When my daughter was growing up, as early as she could understand, my then partner would tell her that come 18 she will be kicked out.
Needless to say, this pissed me off immensely.
When my daughter did move out a few months after her 18th birthday, I was mad as hell! She was only in her first year of University, pursuing a degree in Anthropology with the intention of later focussing on Egyptology. I was so proud of my baby girl and full of hope that one day, possibly before I did, she would earn a doctorate.
Watching helplessly as she packed her bags and boxes, with the help of a boyfriend who I admittedly disliked from day one, the words of my partner kept ringing in my ears. My wailing did nothing to stop my by then legally adult child from leaving the nest. Soon after, my partner would do the same but that is another story.
Release Your Children
Years later, I would come to appreciate that this along with other big moments in our history, was one of the best things that could have happened for my baby. She learned to fend for herself and took her responsibilities into her own hands. She was able to learn first hand how to deal with everything from accommodation to her finances. She very wisely learned how to get a credit card with no credit and used this new card to her advantage. It’s the push she needed to find her independence.
Growing up with a single-parent as I did, one who had very limited means, education and a heavy fist, for most of my active parenting years I tried to be there for my child. My parenting skills ranged somewhere between an helicopter and a free-range parent. Maybe I was a hover-craft. For sure I was a hawk when it came to protecting her from the ills of the world, mainly childhood sexual abuse and rape as I knew exactly how those felt and the impact.
Education, an active and engaged mind and a loving heart were the tools I thought necessary to get her through the world, but I was not convinced that her kit was fully equipped at 18 years old.
What I missed was the fact that any parts she needed for the journey would not be found under the safety and security of my wings. She could only get those in flight.
Putting Off Adulthood
Several times I was the willing and self-appointed Messiah as my adult child tested her wings. In 2013, after not being in contact for many months, estranged due to one interference-too-many by me, we met for dinner in Toronto.
The conversation was hesitant and we fell silent many times, but I did not fail to see the woman who my 25-year old daughter had flourished into being. When she said to me that our non-contact for all those months, my cutting her loose was the best thing that I did for her as an adult, my heart sky-rocketed.
Mothers never forget their children. Women who are mothers and kindred spirits with their daughters, in particular, feel every pain and every joy of their children. Most of us finally learn this, however, after we have set them loose. When we do not and when the timing is off somehow, adult children fail to launch. The repercussions are felt by all and for a long time.
When Adult Children Will Not Fly
“It’s an international phenomenon: the kids that won’t go away. The Italians call them “mammon”, or “mama’s boys”. The Japanese call them “parasaito shinguru“, or “parasite singles”. In the United States they are known as “boomerangs”, and in the U.K. they are called “KIPPERS”, which is short for “kids in parents’ pockets eroding retirement savings”. U.S. census data for the year 2011 showed that almost 20% of Americans between the ages of 25 to 34 were living with their parents. For those aged 18 to 24, the number is 59% of men and 50% of women. Surveys in the United Kingdom and Japan suggest a similar situation in those countries.” (Source: Investopedia)
In addition to increasing the risk of poverty for their parents, who are fast becoming seniors and near retirement, Mammons, Parasite Singles or KIPPERS are robbing themselves of greater experiences, lessons, and personal achievements.
Soon after leaving high school, I struck out on my own to escape my mother’s clutches. It was too early and my return to the uncomfortable nest was swift. At the first chance that I again got, off I went and looking back a couple of times – much to my chagrin as I suffered greater financial losses.
According to the reports, unlike me or my daughter, more adult children are choosing to stay home, living off their parents, contributing little or nothing but their ‘pretty faces’ and cause financial ruination to their aging parents. When trying to encourage your adult offspring to fly the nest, you could point them in the direction of some advice of writing a cover letter so you can persuade them to “tell your story“. They have not learned the art of flying or were never taught.
The benefits of staying home are greater:
- Rent and expense free-living
- Disposable income for big-ticket purchases
- Free gardener, cook, and bottle washer
- Easy banking terms
“It’s like having a butler, a maid and a really rich uncle all rolled into one. No stress, no bills to pay, no worries about the threat of unemployment, eviction, and so on. What’s not to like?” Lisa Smith
Love Them But Shove Them Out
Are you the parent of a boomerang child? God knows you love them. This suggestion might, therefore, seem unkind to you. You have to choose to either teach your adult children to fly or, unless you are well to do, you will need a parachute yourself.
You have to be like the birds who kick their babies out of the nest to teach them to fly. It is the only way some will learn independence and personal responsibility.
By kicking, I do not mean here literally – hopefully it will not come to that. However, slow to admit this as I was, if your children are still minors, you would be best advised to start teaching them about personal responsibility, budgeting and taking charge of their destinies now.
For some of you, it might be a bit late in the day to do this as your adult children are already living large in your basement and using you as their personal ATM. How do you get out of this trap?
Well first, you will have to accept responsibility for: (1) being in the situation and (2) getting yourself out. Without blame, regrets or recriminations, you have to get as cold as RiRi in her latest and explicit video but with yourself and to get back what is your own and for your retirement.
Three Steps To Get Your Money Back
So, without the guns and the violence but with the attitude, here is your three-step plan to get your money back in your pocket and keep it there and out of your adult children’s hands.
If your adult children want to move back in or are already living large in your basement, eating your food and playing you for an old fool (and you are still young at heart, god damn), here is what you do:
- Draw up a rent contract – six months at most with a rent hike if it is to be renewed – setting out the terms and conditions of the lease, bank withdrawal form and all.
- Collect a damage deposit equal to at least one month’s rent and clearly state the rules and expectations around maintenance and overnight guests.
- Prepare in advance an Eviction Notice and the grounds for such an action.
Should you need support, feel free to comment here or write to me and let us figure this out together. Subscribe and learn more smart ways to live the KB Life today and every day. Be sure to add me to your contacts when you subscribe to get your updates!
Happy Throwback Thursday!
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