What would you do if your boss asked you to train someone for your job so well that you’d no longer be needed?
That’s an important question to answer if you have a child, because that’s precisely your task as a parent.
Some parents react to the process of letting go of their children by not letting go. They cling to their need to feel needed. But the task of every parent is to work yourself out of a job by raising children who become adults capable of standing on their own two feet.
In the early years, children need help with the simplest of tasks, like eating, tying their shoes, or getting themselves up and ready in the morning. By the time they leave home as emerging adults, they ought to have their own identities apart from their parents and be capable of setting their own boundaries and managing their own lives.
Dr. Ken Wilgus describes this process as “planned emancipation,” which is simply an orderly strategy for handing over freedom to children by finding endpoints along the parenting journey – where making good choices becomes the child’s responsibility instead of the parents’.
How do you do that?
On our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Guiding Your Teen into Adulthood,” we have three special guests joining us who will offer insight into how to let your children grow up by giving up control of their lives!
Dr. Ken Wilgus and two of his associates, Ashley Parrish and Jessica Pfeiffer, will discuss “planned emancipation” with us. They’ll share practical strategies for allowing teenagers to take charge of their rooms, their friends, their music, and more, and to manage those areas of life responsibly.
Ashley Parrish and Jessica Pfeiffer are moms actively engaged in their own season of parenting. Dr. Ken Wilgus is a psychologist and author who specializes in helping parents and teens navigate the transition from childhood to adulthood with greater success. He’s written a book called Feeding the Mouth That Bites You: A Complete Guide to Parenting Adolescents and Launching Them into the World in which he guides parents through the process of planned emancipation.
Listen to our full conversation on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or on our free phone app.
We’ve also got a free parenting assessment for you at our website. It will quickly give you an overview of how your family is doing in several key areas and offer some suggestions on how you can improve the relationships in your home.
Dr. Wilgus’ book is available for a gift of any amount. For more information, visit our website.
Bryan RM says
-I thought this was an interested broadcast that presented an appropriate incremental expansion of freedom through the progression of adolescence. However, the issue of self-destructive behavior was not addressed. I would be interested to know the author’s opinion on how their method would be modified to account for breaches of trust and self-destructive behavior such as substance abuse, fornication, or criminal activity.