There are only 168 hours in a week in which to accomplish life. For the average woman who has children, every one of those precious hours is used in the caring of her children, her home, her marriage, and her faith. Not much is leftover for herself.
“The Godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.”
One of the most enjoyable benefits of my being a therapist is to work with young women who are looking to improve their lives. What I have found is a common theme: there is a lack of training occurring in the home. Parents are not instilling in their older children the tools necessary to live full, meaningful, and successful lives. They may love “on” their children, and smother them with kisses and hugs, but what about the real tools they will need to make it through every day of their adult lives? Let me give you just three examples of the most common trainings that are not occurring before the child leaves the home:
Food: Now-a-days most moms are also working moms as 68% of families are single parent homes. This doesn’t leave much time for teaching their teenagers how to cook. So, children become adults who spend way too much money on fast food or expensive restaurants. Oh, and forget about even making a grocery list or doing meal planning.
Money: I don’t know of anyone who is teaching their teenagers how to budget their money. Fewer and fewer teenagers are even getting jobs now as the availably of entry level employment is being taken by adults trying to make a living for their families. So, teens are going to college (and incurring huge debt) to get a degree because they don’t know what else to do. With no money, these teens turn into 20-30 year olds living at home with their parents and loose momentum for personal growth.
Faith: When parents bought into the lie that, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and gave over their parental rights to the school districts, the doctors, and their children’s mentors (whoever they may be), they lost the power to influence their children toward any standard of “Right and Wrong.” Therefore, children are determining for themselves what is right (anything that feels good to me) and wrong (anything that does not feel good to me). This leaves everything up to personal interpretation and any standard (legal, civil, cultural, family) cannot be imposed and does not apply. Faith and God become irrelevant.
When these 20-something adults come to me complaining that their parents won’t treat them like adults, I ask them how they are showing their parents they ARE adults. This gets me a sideways tilt of the head as they inquire, “What do you mean?”
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”
1 Corinthians 13:11
I show them how they are still “acting” like a child, “Who pays for your housing, who pays for your food, who pays for your clothes, who does your laundry, who prepares your meals, who pays for the gas in your car, and who pays for your schooling?” I usually get a scowl and, “Now you sound like my parents” response. I ask them, “Just because you turned 18 years old does not make you an adult.”
We then begin the journey of understanding what it means to be a productive, independent, and successful adult. This journey is actually fun for them as they learn how to create a budget, fill out a resume, apply for a job, and start on the pathway of independence. I show them that as they gain speed being an adult, they should take these life lessons (life skills) and pass them purposefully onto their children. So, parents, I challenge you to love, teach, mentor, and preach of God’s love to your children, even after they’ve become adults. They will be better for it, and I’ll have less young adults in therapy seeking the counsel they could receive at home.