Have you started your son’s exit plan?
First, clearly this is not about “kicking your son out of the house” into a scary world without preparation. It is exactly the opposite-it is responsible parenting, preparing him to be a responsible, independent and healthy adult.
Exit Plans Are Necessary
I often hear from parents that their adult son is not motivated or doesn’t have goals; my first question is “does he have an “exit plan?” I lay out specific steps to follow in my blog Parenting-3 Step Process to Developing an Exit Plan.
Allow me to share a letter from a parent struggling to get their son on the road to independence.
Dear Dr. Clay,I have to take a moment to thank you. Thank you for meeting with my husband and I. It was a much needed consultation. I have renewed hope for our son, and every word you spoke I so needed to hear. Thank you for your frankness. My new motto is “empower, not enable”! And that’s just what we have been doing. Baby steps, but today he made his own breakfast, and is running his own errands! This may seem laughable that I’m happy about that for our 20 something year-old, but it is progress. The television interview I saw you do, reading your book, and now meeting you has only reinforced our belief that you know what you’re doing and you are changing lives! Thank you for using your own horrible life experiences to help others! We are excited about working with you to heal old wounds and to see our son come into the fullness of enjoying his life and using his talents to their fullest extent!We’ve spoken to our son about seeing you. We’ve shared with him your philosophy and he said it totally makes sense to him (which is a big statement for him). Again, we can’t thank you enough. Keep doing what you’re doing for boys and men. It’s so needed in our world today!
Be prepared to “nudge” and empower him, he needs that from you. Let him know you have his back and you have confidence in him. This framework will give him:
Vision + action = mission and provide a path to follow towards his exit.
There’s an epidemic of 26-year olds living at home in the basement playing video games and/or smoking pot. Parents must lay the groundwork and foundation with their son’s and develop the “exit plan” before it’s too late! You don’t have a child so that they can be dependent on you for life-do you? Raise them to be healthy, happy and independent adults; to be productive citizens and make their life better.
I know many moms out there who don’t like the thought of an exit plan, they would rather take care of their kids forever. Let’s be realistic! Also understand that is becoming a real possibility these days. It’s a disservice to your son (it deters him from becoming a whole person), I know that’s the last thing you want for your child.