How could I have been so naïve? Here I have been thinking that the older our children get, the easier it is to parent them… FALSE!
Sure when they were babies they kept you up all night and barfed on every nice outfit you owned, and then as toddlers they threw themselves on the ground and had tantrums in every grocery store and gathering place they could. But at least when they were young you could put them in time out until they could behave. Not so much when they become grown adults! Can you imagine me picking up my 6’3” son and carrying him to his room for a time out….okay that is just funny to even imagine…and totally impossible to do.
In addition, things become so much scarier when it comes to parenting your kids as young adults. Their choices are no longer as easy as watching the Disney Channel versus Nickelodeon for Saturday morning cartoons….and their consequences of not minding are not as easy to fix as getting a scraped up knee that you can put a bandaid on.
As young adults their choices to be made are far more serious and their decisions can often be life altering. Now their making the wrong decision can lead to devastating consequences that you as a parent won’t be able to fix, no matter how badly you wish you could.
Young adults have no idea how scary it is to be a parent of an adult child. It is truly terrifying. You begin to question yourself as to whether you taught your child everything you needed to. You worry that voicing your opinion might hurt your child, and you worry that not voicing your opinion might hurt your child. You live in fear of helping too much or not helping enough. You feel like no matter what you do it won’t be right. You pray that whatever mistakes you make trying to parent won’t wreck your kids life…and you just hope when its all said and done that your kid will still love you….yes, its terrifying.
I will admit that there is at least one positive side to being the parent of a young adult…through all the anxiety and worry and stress, you gain for the first time, a tremendous appreciation for what your parents went through and continue to go through with their adult children. And it certainly makes you want to behave yourself as an adult so you can make your own parents life a little bit better.
Thanks to all the parents of adult children for all you do and heaven help all of us to do it right!