Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Becoming an Adult

Do you remember when you moved out of your parents house and started to take care of yourself? I do. 

I remember the last night before falling asleep; I laid on my bed in my almost empty room, thinking this was my last night as a kid. Next time sleeping in this bed, I would be "just" visiting. 

The next morning we packed my stuff in our car. And as my dad started the car, I took a look at my house. It was a bitter sweet feeling. A Goodbye and a hello at the same time. 

Why everything went well 

Though it was bitter sweet, everything turned out great. Mostly because I knew I was safe, though on my own. My parents always told me, that if I needed anything, like money, advice, support etc. they would help me. I could always come home. I also had a great support network in my new home town. And, of course, I had a strong sense of being protected by my Heavenly Father.

Parents + Support network + Heavenly Father = A great start

Becoming an adult

I moved out of my parents house when I had just turned 19, right after high school. I started my uni studies. I can't believe it's been 7 years! Oh, the time flies. It was interesting time; I got to choose and decide EVERYTHING, but before that, I had to learn to do it. I had to learn to live with a budget, to pay rent, fill forms, grocery shop and plan ahead. 7 years later, I know how to do that, I guess I'm an adult.

My tips for moving out of your parents house

1. Start early: Find information, learn, shop for things you'll need in your own home, save money, build your self-esteem, make sure you'll have everything needed, like an insurance, make a realistic budget and learn to make healthy and cheap food.
2. Have a good routine: When you move out, try to have a  good routine; don't go to bed too late and clean your apartment regularly. And remember to eat a warm meal! It's hard to change your ways, so start to "live good" from the very beginning.
3. Be smart: You are free to make your own choices, so make smart ones. Stay in your budget and have self-discipline. Pay your bills in time. 
4. You don't always have to make your own mistakes: A part being smart is taking advice. You are surrounded by life-experts, who have made not so great decisions in some point in their lives. Life-experts, like your parents, are a great source of information. Use that information.
5. Explore, enjoy and make memories: Take pictures, hang out with your friends, see the world and try to understand it. Maybe you could make a difference.

My tips for parents whose kids are about to move into the real world 

1. Start early: Find information and read. This is a critical time in your child's life and she/he needs you. Raise your child in a way that she'll/he'll succeed in becoming an adult. Raise your child to be independent, smart and a "good person". Talk about this new phase with your child and plan together. Make sure your child saves money in case of an emergency. Teach your child to shop, cook, do laundry and clean. 
2. Make your "child" feel safe: Your child might be moving out, but make her/him know that you will always be there for her/him. You'll always help her/him, if asked. If your child is moving to another city, try to find a great support network, a group of adults who can help.
3. Be part of their new life: Visit your child's new home and let her/him be the host. Call regularly and don't let your relationship fade away. But remember to give space. 
4. Acceptance: You're little baby has grown up. It's her/his time to choose and decide. Don't manipulate. Don't try to get your own way.  
5. Explore, enjoy and make memories: This is a new phase in your live too. Explore it. See the world, learn new skills and get to know your adult child. Have fun together!

This book might help parents

Dennis Trittin and Arlyn Lawrence have written a book called Parenting for the Launch: Raising Teens to Succeed in the Real World. I recommend the book; it has workable exercises, it's easy and fast to read, it gives insight and practical tips. I'm not a parent, still the book was interesting to read, probably because, I'm studying to become a guidance counselor. (I got this book from Icon Media Group) 

Photo credit: Drew Coffman, CC BY 2.0

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