Fly the Coop or Kick Them out of the Nest

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When you hold your newborn baby in your arms and cry tears of joy, you are not thinking of the day they will leave home to go out on their own, right?  When you see their first steps, you don’t think that someday they will walk out of your home to step into their future, right?  When they go to school on the first day, you are not thinking about the day they will go off to college, right?  About the time your child goes into high school, you begin to think about the loss of them leaving home into their adulthood. The first time they drive away from you in the car by themselves, reality begins to hit.  Your little baby is growing up and will not need you as much anymore.

Even though we might get excited at how successful they might be, our hearts are being torn a little at a time.  You used to know everything they were doing (or so you thought), drove them to and from practices, games, recitals, school events, and church activities.  There was energy from the time they woke up to the time they finally went to bed.  There were birthday parties, celebrations and holidays spent with family, maybe hours spent in front of a t.v. while cuddling your kids.  Now, all of a sudden, you realize…those days are coming to a close.

The months leading up to their graduation are a mix of excitement and Kleenex.  Weeks are spent preparing for the day you drive them to their new home…college.  Is this happening?!  Wait!  I’m not ready!

For many families, there has been a lot of trauma and one less person in the house may sound like a great idea.  For some, they have not prepared their children to live on their own, and be independent.  Many single parents can’t handle the thought, many times, of being alone, so they hang on for dear life.  Kids are then filled with feelings of pity for their parents, insecurity about making it on their own and strong loyalty to their parent.  There are even parents who have not set their kids up for success by insisting they get a high school diploma, then can’t figure out why their kids struggle in establishing a career.

This transition is challenging and emotional for parents and their adult kids alike. Every family is different and every individual is different, so there is no solid right or wrong way to help them “fly the coop.”  The key, in my belief, is to not enable them to hang on to mommy or daddy, but to surrender them to their Heavenly Parent.  If we have taught them to run to Him, seek Him, listen to His Spirit and rest in Him, AND if we have done all we can to prepare them for independence, and personal success, then we can let them fly instead of just kicking them out of the nest.  They will learn from their mistakes and bad choices, just like we did.  We grow the most through struggles, right?   It’s their turn.

TIPS:  Advise and give your opinion only when asked.  Pray continually.  Trust God has your adult child in His sight and just like for us, He will never leave them or forsake them either.

This Tuesday, April 12, at 2pm ET, we will have a dynamic author and speaker, Michele Howe, as our Chained No More Talk Radio guest.  Her topic will be “Empty Nest AND Parenting Adult Children? HELP!”.  You will be encouraged and taught how to work through this transition in your family.