian thanks, I’ll give them as much info as I can so that they can decide whether they’re willing to support me or not but at least they’ll understand the decision they’re making. I don’t think that they’re as bothered about the fact that it’s the British military, more so that they see the danger associated with the Royal Marines.

@dodgyknees plan b is always a good option, at least if I give them a plan b then it’ll satisfy them that I haven’t completely forgot about uni even if in my mind I have. I’m just going to be honest with them and hopefully it’ll work itself out!

@Scooter1 i don’t think people realise the issue a lot of people here still have with the British military, I’m going to try and get my parents on board first and then I’ll see about talking to my closest mates about it. I definitely won’t be publicising it all the same! Thanks for the advice
 

Scooter1

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@Pet228
No man I don't think they do sometimes, it can be a real effort in itself to get people on board, it's actually the longest process, it starts years before you even manage to get to RT.

A good friend of mine joined the Royal Engineers a few years ago and it was the scandal of the century you'd think from how everyone reacted ! I was really proud of him and he never told anyone and yet still managed to get abuse for it.. Its quite sad how people can't see what a great career it is! Living in the past.
 

Chelonian

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A good friend of mine joined the Royal Engineers a few years ago and it was the scandal of the century you'd think from how everyone reacted !

Some might say that was a natural reaction from any decent, thinking person. :)
But the grease monkeys aren't all a bad lot.
 

ThreadpigeonsAlpha

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@Pet228
No man I don't think they do sometimes, it can be a real effort in itself to get people on board, it's actually the longest process, it starts years before you even manage to get to RT.

A good friend of mine joined the Royal Engineers a few years ago and it was the scandal of the century you'd think from how everyone reacted ! I was really proud of him and he never told anyone and yet still managed to get abuse for it.. Its quite sad how people can't see what a great career it is! Living in the past.

People live in their own worlds and like the herd mentality. Anyone breaking from
The pack is seen as an outsider or to be doing something wrong.


Believe it or not theirs military families out there that would react exactly the same as yours have, if their sons/daughters came home and told them they didn’t want to join the forces but to become a plumber or a librarian instead.

People are only capable of seeing their own perspective and it’s hard for people to think outside of it. Especially if it breaks social norms.

Ultimately people will see their own weaknesses and proclaim them to be yours.
 

DBenn01

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Take a good look at yourself in the mirror and really ask yourself if you are about to base your next life decisions on what others believe is best for you.

Granted they are your parents and they will always worry, but they can either totally respect you and support your decision or they won't be happy with it. The deep rooted desire in you is what should be the deciding factor, not the worry about what other people (albeit even your parents) think of you.

As stated above, your life lad, live it.

I decided to go for the Royal Marines when I was 18 and my family bollicked me and soiled themselves. My father was absolutely against it. I am 23 at the end of this year now and just last month I finally told my father straight up "No more softness, it's time for me to get assertive with my life, I AM joining the Royal Marines".

I got another bollicking, but then he told me to go for it and he will support me to the end, and that he would prefer to see me go for this instead of give up and settle for a safe civvy job.

Point is, you never know, make the declaration and take it from there. Either way, whether they agree or not, if you are going to do it, you have to do it.

Now, depending on how fit you are, some time might pass and you might mature a bit more by the time they realise that you are actually serious.

And another thing, where you're from is simply where you are from, and if the masses have an issue with what you want to do, leave them to it, and you get on with it. What happened ages ago has no bearing on you and your future. If it is possible and you are eligible, get in and don't get out.

Go for it, never give up.
 
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Boplicity

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I feel you pal.
I have one side of my family from NI and the other side from the republic. Mostly hard republicans too. At first it was like i said i wanted to be a traffic warden from the way the reacted, but now are behind me once they became abit more informed.
I had been told at one point i couldnt go to see family in NI if i did so and what not i think to put me off it. I went there last weekend for the footie and it must have slipped out some how because a good few of them knew and they're fine with it. And well if they wasn't it's not the end of the world.
Pretty much just be true to yourself, it's your life and you only get one so do as you please.
 

Morse

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As a parent myself, I can also think of probably more reasons not to join, than join.

If my son elected to join, my wife would probably divorce me, after stabbing me.

Simple fact: Your parents probably didn't do what their parents wanted them to do either. Ask them.

My advice? If we all do what everyone else thinks we should or shouldn't do...we would do nothing.
 

Morse

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We all do what we think is right ! Follow your own lead and those that resect and CX are for us will do too !
 

its_meg

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3/4 years later from telling my VERY disapproving mother about wanting to join up, she has only recently come to the conclusion that it 'will be good for me'. Not sure whether to take it as a compliment or insult but at least it has finally come to something.

My family have very optimistic/naive/insane ideas about the military and believe that by removing them, there would be no conflict... It was an interesting conversation with me but one I now have learnt to avoid shoving my face in my hands does not bring out PG words from them. ;)

My advice though would be to talk to them. They will eventually come around to it in some way either through being happy you are following what you want, understand it, proud, whatever it may be. D!cking around like I did because I didn't know how to say anything and was concerned about the response, was not the best way to do it.

Lets face it, you will have to speak about it at some point, just get it over with because the longer you leave it the worse it gets, especially for you. You lose focus on getting in and spend more time thinking about it and how to talk to family about it. Proving you know what you are getting yourself into was a big thing for me and that you really want it, not just some passing phase.

Just remember many people's views of the military in my experience are based on WW2, 'cannon fodder' and the casualties on the news - unless they have some form of military involvement I find that people have a very narrow and dark view of it all. Explain it with facts, on both the positive and negative side whilst being open-minded to their opinions and they will come around to it and support you. It is all only because they care and worry :D
 

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