Teaching Them To Fly The Nest: How To Help Your Grown-Up Kids Become Independent

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It’s become a main trope in popular culture that parents can’t wait for their kids to leave home. Having the house to yourself, not needing to replace the shampoo in a hurry because someone used more than they needed to. Appreciating the peace and quiet that can only come from nobody under the age of “late thirties” living in a place. It sounds like bliss.

Of course, few parents think about it in so black and white. Though there are definite advantages, you’ll miss them when they’re gone, and there will be tears when they move out. So much so that you’ll be kind of glad when your phone goes and it’s them. Some kind of emergency in their new home that they haven’t the first clue how to deal with. Mom to the rescue!

And yet… when your kids move into a new home, you want them to be self-sufficient. Whether it’s a college house-share or their first apartment, you want them to have the knowledge you’ve accumulated. You know you made mistakes when you first lived outside your childhood home. You know they’ll make some too, but you can stop them from making the ones that you may have made in your youth.

Plumbing: Give Them The Basics, Save A Lot Of Money: When we are kids, we get used to things just showing up and a lot goes on that we don’t see. Food lands on the table in front of us or in the fridge, and we don’t worry about how it got there. We turn on the tap and there is water, flip a switch and there is light. So when we’ve moved into a new place, we can be shocked when the shower drain floods after a few months. Your grown-up child doesn’t need to be an expert plumber. But knowing how (and how often) to clear a shower drain and other blockages can make a big difference.

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Prepare Them For The Marketplace: There will be some issues that occur which you’re not able to fix yourself. The first few times, you may deal with them indirectly. Going round to their new home, seeing the extent of the damage and then calling the relevant trades person to fix the problem. Before too long, though, it is important that they know who to call and how to deal with repair companies. Give your kids a list of plumbers, exterminators, and licensed electricians. Advise them on the importance of getting three quotes before hiring anyone.

Become Skilled At Hinting: Of course you will never stop caring or worrying about your own progeny. You will always step in to make sure they are safe, comfortable, and well fed. So when they come back home because they’ve run out of money and just need to eat, take the chance to teach them some self-sufficiency.

Feed them, of course. Give them a good meal and listen to the problems that everyone has when they first move out. Then take them grocery shopping. Tell them why you go here, why you walk down this aisle, and where you get coupons. Don’t tell them straight out “this is what you need to do”. Let them realize that by teaching them. You are running your household by showing them and hopefully they will do the same – or, perhaps even better!

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