eing an adult isn’t easy, but it could be eased a little. This can only happen if you are properly prepared for “adulting” by your parents, mentors, or guardians. So, to transform your child into an adult ready for today’s challenges, here are some points to absorb in order to raise men and women prepared “to adult”.

Make your kids understand the power of control

Research has shown that children need to have a sense of control in their lives at an early age so that they can be motivated. This means that parents need to relinquish some of their control, which will not be easy to do, but it is important that they do so, because they need to understand that the growth of children is not linear.

Be your child’s consultant

As your child’s consultant, your job is to advise and guide your children so that they make decisions by themselves. This way, your children will feel obligated to prove that they can make the right choices. You need to constantly be aware that the lives in front of you are your children’s, not yours, which is why it is necessary to give your children agency when it comes to making decisions at certain points in their lives. Even if mistakes are made when making decisions, they are to be viewed as learning experiences that can strengthen your children’s decision-making and resiliency skills.

Be a non-anxious presence in your children’s lives

There will always be problems and obstacles to face in life, but being less anxious can be beneficial for you and your children. This is because stress and anxiety can be infectious, so it would be better for your children to see you conduct yourself in a calmer manner so that they can learn how to approach and deal with issues with more confidence.

Getting into an elite college does not guarantee a successful life

The stress relating to getting admission into “the perfect college” will not be alleviated until parents realize that the result of getting admission into elite colleges is not always a successful career and a satisfying life for their children. In addition, the damage that is done to the mental health of children of parents who adamantly pressurize their children to get into these elite colleges in any way possible has the potential to be catastrophic.

The important thing for you to keep in mind is that your children should be honing their natural talents and skills in an institution that takes great care and responsibility in shaping your children into individuals that can and will make a meaningful contribution, however big or small, to their community, to their country, and maybe even to the world at large.  

woman in graduation gown and cap and wearing a red banner on her shoulders sitting on the road
Do not let your kids feel that not getting into prestigious colleges after putting a lot of effort into the college applications means it is the end of the world for them. Image courtesy of talkspace.

Your happiness affects your children’s happiness

“Parental depression” is a real and serious condition that negatively affects children. Children can exhibit behaviors like back talking to parents and acting out when their parents are depressed, which makes disciplining children and other aspects of parenting much less effective on these children. This is why it is essential for you to keep a happy demeanor so that your children will get good vibes from you and also adopt a joyful attitude. In order to keep yourself happy, you need to schedule whatever activities that make you feel happy and even make you laugh, whenever possible. 

Teach your children how to build relationships

Take some time to give your children a concrete education on how to build relationships with people. One way of teaching your children how to build relationships can be encouraging and helping your kids to perform acts of kindness so that your children become more empathetic.  

Expect effort, not perfection

Parents need to begin to value effort over perfection from their children. It has been shown that children who have always been told by their parents to give them perfection have later gone on to have histories of substance abuse, long periods of depression, and heightened anxiety. When children are given praise for making an effort, they feel compelled to continue to work hard and achieve their goals and are not distracted by how intelligent they may or may not appear to people around them.

Teach your children optimism

If you want to turn your bad-tempered children into good-natured kids, it is essential for your children to develop more positive dispositions. This way, they will see the better things about life and not be more prone to depression. 

Teach your children emotional intelligence

It is imperative that your children learn how to manage their emotions and understand other people’s feelings early in their lives, so that they can connect better with themselves and with people around them. One thing that you should do when your children are young and are feeling intense emotions like anger or sadness is to relate to your children, assist them in identifying what specific emotions they are experiencing, and let them recognize that it is understandable to feel those feelings, but that bad behavior can never be justified for feeling certain emotions.

Form “Happiness Habits”

“Happiness habits” should be built by your children so that they are better prepared to achieve their goals. Some of these habits include:

  • Removal of Stimuli. Any sort of diversions and temptations should be removed for your children’s optimal performance.
  • Say it to the World. You should encourage your children to create goals for themselves and communicate those goals to their social groups so that they have more support from their friends and family, and also have an incentive to reach those goals.
  • One at a Time. Make sure that your children are focused on achieving one goal at a time, so that their willpower does not deplete.
  • Don’t Stop. Perfection should not be expected from your children almost immediately, because there will always be periods filled with struggles and setbacks. However, do not stop reinforcing your hope and belief in your children’s abilities to overcome their obstacles. 

Teach your children self-discipline

If your children possess self-discipline early on in their lives, they can be able to avoid various temptations that life may throw at them. One way to find out if your children have self-discipline is to conduct the famous marshmallow test and see if your children delay their indulgence and wait for the second marshmallow or if they choose to eat the first marshmallow. Note: you can substitute the marshmallow for any other treat if your children are not interested in marshmallows.

nine small images of one boy with a plate with one marshmallow on it
If you have children that have the insight to wait for the second marshmallow, then they have a lot of discipline. Or at least more than me! Image courtesy of Society of Personality and Social Psychology.

Give your children more playtime

Playtime isn’t just a time for your children to goof off; it is actually a time when your children are fully experiencing and relishing the present moment. It is also a time where your children are immersed in a creative atmosphere; they may be building an imaginary world or creating unique games. In addition, free time for children helps children learn how to negotiate, resolve, and mitigate conflicts with people, how to work with groups of people, how to share with people, how to monitor their behavior and emotions, and how to speak up for themselves.

There are even some ways to continue to raise your kids when they are already adults in order to help them maintain good adulting experiences.

Recognize and respect differences between you and your kids

Aspects about your children, like their personalities, may change over time, which is natural. Therefore, it is vital for you to acknowledge and honor the uniqueness of your children, so that you and your children can maintain a healthy and happy relationship. This way, your children feel secure in their skin when they have the assurance that their parents cherish them for who they are.

Set some boundaries with your children

Whether your kids live with you or not, you need to construct boundaries so that you and your children have some personal space. For example, if your kids call you for every little situation and issue, you need to set boundaries so that your children have some independence.

Bond with you children over activities you both love to do

Spending some quality time with your children when they are adults will really help you maintain a healthy relationship with them. Choose activities that you and your children both love and do them on a regular basis, whether that is shopping, going to rock concerts, attending baking classes, or playing chess. Your children will then have someone to unwind with at the end of a day filled with so much adulting.

Picture of a man with an older woman in a kitchen cutting vegetables
Your children will be prepared to be adults by you, but there will always be some adulting issues that your children want to talk about, so it would be wonderful if you and your children have some time together dedicated to working out those issues. Image courtesy of Good Housekeeping.

Parenting will never be an easy job, but with these pieces of advice, the tension of parenting could be slightly eased.

Nov 4, 2020