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The Headmaster's Wife
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Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

Created: 05/07/15

Replies: 24

Posted May. 07, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1303

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Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

Both Elizabeth and Arthur have a difficult time accepting Ethan's decision to join the army instead of attending Yale. Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the same choice?


Posted May. 10, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 212

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RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

It was Ethan's choice to make. Both parents tried to talk him out of it, but could not. As a parent you do not stop loving your child because you do not agree with their choice. I would have no choice but support my child.


Posted May. 10, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
judyg

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 14

RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

Yes, I would support the choice. I've seen too many people pushed into a college education by parents only to struggle for their identity after graduation. Many young people need more time to explore their options after high school graduation.


Posted May. 10, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lindah

Join Date: 04/17/14

Posts: 90

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RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

I think a parent should support a child's decision to divert from the path they hoped for and had thought was laid out with a traditional education. A military career is an honorable choice and though Ethan went in as an enlisted soldier and "not as a officer and gentleman" as assured by a four year degree, he would have had many opportunities to learn skills and or earn degrees had his life not been cut short in a war overseas. Going straight from high school to college is not for everyone. A gap year would have pleased his parents more I don't doubt but it was his choice to enlist.


Posted May. 10, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 128

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RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

I would support a son or daughter who made Ethan's choice with my heart and prayers. I would hate every moment of his service but it would be his choice.


Posted May. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
antypam

Join Date: 08/14/14

Posts: 15

RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

Yes, and I have done so. My younger son attended the U.S. Air Force Academy and has served several tours in this war. After 9-11 I saw many of us, both parents and children alike, become more patriotic or more isolationist, and everything in between. We shouldn't force the choice to serve on anyone, and it should be difficult to convince someone committed to the choice to serve to do otherwise.


Posted May. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 149

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RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

I believe that as parents we provide both guidance and wings to our children. I would be remiss if I were to make choices for my children without thinking about their abilities, wishes and freedom of choice.


Posted May. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Retired Reader, NE

Join Date: 09/16/11

Posts: 165

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RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

It would be tough, but yes I would support a child's decision.


Posted May. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dannod0409

Join Date: 04/28/15

Posts: 4

RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

Yes, definitely would support a decision that I felt was well thought out. I so admire the young men and women who feel so strongly in the need to defend our country. Where would we be without them? And I would be proud (albeit very nervous) if my child made that choice.


Posted May. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbarab

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 39

RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

I would support my child, even though it would be difficult. You cannot live your life through your child's & you don't own your child. However, I did like Arthur's suggestion of Ethan completing his education first.


Posted May. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
aleksandrae

Join Date: 02/25/14

Posts: 40

RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

I would hope that I could support anything and everything my child chooses to do that brings them happiness. That being said, I would fight long & hard to keep my children off this path. But then again, I only have daughters so it is not something I've thought about often.


Posted May. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joycew

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 75

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RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

I would support my child (ironic that their fear of his dying came to pass). My question is did Ethan do it to spite his parents, rebelling against their plans for him??


Posted May. 12, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ElenaSpagnolie

Join Date: 10/10/11

Posts: 19

RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

I don't think Ethan joined the army specifically to spite his parents, but I can only imagine how much pressure he must have felt growing up. I think witnessing the collapse of the World Trade Center towers gave Ethan a larger, more global worldview than his parents ever had, and he wanted to explore that world.
I'd like to believe that I would support my child's decision to join the army, but it would be so difficult not to worry.


Posted May. 13, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joycew

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 75

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RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

Elena makes an excellent point of Ethan having a more global worldview.


Posted May. 13, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynneb

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 70

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RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

It is important to support whatever choice your adult child makes, but of course if the choice seems very foolish it would be expected that you might offer advice, though as in many cases it will not be taken. So with Arthur and Betsy it seemed that as good parents they wanted much more for their son and hoped he would go in a different direction. However, with Arthur having certain expectations from Ethan's birth it was so much harder for him to accept. In Betsy's case it was fear for his being killed that causes her to have serious concerns. However, for whatever reason Ethan felt he should serve, this is what he chose and he was an adult. It would have been easier for him if his parents had given more support.


Posted May. 13, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 57

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RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

As a parent it is my responsibility to educate my child so that he or she can make the best decisions possible for the future. It is not my role to make those decisions or to control his or her life. Believing as I do, yes, of course I would support Ethan and his choice. He does, after all, reflect the loyalty and dedication of his father, simply to a different entity - and a more noble one at that.


Posted May. 16, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LauraInME

Join Date: 05/16/15

Posts: 5

RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

I have raised my children to be the people they were brought into this world to be. I think it is extremely important to support your children's decisions, as long as they are lawful and well intended. It would be heart wrenching to have a dream for your child that is not shared by your child. Consequently, my dreams for my children are what they hope and dream for themselves, not stories and illusions I have created in my own head about what their lives should be.


Posted May. 17, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lindan

Join Date: 05/17/15

Posts: 4

RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

I would support my child's choices as hard as it seems by seeking to understand, stepping outside of my own expectations, and speaking to what is true and good about the choices made. It does not mean I agree; it means I care about my child and honor his/her right to determine his/her own path.


Posted May. 18, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pamelathereader

Join Date: 04/22/15

Posts: 9

RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

While I enjoyed this book very much, Ethan's parents' reactions to his path after high school annoyed me. Haven't we read enough books and seen enough "real life" to know that parents who belittle and don't support their children's decisions are making a huge mistake with lasting consequences?? It's so important to see each child as their own person and to offer emotional support as they grow.


Posted May. 19, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
flute4u

Join Date: 08/14/13

Posts: 23

RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

I agree with pamelathereader that Ethan's parents seem oblivious to 'good 'parenting guidelines. It should not have been unexpected that Ethan made a decision for independence and defiance in the light of such a controlled and limited environment.


Posted May. 19, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ElenaSpagnolie

Join Date: 10/10/11

Posts: 19

RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

It seems like everyone agrees on this point. But just to play devil's advocate, do you think it's ever a good idea not to support your child? What if you truly believe your child is doing something harmful?


Posted May. 20, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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jant

Join Date: 07/15/14

Posts: 20

RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

Yes I would support his decision but I would hope he would make it clear why he would choose this path. I would hope he would have all the information he needed to make the choice - not because he didn't want to go to college or begin to work etc. I would like to be included in the discussion prior to his enlisting.


jan t
Posted May. 21, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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mariannem

Join Date: 05/21/15

Posts: 5

RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

We always have high hopes for our child. I could empathize with their pain over what could have been.


Posted May. 21, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
josephinej

Join Date: 05/11/15

Posts: 26

RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

While I might not agree with that choice, it is an honorable one, and therefore I would definitely support him/her - while being terrified the entire time.


Posted Jun. 25, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
keizerfire

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 18

RE: Would you be able to support a son or daughter who made the choice that Ethan did?

I most certainly would be able to support Ethan's decision, but I come from a military family. And many of those same military officers later earned degrees, so it's not an either/or decision.


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