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Parenting Adult Children for Your Peace of Mind and Their Accountability

Friday Food for Thought

Posted on February 15, 2013 | No Comments

by Linda Herman, LMHC

Dear Parents out there,

A new study by Holly Schiffrin from the University of Mary Washington in Virginia (reported 2/13/13 by Reuters) confirms what others, including myself, have been writing about: young adult children in college whose lives are micromanaged by their parents have a higher incidence of depression and dissatisfaction with life.

People gain confidence from increasing their mastery over their lives, by gradually making more of their own decisions, and by living with the natural consequences of their choices.  We become strengthened through our challenges. When parents do too much two things happen: 1. Children and adult children are actually robbed of the opportunity to learn through experience (thus also depriving them of confidence-building activities); 2. They receive a message from Mom or Dad that says “we don’t have faith that you can do this yourself. Therefore, we must be right there with you at all times.”

You actually disempower your young person when you are overzealous in your parenting. You both deserve better than that.

If this sounds like you, consider ways in which you can gradually let go of the reins. This may be met with initial resistance because your child is accustomed to another style of parenting. But by doing so, you are helping him take a giant step in the direction of true adulthood.

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