Many of the readers on this blog who are married with children have expressed the desire for their daughters to live at home and be “stay-at-home daughters” until they marry.
I’ve got a question for you. If you want your daughters to live at home are you making this an attractive option for them? When a young woman becomes an adult there are many options offered to her. What are you doing to make being a stay-at-home daughter an appealing choice?
If you want your girls to be stay-at-home daughters here are my recommendations for you, from a single woman’s prospective:
Let Her Choose To Remain Under Your Authority
If you feel the Lord is calling your adult daughter to remain at home express your desires for this to your daughter and encourage her in this direction but allow her to make the final choice. If she does not “own” the choice for herself this will most likely cause contention in your family. If your daughter feels forced to live at home and submit to your authority chances are she will struggle with bitterness and look for a way out. If she makes the choice to live at home and follow your leadership she will more likely enjoy the opportunity and there will be more unity and closeness within the family. In our family I have a set of responsibilities that are expected of me but I still have the ability to plan my own day and make many choices on my own.
Give Her Freedom To Be an Adult
When your daughter makes the transition from childhood to adulthood your parent-child relationship MUST change. You cannot continue to treat her as a child. You must give her the freedom to be an adult. This transition isn’t immediate the day she turns 18 or 21 but a gradual changing from ultimate parental authority to counselor, friend and her chosen authority. If she is living in your house or you are providing for her financially that certainly calls for a type of authority but be careful not to take that too far and turn it into a controlling, micromanaging relationship. It is much more pleasant for her to choose to submit to your authority because you provide good counsel and protection than for you to force her to conform to all your wishes. Try to cultivate a relationship where she is free to make some choices on her own but wants to ask for your input and direction.
Cultivate a Good Relationship
Do you have a good relationship with your daughter? Does she count you as beloved friends? Your daughter will be much more likely to want to live in your home if you share a good friendship-relationship. Be pleasant, be fun, be encouraging and supportive of her. Make it known that she is very loved and valued.
Respect and Appreciation Her
Having your daughter live at home with you can be a special blessing and benefit. Having the added help and companionship can be a great joy. Let you daughter know that you really do appreciate her and respect her as a person. Make it clear that she is not a burden but rather a valuable asset to you and your family and you don’t take that for granted.
Be Protectors and Providers for Her
Make sure your daughter knows that when she chooses to remain under your authority you will give her the best protection you possibly can. Don’t cross the line of being overly protective but be appropriately involved in her physical and emotional safety. Provide for her needs in whatever ways this is possible and right for your family. Consider making her choice to live at home a very attractive option from a finance standpoint.
Help Her Find a Husband
Your goal in having your daughter live at home should not be to keep her there indefinitely it should be a transition place for her until she gets married or God calls her somewhere else. You daughter most likely has great desires to meet a godly man, marry him and start raising a family of their own. This is natural and good. These are desires God put in her. Make your home a safe place for her to talk about any possible interests she may have in a young man. Make your relationship one where you are working together to find the right man. Be willing to go out of your comfort zone to get to know young men and help her find the right one. Let her know you are on the same team, you want her to get married and you are willing and happy to help her through this process.
Our family is not perfect but my parents made being a stay-at-home daughter look very attractive by maintaining these six things in our home and relationship. If you hope to have your daughters live at home I would highly suggest creating this type of environment in your home.
One last thing, not every young woman can or should be a stay-at-home daughter. Above all else submit your desires to the Lord. He has a good plan for you daughter and following His will for her life will always be the best option.
Parents, how do you make being a stay-at-home daughter look attractive? Single women what are some things that make (or would make) being a SAHD more appealing?