You’ve instilled your values in your child for decades, been his disciplinarian, his hugs, and his biggest fan. Now he’s entered late adolescence, the age when society deems children legal adults. But your parenting still plays an influential part, even for eighteen to twenty-year olds.
By this age, your teen has become more emotionally stable. She will have a clear vision, or at least a long-term goal, for her life. Her sexual identity is clear, she can understand both emotional and physical aspects in a relationship, and she’s more comfortable around her parents.
It’s during this stage that your role as a parent has shifted. Your function now is one of support. You’ve raised a healthy individual, now it’s their turn to experience life’s successes and mistakes. A common mistake that parents tend to make is trying to be overprotective. Children will make mistakesâ€”that’s the only way to learn life lessons and develop wisdom. You may disagree with a choice your teen makes, but you can express your concerns without pushing him or her into a rebellious state. This will only strain your relationship. Your job now is to be supportive regardless of the mistakes.
It’s important to offer your teenager a lot of praise for their achievements and positive choices. This will increase their self-esteem and confidence. But don’t be afraid to prepare for the results of a negative choice. Your young adult may face a situation one day where he’s at a party and has too much to drink. Do you want to make sure he knows that he can call you for a ride home, even if you would have rather him not been there at all? In that case, make sure he knows he can resolve a negative choice (drinking) with a positive one (calling you for a ride).