Parents – stop enabling!

Raising children to reach adulthood is the ultimate task every parent strives for, or at least some of us do. Who doesn’t live for the day when you can end morning bathroom rotations, playing musical cars in the driveway, or hearing the faint creaking of the door shutting in the very early morning hours?

Round #1 The first glimpse of freedom for both parties (parents and children) comes when they leave for college or decide they need space and move in with friends. You start remodeling that extra room, perhaps a workout room, or a home office, the place you can go just to be ALONE. The cleanup begins, clothes are packed, furniture is moved, everything is nice, and tidy just the way you want your new space to be. Yet it turns into a short-term vacation once they realize living on their own costs more than they can handle. Paying bills such as electricity, cable, internet, water, sewer, garbage, and heat they’ve never encountered before.

Round #2 They move back in. There goes your new space, your solace, “me time.” It’s not that you don’t love your children and would force them to live in the streets or go without food. Whatever the reasons for their return, a lack of money or friendships turned bad, home they come. Chaos returns, and the cycle repeats itself. Reminds me of raking leaves in the fall – it’s cleaned up, then “they’re back” repeatedly.

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Parents who continue supporting their adult children, I’m talking well over the age of 25, has become an epidemic in this country. Millennials living in their parent’s basement well into their 30’s is more common than ever. It’s not just providing a place to live and having them at the dinner table again. Parents end up paying for car insurance or keep them on the cell phone plan. This all adds up over time.

Deciding when to play the “tough love” card is not an easy task. Some parents never do and continue financially support their children. We are teaching our children to avoid taking responsibility, having dreams, setting goals in life.

Don’t think you are a bad parent for asking your children to pay rent. The Millennials need to pull up their skirts and become participants in society…just as our parents forced this upon us, and their parents did to them. Aren’t we all counting on this generation to take care of us in our elder years? Let’s teach them the right way to do it.

Five signs you are enabling your children.


One thought on “Parents – stop enabling!

  1. I started paying rent when I was 14, but that was because we were so poor. I’d probably never ask my own kids to pay rent because I understood the pressure it put on me. It also changed my entire outlook on life. Maybe good, maybe bad.

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