ON AVERAGE children take between 22-25 years to have completed school, college or university and become independent. And depending on how they had been brought up, some would leave the family home and start life of their own. Others, for some queer reasons, may still hang around the family nest and enjoy the company of mother, father and other siblings. Other children may still remain at the family home if, for example, they are disabled or they have an impairment that might need family or relatives nearby.

Category A of children are the daring one who want to find new territory to explore and conquer; and we have little to concern ourselves with such. These are men in the making and often parents are happy to see them go.

Category B are the timid ones who are afraid to leave the family nest to check out other pastures.

Side note: A certain man sued his son for not leaving the family house when the young man reached 30 years. Well that was a story in a foreign media, and these were whites. Discuss this in your groups.

Let’s now see what makes an adult person not to leave his/her family home and live on their own. We can excuse those who remain at the family house for medical reasons, for these are the exception.

1. In the first place we have those who have no sufficient resources to sustain themselves, so they are compelled to hang around the family nest and live off their parents toil. These become a burden to parents because by this time many parents are living on a shoe-string pension that can barely sustain them.

2. Then we have those who work and have resources, but are just not confident of venturing out to find new territory. They are content to remain dad’s boy or mom’s girl. These need to be pushed. Have you ever watched how hens wean their chicks? They peck them. Which is similar to biting or beating.

3. We have another category of children who may have been spoon fed and overprotected by parents and hence grow up with a narrow perspective of life. They know no other family other than their own. They can’t make decisions for themselves and tend to rely on their parents for everything, even when they have finances of their own. These too, need someone to tell them that there’s life outside the family home.

Another side-note for young people: Living under your parents’ home denies you privacy. Your mother or father can knock at your door any time and ask you any question. Bear that in mind.

I’m aware that times are hard and jobs few for young people and sometimes a child can remain home for many years because they cannot find work. This is a reality we cannot shun from. Your parents may not chase you from home, but they sure do want you to be independent.

But let me tell you my story. My father retired just about the time I completed school. While waiting for my school results I went to live with an uncle in one of the shanty compound of Kitwe, where we drew water from a well and had pit latrines for our convenience. Because I felt need for privacy, I decided to start renting a room for myself within the compound. How did I survive? I started buying bags of charcoal from across the Kafue River and started to resell them. It was a business that kept me going until I got a scholarship from ZCCM for two years. You see, I could have chosen to remain at my uncle’s place and lived off his toil. But I chose to be on my own. So what am I saying? I’m saying that it’s possible to leave the family nest and start life on your own, as I did. If you have a job or small business that gives you K 1,500.00 per month, you can rent a house for K 500.00, save K200.00 and live on the remaining K800.00 That way your parents and relatives will respect you. And there are many benefits of leaving the family nest, as itemized below.

BENEFITS OF LEAVING THE FAMILY HOME

YOU GROW UP FAST: When you leave your family home you learn to make decisions for yourself and mature fast. You become independent so others could look to you for support. It’s honorable to help others. Actually more prospects may come your way as you face life. Opportunity favors the bold.

IT PLEASES PARENTS: Even if you lived in a mansion and your parents were super rich, they are happier coming to visit you in your small rented house than seeing you every day. They have seen enough of you from birth. What they want to see from you now are grandchildren.

FREEDOM: You’re free to do as you like, responsibly, of course. Running your own home gives you the liberty of inviting friends, eat what you want and play loud music as you wish.

PRIVACY: When you have your own house you enjoy total privacy.

RESPECT: People respect those they know are able to stand on their own feet.

EASY TO FIND PARTNER: You become more confident to find a wife or husband when you are in your own house than living with parents.

CAREER PROGRESION: You never know who is watching you. Sometimes employers or management do back-ground check. What can they think of you if they discover you’re still at your parents’ place? You may be a brilliant employee with potential for promotion, but don’t let people doubt you potentiality.

So you can take your pick to stay with your parents and be dad’s boy, or leave the family nest and start your own home. The choice is yours.

Next week check out on how to live on K 1000.00 per month

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