When my children were young everything was pretty cut and dry. Everything was more hands on, and time seems to stand still at certain points; while in the same instance, I would turn around and they would be five years older. I have made my share of mistakes and my share of what I feel are accomplishments. But that is neither here nor there. The issue now is moving from an authoritative position to an adviser.
Protection of your child, physically and mentally, will and should always be there. The hardest part that is allowing mistakes to be made as the children become older and holding advice if it is not solicited. Moving to the role of an adviser does not mean that you are a constant flow of information, but more of a tap that is to be accessed when needed, even when you know what should be done. Consequences are great learning tools. Having a metaphorically bad cut or abrasion won’t kill the young man or woman, but they will learn what not to do next time. Many young adults who have had their life protected from problems are obvious, and the results are disastrous. I have watched the attached clip from Good Will Hunting many times to remind myself of important facts:
- When a person is in their 20s, they know everything.
- Wisdom is not the same as knowledge.
- Confusing knowledge with wisdom is common among young adults.
- Limitations must be realized by the child, not told to them by the parent.
It is so hard to refrain from bombarding your child with the lessons you have learned. The key is to have extreme patience. If you have done your job when the child was young, building basic life skills and problem solving, it will surface as a young adult. Strengthening your adult child is done by remaining quiet, praying, and allowing life to squeeze the questions out of them. Then, and only then, will the advise be golden and treasured.