My children are young adults.
It took me, and it took them a while to realize it.
But, I am very gratified to see them grow/grown, and I do enjoy their increasing maturity.
My friend Carla and I talk fairly often about our growing children.
Often, moms are the last to know that their children have grown up.
We remember the baby days and toddler years and tree climbing as if it were yesterday. It might even have been yesterday. Our lives have been wrapped up in our little ones' lives all these years. so naturally we're reluctant to let go.
Being the parent of adult children takes some adjustments. It takes acceptance and it means releasing them into God's hands. Young adults still require mentoring, but they cannot be treated as children. As one wise mom said: "God and I have a deal: I won't take all the credit and I won't take all the blame."
Of course, the young person has some responsibility to make this a smooth transition.
First, they must decide that they're really not a kid anymore, and be willing to embrace the new weight of responsibility and accountability. They must realize that their parents have been raising them from an egg, and that parents need understanding, too.
But, I think the most essential change is that both parent and child need to go to God with each other. In other words, both need to trust God more. An adult child feels affection and gratitude towards his parents, if all has gone right. But, at times will feel challenged trying to honor and respect them. At those times, they need to remember that they are treating their parents gently, out of love for God; and that God is pleased with that sacrifice of pride.
Conversely, parents need to still mentor, but go from being their child's external conscience to being their prayer warrior and sideline coach/cheerleader. When both parent and offspring understand the unique challenges inherent to the other in this transition, then it becomes easier to help things along and give grace where needed.
Both parent and offspring need to conclude: my child is no longer a child, but an adult or "I am not an old child. I am a young adult." Once that is established in the heart and the mind, the new phase has begun!