Nurturing Independence: Addressing Financial Dependence, Mental Health, and Marijuana Use in Young Adults

teenage girl smoking marijuana

Parenting is a journey filled with love, concern, and occasional fears. As parents of 18 to 25-year-olds, it is natural to worry about our children’s future. Let’s look at the top fears parents in this age group commonly face: financial dependence, mental health, and marijuana use. We will also discuss two strategies to address these fears and support our young adults effectively.

Financial Dependence

One of the greatest fears parents have is the possibility of their young adult relying on them financially for longer than they expected.. As young adults transition into independence, it is crucial to foster financial responsibility. Open and honest conversations about financial expectations and goals can help set the stage and avoid misunderstandings. Encourage your son or daughter to develop financial literacy skills, such as budgeting and saving. Explore opportunities for them to gain work experience or pursue higher education to broaden their employability.

Mental Health

The well-being of our young adults is of utmost importance, and concerns about their mental health are valid. Anxiety and depression are common and sometimes they turn to marijuana as a coping mechanism. However, this can perpetuate a cycle of increased anxiety and depression. It’s essential to approach this fear with empathy and understanding. Foster an open and supportive environment where they feel comfortable discussing their emotions. Encourage them to seek professional help if needed, such as therapy or counseling. Promote self-care practices like exercise, mindfulness, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Marijuana Use

Parents I work with often struggle with marijuana use in their home. Whether it’s legal in their state or not, many young people choose to self-medicate their mental health symptoms and it can cause conflict in the home. Set clear boundaries around the use of marijuana smoking with your young adult. You may not be able to stop them from using, but you can put in boundaries on where it will be used.


Addressing the Fears

As parents, it is crucial to take care of our emotional health while supporting our young adults. Here are two strategies to consider:


1. Prioritize Your Emotional Well-being:

Constantly worrying about your young adult’s situation can lead to increased anxiety. It is essential to take care of your emotional health by seeking support from trusted friends, family members, or professionals. Engaging in open conversations with others who may be going through similar experiences can provide encouragement and guidance. Remember, you are not alone in this journey.

2. Foster Open Communication:

Maintain open lines of communication with your son or daughter, ensuring they feel comfortable discussing their fears, challenges, and aspirations. Listen attentively without judgment and offer guidance when appropriate and asked for. Encourage them to express their emotions and concerns, and validate their experiences. By fostering a safe space for communication, you can better understand their perspective and provide the support they need.

Parenting young adults comes with its own set of fears and challenges. By addressing concerns about financial dependence, mental health, and marijuana use, we can support the young adult in your life effectively. Prioritizing your emotional well-being and fostering open communication are key to navigating these fears. With empathy, understanding, and support, we can help our young adults develop independence, resilience, and a positive outlook on their future.