It is easy to get caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle of keeping kids healthy, fed, entertained, and motivated. Before you know it, they can be 12, 15 or even 18 years old and have never made a decision on their own or take any financial or household responsibility. This can lead to Failure to Launch Syndrome wherein your child lacks the ability to be self-reliant and is more likely to be co-dependent.
In order to combat this, have annual or biannual parent check -in meetings to create and reassess parenting goals and address current or potential concerns. It is also prudent to sit down annually with each child, when it is developmentally appropriate, to discuss their roles and responsibilities and share your parenting heart and goals for successful launching at 18. Collaboratively sharing hopes and goals allows the child to be informed and engaged in their own maturation giving them some ownership and motivation. When they feel informed and responsible for their freedoms and choices, they are less likely to buck the system as their autonomy and privileges are determined by their own decision-making.
Now kids will still make mistakes and probably plenty of them. However, they will learn valuable lessons with less severe consequences when they experience mistakes when they have parental respect, support and guidance. If you find as parents are struggling in preparing your kids for adulthood and see potential mental or behavioral health concerns, reach out to a licensed professional for a consultation as it is far easier to address issues proactively than reactively.