What it Means to be a Family: Now The Kid's Are Grown
The Children are grown now, and if the Creator if kind, and does indeed give credit for good deeds; they, your Adult Children will be out of the House, and Living somewhat independently. Any Parent who has remained an integral part of their Children's life knows that they never really leave home. We continue the tradition almost guiltily; of leaving the rooms as a shrine as if we expect at any moment their return. Let's face it sometimes they do, but is it a foregone conclusion that their once safe haven has to be kept to infinity?
When a Child leaves home, they keep in the back of their minds that they will always have a place to run to when times are difficult, and for some Parents and Children that is indeed true. We create in the back of our minds that safe haven, that can be accessed at will, with just a phone call or by showing up on the doorstep. Every Parent reacts differently to a Child leaving home. If you are the kind of Parent that still keeps a shrine dedicated to your Child or Children's growing Years, redecorating can be very difficult, the Withdrawal can be painful and emotional.
How to tastefully extricate your Now Adult Child, without Guilt.
Love Letter From A Concerned Parent:
As Parents we raised you to be Independent, now that you have graduated High School, I understand the studies left you drained and you need a break to think through your next move, those College Applications (or not), left you with thoughts of what you want to do with your Life; while you perhaps enjoy a Summer of Fun and Parties, and of course we as Parents understand that those all Nighters, and you wondering in at an ungodly hour in the Early Morning disturbing our sleep is neither taxing to you physically or Mentally.
But my Dearest love Here is a few ground rules to help you decide your future. Yes, this is your Home, where you may find the occasional Solace. However, as the Law dictates, you are an Adult now, having had your 18th Birthday, being of sound mind and in good Physical condition to obtain employment, Great news in your favor of course! Yes, as your Parent, I appreciate the fact that you neither did drugs nor became a Parent at an early age like most of your Friends. So in closing my beloved Child, I've devised a plan for you since you are taxed and Mentally drained from the Hard Work you completed in High School.
With love Always,
Mom/Dad or Legal Guardian
Standard Contract by which you must abide In order to continue residence under MY roof.
1. If you have completed those College Applications and the Acceptance Letters are piling up, do choose a College whereby you feel your skills may be utilized to advantage and will offer you the opportunity to achieve, or obtain a degree, that will ensure your independence. Or one will be chosen for you.
2. If you have not applied as instructed by me, you will do so while you are actively seeking paid Employment.
3. Your ability to live under my roof is dependent on #1, and 2, no exceptions!
4. If College is not you immediate option, you will have two Weeks in which to find a Job and will contribute to your upkeep, while saving a majority of your earnings, so as to not have to live under our rules, because as you so succinctly stated, you are an adult.
5. If you find that you are unable to meet these Standards due to your inability to continue to tax unnecessarily, what little brain Matter you have left. The Military is hiring a few good Men and Women. This adventure should help you grow and mature while you and I quote "find myself".
6. If you do decide and are serious regarding your Education, I have done my part as a loving and helpful Parent: By setting aside help with your Tuition, If it is deemed insufficient as the cost of Tuition is constantly rising. You will help to ensure you are prepared by finding and keeping employment to help to defray the cost.
7. If you meet requirements 1,2 and 6, you may continue to reside at home while you actively prepare for your Future. Understanding of Course that the House rules will apply and are still in effect, and remains unchanged from those when you were not considered an Adult. Some Leeway will be given, upon prior notification, and request.
8. This Contract is subject to change, based on obstacles and needs, as determined by Parents.
A contract like any other contract is binding and both parties must be in agreement, it is very necessary to have your Adult Child read, and sign his or her agreement. What it does is give the Child all the rules they should abide by, and the understanding that even though you are not Legally responsible anymore for their upkeep and well being. You do love them and will help to ensure they are independent and able to assimilate properly in Society.
Alone At Last.
Okay, so now they are gone, and for the first few Months you move around in a daze, you now have to relearn how to live without the constant yell for Mom/Dad. For eighteen Years or more you have identified yourself as a Parent.
Guilt set's in you wonder if you perhaps have let them go too early.
Followed closely by fear, what if they need you and you cannot be there?
You manage to calm your fears and assuage those guilt feelings and are ready now to take charge of your home and Life.
Looking around you realize, Independence is nice, but how do you maintain it. Hmm, well barring selling your home moving and not leaving a forwarding address. Redecorating is a viable option. The thought that your Child may need to move back home is always foremost in a Parents mind when decorating. On one hand, you want to utilize the space to your advantage, without totally eliminating a safe haven.
Why Some Adult Children Are Moving Back Home.
Going Home To Mother! Families in tow.
That unexpected appearance of your Child/Children standing on the doorstep, Children and Wife or Husband included, is happening more frequently these Days. The economic decline and the Housing Market crash plays a major role in Families having to rely on their Parents again for support. Often times the extended stay can cause both Parents and Adult Children grief.
Lowered Motivation: An Adult Child moving home, more times than not does so out of necessity, and will be much more equipped and hard pressed to accept being dependent to their liking. There is however always the exception to the rule, Some Adult Children; sometimes through no fault of the Parent, will find excuses to move home, they lack the motivation live Independently and will continue to use their Parents as escape routes.
Regressing: No matter how old one gets when confronted by or returning home we tend to regress to our former Childhood self when we are among our Parents. It's inevitable, Parents are used to taking control of our lives, the image that is commonplace in their minds are ones of us from infancy, we never age past the age of eighteen Years into adulthood. Caring Parents tend to want to Mollycoddle and protect, and for a time it's allowable, the newness of having your Child/Children under your roof quickly wears thin on all the parties living Together.
Are you opposed to signing a Contract with your Adult Child?
Fostering Independence In Grown Children.
Even though you have allowed your Adult Child to move back home, it doesn't necessarily equate to allowing them to stay forever. It is important to establish ground rules, a timeline, and the continuation of your routine.
It's still My House!
The newness of housing your Adult Child under your roof begins to wear off for most around the second Week. It's like having an unwanted guest who has overstayed their welcome. At first, it's exciting, and the communication flows naturally, after the catching up phase is over the uncomfortable feeling of what to do next in order to motivate said dependent Adult Child into finding a place of their own becomes the issue.
Adult Children, helping to pay for their Families upkeep as soon as they become employed is also a must, some Parents may be financially able to foot all the bills, but it is still important that you at least attempt to seem like a responsible Adult and offer Financial assistance. Your Parent(s) may not accept it or they may save it and return it to you when you are about to tackle living on your own. Either way, it helps to foster a new level of respect from your Parents.
How Long, Is Too Long?
For most Parents, the hardship will be establishing a time frame for having your Children in attendance. It is important to have communication and to let your Child/Children know immediately that the living arrangements will not be permanent. A good timeframe for stay is six Months adjustments can be made based on Finances, however, the stay should never extend past one Year.
Just Because We are Your Parent's Doesn't Mean Our Lives Revolve Around You!
Although it may not be necessary to sign a Contractual agreement as it pertains to rules, the rules as it governs space, permission to take the Grandchild/Children out is vitally important just as important as asking, and not assuming; that just because Mom and Dad are in residence, they will be built in Babysitters.
No, it is never okay, except in emergencies to expect a Parent to stay at home and Babysit, more than likely, they have developed outside interest, and will continue them even while you are in residence.
This article was written for a Friend who asked me to write about her experience. We have become so pretentious that we cannot accept as truth that some Grandparents are tired and may need to be asked and not have assumptions made with regards to babysitting, especially if they work. There are Grandparents who wish they could have their Children and Grandchildren close by, however, I respect my Friend for stating exactly how she felt.
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