Thursday, January 16, 2014

How Parents Can Let Their Young Adults Grow

Choosing after-school activities, spending more time with friends, learning to drive—adolescence is characterized by all kinds of marks of increased independence, and while some parents might celebrate the fact that their child is able to do more on their own, it can also be stressful for parents to see their children needing them less. It can be especially difficult when your teenager is getting ready to move away from home for the first time.

At this point of development, it’s important for parents to resist the urge to hold their kids close and do everything for them. Too much help now can reduce your young adult’s sense of personal responsibility, which can be problematic once they become adults. At the same time, your young adult still needs some support from you in order to thrive emotionally. So how do you strike the right balance between giving them the right kind of freedom and support?

Yellowbrick has put together a helpful infographic on how parents can successfully facilitate the transition to young adulthood by assessing their child’s needs and setting shared goals. Let’s look at some of the things they’ve found that work best.

Let your young adult become part of a community. You probably already know how important it is to have a good support network, and while you’re definitely part of that support network for your young adult, you need to recognize that they may also turn to peers and other role models for guidance. Encourage them to expand their community as they grow up.

Learn how to cope with empty nest syndrome. Recognize that part of your anxiety over your young adult growing up is probably related to a major change in your life—your child may no longer be in your home on a daily basis. Make sure that you have your own support network during this transition and accept that you won’t know all the details of your young adult’s life.

Trust your young adult’s decisions. It’s easy to get into the mindset that you always know what’s best for your child, but as your young adult develops, it’s important that they have the opportunities to make their own choices—even if their decisions don’t always have the best outcome. We learn through mistakes, after all, and your young adult will need problem solving skills throughout their life.

Expect your young adult to take responsibility. Know that your child needs to take on more responsibilities as they transition to adulthood, and hold them accountable for that.

Want to learn more about how you can help your child transition into adulthood? Check out Yellowbrick’s infographic. 


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