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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Toughlove for Teenagers Launching your Adult Child

If you are wondering whether it is necessary to launch an adult child, ask yourself these five questions -
1. Is the present arrangement working for you?
2. Is your adult child moving toward independence?
3. Are you and your adult child cooperating as equals in a way that brings peace and serenity to the home?
4. Is the adult child paying his/her full share of the bills and shouldering his share of the responsibilities?
5. Are you going to live forever?
If you answer no to any of these questions, you should be able to see why it is necessary for you to launch your child into the “real” world of self sufficiency.
The Launching Process
1. Make your intention known – When you advise the launchee of your decision to launch there is no need for explanations or debate. They already know why. The conversation should be brief and include a statement like “I believe this is best for all of us”
2. Set a Date – 3 to 6 weeks is reasonable.
3. Let the Launchee make the arrangements – parents organising things will only hinder the launching process.
4. No Revolving Door a. All possessions go immediately – make sure the launchee moves ALL possessions and belongings.
b. New locks – DO NOT give him/her keys.
c. No treating House Like Home – DO NOT allow him/her to raid the refrigerator, take a shower or wash clothes.
d. Change Address Officially – notify the post office of change of address if the new address is known to you.
e. Stand Firm – DO NOT allow launchee to move back in with you regardless of the circumstances.
5. Guard Against Weakening Thoughts.
6. Make the First Launch the Last Launch.

If you found this information helpful or would like to find out more please visit the Toughlove website to find your local Toughlove group. Toughlove is a parent support group of like minded parents who are dealing with unruly teenagers in a supportive, non judgemental environment.

My Toughlove group have given me the support and encouragement that I have needed to cope with the many situations of dealing with my challenging daughter.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Teenagers dump mum from Facebook

I was delighted a while back when my 15 year old daughter decided to finally let me become her Facebook friend. I dutifully did not pass personal comments about her Facebook status or posts. However by being a Facebook friend to my older daughter, otherwise know as the prodigal daughter or the ToughLove kid, I was able to at least get some indication of where she was and what she was doing. I made the mistake of talking to her about a trip to Melbourne that she had planned after I had seen lots of comments from her and her friends about the possible trip. She gave a very non commital answer. Not long after this I was no longer her Facebook friend or my younger daughters. She and her younger sister also dropped Facebook friend status with anyone that I was also friends with including their brother.

I had not heard from my elder daughter for 3 weeks even though I had tried ringing and txting her phone that she said didn't work or did not turn on. She eventually rang my younger daughter to tell her she was in Melbourne and would be home in a week. No doubt she will drop back into our lives if and when she chooses to with the expectation of free bed and lodging and food with nothing in return. Based on past performance there will be no offers to assist with cooking meals, tidying the house, cleaning or whatever.

Now don't get me wrong, I would be more than happy for her to pack her things up and move out and make a life of her own. She is nearly 21 after all. I would celebrate this right of passage with her. However the current situation is full of uncertainty, we are being a crutch providing for someone who has no intention of getting a job as she prefers to live a Peter Pan existence of being forever young and having forever fun.

Time for a big change. Look out for the next post in the ToughLove for Teenagers series.