When Your 18-Year-Old Pulls the 'Adult' Card

parenting 18 year oldsAs a mother to two kids with springtime birthdays, I'll be a mother to two 18-year-olds who are still in high school. Which means, for six to eight months I'll be trying to enforce kid rules on adults. This scares me.

Of course I hope to instill mad respect for parents into my kiddos, and docility, and a complete aversion to drugs, alcohol and unsafe sex. But who are we kidding? I also have to admit being a sucker for the "I can vote and go to war, and you're telling me I have to be home by midnight?" argument.

So when I read one mother's plea for a reversal of power in her household dominated by an 18-year-old, I could not wait to hear the solutions for remaining the authority figure, even when technically, that 18-year-old can do whatever he wants.



The four tips the advice column gave boiled down to these:

  • You're in Charge
  • Teach Responsibility, It Breeds Respect
  • You Are Not Your Child's Friend
  • Don't Be a Helicopter Parent

I would have to add follow-through to all of these tips. Empty threats are the quickest way to reinforce bad behavior. I can see flickers of a teenage mind in my four-and-a-half-year-old already. We just overcame the "If mommy says no, go ask daddy" phase, and it was not easy. Doing the right thing, never is. 

Do you have an adult child living with you?


Image via James Burrage/Flickr

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