When Does Your Child Become an Adult?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Every few weeks I get together with some other men in a study or accountability group to basically discuss our lives. We share issues going on in our families; we celebrate the positives, offer advice to each on the negatives, and pray for each other until the next time we meet.

It is a nice diverse group of six, decent men. The age range is diverse; one with no kids, empty nesters, and some still with young kids at home.

The topic of when your child becomes an adult came up at one of our recent meetings. Being men we were basically thinking of our sons. The answer varied quite a bit between members of our group.

One of the men had a nice clean easy answer. In this day, you became a man when you joined the military at age 18. Another member of my group believed a son does not become a man until around the age of 26 or 27, basically when he was done with all his college schooling.

My memory of my high school graduation night includes a discussion with my father that basically went like this, "Hey kid, nice job in high school, are you moving out of the house in the fall because you have a job or are you moving out of the house in the fall because you are going to college."

Clearly my dad's belief was, "Hey, you are done with high school kid, you re a man now, get a job, and move out or go to college and move out."

Don't me wrong, I agreed with my dad s advice back in 1983.

The reason I have been thinking about this is that my triplets will be graduating from high school in the next couple of weeks. I will have the great pleasure of having four children in college next year. I would have to admit though that I am not sure anyone of them is actually ready for the adult world.

Believe me, they all certainly think they are ready and one of them constantly says I am so ready to get out of this house and go to college.

Two of the triplets have an idea of what they want to do for careers and one has no idea. In fact, when I suggested the military as an option his response was, "I don't want to be told what to do and when to get up."

I responded with, "That is what they call a job, son!"

I am very excited to see what is next for all four of my adult children as defined by being over 18 years of age. I am one of the optimists who truly believe that the opportunities before them will exceed the opportunities that were placed before me.

It is definitely a scary world and if you focus on what is blasted at us 24 hours a day via the television or media in print, I can see where an 18-year-old would have concerns. All they hear is how expensive college is, how they won t be able to find a job once they graduate, and how America is in decline. I could go on and on.

The reality could not be further from the truth. In today s world the goal is to find out what you love to do and once you discover that, the opportunity to find a way to make a living do that will present itself. Just don't be afraid to take a risk to make it happen.

So let me know what you think; when does a child become an adult?


Wesley Lentz Wesley Lentz

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