Homes 205: Letting Your Children Go

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Homes 204: Parenting

Children will eventually become adults, and you need to release yourself from them

  • This is hard to do, but if you’re proactive it goes more smoothly
    • Expose them to drinking alcohol in the safety of your home
    • If they experiment with drugs, let them learn the hard way about it
  • Aim them towards what is best for them, not what you want for them
    • Don’t push them into college or a vocation
      • They need to decide their work on their own
      • If you need to get involved, clarify what you expect and let them make decisions for themselves
    • Don’t pressure them about a relationship
      • If you want them to take a relationship further, they’ll do it when they’re ready
      • Don’t pressure them away from a relationship, they’ll marry who they please
    • Don’t expect grandkids, their family plans are their own business
  • Don’t enable bad behavior
    • Since your children were born they have learned about you, and probably know you better than you know yourself
      • They know what makes you feel for them the most
      • They understand the limits of your hospitality
      • If they know they can take advantage of you and are immoral enough, they absolutely will
    • Anything you do for them as adults that has a type of cycle to it is called enabling
      • Using your home on a regular basis following some bad lifestyle decisions
      • Borrowing money that they never seem to pay back for some reason
      • Doing things with your resources without the understanding the sacrifice that you made to give it to them
  • They might cut you off completely
    • If they cut you off, you can’t prevent it
      • Many parents will enable their child out of fear of losing them permanently
      • Ironically, this bad enabling creates a bitter codependency that can harm the relationship
    • If you’ve done a decent job parenting, they are guaranteed to come back around
      • Most of the time, a child that cuts off a parent is expressing boundaries that they don’t feel can be expressed in any other way
      • Take personal responsibility for how you failed, and apologize if they come around again

Change your lifestyle to accommodate their absence

  • Your life doesn’t end when your children move out
    • Find new hobbies and interests to keep doing
    • Get involved in the community with troubled children or volunteering to mentor younger adults
  • When your children come back around, they should have their own lives
    • Don’t get too obsessive about the details of their life, especially if you want to give any automatic input
    • The role with them should change, and the best thing to do is to hand off the responsibilities of leading the home to them
  • Go meet new people and find new ways to live life
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