'Absolutely frightening' number of parents still changing the sheets when kids are 16

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Parents need to make some hard calls if they want to help prepare their teenagers for independence away from home, says a young adult guru.

The average age a young adult plans to live at home until is apparently 27. But what if the parent is the one standing in the way?
Source: Seven Sharp

Seven Sharp reported the average age young adults plan to leave their parents' home is 27, while parents rarely give their teens a lot more responsibility and freedom to prepare them to fly the coop.

"They're treating their parents like an unpaid servant and a banker," said Yvonne Godfrey, who runs courses to help 16 to 24-year-olds truly grow up.

"The number of parents who are changing the sheets on a 16-year old's bed - absolutely frightening.

"They have to be able to run a household. They have to be able to take care of themselves. They can't still have their parents making doctors appointments for them."

Ms Godfrey, who was a host parent on reality TV show The World's Strictest Parents, said young people are a product of what has been expected of them. 

"Mostly I find that they're micromanaged. But they're not expected to do a lot. So it's this mentality that they're children."

She said parents "have to do the hard yards, they have to make the hard calls. Be a parent not a friend. You can't be friend until they're no longer financially reliant on you, physically reliant on you or emotionally reliant on you".

I am an ATM machine"
Mother of young adult

However, it seems some parents of young adults Seven Sharp spoke to are not buying into the expert's message.

"I just love my son so I do anything for him anyway. But yeah, I am pretty much his slave. I'm soft, but he's our youngest and even though he's 21 he's still my little baby," one mum said.

Another said: I love having the kids at home. Two are working but you've still got to help them out. The other one's doing a course and she's fully funded by me. So I am an ATM machine."

A dad said: "I'm very happy to bankroll my daughter. She's at the stage in life where she needs that support and I think it'll stand her in good stead going forward."

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