Adult children

One night in conversation, some friends and I asked each other when you stop being a parent. Well, I suppose we never stop being a parent, but we were all in agreement that there should be a time when we stop parenting.

Is it the moment they turn eighteen? Hell no. Is it when they attend college? Getting warmer. Is it when they finish college and move out? Warmer still. Obviously, this is each individual family’s decision but at some point, we must realize that the more we push our own agenda onto our children, the more we may push them away. Worse yet, the more we bail out our children and make their decisions for them, the more we stifle their own growth.

Allowing them to make their own stupid decisions authorizes them to become mature. My favorite Bible verse in the book of James explains it this way.: James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  In other words, we have to go through some “stuff” in order to be grown up, and that goes for our adult children as well.

I know there will be things like late cell phone payments, tattoos you don’t approve of, parking tickets not paid, boyfriends or girlfriends you do not approve of, a large credit card payment they cannot make on time or any other fill in the blank you can think of. Take a deep breath. Remember that you already raised them and now they have to step into their own role and do their own adulting.

Relax. Try to live by example only and with any luck, they will eventually transcend immaturity and make you proud.

Part child-Part adult

One thought on “Adult children

  1. It certainly is not easy letting them go, not easy severing that umbilical cord. But if we have done our best job — which I believe you and I have managed by the grace of God — we acquire wonderful friends of our adult children!

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