How is parenting an 18 year old different? BTDT?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2012
How is parenting an 18 year old different? BTDT?
25
Thu, 09-05-2013 - 10:30am

Our kiddos turned 18 last week and are seniors in HS.  I had someone ask me this week how things were now that the kids were "adults."  It was odd, I had not really thought of them as much different.  Curfew didn't change, bedtime didn't change and they still have homework, etc...  They can legally get tattoos and piercings (this is a trend, I really don't understand) and are legally responsible for all of their own actions.  I anticipate a fairly calm senior year - but who knows?  Any great BTDT advice for surviving the Senior of HS or living with mini adults?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001

What a nice and comforting post, You know I hear that a lot too. How the older my kids become the less parenting they need, that at 18 you nolonger have any impact on their lives blah blah. My oldest is shy of 18 by two years, at 16 I don't see much difference in parenting her than when she was younger, of course she's older but I still establish the boundaries and the curfews and I/we've been lucky too. She will be 18 when she enters her senior year of high school, Wow! I pinch myself b/c that is so close but I've given up on these ideas that we must be hands off that that age. 

 


 


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
A couple of years ago my DD told me that she could drop out of school at 16 if she wanted to, It was totally out of the blue and it shocked me... When I asked where she heard that from she told me from a kid at school, I know the kid and her mom who dropped out of school herself at that age. Remember the source and just b/c you hear somebody else say it doesn't make it true for you..

 


 


Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 09-08-2013 - 10:18am
I SOOO remember when the girls were asking for tattoos, and DH said, after you are 21, and live in your OWN place. Older dd said, "But DAAAAD, when I'm 21, I won't want it anymore!!!" Now in their late 20's, early 30's, neither has a tat. A while back, I asked them why. They said, "Even if we got it someplace you couldn't see, we just know Daddy WOULD find out, and we have visions of him ripping it off our skin. So not worth it."
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 09-08-2013 - 12:44pm

I don't think its a matter of less parenting but rather different parenting. Gradually stepping back and becoming more of a mentor. Helping them to learn to be more discerning, so they  "consider the source" and weigh the options before acting (and that can be the hard part, thinking before acting!). One way to do that is to give them more room to make choices/mistakes, while they are still within the safety net of the parents.

It also really depends on the kid---some kids always make good choices, some keep making poor choices for years, regardless of how they were parented; and its not uncommon to have siblings  who were raised the same to exhibit behavior at opposite ends of the spectrum. Parenting teens and young adults is definitely not "one size fits all". 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009

I agree. There is no one recipe that works for each family and for each child.

I took the role of mentor early on.  I and their father were there to listen, talk things out and offer advice. Our aim was for them to think for themselves, to take control of their own lives and the own up to the consequences of their actions.

The point was for them to become thoughtful adults, with the emotional maturity to stand on their own two feet.

They are both productive, hard working young adults with universities degrees, interesting jobs and no debts.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-1999

DS turned 18 a few weeks ago, things are pretty much the same. I still ask that he texts when he leaves and arrives at his destination. he has had his license for less than a year so I still am nervous.he has a pretty full plate this semester, so he will be looking for a job next semester. He has been pretty level headed so far, so I am hopeful.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001

edited, nevermind.

 


 


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998

I don't think our parenting changed much when our daughter turned 18. I think she was pleasantly surprised by some of her new legal rights (signing her own medical forms, having to give the docs her cell number and signing permission forms to let us know her lab results) but we never heard her use the "I'm 18 and can do what I want" phrase.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 10:18am
My ODD just got a tattoo a week ago. I was not surprised, only because she had been drawing the same symbol on her wrist for almost 2 years now, so I knew it would show up eventually in tattoo form. Like her belly piercing, she sat down, asked me if it was okay, gave me a list of pros and cons and I knew she had thought it through very thoroughly. At some point, its their decision and I'd rather she be okay with talking to me about it ahead of time then thinking she needed to sneak around and get it or hide it from me.
Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 11:04am

Folks, if you don't like the idea of your kids getting tattoos, just send them to my gym! Seriously. DD talked about getting a small tattoo, but after working out all summer at our gym, where there are a lot of older people with sagging, faded tattoos, she has decided to wait. LOL!