Do you remember your young adult years? You know, the times when you ate Ramen noodles and searched for spare change beneath the couch cushions and between the car seats because you were a starving student or just starting a new job.
There is nothing like knowing you are just barely making it – but still surviving – on your own. Looking back, you may realize those hard years helped you appreciate what you now have.
The landscape looks vastly different than it did twenty years ago.
According to a 2016 Pew Research Center report, more 18- to 34-year-olds are living with their parents. Researchers speculate this is fueled in large part by the number of people choosing to put off marriage.
If you think back to your teenage years, most teens couldn’t wait to be out on their own. Even if they didn’t have a job, they were determined to prove they could make it independently. So why are so many young adults choosing to live at home these days?
In The Many Reasons More Young Adults Are Living with their Parents, Naomi Schaefer Riley, a weekly columnist for the New York Post whose writing leans toward higher education, religion, philanthropy and culture, raises this question: Are parents doing enough to equip their children to leave the nest?
She surmises that young Americans may be living in their parent’s basement in part because they don’t have the economic or social tools to set out on their own. In a desire to protect and love their children and to shield them from experiencing potential problems in the world, parents may be unintentionally creating more obstacles for them.
This raises some important questions for parents to consider as they prepare their children to leave the nest.
Are you teaching your teens how to develop networks or do you encourage them to rely solely on your networks? Guiding them through the process of building their own network is a powerful step toward independence.
Do you allow your child to fail and learn from their mistakes? Or, do you take care of the consequences so they don’t have to experience the pain? Figuring out how to move forward in spite of failure builds confidence.
Does your teen understand the definition of and the value of a good work ethic? Employers constantly lament many young people’s understanding of punctuality or being respectful and motivated to do a good job.
Have you encouraged your teen to find a job without doing it for them? It’s important to teach your teen how to look someone in the eye and put their cellphone away. Help them learn how to dress appropriately and what questions an interviewer may ask. These things are far more helpful for your teen in the long run than if you pick up the phone and make a call for them.
Except for special circumstances such as disability, emergencies or providing care to parents, is allowing adult children to live at home really the best thing for them? Part of launching into adulthood is learning how to navigate challenges and celebrate accomplishments. As hard as it may be, encourage them to learn the meaning of perseverance, relentless pursuit and independence.
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