Financial literacy, financial responsiblity-teens and young adults, Helicopter parent, life skills, motivation, parenting, Parenting humor, Parenting teens and young adults, parenting young adults, teaching financial responsibility

How to Keep Your Young Adult From Moving Out* *Disregard if you’re ready for an empty nest…

If you’re looking for some ideas to keep your young adult at home forever, I’ve come up with some great tips.  These ideas will be especially helpful for parents of those who have decided that their education is complete or those who have completed college or trade school and are in imminent danger of moving out into the world.

 

  1. Make sure that you perform all of your parental cooking duties with regularity and without complaint. Do NOT trouble them with worrying about where their next meal is coming from and whether or not they have the time, energy or inclination to cook and clean up.  Keep the fridge and pantry full of their favorite snacks and be willing to make a special trip to the store just as soon as a special item has been depleted.

 

  1. Do their laundry regularly. If they don’t put it in the laundry basket, you’ll have to gather it yourself.  No respectable parent would ever allow their young adult offspring to be traumatized by running out of clean underwear!    Be sure that when you clean their sheets you make the bed afterwards.  After all, they didn’t ASK you to tear apart their bed.

 

  1. Don’t ask for any help with chores. After all, it’s YOUR house, so you shouldn’t impose YOUR standards of cleanliness on them.  Even their own room should either be cleaned by you or left untouched.  It’s ok though; since they will always be living with you, they will never need to learn to keep things tidy in order to successfully coexist with a roommate or a significant other.  Besides, they need to use their spare time to play video games and catch up on their favorites shows. 

 

  1. Ensure that they have the freedom to host friends both day and night.  Don’t embarrass them by expecting them to ask you for permission.  After all, they are adults now!  When the boyfriend/girlfriend sleeps over, don’t make them feel awkward.  They have their own room and nobody is bothering you.  Leaving a tray of snacks outside their door is a very kind gesture.

 

  1. Always make sure you provide them with a nice vehicle to drive. Never expect them to be responsible for any aspect of said vehicle. A loving parent would provide a gas card, perform routine maintenance (oil changes) and clean the car regularly.  Be sure you pay the insurance and that you place a valid insurance card inside the vehicle.

 

  1. Continue to pay their personal expenses. You’re expecting far too much if you expect them to buy their clothes, cell phone, car insurance, car expenses or any other cost that is directly attributed to them.  Any parental expectations of this kind will negatively impact the stock prices of such companies as Starbucks, Pink, Apple and Game Stop.  As you can see, if you were to expect financial accountability, you would be unpopular with not only your own family, but a wide range of shareholders as well!

 

  1. Don’t expect them to work at a job that is beneath their dignity. After all, wasn’t YOUR first job in management? Ok, I know, that was probably not the case.  But you shouldn’t expect them to go to a place where the people in charge are mean to them when they do not perform as expected.   Don’t encourage them to stay in such an abusive work environment!

 If you follow all of the suggestions listed above, you can be relatively sure that they will never leave the nest.  Just continue to keep up your part to ensure your reservation in the “good” nursing home!

If, however, your goal is to raise financially competent young adults who are able to move out on their own, check out some other articles by The Launch Lady.    www.the-launch-lady.com/about

Adulting, college, Financial literacy, financial responsiblity-teens and young adults, life skills, money, parenting, Parenting teens and young adults, parenting young adults, teaching financial responsibility

Bill of Rights For Parents of Young Adults

Bill of rights

The unwritten parental constitution has changed immensely over the last 50 years.  In earlier times, parents had a lot more expectations for their kids.  Maybe it was just the way it was in that era or maybe it was out of sheer necessity.  More recently, parents in general can’t seem to do enough for their kids, even when they are pressed for both time and money.  If we don’t accommodate all of their desires, then we have tremendous guilt.    I get it.  I’ve had plenty of guilt, but not because I didn’t love and care for my kids.  It’s because I said no to many of the things other kids took for granted.  Like smart phones.  Before you judge me too harshly, just know that mine had a flip phone which they got for 8th grade graduation.   I wanted to teach delayed gratification and that trying to “keep up with the Joneses” was neither wise nor sustainable.

Continue reading “Bill of Rights For Parents of Young Adults”

Financial literacy, life skills, parenting

What Happened To My Little Girl?

Shanny

I loathe goodbyes.  It’s not like she had never been away from home.  For the last two years, she lived in an apartment at college.  But this was different.  She was packing EVERYTHING.  It was moving day and I thought I had everything under control.  Well, actually THEY had everything under control.  I wasn’t exactly sure of my role anymore.  I thought I would be part of a caravan helping to transport all of their collective “stuff” to a neighboring state…until I learned they wanted to do it all themselves.  Why should I have been surprised?  Every parenting decision I had made up until this point had been made with the end in mind.  My goal was to help create young ladies who could successfully navigate life without me.  I suspect his parents subscribed to some of my beliefs as well in order to have created a college-educated, card-carrying adult who assumed the role of husband just after he turned 22.  Continue reading “What Happened To My Little Girl?”

Adulting, life skills, military, mother love, motivation, parenting, Parenting teens and young adults

An Open Letter From Drill Sergeant Mom to Her Domestic Platoon

military-662863_1920
As I was sorting through some old papers today, I ran across this old gem. While I was in my active parenting phase, I took my job very seriously. It was very important to me that I raised my daughters to be responsible, contributing members of society. I spent a great deal of time and effort planning and thinking of parenting strategies. Given my military background, I am not quick to accept excuses. Though it may sound a bit harsh to some, here is what the letter said: Continue reading “An Open Letter From Drill Sergeant Mom to Her Domestic Platoon”

college, financial responsiblity-teens and young adults, life skills, parenting, Parenting teens and young adults, parenting young adults, Veterans Day

Launch Lady Veteran’s Day Edition

flag (2)

Today is a special day, and for me, it is a day of introspection and gratitude.   It has been more than three decades since I last wore the uniform, but my time as an active duty military service member helped to shape me into the person that I am today.   When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to get out.  Now that I’m older, I feel more pride with each passing year.  I’m a huge proponent of raising independent young adults and my own experience assures me that it is possible.  Military service is a viable option for all healthy young adults, both male and female.   Today, I had an epiphany about my personal fears which led to deeper gratitude.  I wanted to go the Veteran’s Day ceremony today, but had decided not to because my husband was working and I didn’t want to go alone.  Then I remembered that when I went to boot camp, I didn’t have a husband.  Each time I checked into a new command (6 times), I did so without a husband or a parent. That realization was all I needed to spur me to action.  Within an hour, I was standing tall with my brothers and sisters.  I spent a good part of the rest of the day talking to people I didn’t know at the local American Legion post.  It was a very good day!  I’d like to talk a little about how you can encourage your kids to make the best of the opportunities that are presented to them.  Here are some of the things I learned from my personal experience: Continue reading “Launch Lady Veteran’s Day Edition”

Adulting, financial responsiblity-teens and young adults, life skills, parenting, Parenting teens and young adults, parenting young adults, teaching financial responsibility

You’re Ready for Little Johnny to Move Out But He Can’t Find a Roommate?

Little Johnny

A few decades ago in a state far, far away there were two young ladies dispatched to the same military base at the same time.  Because they were coming from the same school, arriving at the new base within a short time AND they were both female, they were OBVIOUSLY meant to be roommates.  They accepted this belief without question.  The young sailors looked at a couple of apartments before they finally settled into a quiet, two bedroom, two bath, first floor unit.    The older and wiser of the two was a very sweet young lady with a thick Alabama accent which so intrigued the younger and far more obnoxious one of the mismatched duo.  The sweet one could scarcely utter a sentence without having a few of her southernisms regurgitated back to her with a poorly imitated accent.  The southern belle was far too kind to smack her roommate so she politely resigned herself to six months of dysfunctional living.   Continue reading “You’re Ready for Little Johnny to Move Out But He Can’t Find a Roommate?”

Adulting, life skills, mother love, parenting, parenting young adults, wedding

A Tale of Two Weddings- (But Mostly About One)

Kelsey and Matt

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  But this story is mostly about the best!  2018 was a pretty big year in Launch Lady Land.  For the second time in 85 days, there was another wedding.   The same week my youngest daughter got married in June, her older sister announced her engagement.  Being the frugal one that I am, I suggested that she just step right on up to the priest when her sister was done (don’t worry, my perfectionist younger one, I wasn’t serious).  It didn’t happen.

Just as in daily life, their wedding choices highlighted their extreme personality differences.  They both received the same wedding stipend but used it so differently.  My traditional youngest daughter spent all of hers, and then some, on a more formal event that took a whole year to plan.  She scoured the etiquette books to do everything “correctly” according to tradition.  Her very practical sister, who had just bought a new home, took the much more frugal route and chose her dad’s and stepmom’s back yard as the venue for the wedding and reception.  She couldn’t see the point of having a large, one-time party when she could buy a fence for her newly purchased back yard!  The thought of watching her wedding guests ingest surf and turf did not give her as much pleasure as imagining her two large dogs sprinting freely around her fenced back yard.   I suggested she treat her guests to a nice ramen noodle buffet or peanut butter and jelly bar, but in the end, the fajita bar was a tasty, yet non-traditional choice.   Gluten-free macaroons graced the dessert table which would normally contain a wickedly gluten filled wedding cake. Though it was a small afternoon affair, the tee totaling bride and groom did not deprive their guests of adult beverages. Continue reading “A Tale of Two Weddings- (But Mostly About One)”

Adulting, Financial literacy, financial responsiblity-teens and young adults, life skills, parenting, Parenting teens and young adults, parenting young adults, teaching financial responsibility

Teach a Kid to Fish and She’ll Eat For a Lifetime

Launch lady tax check

As an avid reader of Napoleon Hill’s philosophy, I have read that one of man’s greatest fears is the threat of poverty.  Though I have never personally experienced abject poverty, I know well some who have.  I do know what it is like to have to make tough choices. I know what it is like to have $5 left until payday with no savings account or safety net. This was part of what drove my decision to enlist in the US Navy when I was still a teenager.  In retrospect, it was one of the best things I could have done, though it didn’t feel like it at the time.  I was given the chance to be wholly accountable for my outcomes.  It was an excellent training ground to learn countless life lessons.  I am far from being a financial expert, but I continue to learn.  My drive to learn is so I can teach others what I wish I had known at a much younger age.  My own daughters have always had a safety net and sometimes find it hard to comprehend (or tolerate) what I am trying to teach them.  What I offer is perspective by asking the following question: “When our children no longer have parents to consult with (or get subsidies from) how will they manage to get along financially?”  I am a fervent believer in “If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day; if you teach him to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime.”   Here are just a few things I’ve tried to teach my kids that you might find helpful as you try to teach life skills to yours: Continue reading “Teach a Kid to Fish and She’ll Eat For a Lifetime”

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Teens Without Screens: How to Lure Them Away From WiFi While Promoting Financial Responsibility

lawn mower

Lots of parents today are trying to figure out how to keep their teens productively busy.  Most of us will agree that there should be time devoted to just being a kid.  But the job of a kid has changed over the years.  Being a kid used to mean activities like playing board games, jumping rope, playing softball and hide and seek as well as many other activities that included imagination, physical activity, teamwork, mental stimulation and fresh air. Being a teen used to include hanging out with friends, attending school functions and seeing the occasional movie.   Today’s youth seem to have a more limited set of activities, many of which fill time rather than contribute to wonderful childhood memories. Examples of this are watching television, playing video games, and using electronic devices such as smartphones, computers and tablets.  Basically, if they need electricity (and Wi-Fi) to have fun, I have alternate ideas.  Not ideas for entertainment, but ways to make money while fostering a sense of responsibility, creativity and accomplishment. This is not directed to the parents who are perfectly fine with the status quo.  If you are a parent who wants to redirect the energy of your teens without them having a traditional part time job, read on for suggestions.

Childcare

Parents are always looking for babysitters and a great one can make some serious cash these days! The best way to find a job is through word of mouth.   I found a good one when my kids were small.  You know you’ve found a professional when she shows up with a backpack filled with activities.    She was confident, popular, and not shy about stating her rate.  I loved that she had other plans besides watching a movie with my girls!  When my youngest daughter was bored, she would go play with the twins that lived behind us.  They were much younger than her, but I’m sure their mom appreciated that she kept them occupied for a while and I was happy that she found something creative to do!

Pet Care

I realize that childcare is not for everyone, but pet care is appealing to a pretty wide audience.  There are many different opportunities.

  • Vacation Care: We used to have a neighbor boy come and take care of our guinea pig and later on our dogs while we were on vacation.  It was fun for him because he didn’t have pets.  It was less expensive for us than taking the dogs to a kennel.  Though they never said, I think the dogs appreciated not being locked up in a cage for a week.
  • Dog-walking:   Lots of people would love to have someone stop by during the day to walk their dog or provide some companionship.  This is a great summer opportunity, but can even be done after school for those who get out early enough.
  • Yard clean up:  Being a Pooper Scooper is not a glamorous job, but the opportunities are everywhere and there is the potential for higher pay and less competition!

Cleaning Trash Cans

I have a friend whose teens got paid to clean out trash cans this summer.   Everybody has one and most people would probably be happy to delegate the job if someone were to just show up and make the offer!  Just like Pooper Scooper, the potential for pay is higher than average and the competition will be lower.

 Light Housework

With all of the working folks being so busy these days, there is bound to be someone close by who would pay to have someone vacuum, clean bathrooms or kitchens, dust or any other task that can be negotiated.  My daughter organized the pantry for me recently, which I appreciated immensely since her organizational skills are far better than my own!  I just had a conversation with friends who told me that their 6-year-old assists in cleaning the floors and bathrooms.   There is great satisfaction in learning to do a job competently and parents can encourage that with plenty of praise and patience.

Cooking

Many working families would love the opportunity to come home to the occasional meal prepared by a competent and willing chef.   The cuisine does not even need to be complicated…just ready to eat!

Cutting Grass

I’ve lived in my current home for more than 12 years.  Not once has someone knocked on my door and offered to mow the grass.  At my house, there were two teenaged girls to cut the grass and occasionally, I did it myself.    I’m not going to lie; they didn’t love it, but I was perfectly ok with that.  I view the task as an abundant opportunity for anyone regardless of age or gender.  The same friends with the floor cleaning 6-year-old have an 8-year-old son.  He is already beginning to cut the grass at home while his father works with him to do the detailed work.  He even had the neighbors ask him to cut their lawn!

Raking Leaves

This opportunity is obviously regional and seasonal, but is great for filling a need for someone else while earning money and getting fresh air.

Shoveling Snow

Again, this one is regional and seasonal.  Last winter, we had a lot of snow in a short time.  I had help shoveling for the first two days, but on the third day, I was alone and exhausted.  I had read in our neighborhood’s on-line forum that there was a young man in his early teens who was traveling around the vicinity with a snow blower.  I was very excited; not just to find help, but to see a young man who was aggressively pursuing an opportunity to earn.  Read more about Tyler in “Today a Flying Unicorn Landed in My Driveway”.  https://wordpress.com/post/the-launch-lady.com/98

Homework Help

Some teens are qualified to provide tutoring to younger children.  This includes assistance with reading, math and test preparation.   Parents of younger children will appreciate having a respectable teen as a role model for their child.

Technology Assistance

Speaking from personal experience, not everyone is comfortable with today’s technology.  Every time I get a new computer or phone, I enlist the help of one of my favorite millennials to get it set up!  There are a lot of people like me out there who don’t have their own millennials to ask for help.

What all of these jobs have in common is that opportunities are abundant, flexible and are usually within walking distance.  I know that we are all well aware that these opportunities exist, but for some reason, I don’t hear of many teens capitalizing on most of them.

These opportunities to earn are some of the more obvious ones.   There are so many ways to grow your family’s economy that can fit in around school and family time yet still allow for plenty of free time for enjoyable activities.  Just because we are able to give our kids so much more than our parents gave us doesn’t mean we should.  I know many present day teens and young adults who have learned self-sufficiency at an early age because more has been expected of them compared with their peers.  I can assure you that they will appreciate money earned far more than any handouts received.  Finding opportunities to earn at an earlier age also provides a great start to money management.  Earning allows teens to set short term goals like buying a video game or long term goals such as buying a vehicle or saving for college. As you help coach them to find ways to earn, be sure to keep your own gender bias from getting in the way.  I grew up in a family with all girls and then I had only daughters.  As a result, I’ve defied the boundaries for tasks that were traditionally thought to be assigned to a specific gender. The best part about these options is that they are not only for teens but anyone who is looking to earn spare cash.  You would be doing a great service to your offspring if you don’t give them the impression that they are above doing any of these tasks.  In my opinion, any job on this list is far more desirable than college debt (or any debt at all)!

What Can a Parent Do To Increase Motivation?

  • Severely limit all screen time which just might bore them to death
    • Drop them off at the library when they can’t find something to do
  • Give them responsibility for some of their wants
    • Cars are great motivators to earn
    • Smartphones are also great for inspiring one to work
    • Cash for movies, fast food, etc.

I hope you find these ideas to be useful or can see them in a different perspective from before. Word of mouth or on-line neighborhood forums are great places to find these jobs.  If you see a home that is perpetually in need of yard maintenance, help your teen learn initiative by offering to walk up to the door with them as they ask for the job.   My goal has always been to teach my girls to become independent young adults after their formal education ended.  Whether you share my goal or if you are just trying to keep them from too many non-productive pursuits, I hope this has been helpful.   Please share if you think this can help someone else.  Leave a comment if you have some other earning ideas or if you have a story of an amazing child, teen or young adult that you’d like to share.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adulting, cats, college, earn money, Financial literacy, financial responsiblity-teens and young adults, life skills, mother love, motivation, parenting, Parenting teens and young adults, parenting young adults, teaching financial responsibility

How This 19-Year-Old Found a Way to Conquer the World on Her Own Terms

Kelsey and her kitty

I grew up believing that 18 was a magical age.  I could not WAIT to turn 18 so I could be independent and do things my own way.  I was bred to be both independent and credit worthy.  I still have my original JCPenney credit card that I’ve had for well over 3 decades.  Filling out the application was probably how I celebrated my 18th!  I had a “soft launch” shortly after 18 when I moved in with a friend.  I paid a pittance for rent while I learned to navigate life totally independent of my parents.  Since I didn’t have a car at this point, my friend was gracious enough to shuttle my pathetic a$$ to the laundromat.  Getting to work required that I either negotiate with coworkers or walk.   After a few months of this, home started looking pretty appealing, so I went home long enough to buy a car. After I got my mobility machine, the independent streak really kicked in and I moved out again.  My early independence is what helped shape my views as a parent.

Thirty-one years later, I was the parent of a teenager who had been bred to be both independent and credit worthy.  We were both brand new graduates; college for me and high school for her.  She entered her first year of community college as she had been groomed to do.   Unfortunately, she hated it.  She hated everything including the town we lived in.  She felt trapped by expectation and didn’t want to waste the time or money to complete college when she had no particular aspirations.  I didn’t try to fight her.  My own experience had shown me that if you really want to accomplish a higher education, then you’ll make it happen when the time is right.  I simply told her that if she chose to end her education that it would be time to be an adult with grown-up responsibilities.

I must digress a bit and talk about what happened the year before.  Her senior year of high school was only one class, so she worked full time.  When I saw how she was spending her money, I brainstormed for a plan.  We sat down and calculated some numbers as though she were going to move out to give her an idea about what “life” costs.  We came up with a figure that she would need to pay her own way.  Then she was given the following two options:

  • Pay the agreed upon sum to me to contribute to household expenses
    • I never told her but I would have saved it and given it to her when she moved out
  • Put the money in her savings account each month with the stipulation that it could not be withdrawn and that I would look at the statement each month to hold her accountable

I persisted even though she thought I just wanted her money.  My true mission, in addition to inspiring her independence, was to minimize the cash that she had been handling so frivolously. I was glad that she chose what most would agree was the only intelligent choice.  My mission was accomplished when she was able to eventually leave home with several thousand dollars in the bank.  She also did a soft launch by moving in with a friend right after she turned 19, but came home a few months later.  What she did next floored even me!

Three months after her 19th birthday, she informed me that she had found a job on-line and was moving to Utah which was almost 1,400 miles from home.  She had gotten a phone interview at a popular ski resort and was hired, sight unseen.  I guess hospitality workers must be hard to find!  She bought an airplane ticket and made it happen.  I remember going with her when she closed her bank account.  The banker, a young man who appeared to be only slightly older than her, told her how lucky she was.  I reminded her that she wasn’t lucky; she had made the decision and she was making it happen.  I had a mixture of emotions which ranged from pride to fear.  When her dad decided to fly there with her, I cried.   With my independent streak, it had never even occurred to me to do so.  She was mortified, of course, but I was grateful that he had taken that extra step to help her ease into her transition given the sometimes sinister deceptions on the internet.

She met a lot of different people while working in Utah.  Many of them were college educated yet not ready to grow up.  She didn’t have the benefit of much college yet, but she was receiving a most valuable education!  The first place she lived was in the worker housing with two roommates that she had been placed with.  The room was not included in the employment offer; they had to pay out of each check.  For anyone who has done any time in a barracks or college dorm room, I think you get the idea.  You end up living with people you don’t know and you learn how to deal with all types.  I watched in awe as she took advantage of all the amenities Utah had to offer.   After a couple years, she moved with a friend to Texas.  Four years wiser and infinitely more street savvy, she returned to her roots bringing with her a sassy feline companion.  I was thrilled to have her back home with me for almost a year as she transitioned back to the area and continued to do amazing things.

Six years from the time she first moved out, I look at the things she has done and what she continues to do.  She is preparing to buy her first home and get married to a wonderful and ambitious young man.  She’s working her way through college and dabbling in different careers.   She’s learned that you can’t run away from yourself; unfortunately, your problems go with you.  She left home a surly teenager and came back a grateful, positive, street-wise and confident young lady.

My beautiful daughter is in transition so I sit here today with her cat, who I am fostering, until she gets settled into her new home.  I have not been able to instill the same independence in the cat.  Though it is a common perception that cats are independent creatures, just listen to the squalls when you fail to put kibbles in their dish at the appointed time!  I have found myself obsessing over the cat just a bit too often these days so I’m trying to focus on my writing instead.   I will miss them both as they get settled into their next phase (to see what happened to the cat, read Eviction Papers Served-Launch Lady Style ) I think my firstborn now understands that I didn’t want her money.  What I wanted was her happiness and her respect, and I’m very grateful to have experienced both.