Having been successfully emancipated at the age of 18, I have lots of real life survival experience. In addition, I have already “launched” one young adult, and the second will graduate from college in the spring. Both have always known that when their formal education has been completed, they are expected to enter their informal, but more relevant, “real life” education after a reasonable and pre-defined period.
Some of you may be thinking how cold I must be to push my offspring out of the nest so abrasively. It is really not as bad as it sounds. I’ve been affectionately referred to as “drill sergeant”. As a 6-year veteran of the US Armed Forces, I HAVE survived boot camp. I can tell you first hand that I don’t really fit that model. The drill sergeant gives 2 options: comply with orders or don’t comply and receive direct and immediate consequences. The Launch Lady does not issue orders quite as militantly. If requests are not met, I will try very hard to make sure that the consequences are logical and relevant. While I am not a dictator, I do hold my offspring to a high level of accountability.
I wish I could claim to be a perfect parent, but that would not be true. I wish I could tell you that I had perfect daughters, and if you asked them, they would probably agree. However, I’m in charge of the content here, so I would have to deny it! They are at, what might possibly be, the perfect age. They’re old enough to manage their own affairs but still come to me for advice. I’m at the stage of parenting where I’ve gone from someone who knows nothing to one who has apparently learned very quickly and can provide intelligence to those who are actually requesting to hear it!
I am NOT trying to tell everyone else that they should have the same opinion as me and that their young adult should move out at the tender age of 18 if they choose not to further their education. I AM trying to bring the message that it is POSSIBLE. I spend much energy trying to anticipate consequences of different situations and what can be done to avoid negative outcomes altogether. I use every opportunity to immerse myself in financial literacy so I can teach valuable skills that will help others to avoid some of the mistakes that I have made. It would give me great satisfaction to gather a community of like-minded individuals to share success stories and ideas about how to help our offspring successfully transition into adulthood while allowing ourselves permission to move into the next phase of our lives.