The early adult stage falls within the age range of nineteen to twenty-three years. For parents who have children who are at this stage, you probably know by now that it can get really difficult to guide them, and it demands a cooperation between you and your child. In this stage, your child starts to make big decisions on their own. Now more than ever, you as a parent should give them frequent counsel.
During the early adult development, your child is already applying what you have taught them in their earlier years, whether by listening to your advice or by observing your actions in different situations. In this crucial stage, children, now adults, are often expected to demonstrate the maturity that fits their age. The problem surfaces when a child does not live up to the expectation of their parents. When this happens—I did not say “if”—to your child, you should be prepared to make some adjustments to your parenting.
Parenting an early adult requires wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Your love and care for your child should be expressed in these vital elements of instruction. Just think of it this way: your children have just transitioned from childhood to adulthood. They have finally learned to spread their wings and are excited to fly. But then, unlike you, they are doing it for the first time. They have no experience or clues on what will happen next. And when they experience failure, which is typical at this stage, they will either regard this as a discouraging or a learning experience. Your task is to be their life coach, not as supervisors, especially if it takes them longer to adjust compared to other people their age in finding the right path for themselves.
Underachieving early adults need understanding, not blaming. This is the common mistake of most parents when their child is in the early adult transition. It is not right to limit your child’s learnings by not giving them room to make mistakes. Instead, you must help your child understand that mistakes are meant to teach a lesson and, therefore, enrich their wisdom in the process. While you’re at it, equip your child with the additional knowledge that will help build their belief system. It may take time for your child to understand that, seeing that they are struggling more than their peers. You need to have patience and faith in your child. What’s more, you have to let them feel that you love them no matter what.
Not all children can instantly know what they truly want in life and where their skills will fit in. Without your wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, your child might find it more difficult to deal with their concerns in their early adult life. Underachievement is not a permanent thing. In fact, it is an opportunity to grow, a state of discovery, and a boost to your faith and hope in God that everything will work out for you and your child in the end.
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