The day has come, or so you thought. Your child has grown up and is now legally an adult. The only problem is they don’t want to leave home. Now what? Preparing your adult children to successfully leave the nest is possible but it takes intentionality.

We can feel guilty kicking our kids to the curb. It can feel like they should be able to stay at home for as long as they need. But chances are that tensions have been building as young adults are not children anymore and sometimes don’t appreciate their parent’s input in their lives.

But part of their development depends on them learning how to adult apart from parental intervention. A parent’s job is to lead their children to successfully navigate their way into adulthood where they can support and take care of themselves. So how do we do that?

Build Better Expectations

Don’t spring your young adult children’s future departure on them. Set the expectation for their departure and help them to understand that it is best for them to become independent. Set benchmarks along the way so they can see their progress and be involved in their eventual departure which is a hallmark of their maturity and success.

Build Better Boundaries

Boundaries are essential for solid family relationships. When adult children understand that their parents are allowed to have boundaries in their own home, the relationship is less strained and they aren’t as likely to take advantage of their parent’s provision. Setting clear boundaries allows for freedom in the relationship rather than confinement.

Build Better Preparation

Increase the responsibility in your young adult children until they have “liftoff” into adulthood. You might start with them doing their own laundry when they are in elementary school. Then when they are driving a car, they pay for their own cell phone and car insurance. Slowly they begin to understand that they must be responsible for themselves.

Build Better Vision

Help your young adult children to have a plan to leave their own legacy. Help them to craft a godly life built on faith in Jesus where their actions model their beliefs. When they have freedom on their own, parents want to know they have the character and vision to make wise decisions.

Letting go of our adult children is hard on many levels. But navigating that process is easier when we don’t allow entitlement or enablement to blur our vision and preparation of their hearts for their future.