Parenting is a dynamic journey that evolves as our children grow. As they transition
into emerging adulthood (ages 18-29 years), the dynamics of the parent-child relationship undergo profound changes.
Shifting from the traditional role of parenting over (primarily being the teacher and the one responsible for discipline), to parenting with becomes a pivotal aspect of fostering a healthy and empowering connection. Many parents stay in the role of parenting over for much too long. This often leads to power struggles and tension in the relationship.
The essential transition from parenting over to parenting with involves a shift from being the
primary authority figure to becoming a supportive partner in your emerging adult’s
journey. This evolution is rooted in acknowledging and respecting their growing
autonomy. Parenting with means actively encouraging independence.
It’s about empowering them to make decisions, take responsibility for their actions, and learn from both successes and setbacks. This approach cultivates resilience and
A significant challenge in parenting with emerging adults is letting go of the need for
control. It requires reframing the mindset from dictating choices to offering guidance, and allowing them to take ownership of their lives. Something to note as they explore their identities, conflicts may arise due to differing perspectives. When this happens, listen to understand their perspective. This does not mean you have to agree with them, but doing this will also help you gauge their emotional maturity.
Parenting with involves effective communication and active listening to bridge the generation gap and understand each other’s viewpoints. Striking the right balance between offering support and allowing independence can be tricky. Parents often grapple with finding
this balance to foster growth without stifling their emerging adult’s independence.
The foundation of parenting with is open and honest communication. Create a safe space for your son or daughter to express their thoughts, feelings, and concerns.
Similarly, share your perspectives and experiences openly. Instead of imposing rules,
collaborate on setting boundaries. Discuss expectations, values, and responsibilities
to create a mutually agreed-upon framework that respects both parties’ needs.
Transitioning to a supportive guide involves offering advice when sought and refraining from unsolicited opinions.
Respect their decisions while providing guidance
when they seek it.
Encourage decision-making skills by suggesting your son or daughter weigh options,
consider consequences, and make informed choices. This process instills a sense of
responsibility and ownership.
Acknowledge and celebrate your young adult’s
achievements, both big and small. This positive reinforcement boosts confidence and
reinforces their capability, promoting a sense of accomplishment.
Stay involved in their lives, and respect their need for independence. Attend events, engage in shared activities, and express interest in their pursuits while giving them the space to lead
their own lives.
Parenting with your emerging adult marks a transformative phase where the dynamics of the parent-child relationship evolve into a partnership. Embracing this change involves navigating challenges, letting go of control, and fostering open communication. By actively supporting their independence, setting boundaries collaboratively, and being a guiding presence, parents can create a harmonious and
empowering connection with their emerging adults. In the journey of parenting with, the emphasis shifts from control to collaboration, creating a foundation for a resilient and mutually respectful lifelong relationship.