When a child is between the ages of 13 and 18, they need a teacher. Between the ages of 18 and 23, the need a coach. And an emerging adult, between the ages of 23-29 need a resource.
If a parent is only acting as a resource as a child is growing up, opportunities will be missed to guide the child. On the other end, if a parent remains in “teacher” mode as their child reaches their early or late twenties, there will be other problems.
As a teacher, the parent helps her child learn basic skills – around the house, in the kitchen, in school, in routines, and in social settings.
As a coach, the parent walks alongside their young adult offering advice, helping to make major decisions, asking lots of questions and listening.
As a resource, the parent is available to their emerging young adult, but also understands that it’s their life and they have to live it out. The parents are available for wisdom, friendship, listening, and helping as needed.
Parents are so important at each of the stages.
And in case you feel like you’ve bombed out at certain points, or aren’t doing too well currently, there is good news. No one loves your child as much as you do. You’re the right parent for your child. You have what it takes to be the best parent for your child. It’s not too late.
This is some of what I’m learning from the book Growing With by Kara Powell and Steven Argue.
Pick up a copy here!