It’s inevitable, adulthood is coming!

Are you looking at your nineteen-year-old and wondering when he will start “adulting?” He needs to wash his own sheets and go to bed before midnight, and he definitely needs a full-time job. You think, “will he ever leave home?” A part of you likes seeing him at family dinners and another part is questioning his slow move into adult independence. It’s time to move out and accept the responsibilities of a mature adult.

This trend of delaying the move to maturity has been growing in recent years. It seems that our culture has adapted to what has been called a “slow life strategy.” It has to do with families having fewer children and changing economic times. Consequently, parents spend more time developing the growth of their children and children grow up more slowly.

It’s different than generations in the past and maybe this isn’t a bad thing. Teens have more time to develop socially and emotionally before they date, or before they are exposed to alcohol. The downside is that they are not prepared for assuming adult responsibilities. Perhaps a gentle push toward the front door isn’t a bad thing either.

Adulting can be expensive. Many say they don’t make enough money to cover a medical emergency or rent a place to live, and let’s not even factor in the debt from student loans.

However, putting off adult responsibilities doesn’t prepare them for needed life skills that one really learns from experience. Perhaps a little less “helicopter parenting” would have helped.

So, a few suggestions may be needed here. If you really want your young adult to start “adulting,” here are a few ideas to promote:

1. Stop going out to eat so often–you probably can’t afford it. You will save money and start developing needed cooking skills.

2. Use a calendar to remind you of activities. You can no longer just rely on memory/parents to get you to important functions and meetings.

3. Clean your room, apartment, or living space. This is a form of discipline that actually improves mood and lessens stress. Disorganization and chaos are not healthy ways to live.

4. Own your failures and learn from them. Perhaps this is the most important point, because it requires taking responsibility for your actions.

5. Learn to budget and buy only when you can afford something.

Time for your child to start adulting

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