Children will one day grow up and move out if you have done your job correctly!
Our Crew in the Beginning
“The Children will Grow up and Move Out one day”
My husband and I sat at a crossroads one evening that was truly a divine appointment of a lifetime. That evening was when my husband and I first met over coffee (the only thing either of us could afford at the time) at a local restaurant. We had spoken on the telephone a couple of times, but had not met in person until this divinely orchestrated “Coffee Convo” session.
That night The Holy Spirit performed a pre-marriage counseling session between us that forever changed the direction of both of our lives, back towards our intended purpose. We were learning love and trust another person again and learning to release our quiver full of children into THEIR intended purpose in life.
Becoming Grandparents in your Middle 30’s & early 40’s
When you begin your family in your early 20’s there is a distinct possibly that you could become a grandparent in your middle 30’s or your early 40’s. While this trend is beginning to change, as the millennials are waiting until after they get their careers established before starting their families, the life considerations are still the same.
Now consider for a moment…you are a grandparent expected to do grandparent things and you are still raising the younger children of your own. Do you expect your grown children to support you simply because you are Mom and Dad, regardless of the decisions that you made in your life as well as provide for their own growing family? Can you see where there might be an issue with Not expecting our children to grow up and make a life of their own? So I ask you;
What do you see after the children are grown and gone?
Remember, children will one day grow up and move out if you have done your job correctly!
You must learn to live within your own means of income!
With any size family, you must learn to live within your own means of income. This one lesson is the hardest life lessons for many to learn. However, once you learn how to live within your own means of income, you are well on your way to NOT becoming a burden on your children in your elder years.
The next strategy we had as our children got older was an understanding that we couldn’t and wouldn’t pay for a 4-year college program. What we did plan for was to pay for all 5 of our children to get their Associates Degree in whatever field they chose, which surprisingly NONE of the 5 children decided to go that direction. While some parents place money into a special college fund, the problem with those is that many will not allow you to opt out of them should your children decide not to go to college after high school. Had we shuffled money away into one of those types of funds, we would have lost every dime or been limited because none of them chose to use the funds. The way we saw it was, we could afford a 2-year associates degree that would get them started in life, and if they wanted to go further, it would be on their own money.
Our advice when planning for your children, DON’T do everything for them. Allow them to work out life issues on their own, only coming to you for advice or guidance. They will be stronger adults for it, and more chance for you NOT to become a burden on your children later in life.
A college education doesn’t insure that your children will become productive members of society it only provides more options for some. On the other hand, those that chose not to get a college degree learn to work with their hands instead of their brains, and many throughout the generations have done quite well for themselves. All our lives are built on 4 pillars:
- The Life Strategies we make
- The Questions we ask
- The actions we take
- And the Consequences in Time
Moving Out Day
For some children, moving day comes with or without warning, just poof, one day they decide to walk out, mad and begin taking it out on the parents and the world around them.
Some decide they are old enough to start their own life and then blame the parents for letting them do what they wanted.
Sadly some will make their way through life, scamming their way through.
Some children like some baby birds must be made to feel UNCOMFORTABLE in the nest you built, before they will leave. They must be forced to strike out on their own, since it is the only way to discover the intended purpose for Their Life.
Still others just rock on as they had planned come hell or high water and build their life the best way they can. Which could quite possibly be a combination of all the above.
And lastly, you may have a child that seems to dote on their parents on a daily basis even after they are grown and gone from the nest. We call it “losing our scent”, when they become too clingy, but we do appreciate the fact that they take time out of their busy schedules just to check on us.
This is precisely where many parents miss the fact that once their children grow up and start building their lives, they are just as busy as we were at that same point and time in our lives. Parents should consider their children’s busy life schedules when expecting them to wait on you hand and foot simply because you are Mom and Dad. That is way too big of a burden to place on anyone especially your children.
Throughout our lives and the lives of our 5 children, we have seen all of the above. As well as have watched how they traverse through life with their different applications and attitudes. The goal of any parent should be for their children to become productive members of society flying free from the home nest, and whatever else they do or become is just an added bonus of parental pleasure or disappointment.
By the way, disappointment in your children usually only happens when YOUR expectations are NOT your children’s life expectations and desires. Don’t try to interject your desires on what they should do or not do in their life; they have to build their own life their own way.
However, it is NOT your responsibility to BAIL them out of their bad choices. They must learn to BAIL themselves out of their bad decisions and learn how not to make the same mistakes again. If you bail them out of every difficulty they make, they don’t learn where they went wrong.
Whichever way your children decides to move out of the nest, the secret is, don’t take it personally! They all have to find their place. I call it their finding their “Center”. Regardless of what mom and dad have to say about it, it’s a rite of passage that all must take. The biggest mistake that many parents today make is planning or expecting your children to support and care for you in your old age.
Children are arrows in our quivers that are to be LAUNCHED into THEIR Life.
Arrows serve no purpose when held in the quiver; they must be released to serve their intended purpose.
Secondly, as parents, you must NOT accept any guilt for the choices that your children make. They were and are their own choices, and as we age we must remember the first rule of a lifesaving/caregiving…Take care of YOU FIRST then assist others.
You are no good to your children if you can’t support or care for yourself, and the last thing that any good parent wants to do is to become a burden to their children. Correct?
When you realize that your nest needs to be changed, MAKE the Change, don’t delay it!
Once you realize that you have created or expected your own children to become your personal “slaves” or indentured servants for the rest of your life, you can change it. But YOU are the one that must invoke the change, NOT your children.
One thing we learned that was effective when releasing our children came when they turned 18, earlier for some by their own choosing, a little later for others, we had a conversation called;
The LIFE TALK
“Now that you are old enough to make your own decisions for your own life, you can no longer blame us when your life doesn’t turn out the way you expected. We did the best we could to raise you, and hope you forgive our mistakes along the way. We are here for moral support, and to provide life experience lessons and explanations, but from this point forward, the choices and decisions that you make are YOURS AND YOURS ALONE. We love you, too much not to allow you to make your own mistakes and triumphs in life.”
Just like when your child was first learning to walk, you coaxed them to walk without your assistance. So too we must allow our grown children to walk out their life knowing that Mom and Dad are there on the sidelines cheering them onward to their divine purpose.
Now that the children are gone, what do you do?
Now that you have had the “Life Talk” with your grown children, now is the time to get your own life priorities straight if you are just learning how. While it is easier to do when you are younger, I am telling YOU, You CAN start right now building the life you want but you must have a “life plan” or strategy. It’s never too late to change course, you must simply do it!
When you go through life without a basic life plan, you are basically planning to fail and WILL become a burden to your children. Start small. We decided what we did and didn’t want out of our life. We worked daily to make sure that we made life decisions that lined up with our simple idea of not wanting to become a burden on our children.
Not that you have to have a 3, 5, and 10 year plan, but a basic life plan is all you need. A simple one that can and will be adjusted as time and different options present themselves throughout your lifetime. Feel free to start with our beginning life plan; it continues to serve us well even with unexpected situations and accidents that have presented themselves over the years:
“Someday children will grow up and leave the nest, and with God’s help along the way we will live happily ever after without becoming a burden to any.”