On the Road to Adulting
Adolescents live in a fog of confusion and uncertainty. They can’t help it and often don’t realize it. Yet, the on-ramp from childhood to adulting requires them to master skills. As adults, they will need to know how to solve problems, navigate emotions, and respond to stress armed with competence and confidence. Plus, they need to be smarter than a 5th grader.
Adolescents are massively motivated to be autonomous and independent. Without giving thought to action, adolescents crave making their own decisions. They don’t want to be or feel bossed. They have unwarranted courage to stand up to authority figures, especially their parents.
It’s difficult to foresee how they will respond to adult directives from one day to the next. Your reminder to transfer their laundry from the washer to the dryer causes their upper lip to snarl on some days. Their inaction followed by your second reminder irritates them: “Don’t tell me what to do. I’ll get it done! And I don’t need a second reminder!” Spoken or not, that titanic desire to be in charge surges.
As you embrace that their urge to self-govern is not a threat to you and that they are not out to vanquish you, it’s easier to keep your cool. You still belong to each other and they need you more than ever.
May I suggest using statements like these to empower action rather than demand it. These foster ownership and accountability in them.
- Please let me know when you put your clothes in the dryer.
- I’ll need the washer by X time.
- When will the washer be empty?
Thankfully, they are not merging onto the highway of adulthood alone. They’ve got you.
Warm regards and appreciation for all you do!
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