If you’ve parented your children well, as they reach young adulthood, you should be out of a job. It’s a scary world out there, and it’s hard to see them as adults. Every summer we attend graduations and weddings and my thoughts are always, “They look so young!”
If you want your babies to stay home, here are tips to keep them living under your roof:
Never expect them to do chores. Learning to complete chores without supervision might help them learn work ethics and cause them to feel independent.
Set expectations low. The goal here is to set their goals so low that a sense of entitlement is developed. If they feel that the world owes them, they won’t survive in the work force keeping them home.
Discourage them for getting a job. Learning to survive at an early age in the workforce will prepare them for their real income earning potential. This might encourage them to be independent.
Pay their bills for them. Allowing them to own a car, insurance, cell phone, etc. and not take on the responsibilities and consequences of paying bills will keep them unaware of budgeting, savings and earning potentials.
Allow Video Games to be the priority. Putting themselves above engaging with family, friends and community will handicap their abilities to create valuable relationships.
None-existent curfews or house rules. Boundary setting is a valuable lesson in respecting authority and building personal security. No house rules will inspire your teen to want to stay home forever.
Give them a weekly allowance. Even though they pass into the teen years and are capable of earning their own spending money for things they want, discourage them from that independence by giving them a weekly allowance. Buying them expensive items rather than having them save up for it will continue the cycle of parent dependence.
Buy them a new car. If your teen has to earn their first car, and then work up from there to a newer model, they will learn they don’t need you to stand on their own two feet and buy what they really want. They also won’t learn how to appreciate what they have and what it takes to improve their situation. Making excuses and rewarding them with a new car is the best way to keep them reliant on parents.
Let them live at home rent free. After high school graduation if your teen has no chores, no rent, no helping out around the house you will successfully keep your young adult –young and helpless for the adult world. Use the excuse, “But if I charge them rent they’ll want to move out” or you might use the reasoning, “I don’t want them to be homeless, that’s dangerous.”
Teens will naturally want to ‘get out of the house’ as soon as they’re done with high school (some sooner), start your enabling techniques on their twelfth birthday. Pre-teens are impressionable, set the precedence then and add as they age into teendom. If you’re goal is to keep them home, use as many of these ideas as possible. Using all of the above techniques might keep your baby home well into their thirties. Good luck Mom and Dad.
First published in Ten to Twenty Parenting Magazine – 4-11-16 by Pamala J Vincent