Parenting Adult Children Kinda Sucks

Drama, Drama, Drama. That's what it seems like around here. I think if we wrote everything that happens down in a script and sent it to the people that write those horrible soap-operas, they'd laugh, saying it's too unrealistic.

In case you didn't know, we have eight children. Two of them are over the age of 18 and a third will turn 18 this summer. The good news about that is, the fourth one won't turn 18 for another 6 years.

We're still learning, we're still making mistakes, a lot of them, but we are figuring out how to be parents of adults. I wish I could point you to a book or resource we are using, but the truth is, all the books and websites and forums and so forth we have read have been absolutely no help at all. All the so-called experts either don't really have children or live in a fantasy world built from all their book royalties. Parenting is tough. Parenting adult children is brutal.

Take, for example, my second eldest, Miss C. She's away at college. Far away. It's about a 6 hour drive. She's in a place where we can't really parent her the way we used to. We can still talk to her, but we can't set her a curfew, we can't tell her what to eat, who to hang out with, anything like that. All we can do is pray we did our best to help her make good choices, and that she's making them. Unfortunately, there's no way to know what choices she's making, until she makes a bad one.

My eldest, Miss N, still lives at home. She was going to the local college for a while, but for whatever reason, stopped. For most of the last year, she's done... well... nothing. We're not exactly what is going on with her, but we're frustrated. We've tried everything we can think of to motivate her to go back to school or get a job. We're out of sticks and carrots. And still she just kind of sits here.

She's got a boyfriend. She'll be going to stay with him for the summer. I don't know how I feel about it. I mean, I know the guy, and he's OK, but is it better for her to stay with him than do nothing? I don't know. I'm frustrated. Again, all I can do is hope that we've parented her well enough to know how to make good choices and that she'll make them.

Were you looking for any pearls of wisdom in this post? I don't have any. All I can tell you is to grab life with both hands and hold on. Parenting is a job that never ends. You do your best to help them grow their wings and pray that they will fly, but sometimes it's more like a clumsy stork than a majestic eagle. And you have to be prepared to be OK with that.