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From 19yod of KSVA--Home past 18

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My dear friend has a 20yo dd still at home, but she has some special needs, especially physical needs, and is taking a bit more time to mature.


I think most teens or adults living at home should be either going to school or contributing financially (or some other way) toward the family good.


These days I know many, many students who were delayed going into kindergarten, so that they are 18 or even 19 years old when they graduate. There's nothing wrong with this, and for some students, especially boys, it gives them a little extra time to mature before they go off to college.


As my sons become teenagers I see that they naturally become more independent. They will all graduate at either 17 or 18, and unless they go to college nearby, they will be moving out after they graduate high school. Why? Because young men need to start working, learning the ways of the world, learning how to recover from their own mistakes, learning how to support a family, and so on. I think time at home to contemplate the rest of one's life without having the responsibility of work, significant family responsibility, or school is a luxury that weakens a young person rather than strengthens them for the long run, and stresses their parents unnecessarily. Of course I'm speaking in generalities, but it was a fairly open-ended question.

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-At some point in life, you need to learn how to make choices on your own. This is not something that one can do at home.

-You also need to learn how to work out the challenges of life without a safety net. What if you forgot to buy food and are really hungry. What if you get locked out of your room. etc.

-You also have to figure out how you understand the values that have been inculcated at home in other contexts. What matters to you outside the millue of home? What is my identity?


People make mistakes, and some of these mistakes (drinking a lot at university) have consequences. However, college is a good place to make many mistakes-you won't be evicted, for example, if you fail to pay your housing on time like you might be in the real word, and there is help and community that is certainly not the case when on your own working. I can't imagine how moving to a strange city for work would have been had I not had college first as a way to figure out what living on my own was without the pressure of no community.


I don't think there is anything wrong with living at home after high school; in fact, I moved back in with my parents for several months after I finished my degree to save money while working. However, I think spending time on your own is very important for young adults at some point in the 18-22 range. Not doing so can prevent one from developing the independent judgment that is a crucial mark of an adult.


Parents, your children won't forget all the good you have taught them because they leave home. There are certainly circumstances when living at home is a good choice, but often in home school circles there is the idea that kids shouldn't go out in the world because they will lose their faith, or whatever values their parents hold to. Having spent 18 or so years teaching these values, you should give your children an opportunity to 'own' them.


Samuel, who can still dimly remember his 19 year-old self.

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I wasn't sure which thread to put this under.


A thought on staying at home that may not be relevant in our American homes where we have different desires for our children.


In my dh's Iranian family it does not stress the parents and it is expected that children will stay at home until they marry. These young people are expected to contribute financially and many begin doing so while still in high school. Some do not go to college, but they work. Some stay at home and go to college, but they still work. Some do go away to college, but they come home and work during breaks. Their extended family is their community and they always for the rest of their lives have that support. Of course it is understood that this is to be reciprocated- as the parents age they depend more and more on their children. Instead of being less able to function as an adult and a member of a family they seem better equipped to be a "we" instead of a "me." You do not learn to be part of a family by living alone. Likewise, how will you be able to reciprocate and support your parents when they are elderly if you haven't practiced financial responsibility.


Just observations from watching a group for whom family, responsibility, culture, religion, and values are intrinsically linked-


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In my case, family dynamics were tearing me apart. My father (my mom had died when I was nine) was married to a woman who hated his three children. When she wasn't ignoring us, she was criticizing us loudly to anyone who would listen. I was so discouraged and intimidated that I became almost invisible (literally); I was very, very quiet, I'd starve myself, and I'd hide in my room all the time.


I can't say that moving out of the house cured the situation, but at least I wasn't in the middle of it anymore.


However, I don't recommend moving out at 18 to everyone. I have enjoyed reading the posts from your family members this week, and by and large I agree with them. I do think it would be wrong to be legalistic about such a plan (as in "no girl should ever go to college" or "all young people must stay at home until they're married"), but by and large staying home is a healthy and heart-warming option. I hope our two children (we have a son who's 17 and a daughter who's 11) will do this.

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I see that you're trying to decide about college and jobs. Would it be possible for you to go to college or work while living at home? Or, if you live too far away, could you have sort of a guardian or chaperone?


In my own children's case, we plan (hopefully) for the older one to go to Patrick Henry College, which is very close to our home. The younger one, who is more math and science oriented, might choose another college (there are several in the area), but we want her to live at home. Both of our children are the late-bloomer type, and they are going to need extra protection.

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