One of the challenges of parenting teens is finding ways to influence them and their decisions. They are working to establish their autonomy and independence, and are not terribly receptive to suggestions from their parents. In some ways it's easier with kids on the spectrum. They are more easily moved by facts. Unless it hits a trigger issue, in which case it all goes out the window.
The lease on our current home ends in July. We moved to Bellevue specifically to get the kids into the Bellevue school district. By June both Oldest Son and Younger Stepdaughter will be done with high school. Given that, and the high cost of housing in Bellevue, we're planning to move when the lease is up.
We're struggling to decide where we will move to. My Beloved Wife grew up on a farm and very much wants to live a rural life. I'm not as comfortable with that idea. I also want to be sure we have good access to public transportation for Oldest.
As we've discussed various options, MBW has talked about getting a smaller house, and then buying trailers or RVs for the Oldest and Younger. We had been discussing it with Older Stepdaughter as well, but she recently took an apartment of her own and moved out.
Oldest had a school assignment about finding a place to live as an adult. He had to pick a place to live, find out what it would cost to buy a residence in that area, identify a career that would pay enough to afford the residence, and work through the math of saving for a down payment.
The assignment was WAY overdue. Tracking and completing tasks is one of Oldest's biggest challenges. He had gotten an extension, but had only one evening left to do it. I spent about an hour helping him work through it. He was trying to find ways to minimize the effort required. We talked about some ways to do that. He said he'd asked his teacher if it would be ok to plan on buying an RV to live in, and she'd agreed to that idea. Buying an RV could be done on a low income, like a fast-food worker, which meant he didn't have to do research on finding a career.
We searched craigslist for an RV, worked out what the down payment would need to be and how long it would take to save. Then we calculated what the total cost of the loan would be. He commented when we were done that it was really cheap. I said yes it would be. That's part of why MBW has been pushing the idea.
Later that evening I told MBW about the conversation. She was very excited to see that Oldest is listening to the ideas she puts forth and sees merit in them.
She is having an influence.