We’re Not Raising Kids
“Human beings are the only creatures that allow their children to come back home.”
-a now infamous U.S. comedian
In a jocular way, I often tell seminar audiences that we do our kids a disservice by telling them “You can do anything you want to do in life; you can be anything you want to be.”
No, you can’t. As I tell my kids, “You cannot be 25 years old, unemployed, and still living in my house. That is simply not an available career path for you.”
I coached a client family that had three kids, each four years apart. After each kid graduated from college, this family actually moved to a smaller house. Like birds pushing their young out of the nest, these parents wanted to clearly communicate that their kids no longer had a home to come home to—they could always visit, but they had to make a new home for themselves out in the world.
Contrast that with the growing numbers of families seemingly installing revolving doors into their homes, welcoming wandering adult kids back into the fold again and again. Sure, it’s easy to justify—it’s expensive out there, we miss them, they just need a little more time, whatever. But it’s also indicative that we have forgotten the purpose behind this whole parenting thing; we’re raising adults to fly out on their own.