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claylessor Oct 30, 2019

Young Men Need an “Exit Plan!”

Parents have stopped or forgotten the importance of having the exit plan conversation with their son.  The result, an epidemic of “26-year old’s living in the basement;” it’s unhealthy for both parent and child! 

This very important and necessary teaching is yet another example of the systemically lost wisdom that is hurting male adolescents!

It’s a disservice to their son (deterring him from becoming a whole person) when the conversation is avoided. An established "exit plan" makes it safe for young men to grow-up knowing they have the support of a significant caregiver!  It provides a goal and plan to achieve which males innately need.

The 3 most common questions are:

  1. What is the best time to start the process of exit for a young man?  The best "exit plan" begins at birth!  Think of it like this, when you go to a hospital, they start what's called "intake," while at the same time they are beginning to work on your "discharge" paperwork.  It is a continuous process throughout a young man’s life and takes on a much higher level of importance when he starts high school.  All lessons learned are preparing him to be able to take care of himself one day, so start the process early.
  2. What is an "exit plan?”  Begin by talking about what he wants/intends to do when he graduates high school, trade school or completes his GED.  Will he go on to college, join the military or enter the workforce.  Next step, put a plan in place and a goal of how to achieve it.
  3. How do I have/start the conversation?  Communication is imperative as it relates to independence and leaving "the nest."  The conversation should be upbeat with emphasis on this exciting time in his life.  Talk about what he needs from you as he works through the process, here are the basics:
    • Set the goal
    • Determine the block-what's in the way of his goals
    • The tools-what's needed to reach his goals?
    • No disruptions/one to one-sync your schedules over dinner, ice cream, coffee, soda or pizza; meet weekly/bi-weekly or monthly.  Time should be scheduled and consistent!
    • Demonstration of ongoing support-without needing each other is the ultimate outcome.

Parents should be prepared to "nudge" him along, he will need it (it’s normal).  Support is critical (they have his back and have confidence in him).  This framework gives the young man vision + action = mission and provides a path to follow towards his exit; it teaches him to be accountable to himself!

The epidemic of 26-year old’s living at home in the basement playing video games and/or smoking pot is real and it's

disturbing.  Parents must lay the groundwork and foundation with their son(s) and develop the "exit plan" before it's too late! 

Raise them to be healthy, happy, independent adults and productive citizens not lifelong dependents!


For more information on this and other topics follow Dr. Clay on social media:

Facebook: The Quest Project-Clayton Lessor, PhD, LPC

Twitter:  @TheQuestProject

LinkedIn:  The Quest Project

Clayton Lessor, PhD, LPC founded The Quest Project in 1996 and has since helped 2,000+ boys turn their life around to become the next Generation of Men. He is the author of two books, “Saving Our Sons-A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Boys for Success” and “Generation of Men-How to raise your son to be a healthy man among men.” Dr. Clay is an expert in childhood trauma and male adolescent development.

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