Blue Suit Mom

Failure to Launch: Tips to Turn Your Teen Into an Adult

Today’s generation has been labeled as the boomerang generation for their pattern of leaving their family’s home and eventually returning back. This pattern’s origins are speculatively related with the failed economy and lack of sufficient jobs that occurred during this generation’s coming-of-age. This boomerang pattern can be remedied, however, if your teen feels enabled and can master the responsibilities that accompany adulthood. As a parent, you know you must prepare your children for the real world and set them up for success. The more you prepare for an empty nest and set up reasonable expectations, the more smooth the transition will be. Here are some tips on what you and your teen can expect and how you can best handle the process of your child’s transition toward greater independence:

What To Expect

As your teens edge closer toward their age of legal independence, some changes will already come into play. Your teens will be more self-regulated and curious about who they are apart from the family. They may disregard your opinions and feel justified by their own moral compass or have increased faith in their own judgment. This may cause conflict between your family and your teen.

Alternatively, your teens may experience separation anxiety, where they feel incredibly worried about the moment when they must leave the house. Once your teens have fled the nest, you will feel their absence, which may induce anxiety and depression within yourself. This initial adjustment period can be difficult for both of you.

Prepare your teens for their increased responsibilities as adults by allowing them to be more self-sufficient during their last years of high school. Require that they pack their own lunch, cook a healthy meal for the family once a week, set up their own health regimen, take care of their car, balance homework and a job, and can regulate their own schedule. Their increased responsibilities will help you become a more hands-off observer and help with the relationship transition.

Prepare for Shifting Roles

You have been the guardian of your teens’ emotional, medical, mental and academic well-being for the duration of their childhood. It will be difficult for you to transition into a more hands-off role once your teens have left the house. You and your kids will both have to shift gears and learn about how your relationships will change.

Sit down and discuss what you hope to offer your teens, so they don’t feel completely cut off or any semblance of indifference. Come up with a plan for sharing management. Set up a communication schedule with your teen, so you can briefly check in with them and they can still feel your support as their parent. Make sure your phone calls aren’t more frequent than once a week, as you don’t want your teens to feel suffocated. Help your children build confidence in their abilities and equip them with helpful resources that are integral to their health and overall success.

Your Teen’s Autonomy

Provide your teens with information and guidance that will promote more self-sufficiency in the realm of their academic career and finances. Make sure your teens are aware of the change in course load of university academics and the higher expectation of independent learning. During the last year of high school, require they find resources that will help them through any difficult homework problems or help them prepare for a test. Require they take on greater financial responsibility the last year they are at home. Inform them of the benefits of having two income sources that stem from contracted and freelance work. Relay to them the benefits of having many skills that will increase their chances for job acquirement and a sustainable income. Teach them about baking, credit cards, economics and the benefits of saving. The Teen Guide to Personal Financial Management is a wonderful resource that you and your teens can utilize.

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