Transition from Older Teen to Adult

As a mother of a child that was soon approaching the passage from adolescence to adulthood, I wanted to capture that moment in his life with all the questions and fears that the future would entail for him and also for me, as a parent. It prompted a project that went from asking his friends “How they saw their world?” into a much larger body of work that included youth from different parts of the world. The choices of the participants were random. They were from different social, economic, and cultural backgrounds. I realized that this germ of on an idea had turned into a vehicle for these young people to express themselves or “to name and locate him – or herself in the world,” and a way for us adults to better comprehend that passage. That vehicle was my book, “Barely Exposed.”

The age group I dealt with was from 17 to 21, older teens to young adults. What are some of the problems that can arise for parents when dealing with this age group as they are transitioning?

We must realize that even though at 18 the law views each young person as an adult… the rate of development is quite different in each individual. As a parent, we must be aware of our child’s capabilities and deal with them accordingly.

Once they leave home, either working or in university, many are still struggling with feeling confident and ready to take on adult roles.

Liv responds to my question in “How do you see your world?”

“If on one hand, the idea of becoming independent and responsible is exciting…The fact that I will soon be alone in an enormous, unknown world is scary.”

It is helpful to know they have a safety net at home where they are not judged but loved and supported. They may not need as much managing as they need communication and suggestions for their choices in transitioning to independence.

We should as parents:

  1. Listen to our children so that we can help them become confident adults.
  2. Support and advise them when they question their choices but also make them understand just how difficult those choices can be.
  3. It is also important to set boundaries so that they can progress and feel reassured in his or her decisions.
  4. Be a role model, by being a responsible, concerned and generous adult both with affection and time.

And most of all, tell them just how much you believe and love them.

~ by latanaphotography on December 17, 2010.

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