Thursday, July 11, 2013

Real Talk With Rachel: Keeping the Kids Close

by Rachel Kurzius

Dear Rachel,

My daughter is thinking of moving to Austin, Texas. She just turned 25 and is at a very good job, even if it is not her dream job. She wants to go to Austin because she says she wants a change.

The only problem -- my daughter does not have a job in Austin. She has a cousin who says that she can stay with her for a few weeks until she has housing, and she has some money saved up as a nest egg.

But I don’t understand why she would choose to leave all of her friends, family and a promising job, to go to a city of mostly strangers and no job. 

How can I convince her to reconsider?

Don’t Want a Texas Baby

Dear Don’t Want a Texas Baby,

The short answer here is that you can’t. Your daughter is an adult who can move to wherever she’d like. Telling her again and again that she’s leaving a perfectly good job for the great unknown is unhelpful because guess what -- she knows that. From what you’ve written, it actually seems like a huge motivation for her move.

And what’s wrong with that? At 25, your daughter deserves an opportunity to shake up her foundations before she gets tied to the things that will keep her in one place -- mortgages, children, monogamy and all of the other obligations that can grow to define one’s life. All of the trappings of your daughter’s life that signify it as a success in your eyes are the same things that make her bristle.

I understand that you’re worried about your daughter heading off into the Texan yonder sans prospects. I don’t blame you for that. Know this, though: she is an adult now and perfectly capable of making opportunities happen for herself. (As a quick aside: I moved to DC without a job, so it’s definitely not impossible.)

There’s one thing in your daughter’s life that should remain constant, even when she seeks change: your support. Yes, you will miss her if she moves out west. Her life may end up different than you hoped. But make sure that she can always feel your love.

All my best,



Rachel Kurzius revels in giving advice, and has provided counsel both as a columnist and a friend. She lives in Washington DC, where she works as a news producer. Real Talk with Rachel is published on All Life is Local and the Cleveland Park Listserv,, on Wednesdays. Need advice? You can write to Rachel via or advice @

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