Before, it’s the parents who find it difficult when children move out of the house. Today, it’s adult children who are struggling to leave the family’s nest. If you look at statistics, young adults are staying way too long with their parents, and the reasons behind this range from not being able to afford a house and failing to get a job to marrying and having kids much, much later. It’s usually not a problem having adult kids around. But having them for far too long that they only rely on you for everything? That’s where the problem starts.
This is the reason you need to be intentional in training your children to be independent. A lot of times, parents start strong during their child’s younger years, teaching them how to ride the school bus or how to put milk on their cereals on their own, but as the child grows into a teen and you let go of some parental control, the training also stops. A lot of children then become too dependent, to the point of never leaving the family home. Just as your kid grows into a teen, don’t lose sight of the goal of allowing them to be independent. Here are ways to do that:
Teach them life skills
Specifically, life skills they need to thrive even when they’re miles away from you. One of these skills is emotional or psychological skills. Your child should be more familiar with their emotions, know how to soothe and calm themselves, wait patiently, and solve problems. They must also master the art of delaying gratification and dealing with negative feelings. You can sharpen these skills by encouraging them to be active in their social circles. They’ll be able to exercise better control of their emotions when dealing with people. Another important skill is financial skills. Your teen should at least know how to budget money and pay the bills.
Give them a ‘foretaste’ of moving out
The best way to get your teens ready to move out later is to literally let them move out. At a place near you, of course. Some Aussie parents build a granny flat in their backyards, but not for grannies, but for their kids as a teenage retreat. Classic Cabins explains that this type of living arrangement would help your child embrace the responsibility of having their ‘own’ place, forcing them to apply the life skills you’ve taught them. At the same time, you’re not that worried since they’re near you. You could easily check on them when you smell overcooked sausage and help them when dinner is beyond repair.
Talk to them as an adult.
Your teen will be able to embrace independence better when you talk to them like they really are independent people. Whenever you have lunch together, touch on difficult conversation topics sometimes. Let’s say, how they see themselves three to five years from now or what they plan to take up as a college course. Even though they don’t have a concrete answer yet to such questions, you’re slowly building in them the habit of thinking about the future, a mark of maturity.
Are you raising an independent child? Be intentional about it. Remember these tips as you deal with your teens.