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All Grown Up A place to discuss "adult" children.

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Old August 11th, 2016, 04:43 AM
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When are children "adult?"

I recently had a situation with my 20 year old son and two of his friends.

I and another parent stepped in to help guide them.

The third boy said, "My parents are no longer legally or responsible for me." And they did nothing to help.

It made me wonder-- when does a child become an adult, and how "hands off" should a parent be when a child is an adult?
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Old August 11th, 2016, 09:22 AM
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Re: When are children "adult?"

I guess it depends on the situation and the child. I am becoming more and more hands off with ODS who is only 14 and type 1 diabetic. It's been hard and I don't think it in anyway qualifies him to be an adult certainly not at that age but he needs to start figuring it out on his own otherwise he never will.

Similarly if it's any of my kids responsibility to do anything and they fail to do so I don't step in I. E. bring them forgotten PE kit. They need to deal with the consequences of their actions. I will offer support and guidance if they approach me but only after they've tried to figure it out first.

This has been a very difficult thing to do as one who was once accused of being a control freak!
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Last edited by Annsdil; August 11th, 2016 at 12:05 PM.
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Old August 11th, 2016, 09:31 AM
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Re: When are children "adult?"

This is such a great question.

Like Anns, I think it varies by kid and by circumstance. Some kids jump exuberantly into the pool and other kids dip their toes in and enter slowly. I have friends whose kids moved out when they were 18, got a job, got their own apartment and made their own way in life. My kids couldn't have done it and wouldn't have even wanted to. There is a difference between self-care basics (laundry, cooking, money management which my kids can do) and negotiating a contract (which my kids couldn't).

I also know that it is most definitely different in different countries. I think Mrs X is always taken aback by how involved us American hover mothers are.

Just speaking of the kids *I* personally know, the ones who became completely responsible for themselves at 18 have different life goals and different expectations from my kids. There are those who are taking a couple of classes at the local community college but have no expectations or desire to get a 4 year degree. And there are those who are in a 4 year college and borrowing money up to their eyeballs in order to pay for it.

All I know is that I was almost 40 and still asking my dad for guidance, input and advice up until he died. IMO it was just like anything - if I don't know how to do something, or am struggling with something, I seek the input of someone who does. Heck, I'm in my 50's now and I am a frequent googler.
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Old June 10th, 2017, 09:29 AM
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Re: When are children "adult?"

I've been wondering about this

My DM seems to think I am allowing my son tho do too much (including failing) I think I'm allowing him to begin "adulting" with me as a safty net

And, yes, there are things I feel I've failed at
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Old June 10th, 2017, 10:14 AM
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Re: When are children "adult?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by snafu View Post
I've been wondering about this

My DM seems to think I am allowing my son tho do too much (including failing) I think I'm allowing him to begin "adulting" with me as a safty net

And, yes, there are things I feel I've failed at
There will be things that you fail at as a mother, wife, teacher, cat owner, etc. To err is human. That's how we learn!

So please, forgive your mother because she's making the mistake of not respecting you as an adult.
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Old June 13th, 2017, 05:56 AM
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Re: When are children "adult?"

It's funny... My oldest GSon, who recently turned 13, was given the responsibility of being in charge (babysitting) his 11 year old brother, 10 year old sister, and five year old sister for an evening. That was something mom never would have done with her oldest daughter when she was 13.

Just depends on the child.
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