Denise Dutson's Blog
Teenagers can't wait to leave home. They can't wait to get away from their parents' rules and guidance. Years ago, those desires propelled young adults into on campus or off campus housing, the military or an apartment of their own. Two to three generations ago, less than 10% of young adults lived at home with their parents.
What's keeping young adults home so long
Even with the United States recovering from the Great Recession, more young adults continue to live at home with their parents. Rising college tuition, student loan debt and slow wage increases are factors that can make it financially tough for Millennials to leave the nest. Other factors that may be keeping young adults at home with their parents longer than previous generations include:
- Rising rents and rising housing costs
- People waiting to get married (Generations ago, people married earlier which encouraged these young couples to move out of their parents' houses, so they could start a family of their own.)
- Job markets shifting from manual labor to technical skills
- Less job security (Marriage isn't the only thing that has changed over the generations. Jobs also offer far less security. Gone are the days when employees could expect to receive a pension. Acquisitions and mergers are also forcing younger generations to deal with the fact that, just because they started with a company and maybe even worked a decade or longer with a company, that doesn't mean that they will be able to continue working at the company until they reach retirement age.)
The world is changing. That much is fact. Because of the changes, parents may need to focus on building their children's self-confidence early. As difficult as it is, parents may need to start letting their children make mistakes and feel the effects of their mistakes.
Children need to see that they can recover from mistakes. They need to know that they can rebound after a slip, wrong turn or fall. Ways that parents can gift their children with healthy self-confidence include:
- Giving young children chores and not doing those chores for their children regardless of excuses that children come up with
- Encouraging children to create budgets and stick to those budgets (For example, children could budget for holiday gifts.)
- Allowing children to pay for extra toys and clothes that they want after parents have already bought necessary belongings
- Discussing the importance of paying bills on time (Parents should also pay their own bills on time.)
- Teaching children about investments, retirement accounts and how interest is calculated
- Advising children to stay away from credit cards until they secure a quality, full-time job
- Having children start working while they are still in school (Children could start working summer jobs as early as 12 years old. After working for several years,they could easily save a thousand dollars or more.)
Preparing young adults for a changing world at home
Rewards of working a job for decades have changed. Baby Boomers and earlier generations were rewarded with pensions. Adults who grew up in the 1940's and earlier, enjoyed the comforts of job security. All they had to do was show up for work, put in a hard day's labor and adhere to company policies and procedures.
Those days are gone. Today's young adults don't have as much to fall back on. That could inspire some young adults to stay at home longer. Parents doing what it takes to build their children's self-confidence, inner vision and passion as soon as possible might be the best first step away from young adults trusting their parents' efforts more than they trust their own.
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