27 years old, and now he's back for two years. We can be proud of him, we wonder when he will take (finally) his professional flight ...
"At 26, Renaud is still a student, I do not have much to blame him: he helps me with cleaning and cooking, managing his laundry, and pays for some of the expenses. let him take his freedom ... and give me back! ", admits Catherine, 52, who" can not help but feel guilty ". And we understand it. For if it is really a difficult thing, it is to tell his child "there, it is time for you to assume". Especially in the current socio-economic context, not really happy, which encourages many young people to continue their studies as long as possible. Patrice Huerre, a child psychiatrist, decrypts this phenomenon for us and helps us to (well) react.
When the future scares him.
One of the reasons that keeps a young adult to stay a student is his fear of the professional future. Alas, it's useless to count on unemployment figures to appease his anxieties! But few humans aspire to difficulties. So sometimes, he prefers to make everyday easier by staying more or less at the expense of his parents. Studies are finally a pretext to avoid confrontation with adult life and the constraints it generates.
When the future we scary.
Many parents think that the outside world is dangerous and that as long as their child lives with them, he is protected. This is the message they send to him unconsciously. For example, when they come home from work, they throw out phrases like "what a day of m ..., hurry up!" By giving him an image of the negative future, the young person ends up believing it. And while there are risks in getting into the workforce, there is also plenty to do!
The projection of our anxieties.
Behind the fear that he is empowering, there are also other apprehensions: that of aging, of being confronted with loneliness or simply with change. But the child should not be an answer to these anxieties. It is important to take on oneself, to say "I put it on the path of life, what a great parental success!" And to be proud of it. When a child of 1 year makes his first steps, he is held by the hand for some time. Until the moment we let go for good. Because that is how he will learn, and because he believes in his abilities. The student we do not let go can think that we do not believe in his. As a result, it lacks too much self-esteem to apprehend the future serenely.
Too much freedom ... kill freedom.
On the other hand, other parents are too confident, telling their children "do what you want with your life, we will help you to achieve it". This gives their children a freedom of choice. A difficult choice to make when you are an adult in the making! Without the advice or commitment of his parents, he is then returned to himself, and may wander from studies to studies. It is important to offer him a fulcrum, using the first person singular "I would see you doing a job for such reasons" (rather than "you should become a doctor!"). One expresses a point of view, without stating an affirmation in the name of the other. Free to make his decision!
Avoid the ultimatum
To allow it to acquire a new autonomy, we go gradually. By imposing rules ("if you do not dine with us, you warn us the day before"), asking him to participate in household chores, and to make his financial contribution. If he has to do a little job for that, let him do it! Exit guilt: you have to accept not being perfect. If he tells us "your schedule, your constraints get drunk", that's fine, that's a great engine to leave the nest. We must remember that we all wanted our parents for one reason or another. It's in order of things ! And if nothing changes? We can bet on humor, by organizing a family reunion and asking him "So, we sign for how many years? 10 years? 20 years?" We can add to show him that the situation becomes a bit ridiculous .
And if he is no longer in our charge, do we get involved? Everyone sees life as he sees fit. If our child feels good about himself as an eternal student, and he takes care of himself, it's his choice! Of course, if he's still asking for help, it's up to us to see if it's legitimate ... or not. He brings us his dirty clothes every Sunday? Perhaps we must realize that it pleases us as much as it does. And wonder how our first separations were, when he was a baby. If weaning was difficult, we re-tell the story from the beginning, and we tell him too! On the other hand, if he needs a financial hand, one can do work of solidarity. The condition ? That it is punctual and justified (he does an unpaid internship, but it is important for later). If it's easy, we refuse!