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Launching Children into Adulthood

LAUNCH

Release Your Child to Embrace Independence

We’ve all heard the phrase “failure to launch” describing young men and women who don’t make the transition into responsible adulthood. Unfortunately, many parents inadvertently keep their children from growing up due to overprotection and lack of intentionality. Whether your son or daughter is going off to college, joining the military, or entering the workforce, how can you be intentional about successfully launching them into a God-honoring life?


BE A GOOD COACH

As the parent of an older teen on the verge of adulthood, you are a very important coach. You can motivate, encourage, challenge, and advise, but you can’t force feed. You can help them articulate what they believe, challenge their thinking, remind them of the ‘basics’ already learned during earlier years, but the time has come for your child to truly own his or her own beliefs and choices. Provide a listening ear as they wrestle with and possibly question the values they learned as a child. Try to maintain a strong relationship that includes frequent, open dialogue.


GIVE CONCERNING BIG QUESTIONS

During the transition into adulthood, your son or daughter will face big questions including: Should I go to college and if so, where? What kind of work should I do? Where should I live? What should I do with my life? Who should I marry? Direct your child back to overarching biblical principles. The last words of King David to his son Solomon (in 1 Chronicles 28:9) provide a model for parents advising emerging adults:
“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind.”
In the midst of the practical advice parents may offer on setting goals, choosing a job, finding a spouse, and so forth, we must also elevate the importance of making decisions in light of the scriptures.


GIVE A VISION FOR MARRIAGE & CHILDREN

Parents often go to extremes to help a child prepare for college or the workforce but don’t know exactly what they can do when it comes to preparing them for the more important work of marriage and family. While a small minority will be called to life-long celibate service, most young people are called to marriage and family (Genesis 2:18-24). We sometimes overlook how much marriage and family serve as the organizing structure of life and the prime arena for our spiritual development. You have a vital part to play in helping your child leave your nest and cling to their future spouse.


MAKE THE MOST

While leaving home is a healthy and good process, it can be emotional for parent and child alike. Ease the pain by using the remaining time your son or daughter has at home to create lasting memories. Spend quality time together connecting and talking about the exciting adventure of adulthood.



BEFORE THEY LEAVE

It can be both emotional and exciting to help your child leave the nest. Before they pack up and drive away, plan for a weekend or a day together doing something fun. Use the time to go through a checklist of basic life skills they will need and helpful items that can set them up to succeed. Below are some conversation ideas that will highlight a few areas in which your child might welcome some last-minute guidance or coaching.


CAR

Are you confident handling basic car issues such as changing a tire and checking tire pressure and fluid levels?

• TIP: If moving to a new town, help your child check with AAA.com or a local mechanic to identify a reputable mechanic in the area.


LAUNDRY

Do you know how to wash and dry a load of laundry? Colors and whites?

• TIP: Consider a fun trip to the laundromat for your child to figure out how to use a different machine than you have at home.


FOOD

Can you cook a few nutritious meals?

• TIP: Let your son/daughter choose a meal and guide them through the preparation and cooking process. Enjoy the time together as you create a fun memory that will also increase their odds of survival!


MONEY

Do you have a budget?

• TIP: Consider going online to daveramsey.com to download budget forms to fill in with your child.


HEALTH

What doctor will you visit if you get sick?

• TIP: Help your child have a plan for any medical emergencies and/or finding a new doctor if moving to a new town.


CHURCH

If moving to a new town, what church will you attend?

• TIP: Ask a pastor at your present church for suggestions on how to find a good church in the area. Also, consider visiting different churches together with your child and then discussing what he/she did and didn’t like. If going away to college, get information on Christian college organizations.


COLLEGE CAMPUS

If going to school, are you confident you will be able to find your classes, etc.?

• TIP: Take time to walk around campus together and help your child get a good feel for where everything is located.


SAMPLE BLESSING LETTER

Amid the last-minute packing and tearful goodbyes that accompany launching your young adult from the nest, stop to spend a few minutes writing him or her a letter of blessing. Feel free to use this sample letter as an example as you craft your own.

Dear {NAME}:
I received you as a gift from God on BIRTHDATE/ADOPTION DATE. I now give you back to Him as you leave home to ATTEND COLLEGE/MOVE AWAY/ESTABLISH YOUR OWN HOUSEHOLD. Being your parent has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. And while our daily relationship will now change, my love and prayers for you will never end.
I will ask our heavenly Father to protect, guide, and bless you as you enter an exciting new season of life. I plan to cheer you on as God uses you to impact His world.
PERHAPS MENTION SPECIFIC AREAS OF THE CHILD’S SKILLS/INTEREST. I will pray that God will give you grace to maintain your faith and integrity when you face inevitable struggles and temptations. He made you for a purpose. If you stay in God’s Word and follow His leading, I know you will become all that He made you to be!
I want you to know I am very proud of you. I am only a phone call away if you ever want to talk or need advice or wisdom.
I love you {NAME}. I can’t wait to see how God will use you in the years to come!
DAD/MOM/GUARDIAN”

North Campus

975 S Central Expy, McKinney, TX 75070
Sundays at 10:00 AM

South Campus

2644 E Trinity Mills Rd, Carrollton, TX 75006
Sundays at 9:00 AM & 11:30 AM

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