I Stopped Feeding One of My Sons Today


Many moons ago when I was in college I took a class called Marriage and Family Relations. I don’t remember much from that class really except the list of sexual sins in the bible we had to memorize – the professors loved lists.

There was one other thing I remembered. They said when your kids got to be seniors in High School, going off to college the next year, you should take away all the rules you have on them. Actually they said you should gradually be taking the rules away and by the time they are a senior they should be on their own.


Because next year they are going to be on their own, and you won’t be there to see how they handle it and to help them if they make mistakes. Letting them do it while at home means you can help them.

My eldest is going off to the University of Texas in Austin next year. I sent off money to reserve his dorm room last week. The dorm we decided on doesn’t have a cafeteria. Plus my son is a picky eater and doesn’t really eat much of a variety. Matter of fact to him, eating at Taco Bell every day would be heaven.

We decided to just give him a budget for living expenses, including food, and let him decide how to spend it.

As a result, yesterday we gave him a week’s allotment and told him to go shopping, he’s on his own. We have a little mini-fridge that we put in his room, and he is to store his food there. That’s pretty much like his future dorm room. He’s not to eat our food and if we go out, he’s to pay his part of the bill.

Just like it will be next year.

It should be interesting.

His first purchases were, peanut butter, bread, and a 12 pack of Sunkist soda. 🙂


  1. hsoi says:

    That’s pretty cool. I hope it works out well, and in the end it prepares him for life on his own. Good luck. 🙂

    hsois last blog post..A simple pleasure

  2. Suzi says:

    Did you know the picture for that post is a vampire biting a woman’s neck? Or at least it was when I went there. It’s a funny juxtaposition.

    Suzis last blog post..Because all higher ed is conservative…

  3. MattjDrake says:

    That is a good idea – I forget how disorienting it was to suddenly lose all the structure in my life when I went away to school.

  4. Kelly Wilson says:

    This is a silly article, sorry, you can’t be serious? The dorm has no cafeteria but it does have a kitchen, correct? I raised two sons who are now out of college and living on their own. The best thing you can teach your son is how to cook and shop for the meals he likes himself. Why not help him plan a meal he does like? He can cook for the family at least 1 night a week. I remember so well my younger son in his senior year cooking us homemade pizza’s, taco’s and burritos. I recall bringing my older son to Trader Joe’s when in his 2nd year of college he was in a school apt. without a cafeteria. We found all kinds of good food in small quantities for him to purchase and make relatively easy dinners and feed himself something other than fast food. Funny how when they fix it themselves they seem to eat more of it.

  5. Ron says:

    Your son and my son are obviously very different people. Or you’re just a better parent. My son has less than no interest in cooking. We’ve given him the opportunity to learn to cook and all it has created is a great deal of eye rolling and heavy sighing.

    The dorm has no kitchen either. He is free to use our kitchen at home if he wants to cook. They can have a microwave in the their dorm room. It is possible for him to get a meal plan at another dorm nearby, but he doesn’t want to.

    The situation we have created is just like it will be when he is on his own. So he gets to learn what it is like. If he doesn’t like it, then we can change the plan. He’s making the choices and gets to deal with the consequences.

  6. Eric Fry says:

    Well, PB and bread is good survival food, but it gets old fairly fast. I would imagine he’ll be a bit more interested in learning some culinary skills after a semester of PBJ’s and ramen noodles!

  7. Kelly Wilson says:

    Yeah Ron, you are right I’m sure. My son is likely different from yours. Actually both of my sons are different than each other. I don’t think we can measure how good a parent we are by this situation. My sons are now 25 and 27, I learned one thing for sure, parenting is a learn on the job, job. It’s all trial and error. I agree with Eric Fry, likely he will want to learn to how to shop for and fix other foods as he gets sick of the real easy stuff. As long as he has a fridge, toaster oven and microwave, he won’t starve.

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