I clearly remember the day I left to attend college. My parents stood on the deck of their house and waved good-bye until I was out of sight. I wonder what they were saying to each other about my readiness to leave home. Eventually your child will leave the nest, flying off into a life of their own. What are you doing now to prepare your child for this departure? Here are nine ways that you can prepare your child to leave home.
- Build the foundation (the life) of your home on the Word of God. No other foundation will match the strength of the Word. “Unless the Lord builds the house, it’s builders labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1)
- Make sure your children know what your family values. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6: 4-5). What provides direction and guidance for your family decisions now? What are your values?
- Take good care of yourself- spirit, mind and body. When you change the way you live you will impact those you are living with! How are you connecting with God? What are you filling your mind with? Your body is a gift from God, are you taking good care of it?
- If you are married, take time to nurture the relationship you have with your husband or wife. This relationship will provide security or fear for your child depending on the healthiness of your marriage.
- Find good friendships. Develop meaningful friendships with other parents and people who can provide support for you and your children. Don’t try to parent alone!
- Be generous givers. (John 3:16) You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. Be a giving family. Find ways to get your family involved in serving others.
- Make time for your family. Remember: quality time always comes in large quantities.
- Everyone in the family needs to be a contributor. Give your kids responsibilities (chores) that allow them to feel that they are an important part of the family.
- Help your children to think on their own, to be problem-solvers. Don’t rescue them every time they get into a jam. Kids who learn to figure things out for themselves develop self-confidence, self-respect, and the skills they need to be responsible in life.
What are you doing to prepare your child to leave?