Last week, in Part 1 of our series “3 Ways to Help Your Son Achieve Independence” we identified what it means to be truly independent. We also dispelled the myth that independence is merely having a job, going to school and making money. In Part 2 of this series we will talk in depth about what parents can do to help their son who might be struggling with failure to launch to achieve independence fast and the best part is… it all begins at home.
Achieving Independence: It Begins at Home
So, it’s time for your son to move out of the house! This doesn’t mean you need to kick him to the curb with a suitcase and a bag lunch… though this is an option. Another option and one we recommend you try first, is to make some healthy changes at home. This could include implementing new rules and setting new boundaries within the home thus creating a new environment, one essential for learning. These new rules and boundaries can be set up in such a way as to stimulate, encourage and empower your son to venture out and take action. If you don’t witness a change at home within a few weeks, it might mean the environment hasn’t changed. Here are three explanations for why this may occur. Not implementing the right rules, not setting the proper boundaries or both. Later in this post we discuss in more detail the 3 things you can do to drastically change the environment in your home for the better, but for now let’s get back to how you can help your son achieve independence.
Using the 4 “E” Factors to Achieve Independence
At Forte Strong we have found that there are 4 key or “E” factors that need to be set in place for young men to learn, grow and ultimately achieve independence. We’ve also found that parents experience more success when they address each “E” factor in the order that is listed. Though all 4 factors are listed, we’ll only address the first 3 in this series for this simple reason… the first 3 “E” factors are the only factors within your (parents) direct scope of influence, the 4th factor is not and is your son’s responsibility, not yours. These 4 key factors, in order of priority, are as follows:
What you (parents) should be responsible for providing in the home:
#1 Environment: Safe and structured setting (home) where learning can take place.
#2 Engagement: People (parents) who help facilitate the learning process and create opportunities for change.
#3 Education: Lessons (teaching moments) that are taught within the right environment using the right engagement.
What your son is responsible for providing:
#4 Experience: What is gained and learned after applying what has been taught.
Since Environment is first on the list and by far the most important in our minds, I’m going to devote this post in its entirety to the subject and expound on it in further detail. Each subsequent post (Part 3 & 4) will discuss the remaining “E” factors.
As stated above, a healthy environment is where learning can take place. This could be at school, home, on the basketball court or essentially anywhere, however we are going to focus on the most important learning environment in existence today… the home. Why are we focusing all our attention on the home? You got it… because the home is the only place where you as a parent have the greatest scope of influence on your son. That’s why it’s ranked #1 on our list. With that said, it’s imperative that your home mirror an environment of learning for progress to be made. What do I mean by this? I mean your home should emulate the same fundamental characteristics found at any prestigious learning institution. If such characteristics don’t exist, how can you expect your son to learn and more importantly grow?
A Quick Summary
The 4 “E” factors that we’ve found to be the most effective in catapulting young men to independence is Environment, Engagement, Education, and Experience. We feel the most important of these factors is Environment.
A thank you to all our readers! We know there are a variety of different programs and approaches out there today for struggling young adults and we sincerely appreciate parents like you who invest their time and energy toward improving themselves and their families. We hope you found this information to be both empowering and useful to help your son achieve independence. Please take a minute to leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.
About The Author
Brook Price dedicated himself to helping others early in his life. He grew up in Sunny Orange County California, then joined the Marine Corps at the age of 21 serving five and half years as a helicopter crew chief and then as chief accountant. His journey with this type of work began when he volunteered as a Young Marines Instructor during his time in the Marines, helping kids get off the street, improve their lives and develop as a leader. After his tour Brook left the Marines to pursue a career in experiential therapy by attending Southern Utah University where he majored in outdoor recreation with a minor in psychology.
Brook has seventeen years experience working for a variety of different therapeutic and transitional programs across the nation. His thirst for knowledge drove him to learn and study successful therapeutic models and programs across the country, most notably Outward Bound. Brook has experience working with therapeutic, residential, military, wilderness and transitional programs for adults and adolescents.
You can also find me on Google+
I love, love, love your orchestra analogy! I’m so excited to share this with my husband so that we can implement it immediately. Our 18 year old moved out because he didn’t like the sound of our orchestra. We’ve been praying for ways to change that for his 5 siblings. Thank you for the new perspective!
I love using analogies to teach certain principles and I’m so glad that it struck a chord with you Julie. 🙂