Helping Your Millennial Learn to Adult
Let’s face it. More and more adult children are moving back home.
In fact, 1 in 3 adult children, ages 25- to 34-years-old, live at home according to the Census Bureau. Out of the millennials who live at home, 1 in 4 don’t work or go to school. In other words, 2.2 million millennials live at their parents’ home without making any progress to become an adult.
But millennials aren’t the only ones with problems.
Instead of letting their kids take responsibility for their lives, some parents try to rescue them. But the more times they rescue their adult child, the harder it will be for their adult child to grow up.
If your millennial child is having a hard time learning to adult, here are some do’s and don’ts to helping them.
Do Let Your Millennial Take Responsibility
“For each one should carry their own load.” – Galatians 6:5
As a parent, you need to stop blaming yourself for every bad choice that your child makes. Your adult child is responsible for his or her own life. It is, however, your responsibility to love them and raise them to become an adult.
Don’t Criticize or Compare Your Millennial
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10
Don’t scold your adult child for their mistakes, or compare them with their siblings. No one likes someone with a holier-than-thou attitude. Let your child know that you love them, and that they don’t need to look to you for approval. Instead, encourage them to develop self-worth based on how God—not other people—sees them.
Do Tell Your Millennial About Your Own Mistakes
“The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” – Psalm 145:14
If you want to connect with your millennial, humbly tell them about a time in your life when you messed up. But don’t stop there! Let them know about what you learned from your mistakes and how you got through those difficult times in your life.
Don’t Enable Your Millennial
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” – Galatians 6:7
Allow your millennial to experience the painful consequences of their irresponsible behavior. If your adult child lives with you and has done anything to break the law, let him or her know that they have to face the consequences of their actions. They can go seek professional help or you can contact the authorities, but they can’t live at your house.
Do Pray For Your Millennial
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.” – Colossians 1:9
Don’t take over for your millennial child. If you do, it will hinder their success and enable them to be more dependent on you. But pray for them each day and allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives.
Don’t Protect Your Millennial From Failure
“If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!” – Proverbs 24:10
Teaching your millennial that it’s okay to fail is one of the most important things that you will ever do as a parent. When they have to face the consequences for their irresponsible behavior, they grow and mature. So instead of paying for their bills, let them know that they will have to get a job and learn to manage their money.
Do Let Go of Your Millennial
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…” – Galatians 5:1
Letting go of your adult child means giving them freedom to live their life how they want to. Ultimately, you are not responsible for your child’s choices in life or his behavior. Instead, you want your child to take responsibility for his own life and depend on Christ and healthy relationships to give him or her strength.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Honest with Your Millennial
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” – 1 Corinthians 13:6
Have an honest, open talk with your 20- to 30-something and say, “We made a mistake…we goofed! We love you; however, we failed to raise you to become an adult.” Let your child know that you won’t bail them out anymore, and ask them to come up with a plan for how they can become self-sufficient. Finally, follow-up with them to make sure that they are really taking steps to get out on their own.
Do Set a Deadline for Your Millennial
“The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:10
If your millennial is still living at home and is not making any progress toward becoming an adult, give them a deadline to get a full-time job and find another place to live. Require them to see a Christian counselor and attend a support group. At the halfway point to the deadline, make sure you meet with them and find out where they’re at on their job search and looking for a place to stay.
Once the deadline comes, your millennial should have a job and another place to live. However, if they still refuse to take responsibility for themselves, you may need to ask them leave your home. At this point, you may also need to contact the authorities in your area to enlist their help.
Don’t Keep Rescuing Your Millennial
“A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty; rescue them, and you will have to do it again.” – Proverbs 19:19
It’s easy to try to rescue your millennial child from any problems that they find themselves in. They may even ask you for food, money, and a place to live because they know you will keep rescuing them. But the more you rescue them, the more trouble they may find themselves in because they think you’ll always be there to bail them out.
Is it easy to parent a millennial child who is struggling to become an adult? No! But with a few biblical principles in place, you can help your millennial learn to adult in no time.