It’s confirmed: We are mirroring Europe’s trend. Almost half of young adults aged 20 to 30 now reside with their parents, and intriguingly, they seem to embrace this living arrangement.
Undoubtedly, like any parent, we are always deeply concerned about our children’s well-being. Naturally, we desire their success and want them to thrive.
However, the crucial question we must ponder is whether success emerges from surmounting obstacles and confronting struggles head-on, or if it manifests itself when we cater to every whim and necessity of our children. Is this steering us toward cultivating increasingly weaker generations?
Several years ago, my eldest daughter completed her college education, while my two other children were closely following in her footsteps. It prompted a strategic decision on my part. The urgency to promptly usher her out of the family home post-college and encourage her to establish an independent financial life. We call that “getting them off payroll.”
Am I an unsupportive parent?
Am I a monster for even thinking that way?
Or are these the necessary steps that more parents should consider, instilling responsibility in their children by exposing them to the truths of the real world?
Like those of you who now own thriving businesses or hold executive positions do reminisce about the times when you had nothing, merely scraping by to cover your bills, fueled by a determination to change your circumstances. Is it our duty to impart to our children that struggles are intrinsic to achieving success?
Do you believe that if you provide financial assistance indefinitely that your kids will eventually cease asking for more? They will not. Just like government handouts, they will only ask for more until it becomes an expectation that you provide it forever. Breeding dependence is the very antithesis of helping your children become independent.
This underscores the urgency of either giving them a swift boot toward independence now or at the very least making them financially accountable.
Here’s a practical approach:
Establish specific deadlines for your children to secure full-time employment and set clear timelines for them to find independent housing.
Grant your child autonomy in deciding whether to seek a roommate and determine if they will commence their career with their dream job or a position that merely pays the bills.
Be resolute. Communicate that the “safety net” of living at home is approaching its termination.
If they choose to remain at home, institute rent payments and assign them household responsibilities. (Even if you opt to save the rent money for them, the emphasis is on fostering a sense of responsibility.)
Remember the challenges you faced on your journey to the success your family currently enjoys.
Pre-determine if and how you will assist with bills (e.g., auto insurance, mobile phone expenses) and establish a timeline for when such assistance will conclude.
If you reassure your children with “don’t worry, if things don’t work out, you can always return home,” you can be certain that they will struggle to do better than you did which is part of the American Dream.
While every parent desires to assist their children, conveying a constant “Plan B” will hinder their ability to forge their own path. We often do our best in life when there is no Plan B.
For those with multiple children, rest assured that each one is keenly observing your actions and keeping a close tally for their own future.
In life, happiness is all about expectations are met or unmet. It’s actually a good thing to expose your children to the challenges of adversity, as these struggles will be the very thing that makes you proud when they achieve significant success in life.
Expect conflicts, arguments and disagreements within your household. This is about the West Point way of leadership – the harder right. In the long run, both your children and our nation will be better off by shaping and creating a more resilient and tougher future generation.