I have decided that parenting twenty-somethings is harder than parenting teenagers–in fact, one year with my two twenty-somethings can be rougher than all the teenage years put together. I know this isn’t true for all families, but it sure seems like most folks I know with twenty-somethings are having a hard time of it. I don’t know why, but it seems like today’s “kids” are less equipped to handle independence and responsibility than our generation was. (Sorry for the blanket statement, but that’s how I see it.)
As a parent, I think parenting twenties is harder because their capacity for ruin is a lot greater–there are semi-permanent credit records to ruin, semi-permanent reputations to scar, real lives to injure, and dangerous vehicles on the road.
My daughter, 23, just called to say that someone broke into her car–busted the window to steal a cup of pennies. I could go on and on, but I really do try to maintain my children’s privacy–after all, they didn’t ask to have their lives featured on a blog. But as a parent . . . well, I don’t color my hair on a whim. I color it because my children have turned my hair gray. (RG–that’s “rueful grin”).
The chief question–when do you, as a parent, put up your hands and say, “I’m going to let you hit bottom . . . because you need to learn these lessons for yourself. I’m going to let you feel some serious repercussions . . . because I love you.”
And so, to all of you who have struggling twenty somethings who are trying to be independent but can’t quite make it because of drugs, irresponsibility, personality disorders, laziness, a lack of persistence, or whatever–my prayers are with you.
And with your kids. They are facing pressures we never faced, in a world all too willing to chew them up and spit them back out.