Parents, Let Your Adult ‘Children’ Be Adults

AL.com is featuring a story this morning of a 20-year-old woman who left home a few days ago and took a cab from Homewood, AL to Huntsville and has been holed up in a hotel without telling her family where she is. Let me repeat here, she’s 20 years old. TWENTY.

Police went and talked to her and then in the article described her as a “run-away.”  Say what?!

Once upon a time in American society, it was thought that once you were age 18 if you wanted to live on your own or be on your own, you were free to do so. But somewhere along the line that’s gotten lost among a generation of Helicopter Parents–the same ones who insisted that all kids on the Little League team should get a trophy whether their team won every game or none.

Parents, its time to stop coddling your “adult children.”  Just typing those two words to relate to the other makes me sad.  A child is not an adult and adult is not a child, but it’s gotten too hard for many actual adults in our society to see the difference.

My Money, My Rules

The 20-year-old woman in the Homewood case used a credit card to pay for her cab ride. I’m assuming that’s what’s paying for the hotel, too.

The question becomes is the credit card hers or her father/mother’s?  If it’s hers, well, then more the power to her. She has her money and she’s choosing how she’s going to spend it.

If it’s mom and dad’s and they don’t approve of how she’s living, well then the choice is simple. Cancel the credit card. If she wants to live on her own and by her own rules, let her.  Cut the card off.  It really is that simple.

Afraid that if you treat your adult offspring to the realities of the world they’re going to quit loving you?

I have seen this in play far too many times in modern life. Admittedly, I’ve seen it played out in husband-wife boyfriend-girlfriend relationships, too.

If a person’s love is only based on whether or not you’re blindly enabling them to live out an obviously unhealthy lifestyle, it’s time to cut the cord.

It doesn’t matter how old the person is. It’s just not healthy for either party.

We Learn From Our Mistakes

Now that they know where she is and that she’s safe, I wish the parents in Homewood would let their 20-year-old daughter be a 20-year-old woman.

She’s probably making some very bad choices and mistakes that could affect her the rest of her life.  A parent only can do so much to protect their offspring before it’s time to let the little birdy fly. It happens in nature all the time.

Yes, we are a step above animals of the wild, don’t even go there with me. But adults who are treated like children are going to perpetuate such nonsense and it will only spiral out of control.

A person over the age of 18 is legally an adult.

If they choose to make dumb decisions, well, maybe finally being allowed to touch that red-hot eye on the stove will teach them a lesson you didn’t let them learn when they were five.

 




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