When does adulthood begin? The answer to that question has changed radically in the last 15 years. It would seem the 20-somethings of today do not see themselves as adults. There are many possible explanations for this phenomenon. What do parents need to know and do?

People are living longer.
What’s the saying? Fifty is the new thirty. That leads to another question: Is twenty the new twelve?

Helicopter parenting has not diminished.
Even though this has been shown to be counter-productive, parents are still hovering over their kids and trying to control circumstance and situations.

There is an increased difficulty with becoming financially independent.
Jobs are harder to come by in a sluggish economy.

These changes have resulted in several negative results as this generation grows up in a different world than their parents.
Sadly, the rates of depression are very high.  A 2012 study by the American College Counseling Association reported a 16% increase in mental health visits since 2000. And suicide is one of the leading causes of death among college students.

There are things parents can do to combat these circumstances.
Kids need to be allowed to fail so that they learn how to deal with disappointment and conflict and develop coping skills in order to survive and ultimately thrive. Gratification is seldom immediate. Learning that truth means they learn to handle the frustrations of life. Patience is a fruit of God’s Holy Spirit.

You can hear John and Kendra’s in-depth interview on Faith Radio Mornings below:

John and Kendra Smiley

Image: flickr