Adult and near adult children

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by saturneptune, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. saturneptune

    saturneptune
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    Around 50 years ago, most kids when they turned 18 or so, either went to college, went in the military, or got a job and supported themselves. As parents of children in their late teens and even into middle and late 20's know this has radically changed.

    It would be fascinating to hear from experienced parents who have been through this how they made their kids independent, how they knew when to cut the money off, and any experience of just having to push kids out the door before they became 30. Thanks for your input.
     
  2. Joseph_Botwinick

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    I am not to that point yet with my child, but I will tell you that I think it starts when the kid is really young by teaching them to be self-sufficient and accountable for themselves and not spoiling them. If you are constantly doing everything for them when they are in 6th grade or even younger, you may want tell hunker down and settle into that lifestyle, because you will more than likely be doing it for a long time. I left home when I went to college and only moved back in with my parents for a few months when my wife and I were in the middle of moving back to my hometown. I have no desire to live with my parents or have them do everything for me. At the same time, I know that if I had no other choice, that my parents would be willing to help me because they love me. I strongly believe that was an attitude that I learned from my parents' parenting style at a really young age.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  3. Karen

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    Just some general thoughts:

    Slightly less than 50 years ago, I lived on a 4-generation family farm.
    It wasn't so cut and dried that you moved out, period.
    That kind of life is still very prevalent in the South and Midwest.

    Popular fiction of 50 to 150 years ago is full of stock characters such as the maiden aunt that lives with other family members.

    There is a balance that is really hard to maintain. You want your children to be independent and to make their own decisions, but at the same time family helps each other.
    The same parent that really strongly pushes for independent children may have a rude shock when the parent is 80 and needs a little help, and the 55 year old child has learned his lesson of independence better than he should have.
     
  4. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Karen,

    You make a really good point there. There has to be a balance between not spoiling your children and then provoking them to anger and hard heartedness. I had hoped that I had made that point in my life when I said the following:

    You see, because of that relationship, which I think is quite healthy for parents and children, I am self-sufficient, but I know if worse came to worse, my parents love me and will help me. It is that attitude of love which I think would inspire me to want to help them in their old age out of gratitude. I also think it inspired a Biblical picture of God's love for us, and how it was he who first loved us, not the other way around, and how that taught (and is still teaching us) how to love him and inspires us to want to love him and obey him.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  5. Gina B

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    Before my kids were even born, I didn't want to be the kind of mom that planned on raising them for 18 years and then quit. My own personal thoughts are that until a child is married, their place is with their family. After they're married, they should probably still be with family, or close by. This business of not having family near, or of singles being frowned upon if they don't live on their own is ridiculous imo, and has had very negative consequences in our society.

    It should be like in the bible days. Got a family problem? You've got 50 tentfulls of family nearby. They'll help you, and you'll go help them, and you won't even have to saddle your horse. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  6. saturneptune

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    Our two are 18 and 22. I agree with Joseph, this is a hard balance to strike. On the one hand, if you have a child 27 years old living at home, working at Burger King just to pay his car payment, is living rent free, and staying up all night on the computer or out, the parent has done the child an injustice.

    On the other hand, parents should always be there to help, especially through college and pre marriage years. What my wife and I have done so far is to try to pay for college tuition, room, and board for four years, then if they want to get a graduate degree, they can take it from there. While we are paying that, they do work here and there for living expenses. That to me is a healthy balance.

    There is a Christian book by Dr. Henry Cloud called "Boundaries" which addresses this subject very well, and also goes into boundaries at work and in marriage. Thanks for your responses.

    Also, I put this in the wrong forum. It should have been General Baptist Discussions.
     
  7. SBCPreacher

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    That parent needs to charge their kid rent! Enough rent so that their own place looks real inviting. And as long as the kid is in the house, the parent has every right to say "my house, my rules."

    With that being said, I have a 25 year old daughter and she still lives at home. But, she pays a modest rent to cover her portions of expenses, and helps out around the house when she's not at work. AND, she's at church every Sunday and Wednesday. Of course, the reason we have good kids is primarily because of the grace of God and a Godly mom.
     
  8. donnA

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    My son is 22 lives at home, and must work to take care of himself. We stopped buying for them and supplying food when they graduated high school.
     
  9. 2BHizown

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    I raised six, lost one, and all the rest are now adults and self sustaining and independent and I know they love the Lord now, but one or two have given me cause or concern in the past for a short while! However, to reach this place we did experience a few occasions of a revolving door for short periods of time. Now that I am widowed and 75 it truly blesses my heart that they are have a concern for my wellbeing and though they dont rush over to ask what they can do for me( LOL) they definitely are willing and available whenever a need arises! My sons are the spiritual leaders in their homes and their children respect them! Thanks to our Lord for His blessings!
     
  10. canadyjd

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    God says "For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife...."

    Isn't it the "world's way" to force our children to "grow up" at 18 and get a job, move out, etc? God is telling us that children should stay at home until they are married. What do you think? Wouldn't we have less immorality/falling into sin if Christians kept their children at home until they were married?

    peace to you:praise:
     
  11. canadyjd

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    OOPS, double post
    peace to you:praise:
     
    #11 canadyjd, Jul 12, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2006
  12. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Raising kids on the mission field

    Our experience in raising our only child as missionaries in Japan is probably much different than the rest of you folk, but maybe some of our experience can be a blessing.

    We felt it was vital to pass on our values as Christians. I believe that this is where most parents fail, wherever they may live. We home-schooled him, but this is not really enough. Many home-schooled kids don’t do well in the “real world.” On the other hand, many kids who go to public school end up as strong Christians. (Having said that, there is no way we wanted to subject our child to the heathen Japanese system, which is not at all what the propaganda you have heard would have you believe.) From the time he was a little guy we used several means to pass on our values.

    First of all, we made sure we had family devotions, consisting of Bible reading, reading a short devotional (such as "Our Daily Bread"), singing a hymn or gospel song together, and prayer around the circle. We often used this time to ask and answer questions about what we had read in the Bible or devotional book, meaning we got some Bible study in and not just cut and dried reading. Also, we kept a log of prayer requests and wrote down the answers, so our son could see faith in action.

    Secondly, on the advice of an older missionary, we always made sure we included our son in our service for Christ. Yep, we wheeled the kid around in a stroller when we went on evangelism from the time he was a baby! We also gave him tasks in the church to serve the Lord, such as setting up chairs, cleaning up afterward, stamping tracts with the church address, taking up the offering, playing special numbers with his trumpet and then leading singing when he got old enough. Because of these things, he grew up thinking that witnessing and serving the Lord in the church were facets of the normal Christian life.

    Thirdly, we actively practiced Deuteronomy 6:5-7: “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” The way we did that was by the Socratic method of using questions to teach. (Actually, Jesus did this much better than Socrates ever did!) Wherever we were (in the car, around the table, at devotions, working out together), I would ask our son questions about the Bible, ethics, standards, etc., and then make him defend his position. Little kids are not very good at this, but I believe that teenagers should be forced to develop and defend their own views on these matters rather than regurgitate what their parents believe.

    Next, as our son approached the age of 18, we began to actively teach him what it meant to be a man. This means to me, in a line I once read in a western novel, to be “strong enough to be gentle.” We taught him to be a gentleman to his mother. If a boy doesn’t treat his mother and sisters well he will not treat other women well. We taught the “strong” part through sports. I taught him kung fu since I am proficient in that. I believe any good sport will do, as long as the character-building aspects are emphasized rather than the “win at any cost” attitude of many athletes today.

    It was when our son was about 16 that I first gave him a further definition of a man. To me, a boy becomes a man when he can stand on his own feet financially, morally, ethically and mentally. Our son took this definition to heart, and actively tried to become a man. He had a difficult time fulfilling with the financial part of this, since I supplied him with a rich uncle to pay 80% of his college bills—really! My brother retired in his 50’s from a certain computer software company in Seattle as a millionaire, and then offered to pay 80% of his nieces’ and nephews’ college bills! However, our son took a “work scholarship” job to pay for that 20%, and then worked two jobs to put himself through grad school to get his M. A. in Biblical Studies. (He and I graduated together in May, 2005.)

    So, how did our son turn out, you say? Did all of this work? He graduated from Maranatha Baptist Bible College with honors, earning the Biblical languages award. He then graduated from Maranatha grad school with honors, earning the theological award. He is now in seminary, preparing to be a professor of Bible at a Christian college, and has a wonderful Christian girl friend who is also an MK (“missionary kid”). Praise the Lord! Oh, and by the way, he works in a factory full time to pay for his M. Div.
     
    #12 John of Japan, Jul 13, 2006
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  13. John of Japan

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    I can't agree here. In the first place, the passage you quoted is not a command, but a statement of principle concerning marriage. I don't see how you can exegete the relationship of a single adult to his or her parents from this. For example, does this mean that single adults should never leave their parents? If so, the Apostle Paul really blew it, didn't he?

    If it were true that young adults should not leave home until they are married, then we missionaries are also in big trouble. Evidently according to this view, we should keep them on the mission field, and not send them back to college in the States.

    Now in the first place, here in Japan there are MKs who never adjust. They never do well at this incredibly difficult language, they are ostracized by Japanese kids even if they go to Japanese school in this incredibly difficult culture.

    On the other hand, there are many kids who completely adjust--and thus will have a hard time in the homeland if and when they do go back, if made to stay with the parents after becoming adults. Our own son played daily with Japanese kids, and used to even dream in Japanese. When he signed on at a security guard at his college, his boss said, "Himes, you are Japanese. You act like it and talk like it. But if anyone gives you any trouble about it, come to me and I'll take care of it."

    Beyond this incident, I was delighted with the teachers and students at my son's Bible college. The profs mentored him in ways I could not. He made lifetime friends among the students. I will always believe that leaving him in the States for college was the right thing to do.

    We did not do it carelessly, though. We only had the one child, so we could plan furlough around him. We took him down to PCC to graduate with his home schooling "class" from HS. Then we took him around to other colleges we thought were good and let him make his own choice from those we approved of. Finally, we stayed in the States for his first semester, which was extremely difficult for him. But when we went back to the field, we left him in good hands, and God took care of him!
     
  14. ktn4eg

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    I came across this thread while looking for some other topic. (Isn't that usually how it works?) :smilewinkgrin:

    This, I'm sure, won't be, as Regis would say on the "Millionaire" TV show, your........
    "Final Answer" or some such thing as that. It's just what my church started doing.

    [Let me preface this by telling you folks that I'm not a preacher, pastor, or whatever, simply a lay person seeking to fill in my niche in the grand scheme of things.]

    Last year (2005) someone diagnosed what at least contributes to the general disorientation of the average church body's "no-longer-a-child" segment of its congregation. Somewhere about the time when childen start calling themselves teenagers is when it usually begins.

    Chronologically they are no longer children, yet they are far from being adults. Oh yes, we have our youth groups, etc., and I have absolutely no argument with that area of ministry.

    A study of world cultures reveals that in practically every one--primative as they may be--there is usually some public "rite of passage" whereupon that person declares to the community: Look at me! I'm no longer a boy or girl now--I'm a man; I'm a woman. I want you to treat me as such, and in turn I expect to act as such.

    Every culture has one of these "rites of passage." Every one except our modern Western one, that is.

    Instead we have what we've tagged "adolescence." It's generally a time where (if we're truly honest with ourselves, that is) not a whole lot is really expected of that age group, and little is demanded of them. Instead, we as local churches almost expect them to drift to and fro with very little public accountability.

    Then, magically, at age 18, they are ....presto.... adults!

    Isn't that the way it usually goes? And why IS it that way as a general rule? Look in your Bibles, and you will find only THREE age groups: 1) Infants, 2) Children, 3) Adults. There really isn't an adolescent stage!

    Trouble is, we as Westerners--Bible believers I'm talking about--have generally failed in our local assemblies to provide as a public venue, any one specific time/place/public ceremony where, as a corporate local church, in essence are telling these young people, "Look, you aren't children anymore. It's about time you do as the Apostle Paul said he did right in the middle of that chapter on 'Love': 'When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things' [I Co 13:11]."

    What we've started to do was to ask those individuals in our midst to do is (about age 15), if they really want to, to go through a series of interviews, classes, etc., to commit themselves to participate in an annual public, Sunday morning, "Rite of Passage" ceremony.

    In the two we've had so far, ideally it's been the person's parents, but sometimes it's been another couple who's become as a set of "foster parents," who will voluntarily commit themselves to be as an accountability figure(s) for this person. But whoever it may be, what this couple will do is to publicly proclaim to that young person why he or she means so much to them and what they want to see that person become for our Savior in years to come. This is the charge to the individual.

    Then an adult married who aren't related to any of the participants will lead each sex into a public charge (the wife for the females --- the husband for the males) for each of them, emphasizing what God's Word has to say about each different gender.

    Finally, another male adult (not the pastor in our case) will lead the congregation in the charge to the church: What are the corporate responsibilites we owe to these ones who've chosen to take this public step.

    This whole process is not just a one-week thing. They must be at least 16 by the time it's administered to them, and it takes about as much pre-planning effort as it would for that of a wedding.

    Will this absolutely, positively, guarantee that each participant will never falter in his or her Christian life? Of course not. All it is--and all we can ever expect it to be--is an open and public demonstration that we now have certain expectations of you, and you also now have certain expectations of us as a church body.

    Is this something we demand of every church? That would be arrogant on our part. Does this take the place of any other ministry we or you already have. No sir-ree!

    And we certainly aren't going to be some spiritual Nazi's seeking to legalistically bind and oppress these people who had the nerve to get out of the adolescent boat and walk toward Jesus!

    All it is is just something public. Something they can look back on. Another tool we pray that the Holy Spirit can use to remind them of some pretty heavy duty stuff they publicly promised that accountability couple, the church, and, above all, God Himself, that they'd do.

    To give you a better idea of what took place at the one we had this year, why not just:

    1) Visit

    http://www.lighthouseministries.org

    2) Click on the "New Audio Resources" link

    3) Scroll down until you get to the June 25 point and play/download it for yourselves!

    [There are some pauses in it, primarily because either some of the activities were beyond the range of our microphones, or the prayers that were being offered were personal, one-on-one (God and that person only) things.]
     
  15. John of Japan

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    Sounds like a great idea, ktn4eg.

    Here in Japan they have a "Coming of Age" ceremony at the city hall once a year for young people who reached 21 that year. They dress up, often in traditional kimonos, listen to a boring lecture on the meaning of life as a Japanese, take plenty of pictures and then go out and celebrate together. :type:
     
  16. Benjamin

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    At 17 I was on my own and had to live out of my car (which I bought with my own money), while I saved to rent a studio apartment. This was for three weeks during the AZ summer and once I got the apartment food rationing was definitely an issue especially for the first two months. That experience taught me a lot and kept me responsible in managing my money but I wouldn’t suggest it for anyone.

    My children’s main responsibility will be to go to college and make good grades, after that to build a career and save. They will be expected to take care of their personal needs and plan for and work toward independence.

    Both my children promised me when they were very little that they would not leave me before 30 and I’ve told them that I’m holding them to it.
     
  17. gb93433

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    Jesus would have never met your criteria.

    Imagine what it would be like for a child who has never gotten a job, paid rent, bought groceries and paid utilities then gets married and all of a sudden must learn those things overnight.

    Marriages are not two children getting married but two adults.

    Remember the average daughter in the Bible got married between the ages of 12-15.
     
  18. Marcia

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    I think kids who live at home after 18 should help pay expenses (this is assuming they are not full-time college students).

    My son, age 24, lived with me until this past Feb. when we had to move from our former apt., and he decided he wanted his own place. It was a natural thing - I didn't tell him what to do but left it up to him. He had been helping with expenses ever since he got out of high school. Of course, as the son of a single mother, I think he learned early on that he needed to help..

    I think if you raise your child learning to be responsible around the house when younger, and with the expectation that they need to help financially if they are not going to college, it can work out. I see no reason to try to get them to leave, unless they are disruptive or are refusing to get a job.

    I don't understand parents who let kids over 18 live at home without contributing financially to the household.
     
  19. gb93433

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    Well said.
     

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