It all began several years ago when I was a Boy Scouts of America troop leader helping hundreds of boys cross over into adulthood and become individuals being in service to their community. I also worked with many parents and what I learned is that the older siblings of the young Scouts were often continuing to live at home into adulthood, or were returning home after a stint away. Oftentimes, parents would make offhand comments about how they wished their older children had gone through Scouting, or had learned to grow up and stand on their own two feet.
I thought this was curious and didn't give it much thought until each of my kids were living at home after high school, not going to college, lazing about playing games, hanging out with unsavory individuals, and being unproductive both around the house and for themselves.
I was frustrated and started making threats, being mean, and finding myself at odds with my wife about getting the kids to leave the nest. She had her ideas, and I had mine. Most of the time we were at loggerheads to get anything done, and the kids could see that. So, I began slowly Implementing different steps and actions that were supportive of getting my children to stand on their own two feet and furthering the process of moving out of the house. There were ups and downs, successes and failures, and even points in time where we came back full circle to the beginning. However, I began to gain some traction with both my wife and each adult child.
The results of my efforts are proving to be successful. Most importantly, I learned that each of my adult children is uniquely different one from the other. Treating them both the same did not work, although by being in communication with both of them and being transparent they learned from one another as well as from my wife and myself. My daughter is now working full-time and has a happy relationship, standing on her own two feet and away from home. My son has held down a full-time job for over two and a half years, and has finally begun to see what he needs to do to move forward in life. He is aggressively seeking more knowledge, hands-on experience, and a higher-paying job. And, most importantly is my wife is a lot happier!