The Next Parenting Transition – Young Adult

But the father said to his servants, “Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” And they began to celebrate.

─ Luke 15:22-24

Leanna was a fixer. From tasks at work to challenges at home, she offered advice to coworkers, friends and family. But when her son, Stephen, entered high school he began to resist her constant assistance and direction.

One afternoon, Stephen complained about an issue he was having with a teammate at school. Before he finished giving her the details of the situation, she jumped in to help him solve the situation. “Well, I think you should ….”

“Mom, stop,” Stephen said. “Most of the time, I just need you to listen while I talk things through. I need you to be a sounding board to bounce things off of.”

Leanna tried not to show surprise or disappointment. “You’re right,” she replied nodding. “You are becoming a young adult. From now on, I’ll do my best to listen and not offer advice without you asking me for it. But I’m used to helping, so you’ll have to remind me as I become that sounding board, and not your mom that tries to fix things for you.”

“Thanks, Mom!” Stephen said with a hug.

Today’s One Thing

If you’re a parent of a young adult, ask your child how your conversations might need to change as the two of you transition to the next phase of parent-child relationship.

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