3 Ways to Grow Up

This is a topic that is very close to my heart and the reason for that is because I have met clients who, despite living abroad, were very much still dependent on all levels from their parents. I have heard stories from their parents paying for everything, whilst being employed, to asking their parents to get a cab for them by calling London based companies from Greece…

According to the latest census data, more than half of people aged 18 to 24 live with their parents, and roughly 13% of adults ages 24 to 35 do as well. While many of these young people are hard-working individuals, trying to save money to pay off school loans, buy a house, or start a business, some are simply children who remain dependent on their parents, unmotivated to live life on their own (something similar like the cases I mentioned above)… These children, though they may not mean to, can become emotionally and financially draining on their parents.

Here are three warning signs you may be an (adult) child who is still dependent on your parents, and three ways you can identify it.

Red Flags

1. You Let Your Parents Be Responsible For You

If you find yourself letting your parents deal with all your responsibilities, and you are perfectly happy to let them do it for you, you may have a problem. If you are non-productive while you expect your parents to take on a second job to pay off your debts or expenses, such as car insurance, it may be time to step up.

2. You are Constantly Borrowing Money from Them

It’s perfectly fine to get occasionally some financial help from your parents. But if you are constantly borrowing money from them because you can’t seem to hold down a job, and if you constantly promise to pay it back but never do, this is a red flag.

3. You Disrespect Your Parents

Young people who are struggling to find their place in the world and start their own life are often moody.. But there is a fine line between a bad mood and blatant disrespect towards your parents…

Do you seem respectful and even loving when you want or need help from them, and then become disrespectful or passive-aggressive should they say “no” to your requests? Although you are entitled to the benefit of the doubt and pass off this behaviour to those bad moods, this is a warning sign that you might be too needy…

Encourage Independence

It’s important that you explain to your parents that it’s high time they encouraged you to be independent. It’s equally important that you remain upbeat and avoid being adversarial when talking with them. Your parents will need to be calm yet firm in order to establish healthy boundaries in this relationship. Be prepared that it might be uncomfortable at the beginning but it will get better and easier with time.

1. Agree on a time limit

Sit down with your parents and discuss an exit plan. Yes, you may stay but only for an agreed amount of time.

2. Start Contributing

Having no financial responsibilities while living with your parents will not help you prepare for the real world. Discuss with your parents how you might contribute to the monthly expenses. If you are currently unemployed, ask them to do chores like gardening, grocery shopping, or cleaning.

3. Don’t indiscriminately get money

Borrowing money to get on your feet and make a car payment is one thing. But you cannot continue to get money forever. You may borrow money with the understanding it should be paid back.

Sometimes, having a heartfelt discussion with your parents can be difficult. At times like these, it’s often helpful to have a family therapist, a neutral third party, guide the discussion and make sure everyone is heard.

If you or a loved one is interested in taking a step further towards independence and adulthood, please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.

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