Sometimes it’s the unexpected things that are the hardest to handle.
Most parents expect that once their children have been raised and are young adults, the family will smoothly transition into the “empty nest” stage. The kids will be living on their own — away at college, working, living with roommates, eventually getting married and starting families of their own — and the parents will enjoy some well-earned freedom, and everyone will live happily ever after.
Reality can come as a bit of a surprise.
The truth is that most families don’t move seamlessly from their youngest child’s graduation from high school straight into the empty nest. A recent analysis by the Pew Research Center found that in 2014, 32% of adults aged 18-32 were living in their parents’ home.
This week one of my friends buried her dad. Our friendship group, lovingly called the beach house girls, decided to take that dear one out for tea so she could tell us all about the service, her memories of her dad, and how she felt about the whole life transition. Since most of us could not make the out-of-town service, that was our way of saying to her, “You matter to us.”
Dear Young Adult,
So there you are. Living in your parents’ home. Maybe you recently moved back in after graduating from college, or after a difficult divorce or job loss. Maybe you’re trying to save money or going through a transition and need a place to stay temporarily. Or perhaps you graduated from high school and never moved out, and you’re working or taking classes while still living with your parents.
However you got there, you’ve probably already noticed that living in your parents’ home has some challenges.
Now part of making this a positive experience depends on your parents. My next blog post will be tips for parents. But what can you do on your end to make the situation as positive as possible? Here are a few ideas…
As we come to the end of the first quarter of 2016, Becky and I want to update you on how things are going at Restore and Rebuild. We have one big announcement, a number of things we’re grateful for, and some significant prayer requests.
As parents, we are given the incredible opportunity to train up our children. From toddlers to college students, each stage brings joys and challenges. Most parents want their children to succeed in life. How well are we preparing them for the future? Are we doing things that make it difficult for them to thrive?
Parenting teens can be difficult.
Teens can be unappreciative and demanding. They can push the limits of our patience and of our wallets. They can be moody, edgy, rebellious and hurting — all in the same afternoon! Sometimes our heart goes out to them, and sometimes we are counting the days until they leave home.
But parenting teens can also be very rewarding. During the teen years, we can have profound conversations with our almost-adults about ideas, faith, and the meaning of life. We can watch as their efforts pay off, and they achieve in sports, arts or academics. If all goes well, we start to be able to trust their choices, and our respect for them increases.
As we seek to navigate this challenging stage of parenting, one key principle to keep in mind is this: Focus on internals, not externals.
Raising Kids of Character
God has given us the responsibility to train our kids. We want to help them develop good character qualities in their lives, yet we often feel unprepared to do so. At this parenting seminar, we will discuss foundational truths and practical principles that will guide you as you train your child.
Drop your kids off at Redeemer Presbyterian Church for their fun-filled Kids Night Out, then come to the parenting seminar from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. After the seminar, there’s still time for a date night before picking up your children at 9:00 pm. For more details, and to register, click on the event link below.
When my husband and I were in college, a professor in our Educational Psychology class taught us six words that we’ve never forgotten. We attended Biola University, a Christian school, and I still remember the professor telling our class that he would be teaching us six words — three two-word phrases — that sum up what the Bible teaches about people. Since then, Dave and I have remembered these six words and incorporated them into our teaching, our parenting, and our view of life. The six words are: Very Special, Deeply Fallen and Greatly Loved.
When my oldest child was about three years old, I received a valuable parenting tip from a pastor friend. I immediately started applying it to my own parenting, and over the years it has served my husband and I well in raising our four children. I call it my number one Parenting Rule of Thumb. It’s this: Empathize with feelings, while still holding the line.
I remember caring for four young kids. Days were full of driving carpools, changing diapers, buying groceries, doing laundry, overseeing homework, interruptions, conversations, decisions and stress. Life felt crowded.