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Transitions for young adults and their parents?


Halftime Hope
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I don't know if you're wanting something for the parents or the young adults. This book (The Defining Decade: Why Your 20's Matter --  and How to Make the Most of Them) was recommended from someone on this board for the young adults. I've given it to all my nieces and nephews and 2 of my 3 kids. It offers a good, non-parental overview of what adulting is about and various things to think about as they graduate from college and head out into the world.

If you're looking for something for the parents, I don't have anything specific. We've been working on boundaries with our kids, both giving them up and reworking them as they become more confident adults (even if we're not confident in their abilities!) It's a scary process, but one we feel is important.

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Sorry...it would have been better to find middle ground in how much to share online.  

It seems that in my family, part of becoming a young adult and starting your new nuclear family is reevaluating all the wrong things your parents did.  It's sort of a "destruct to construct" approach.  Right now I'm in the destruct phase with one adult offspring, and I know I did it without a whole lot of grace toward my parents when I was a young mother.  I can't imagine how painful it must have been for my mother especially. 

That said, my kids are making time to spend with us--several days at a time- so I'm hanging on to that reality to balance out what is painful.  

I'm wondering if this is a normal part of young adulthood, and looking for information on how to navigate it gracefully.  Dh and I were not perfect, and I do have regrets, but we weren't horrible, awful, manipulative parents either.  Some things we could definitely have done better, but there's a lot we did well, and both of us from a place of genuine, overtly expressed love for our kids.  

Sigh.

 

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It is so hard.  

I do own some things I did wrong.   We all do things wrong!  But my middle son has decided he needs to tell me I did all of it wrong.  I didn't.  He says I told him that going to PS would mean he would be bullied (I did NOT tell him that!) and that once he went and realized it wasn't true, he wished I had not homeschooled him.  

Sigh.

Lot's of blame.  

He also said I didn't teach him while we were HSing.    Um, ok, then why did you test into honor's classes for HS at the PS?  

Sigh again.

I trust that at some point he will come around and understand more, but right now he is a Freshman in college and knows everything!

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I have seen it mentioned enough on this forum to expect it.  It does seem that some kids need to do it to move on.  Maybe many kids do it and not all are verbal. I know I was super critical of my mom, but I'm not sure I said anything.  Being a parent has been truly humbling.  I can see my dd doing this.  I can tell she is already quietly critical.  I know that in so much she just doesn't know. But the things she gets wrong about the past do annoy me.  I'm willing to take responsibility for what I actually did! And even for how I handled things differently than she would (or thinks she would!)  But, like Dawn, to be accused of things happening that never ever did!  That takes a ton of patience.

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You might find When Parents Hurt, by Joshua Coleman, to be helpful.  I appreciated the author's focus on owning up to the mistakes you've made as a parent without buying into exaggeration about their effect on your children.  For me, his words were calming, insightful, and very practical.

 

 

 

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I apologized for the mistakes I made, and explained the family situation from my point of view.

What really gets to me is that one of my kids remembers things that never happened (double-checked with DH and the other kids the first couple of times). Also, everything this kid remembers is negative. I remember a ton of positive, happy things.

The situation is better now. He doesn't belabor his points continually any more. But it took several years to arrive at this more happy place.

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Well, I could be writing this as well. We have 1 child.  DD is 19 1/2.  We love her much!!!  She loves us.  With that said, she's becoming more independent now in terms of dating, driving a car, coming and going (within reason), church young adult groups, cc classes, part-time work and so on.  Tensions are escalating b/c she is comparing herself to others.  "This person gets to stay out in to the early morning hours". This person does this and that person does that. She thinks dh (her Dad) and I are too strict.  We should trust her and let her do what everyone else is doing.  Sigh!  I've tried to explain to her that the young adults she knows are at least 2 years older and guys. The girls she knows are even a bit older.  She thinks she's up to having all the privileges of a 22 - 24/25 year old.  I don't think so.  DH and I slowly add more to her plate.  What freedoms she has now is more than she had at 15 but less than 23.  When she  turns 20 we may (if her attitude changes more favorably) grant her more which would be more than she had at 18 but less than 26 and so on.  That's the  best way I can explain it.  We're getting heat for it.  Her attitude right now S U * K S !!!

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29 minutes ago, sheryl said:

Well, I could be writing this as well. We have 1 child.  DD is 19 1/2.  We love her much!!!  She loves us.  With that said, she's becoming more independent now in terms of dating, driving a car, coming and going (within reason), church young adult groups, cc classes, part-time work and so on.  Tensions are escalating b/c she is comparing herself to others.  "This person gets to stay out in to the early morning hours". This person does this and that person does that. She thinks dh (her Dad) and I are too strict.  We should trust her and let her do what everyone else is doing.  Sigh!  I've tried to explain to her that the young adults she knows are at least 2 years older and guys. The girls she knows are even a bit older.  She thinks she's up to having all the privileges of a 22 - 24/25 year old.  I don't think so.  DH and I slowly add more to her plate.  What freedoms she has now is more than she had at 15 but less than 23.  When she  turns 20 we may (if her attitude changes more favorably) grant her more which would be more than she had at 18 but less than 26 and so on.  That's the  best way I can explain it.  We're getting heat for it.  Her attitude right now S U * K S !!!

 

This whole post would make more sense if your DD was my DD's age. We anticipate because of health issues our DD may be slow out of the nest, so to speak, but I can't imagine imposing things like a curfew on a young adult. Courtesy, of course (if you're going to come in at 3 A.M., please have given us a heads up about it, and be quiet), but really? Young women are on average MORE mature at 19 than young men. 

Our goal with DD is to slowly add more to her plate so that by the time she is 19, her independence is only curtailed by her personal financial and health resources, not arbitrary rules imposed by parents.

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Well, Ravin, that's fine if you feel that will work for you!  🙂 It doesn't work for us.  As I noted in another post, 18 is the legal age as defined by the government.  Well, we're her parents which is more important.  There are different maturity levels.  People don't get this point.  

One can be a mature or immature 19 yo. And, one can be a mature or immature 53 yo.  One can be "emotionally" mature but "socially" immature. Just b/c one is 19 does not make them mature across the board.  We, as her parents, know what she's capable of and those need to fall within our rules/expectations and boundaries that we have put forth.   Reread my reply.  We add "entitlements" a little at a time - not all at once. I think your kids (do you have 1 of 2) are younger.  But, you'll make you're decisions on how to raise your kiddos as we will with our dd. 

 

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I think this is a developmental phase and part of separating from parents and forming own identity.  But I’m sure it’s painful.

i just want to share that because my mum died before I hit that age and my dad was in a grief phase I somewhat skipped it and feel that it caused some issues later in life where I had to work through stuff that would have been better dealt with in teen years.  Anyway that’s just some perspective if you want to try to put a positive spin on it.

 

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14 hours ago, Rosie_0801 said:

How old would you like her to be when she moves out?

Oh, she's not ever moving out!  Were you expecting that?

Well, she's going to transition from cc to 4 year university in the future.  And, if you must know, we will try weaning her again from her med while she "is" still home ( but after she graduates college) as this event can take several months to 1/2 year or more to determine if it worked or not and having to put dd back on med and stabilize her.  Does that make sense?  We can't wean before unless we want to push back when she'll move from cc to 4 year.  So, as you can see, we would NEVER wean her after she launches.  I can't imagine any parent doing that for serious conditions.  

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Halftime, I would be willing to discuss specific issues your kids feel the need to bring up in an open and non-defensive way.  Explaining my reasoning, but acknowledging that no one is perfect and that they may perceive things differently. Apologizing for mistakes or for hurt caused.  After that though, if they keep bringing the same things up, or bringing small naggy things up,  then I would come up with a simple response, something like "We weren't perfect.  We loved you and we did the best we could at the time, just like you'll do." and then move on. Rinse, repeat.

It is ridiculously painful when they focus on negatives after you gave up so much and worked so hard.  I don't think they really comprehend the pain it causes, and I do think some of the dissection is a normal developmental stage.  I try to view it like when she was a teen and thought I was SO MEAN.  It hurts, but it's not personnel most of the time.  ((hugs)) 

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31 minutes ago, goldberry said:

Halftime, I would be willing to discuss specific issues your kids feel the need to bring up in an open and non-defensive way.  Explaining my reasoning, but acknowledging that no one is perfect and that they may perceive things differently. Apologizing for mistakes or for hurt caused.  After that though, if they keep bringing the same things up, or bringing small naggy things up,  then I would come up with a simple response, something like "We weren't perfect.  We loved you and we did the best we could at the time, just like you'll do." and then move on. Rinse, repeat.

It is ridiculously painful when they focus on negatives after you gave up so much and worked so hard.  I don't think they really comprehend the pain it causes, and I do think some of the dissection is a normal developmental stage.  I try to view it like when she was a teen and thought I was SO MEAN.  It hurts, but it's not personnel most of the time.  ((hugs)) 

This, absolutely.

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((Hugs))  Both of my young adult dc went through a critical stage, too. They got over it.  Both have since thanked us for homeschooling them, for allowing them to pursue their passions, for living very frugally so we could help them with college expenses, and for being good, reasonable parents.  It seems the more other young people they talk with, the better parents we become.  I'm okay with that, LOL!  

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Some of your wording strikes a cord with me.  

On 11/26/2018 at 6:34 PM, sheryl said:

Our dd will not be doing that.  Enough said!!!!!

When I was 18 my parents tried the strong arm me with restrictions.  Over the summer we got in an argument, and things were said.  My parents said some of the known phrases, something along the lines of "if you don't like my rules" and "my house".  I didn't, so I called some friends and left a few hours later.  My entire family was stunned to say the least, and expected me to be back in a few days.  I didn't see them for over two years, (although I did call) and I didn't spend another night in that house until after my first child was born almost ten years later.  

I don't know your child, but I have a 19 year old DD with ASD.  We walk a very fine line to allow her to do things, without being controlling.  I don't want to make the same mistake my parents made.  

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Some of you all talking about "restrictions" and ages are sharing your own experiences, but I just wanted to clarify that that is not what is being worked through in our family. 

Thank you to those who have posted general guidelines and ways of coping.  And those telling me that you've experienced similar, and lived through it... I'm finding those helpful.  :-)  

Thank you!

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My oldest said some pretty hard/harsh things when she left home. She will turn 21 in a few months, and she has apologized for a few things. Meeting other people, hearing their stories, seeing how they lived/live and how their parents treated them - seemed to have helped her realize we (mostly me!) weren't the horrible parents she wanted to think we were. Were we perfect? No, but I did tell her we did what we thought was right at the time. Sometimes you make mistakes. 

I think she realizes now that it isn't as easy as it seems. And she is seeing some benefit from the things we did, so she is slightly more inclined to think that possibly the things we did that she didn't agree with might have a valid reason for doing those things as well. 

She is a pleasant person for us to be around now. She seems to want to come home and visit us. And she seems to enjoy being here. 

But... for at least a year or longer,  I was not sure it would *ever* get better. 

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