Ep 185: Leaving Home Without Losing Their Roots

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When kids leave home, they embark on an entirely new adventure. New friends, mentors, classes and jobs can help them develop different perspectives and ideas. And while we want our kids to grow and change, it can be disorienting when they suddenly come home with a new hair color or completely different college major! It’s especially jolting when they seem to have new opinions and values beyond the ones you raised them with.

So how can we help teens stay connected to their roots, even after they leave the nest? It’s no easy task. When teens leave home for a totally new environment, they might not fit in right away…leading them to change their wardrobe, behavior and even their beliefs. For some, the approaching professional world might force them to conceal their real selves to get ahead. Every teen has an unpredictable journey to adulthood, and there’s bound to be some identity conflict as a result.

To help kids grow into successful adults without forgetting where they came from, we’re talking to Jennifer Morton, author of Moving Up Without Losing Your Way: The Ethical Costs of Upward Mobility. Jennifer has worked as a professor of philosophy everywhere from Penn state to the City College of New York–meaning she’s worked with students from all kinds of backgrounds. Over time, she began to notice that those from lower income households tended to struggle with the social and cultural expectations of college, inspiring her to think critically about how young adults change as they leave home.

In our interview, we’re defining the term “code-switching”, and how young adults often use this technique when they feel pressured to fit in. Plus, we’re discussing why entitlement can actually be a good thing, and how we can start having tough conversations with our teens about the real world while they’re still under our roof.

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