The Barriers to Familywork Part 4


Barrier #6 “Teenage retirement” is seen as an acceptable rite of passage.


James Jones authored an audio series called “Fix the Kids”. In it he talks about “teenage retirement”, which is when your teenagers are kept so busy between sports activities, church, homework and school obligations that they don’t have time to do a job as well and look to us for money, money, money. The trick of teenage retirement is that because your teen isn’t earning any money, their already over stimulated need to consume holds no boundaries. A friend recently called me because her 15-year-old wasn’t motivated to do much in school or around the house. She said, “We live in a neighborhood where everyone is rich and he resists our efforts to hold him accountable because he says his friends don’t have to work.” Another friend said she had bought her daughter a shirt at the mall because she had begged and begged for it. My friend later noticed it on the floor of her daughter’s bedroom with the tag still on it for a couple of days after.


Barrier #7: We are competing with technology all the time, making working together impossible.

 As families we are competing with television, and social media, which makes it

“On any given day, teens in the United States spend about nine hours using media for their enjoyment, according to the report by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit focused on helping children, parents and educators navigate the world of media and technology.”

Barrier#8.  More than 40% adult children in America are still living with their parents.


“Almost 40 percent of young adults lived with their parents, step-parents, grandparents and other relatives last year, or the highest point in 75 years, according to data from real estate analytics company Trulia. The only time in U.S. history when the share has been higher was in 1940, when the U.S. economy was regaining its footing from the Great Depression and the year prior to the country’s entry into World War II. ”


Because of these cultural trends, especially in the last 20 years children are failing to move up and move out . They are lacking purpose and drive. They are looking to us to support them . The movie “Failure to Launch” is happening in real life. I’m not talking about helping a university student by having them live at home, or a young adult in crisis with a job loss or a divorce and needing a few months to get on their feet. I’m talking about the unmotivated and the unchallenged adult that we enable when we let them stay for extended periods of time with no expectation of rent or jobs done. Besides being called “Boomerang Kids”, this excerpt is from an article in Time Magazine Jan 16th 2005 , calling young adults “twixters” that are between 18 and 25 and still living with their parents.

“There was a time when people looked forward to taking on the mantle of adulthood. That time is past. Now our culture trains young people to fear it. “I don’t ever want a lawn,” says Matt Swann. “I don’t ever want to drive two hours to get to work. I do not want to be a parent. I mean, … why would I? There’s so much fun to be had while you’re young.” He does have a point. Twixters have all the privileges of grownups now but only some of the responsibilities. From the point of view of the twixters, upstairs in their childhood bedrooms, snuggled up under their Star Wars comforters, it can look all downhill.”


We have a big fight ahead of us as mothers as we buck against these cultural trends. Just having an awareness of what obstacles I face has helped me a lot to hold my children accountable and to help them become self-sufficient. What have you done that has worked or where are you finding success in this area?

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