EH’s 18 Tips for Raising “Emerging Adults” (Teens) who are respectful, honest, confident, autonomous, hard-working, engaged, kind, helpful & fun-to-be-around human beings.
1. Eliminate rules from your parenting. 1b. Rules are for kids. Agreements are for adults. You are raising adults.
2. Never embarrass your Emerging Adults or your spouse or anyone.
2b. If you accidentally did, apologize.
3. Promote & Respect Privacy.
3b. It’s good and healthy to want to keep some things private. Boundaries are good. Encourage your Emerging Adult to set boundaries with you and it will be easier for them to set boundaries with friends & romantic partners.
3c. This means, no tracking their movements, reading their emails, or monitoring their social media. Privacy is vital in human relationships.
4. Remove your ego from their outcomes.
5. Expect & welcome mistakes & failures.
5b. Allow natural consequences to do the work.
5c. Admit your own mistakes & what you did to set things right.
6. Never yell.
7. Never hit.
8. Never talk about food or appearance in a way that feels you’re “evaluating” them. Never talk about your own body image issues.
9. Share your own passions. Daily. Be excited about what you’re doing with your life and share it with your Emerging Adults. They’ll want to match your passion with their own.
10. Remove all fear from your interactions.
11. Admit when you don’t know something.
12. Model hard work.
13. Verbally notice all behaviors you’d like to see happening more often.
14. Ignore all behaviors you’d like to see happening less often.
15. Never give your Emerging Adult a reason to lie to you.
16. Treat your Emerging Adult the way you would like to be treated by your spouse.
17. Love and accept who they are unconditionally.
To love your Emerging Adults unconditionally, you have to KNOW who they truly are to their core not who you wish they were or who you want them to be.
18. Daily make sure your Emerging Adults know there is nothing they could ever do or not do that would disappoint you. They can only disappoint themselves and you can empathize with them when they do.
Their job is not to please you or to live up to your expectations. Their job is to figure out who they are, why they’re here, and to go do that with passion and vigor. Your job is support them to do their job. That’s it.