Financial responsibility means a young adult creates a plan for self-sufficiency — beginning with the basics of having a formal banking system to budgeting for daily necessities to short term and long term planning. It is also determining needs versus wants. If a young adult lives at home, a small rent should be required, just to get them in the habit of seeing to the financial reality of “needs.” College loans have thrown a huge wrench in independence. As parents, you can guide this debt process and offer suggestions for strategies and meeting with financial planning professionals. If they do return home, have a contract or tight verbal agreement of expectations; financial, household contributions and communication.
A very unrealistic expectation is for young adults to live a lifestyle at the same level that they have grown accustomed to. Because parents feel so uncomfortable that their child may go without something, they feel compelled to alleviate the “pain” that they perceive they are in. The healthy response to “this is hard” should be “yes, it is,” not “how much do you need?” Managing adversity and struggles is a life-long process. The tough part of adversity is you rarely know when it is going to pay a visit. A parent wishing for a successful launch should differentiate between growing pains and adversity and communicate and act accordingly.
Understanding and helping to develop your child’s strengths and abilities will help you guide the goal setting process. We have decided that success is a path that is created by a series of logical and good choices. Taking a job doesn’t mean that career goals and expectations are on hold, it means your young adult is beginning to network, polish, create a routine/schedule, and stimulate his or her mind. Encourage them to make the job their own, do it with professionalism and keep their eyes open and resume prepared for the next good thing.