Failure to Launch/Boomerang Kids: Part 2

“Welcome Home.  When are you leaving?”

A Parent’s Guide to Boomerang Kids - Part 2

Prevent the Comeback:  How to prepare high school kids not to become boomerang kids

  1. Parent with a long view.  Let the decisions you make on a daily basis be for more than the here and now.  Worry less about raising happy kids and more about raising responsible, resilient, resourceful kids.  
  2. Identify areas for reduced support.  Where could you take a step back to allow for great independence – financial, relational, or logistical support?  Having your child do their own laundry, setting their own alarm in the mornings rather than waking them up, paying for their own car insurance or managing a debit card through online banking.  
  3. Nurture an independent learner.  While most schools allow for checking grades online, avoid the tendency to do so on a daily basis.  Too much academic involvement creates dependent learners.  I’ve worked with too many young man who were National Merit Scholars, Valedictorians or Salutatorians, who managed to flunk themselves out of school in one to two semesters because no one was prompting, nagging or “checking in” on them.
  4. Avoid lecturing.  Adolescents are primarily experiential learners.  If your daughter or son is caught abusing substances, the Internet or even curfew, give them strong consequences and let the consequence do the teaching.  A great resource in this area is a book called Parenting Teens with Love and Logic by Cline and Faye.  
  5. Parent in Community.  Adolescence is one of the most complicated seasons of development.  We all need support and community.  Have parents you can pray with, talk with and learn from.  Talk openly with parents who are in a similar moment of parenting about decisions they are making with their teenagers.  Equally important is to talk with parents of young adult and adult children, who have successfully launched, to learn from their wisdom.