Bridging the Span Between Teens and Independent Young Adults


The attached link by author Beth Kobliner is packed with sound advice if you are trying to raise young adults who can live independently of you.

I know of one family who turned their daughter’s bedroom into a guest room when she went away to college.   Was this a cruel action or was it simply a way to maximize the allocation of space?  To a family who has frequent guests, it seems inefficient to hoard an entire unused room while snoring guests toss and turn on the hide-a-bed couch in the middle of the living room!

I know another family who told their young adults that they can come home for six months after they graduate from college.  That allows time to take a breather, find a job, and figure out a place to live.  Finding a roommate, much like finding a date, is far easier these days with the availability of specialized internet sites.

It helps to have an open dialog about what will be expected at the end of the educational phase so that no one is surprised by your expectations at their 18th birthday party or at their college graduation ceremony.   There is nothing wrong with the conversation that goes something like this, “When you have completed your education, it’s time to contribute as an adult.  You’ll always be my kid, but I want to make sure that you know how to take care of yourself.  If you choose to complete your formal education right after high school, then you are telling me that you are ready to begin your informal education.”  If that conversation is had on a regular basis, there is no reason anyone should be surprised when we carry out the next phase of education.     There are a number of ways we as parents can facilitate the informal education, but I’ll save that for another day!

There is no right or perfect way to do this.  The important part is that there is an exit plan for the young adult living at home and that there are incremental steps in responsibility to make the plan successful.

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