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Father vs. Son
updated: Oct 20, 2012, 2:00 PM

Dear Edda,

My son is in a moderately successful rock band. He has always been pretty talented, but his mother and I pushed him a great deal to succeed. We have always purchased the best instruments for him, and always been around to help haul equipment to his gigs.

I have been a songwriter all my life. Now that my son's band has had some success, I asked him to perform one of my songs at his next concert. He said no! I am very hurt and angry and I am thinking of not inviting him home for Thanksgiving. My wife says he is invited regardless, but she agrees that he should perform my song.

What do you think?


Song Man


Dear Song Man:

Speaking of Thanksgiving, have you noticed the number of families that are serving something other than turkey for dinner? I'm thinking of trying Turducken this year, but I've heard mixed reviews.


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Edda Hatte is a loving and sympathetic advice columnist who helps Edhat subscribers navigate through their complicated and stressful lives. Send your questions to askedda@edhat.com.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 333653 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 02:03 PM

he writes his own stuff- give it time


 COMMENT 333656 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 02:09 PM

He owes you this, plus using his own money to train to get a real job. I suggest the SBCC auto tech program.


 COMMENT 333657P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 02:21 PM

Let him perform his own songs.... It's totally messed up to pressure him to perform one of your songs and then to say he can't be part of the family when he doesn't want to. He's trying to become a success doing his own thing, where does his father think he has a right to tell his son that he has to perform Daddy's song? Weird!


 RICHYRICH agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 02:33 PM

Dad, your way off base.


 COMMENT 333663 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 02:39 PM

Parents are the first to forget that their job is UNCONDITIONAL. He didn't ask you to bring him into this world.... you did that on your own (second person plural).

Maybe your song sucks or doesn't fit his idea of what their music is all about. Maybe he feels he has taken enough from you and wants to make it on his own musicianship not yours.

BTW.... grow up, dad.


 COMMENT 333672 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 03:10 PM

Threatening to not invite him or whatever to the family Thanksgiving meal is manipulative. If you don't do X I won't do Y. Where's your bonnet, baby!

Maybe he thinks your songs suck or won't fit into his gig. How would it sound reversed: Hey Dad I'm not coming to Thanksgiving if you don't come to my concert, or buy my CD, or........


 COMMENT 333674P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 03:18 PM

Bravo, 663. The only time that "she/I/we brought you into this world" line was used on me, I was SPEECHLESS. My counselor answered it by saying "it's not like you ASKED for it." If only I'd had the line at the ready. Talk about missed opportunities and not being able to think of the right thing to say!

Poster: Don't let this crap get in the way unless you want a really big rift. I'm going to an "orphans" Turkey Day this year and it will be much more fun than what remains of family.


 COMMENT 333675P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 03:27 PM

Wow that's really rotten of you dad, you sound like a spoiled brat of a dad. Maybe it's just not the right time or right song. Cutting him out of a family holiday over a song? So much for unconditional all those years ~ maybe he's bitter over how hard you pushed him. Maybe he wouldn't accept thanksgiving invite anyway.


 COMMENT 333678 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 03:33 PM

And we wonder why kids end up in their parents basements? So much for the rewards permissive parenting. Food and shelter are a duty of a parent.

But supporting stupid career moves are a privilege which means the kid better learn ASAP to be grateful and courteous and at least develop one iota of a sense of humor pleasing dad instead of his own tortured artistic soul.


 COMMENT 333680 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 03:40 PM

Just spit in his mashed potatoes.


 COMMENT 333696 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 04:18 PM

Maybe you can borrow the instrument you got for him and perform it yourself.


 COMMENT 333697 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 04:24 PM

Gosh, I really love my parents,. They have been buying my guitar picks and toting my amps for years and now they are letting me skip their dumb Thansgiving dinner. Will be great to have an extra gig with my peeps instead of having to see my stupid uncles and uglier cousins. Imagine a day without my Mom's clam and yam salad.


 COMMENT 333712 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 05:08 PM

Okay, I'm probably gonna get "nannied" for this but do you people actually think these questions are real? Clearly "Edda" writes the questions to set up the answer which in this case, and most cases, has nothing to do with the question. I think he(?) thinks he's amusing but I never once have thought he was. I love Edhat but I do not like this stupid column. And yeah, I don't have to read it but I keep trying to give it a chance. It just seems so out of character and beneath Edhat's wonderfu spirit.


 COMMENT 333720 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 06:26 PM

yeah, I agree, it would be cool if EDDA was actually a helpful advice column.


 COMMENT 333738P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 07:28 PM

Hey, Dad. Are you doing all this for your kid, or for yourself? Think about it.


 COMMENT 333739P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 07:29 PM

Edda IS a helpful advice column. She lets US give the advice, and better understand ourselves in the process.


 COMMENT 333740 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 07:34 PM

Dad, Your help was a gift, not a down payment.


 MESARATS agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 09:03 PM

Cut him off at the wallet, attend his shoes and and keep the Thanksgiving date. Artists need to suffer to grow


 COMMENT 333759P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 09:10 PM

Hey, Sceptic, would you be willing to talk with MY dad? At 94, he still hasn't figured it out.


 COMMENT 333761 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-20 10:16 PM

What the dad didn't tell you was the title of the song he wrote: "I Love You So ____ Much I Can't _____." Fill in the blanks.


 COMMENT 333774P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-21 02:51 AM



 COMMENT 333782P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-21 06:40 AM

Edda, I agree completely...turducken rocks!!

817, to each their own. You probably don't like or listen to Phil Hendrie...I do :)

Dad, do not take T-Day away from your kid, make him suffer like the rest of us! Oh and if you force him to play your song, he may force you to listen...for a very...very...very long time.
Jus sayin


 COMMENT 333783P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-21 06:41 AM

Maybe if he had a chance to grow up and haul his own equipment, he would "discover" one of dad's songs on his own.


 LONESTARCA agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-21 08:27 AM

Inserting a chicken into a duck into a turkey is just wrong on on so many levels.


 COMMENT 333806 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-21 08:36 AM

You are drowning in a glass of water dad. Stop throwing a tantrum..Give your son all your songs...when you die he will want to play them all....guaranteed!


 COMMENT 333812 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-21 09:02 AM

Get over yourself, dad. You raised an artist. Artists have their own messages that they want to deliver with their art. Also, families often get torn apart when they try to throw business in the mix. Maybe your son doesn't want to have to deal with the details of how much you get paid for each performance, what sort of cut you get if the song goes on an album, who holds the rights to the song in the future, etc.

You seriously want to throw away your relationship with your son because he wouldn't play your song? That's disgusting. You should be ashamed. You're being petty and childish. If you've talked to your son about this Thanksgiving banishment, apologize. If you haven't told him, keep your mouth shut.


 COMMENT 333814 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-21 09:10 AM

Let your dream go dad!! You do things not to get rewarded but out of the kindness of your heart. Thanksgiving is a tine to be thankful and giving. Your son and you ,I'm assuming all have had a great talent in music. The holidays are a time to get together and celebrate.


 COMMENT 333842 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-21 11:35 AM

Of course these "Ask Edda" questions are made up, but they sure do make us stop and take a look at our own lives sometimes. This one makes us realize how stupid parents can be who try to live vicariously thru their children and also how we don't "push" our kids out of the nest and let them experience and earn their own successes and failures.

I love this column for this reason.


 COMMENT 333852 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-21 12:27 PM

Dad- clearly you need a venue to perform your own songs.

1) Might I suggest you head down to the dolphin fountain @ Stearns Wharf & set-up as a street-side troubadour with open guitar case & sign that says "overbearing Dad needs your vote- how do you like my song?"
Then - at least you'll know how your song appeals to the masses.
(or not)

2) I would say make yourself a promo CD of your songs & send them to The Voice or some other "reality" - gonna make it big tv show. Then wait by the phone until it rings. (or not)

3) Invite your son to Thanksgiving, but play your song on a continuous, never-ending loop that plays til your son's head explodes. Tell him, on this holiday he should be thankful that you followed thru on your passion - with happy ending- on the night he was conceived!

Finally- find yourself the best karaoke bar around -and make yourself a fixture there; grab the mike & don't give it up. Ever.


 COMMENT 333870P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-21 01:01 PM

I love Edda! I wonder why people get their knickers twisted worrying about the authenticity of Ask Edda or the questions. Just don't click on the column. See? Easy!


 COMMENT 333915 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-21 01:58 PM

38P: Sorry! Maybe we can work something out - you talk to my mom (dad's gone) and I talk to your dad.
I posted that based on lots of personal experience with help from parents that's motivated by a need to control or to create the impression of generosity to pump their own ego, and also with the flip side, withholding support and scapegoating in situations where they get more ego gratification or power from people who want to hurt you.
When I was a kid, I used this Kahlil Gibran verse with my folks, because it's real to me:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

Unfortunately, people like this don't hear you, but it's a good thing to get enough distance between you and them to see them as adult children with problems, rather than parents.
There are definitely egocentric, entitled kids who treat parents (and others) as though the parents' purpose in life is to grant their every wish, but I don't think this one involves an entitled kid. Good luck, and watch out - people form relationships based on familiar ones, and it's common to chose significant others with similarities to parents, not good if you have destructive ones.


 COMMENT 333990 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-21 04:34 PM

I love reading fiction, my favorite


 COMMENT 334207 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-22 09:52 AM

LONESTARCA: OH MY GOD, THAT'S WHAT TURDUCKEN IS?!?! (I am so glad I don't eat meat. I'll stick to my mashed potatoes, rolls, veggies, and pie. Eugh. People are friggin weird.)


 COMMENT 334502 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-22 08:30 PM

ok, now that I know it's fiction, I won't be so hard on EDDA.


 COMMENT 431833 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-07-15 04:51 PM

Lame dad. No T-Day if he doesn't sing one of your songs? Should've stuck with your music hobby and turned into a reality like your son instead of bitching about his success. Be proud of him. Your dream is dead, dude. Get over it.


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