Teaching Self Reliance – Don't Clip their Wings

As a parent one of the hardest things to do is watch your child make mistakes. While you may want your child to benefit from your mistakes, the greatest and most appreciated lessons are those personally learned. This can be one of our greatest parenting challenges, deciding when to step in and when to let your child experience their own mistakes.

If someone asked you why you should be happy your child is going out on their own, how would you answer? While we all want our children to be safe and have a happy, full life, yet at the same time have this desire for them to remain home just a bit longer, many of our peers are yelling, “Don’t clip their wings!”

It is often said that you have to let them go, and give them the opportunity to learn the lessons of life on their own. It may be a hard pill to swallow, but in fact it is true. You have to let them fly, and while there will be times their wings may become a bit frayed, they will make it because you as parents taught them how.

One can play devil’s advocate here and say, “Why the hurry?” “What if they can’t make it?” “What if their job doesn’t provide enough to pay the rent; buy food – how will they live!” On my, the debate rages on. In the end, however, if your son or daughter feels ready; they will make the move at the appropriate time. Our today are a bit more mature and less reticent about going out on their own.

Hold on! There is a but….. Here is an interesting statistic you may or may not like to hear: an estimated 22 million adult sons and daughters are living with their parents. While this is mostly due to high rents and housing costs; loss of jobs; and other personal and monetary issues, the fact is the kids you’ve once said goodbye to in their late teens are turning back to the nest. While some parents may like the idea; some may not. After all, the had their lives and you had yours. In some cases, however, when a child does move back home, it is sometimes a welcome idea for the parents who receive modest pensions, and have a house not yet fully paid for. Converting a basement or attic to an apartment for the son or daughter may seem like a logical solution. Of course, the ground rules have to be set; and what they are is entirely up to all parties concerned.

The next time you see the wings fly out the door; perhaps a candle in the window may be needed in case the bird decides to fly all the way home again.

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