Raising Adults

“We’re raising adults not kids” is a statement I first heard from a former administrator. I think about it often.

You see, I have this middle school daughter who often asks for explicit directions on where some ingredient is located in the pantry – and I generally respond “just look for it.” She gets frustrated because of the assumption I’m withholding known information. She really does believe as an adult in the house I actually know the location of every single object. In reality, I’m horrible at organizing. I normally figure if the drawer closes or the cabinet door shuts it’s good enough.

Raising adults; it means I have to actually explain my ignorance. Then take the time to talk my daughter through the steps I would take to figure out the answer to her dilemma. It would be faster to just do it for her, she also knows it would be easier if I just did it for her. I have to remember my goal, that I don’t just want to survive today, but I want to raise a daughter who can problem solve on her own. It’s a lot more work to convince her to go through the steps of working through difficulties- especially if she has to choose between multiple good options.

There’s a lot of push and pull, like on days when she wants to make blueberry scones. I don’t know how to make blueberry scones, probably because I’m not particularly fond of eating them. So, we talked through how to pick a recipe from the internet based on reviews (and ingredients in the refrigerator). She made that decision for herself, and started baking. But I cut her some slack and just told her it was perfectly fine to use frozen blueberries instead of thawing them first.

Raising adults means holding my breath when my little monkey boy calls out “Watch this Mom!” as he precariously balances between swing set pieces or clambers up a tree above my head. It means passing the paintbrush while working on his Minecraft desktop. Raising adults means holding my breath while my husband explains to our daughters how to safely ride their bikes to the new corner store.

Raising adults is the hardest part of parenting. Knowing the difference of when to support and when to step back- and then actually stepping back. I really don’t want to just raise kids though, I want to teach my children how to function as adults in a world that’s constantly changing.


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I’m a wife, mother and teacher. Navigating the uncertainties of life with the aid of unending grace.

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