Parenting a young adult

Parenting | 10 Ways to Parent a Young Adult

Parenting a Young AdultMoving from constant active parenting when our children are young to the parenting of a young adult can be difficult. Raising our children dominates our lives for so long that it can be tough to know what to do with ourselves once they grow up and begin to explore their independence and build lives of their own.

This week in our ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips, we share some ideas to support you to define and embrace your role as the parent of a young adult.

  1. Space; allow your young adult their own space. Accept that they may not want or need to see or call you as often. Let them know you will always be there for them, check in with them, and then move on and start to enjoy your own time.
  2. Try not to always question what they are doing with their life even if you feel they could make different choices at times.
  3. Listen to their plans and ideas, and support them as best you can. Hear what they are saying and smile.
  4. Allow them to make their own choices and to learn from the mistakes they make along the way, knowing that you are always there for them.
  5. If they still live with you, respect them as young adults in the home. Agree boundaries together but try not to control them by imposing rules.
  6. Try not to judge your child; they may drink or stay out all night at some time, is this often simply a part of being young and not having too many responsibilities.
  7. They might seem to you to spend their money foolishly but once they are not looking for a hand out, and meet any responsibilities they do have, be happy for them. For most of us, there’s a short enough window in life when we can enjoy what money we have before our financial responsibilities grow.
  8. Spend time with them and know them as an adult, watch how they are in the world and in their community. Let them go freely into the world.
  9. Make plans for your own life separate to being a parent. For many of us, our lives are consumed with raising our children and we might find that our own personal dreams are put aside. Take steps now around planning and achieving your dreams.
  10. Enjoy them; enjoy their energy and enthusiasm for life. It may seem like only yesterday that your child was a baby and now you see them grown, forging ahead and making their own way in life. They have the tools to do this. You have succeeded. Your roles may change but you will always be their parent. Take pride in seeing what they have become.

This article is by One Family’s Director of Children & Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly, as part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips. You can read the full series here.

Find out more about our parenting skills programmes and parent supports. For support and information on these or any related topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email