Adulting – It’s Hard To Do

For parents, it is easy to get discouraged about a child far from adulting. But at the heart of the matter is learning to let go and celebrate your child’s new-found independence. If only they would listen to what I tell them to do, you may lament. However, releasing this control is when a child will encounter their adulting transformation the most. Just as your child is making a push toward adulting, it is a parent’s job to give them the room to grow.

According to Jeffrey Arnett and Elizabeth Fishel, authors of Getting to 30: A Parent’s Guide to the 20-Something Years, it is important for parents to set healthy boundaries. This may include setting a deadline to encourage your adult child to make goals, discuss money and the ways they can earn an income in and out of the home, including paying a portion of rent, and even assign tasks around the house such as doing the laundry, taking out the trash, and cleaning the dishes.

Finally, as your adult child will continue their social lives, boundaries should include a discussion of the social circles and relationships they are able to bring under your roof, even if it includes an uncomfortable talk about sex and dating. Strike a balance between giving them privacy within the rules of your home. Setting these expectations will encourage your child to adult, to be a team player. And if they give you lip, turn to your kid, smile and invoke the words of Marina Keegan, the voice of a generation: “We’re all in this together.”

For more information about child development, check out Hara Estroff Marano’s book A Nation of Wimps here: or order the book on Amazon.

To read up on all the tricks to adulting in the 21st century, check out Kelly Williams Brown’s book Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps available on Amazon. To get the latest on “failure to launch” and advice on ways to deal with a child struggling to become an adult, check out Dr. Louise Stanger’s presentation on her website:

For more insightful information and tips on “failure to launch,” check out Elizabeth Fishel and Jeffrey Arnett’s book Getting to 30: A Parent’s Guide to the 20-Something Years available on Amazon.

To see into the soul of a millennial, check out Marina Keegan’s bestselling collection of essays and short stories The Opposite of Loneliness available on Amazon.

For more information on generational gaps, check out James Cote’s books Generation On Hold and Arrested Adulthood both available on Amazon.

Dr. Louise Stanger – speaker, educator, clinician, and interventionist – uses an invitational intervention approach with complicated mental health, substance abuse, chronic pain and process addiction clients. Louise publishes in the Huffington Post, Journal of Alcohol Studies, The Sober World, Recovery Campus, Addiction Blog and other media. The San Diego Business Journal listed her as one of the “Top 10 Women Who Mean Business” and is considered by Quit Alcohol as one of the Top 10 Interventionists in the country. She speaks all over the country and trains staff Paradigm Malibu, New Found Life , Lifeskills etc. and develops original Family programs such as the one at Driftwood Recovery in Austin, Texas. She is the recipient of the 2014 Foundations Fan Favorite Speaker Award and the 2016 Joseph L. Galletta Spirit of Recovery Award. Her book Falling Up: A Memoir of Renewal is available on Amazon and Learn to Thrive: An Intervention Handbook may be found on her website at

Roger Porter has two bachelor degrees in film and marketing from the University of Texas at Austin. He works in the entertainment industry, writes screenplays and coverage, and when he’s not doing that he tutors middle and high school students. As a college alumni he is committed to being an advocate for public discourse on college campuses.

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