Wait, when did you grow up?

Your sweet bundle of joy has blossomed into a young adult, and all is right in the world! Not so fast! Your child may be 18 (or older) but does the parenting really stop? What about when they graduate and move out? Who is going to look over them and help with daily decisions? Are they even ready to leave the house?

Here are a few things to consider as your emerging adult is experiencing the “real world”.

  • Keep Communication Open:
    • Understand that the communication with your young adult is now different compared to when they were a child. For most of their life, they have been following all (well, maybe most) of your family house rules and heeding all your advice. The tables now have turned and your young adult is stepping out and becoming independent. I know this is scary, but it is true. All the pressures of school, money, relationships, friends and work can seem like a whirlwind and can sometimes feel overwhelming. Young adults need their parents to listen to them when they feel boggled down by life. An occasional “Uh-huh” goes a lot further than you think. They might even have a few uncomfortable questions for your untrained ear. Just do what your parents did, the best you could. By the way, don’t take it personally if your child hasn’t called or text. Being 20-something is very time consuming!
  • A College Degree in 2013:
    • There is plenty of evidence to support that the higher the degree an individual can obtain, the more income they will receive to ensure financial stability. Unfortunately, during this economic downturn, recent graduates are having a tough time securing a job in their desired career field on top of paying back student loans. Whether your emerging adult goes to a community college, trade school, or university, continue to be your child’s biggest cheerleader when they are feeling discouraged.  Some may not have a career path chosen, so encourage them to look at job descriptions to help their decision. Offer guidance and support to your child even if s/he puts that advice by the wayside or ignores it. Remember that most of us had to learn some lessons the hard way.
  • You Will Always Be Mom/Dad:
    • Though the relationship has transformed, the unconditional love still remains. Your little monkey or [insert adorable childhood nickname here], is now experiencing what no textbook can describe, what no standardized test can measure, and triumphs over any 15 page paper. They are looking the world in the face and daring to dream big! Dream big with them and create an environment that involves love and support. At the end of the day, know that your child wants to make themselves proud as well as their loving parents. Make sure to pass out plenty of high-fives and little messages of I love you. 

“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”
– ”Love You Forever” by Robert N. Munsch and Sheila McGraw 


To hear more on this topic from this author, click this link to listen to their interview on Plaid for Women Radio. 

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