Challenges to Raising an Adult in Today’s Culture (HPC: E45)

This week’s Healthy Parenting Connector will be my thoughts on the challenges of raising an adult in today’s world… If you didn’t see last week’s interview with author Julie Lythcott-Haims, you are missing out! She’s amazing and had a lot of good things to say as well as some scary predictions about young adults raised by helicopter parents.

But our culture isn’t making it easy…

3 reasons it’s challenging to raise an adult:

1. The judgment of others (comparisonitis)
2. When a child’s decision affects the whole family (when do we let them fail vs be fair to the whole?)
3. It’s always faster and easier to do it ourselves! (Most common reason I hear from parents that it’s hard to teach kids to cook too…)

Each of these and its own is hard enough, but altogether makes our goal of raising healthy independent adults very tricky.

Sometimes we need to remember that a longleaf pine tree must be burned in order to thrive… Check out what I learned in the forest this weekend!

Challenges to Raising Adults Video Timestamps

  • 0:28: Don’t miss last week’s amazing interview with Julie Lythcott-Haims about raising adults. I give a quick recap of this interview before I get into today’s topic: the challenges of raising adults in today’s culture.

Challenges to Parenting Independent Kids

  • 1:42: I’m breaking it down into three big challenges I see. 1) It’s difficult to let our kids experience failure is other people’s judgement. 2) When one kid’s decision will affect the whole family, not just them, it’s hard to balance fairness to the family and allowing the child to learn from their mistakes. 3) It’s almost always faster and easier to do things ourselves instead of teaching our kids life skills such as cooking and meal planning.

I’m determined to raise healthy, independent adults, in spite of what other people say. -Katie Kimball

  • 2:47: I give a quick tour of the view from the porch where I’m sitting in Alabama.
  • 3:27: We climbed a mountain with our kids this weekend and it was a good opportunity to allow them some freedom to make mistakes. I’ll admit, I wasn’t great at it. I give myself a C+. 😉

Get Your Kids in the Kitchen with a Free Lesson

  • 4:12: Julie told me that she’s hearing that some teenagers and young adults don’t have the strength and dexterity to open drink bottles because everything is always done for them. I began noticing that we’ve automated many small movements such as unlocking the car door, opening the van hatch and raising window blinds to the press of a button.

Will scientists look back at this point in history and say “That was the transition between actual motor skills and pushing buttons”? -Katie Kimball

How do we raise competent adults?

  • 6:36: So how do we get past these challenges to raising adults? I share an experience that happened with one of my own kids the day after I recorded the interview with Julie. I shared it on social media and got very strong opinions and varied feedback from other parents. The situation was difficult enough as is and the judgement of the internet made it even harder.

The way other people observe and judge our parenting can make it really, really hard to raise an adult. -Katie Kimball

  • 10:44: The important thing is to do your own research, see what parenting choices work for you and your family, find trusted resources whether that be podcasts, books, friends or mentors and be confident in your decisions even if others don’t agree with you.

Sometimes it looks like you don’t care because you’re not micromanaging. -Katie Kimball

  • 11:53: I really struggle when a kid’s actions affect the whole family. I give a few examples of this playing out.

Part of raising an adult is letting them fail and deal with the consequences. -Katie Kimball

  • 13:34: When a kid is forgetting to do a task, it’s almost always faster and easier to do it ourselves. It also takes more time and effort to teach them how to do their own laundry or cook. But there has to be a balance where we allow them to feel consequences for their mistakes and teach them valuable life skills they will need.

Being an intentional parent takes guts, stubbornness and perseverance. -Katie Kimball

  • 14:24: The hosts of the house we’re at right now gave us a 2 hour tour of their property when we arrived. We learned a lot about forestry and trees. Here’s one lesson that applies to parenting.

I don't want my kids to be adults when they're 10, but I do want my kids to behave like adults when they're 18. -Katie Kimball

  • 18:56: We’ve learned so many things on this summer trip. I’m right there learning how to raise adults with you.

Resources I Mentioned for Raising Adults

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Challenges to Raising an Adult in Today's Culture

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