I often hear people on your show say that they'll go to work when the kids are teenagers in high school because their kids won't need them around as much. I have a daughter who is a high school senior and last night was the first night I had total confirmation that she needs me now more than ever.
The transition to college, including taking on new responsibilities, has been very hard for her. I'm a divorced mom (my husband was physically violent), and I'm glad I'm the one here with her right now to see what's going on, to talk to her about it, and to help her navigate through it and give her tools to help. This is one of the many reasons I can see how kids in their late teens get in trouble, going down the wrong path because the right path is scary. I have no concerns or fears that my daughter will not stay on the right path because she has good friends and usually makes great choices. But it is not a chance I would ever be willing to take.
When you say to all of us "When they are 18, up and out, THEN you can do more," you are so right. I haven't dated in almost 18 years, even though my daughter thinks I should. I gently remind her that she is my daughter, not my matchmaker! I haven't missed a moment, and we've created incredible memories together. She has a solid foundation to move on to the next phase of her life. So, MY advice from personal experience is to tell your listeners that they should continue to stay home, especially if they have teenagers in the house. They are needed just as much now as when the kids were little.
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