Graduating from high school should be a time of adventure … our kids are out “on their own” for the first time; even in the controlled environment college offers, they still must take huge steps toward full independence, and those who choose work or the military face adult responsibility head-on.
As kids enter their 20s, they face so many formative changes. They enter the workforce; their brain finishes developing; and according to psychologist Dr. Meg Jay, 80% of life’s defining moments happen by age 35.
Certainly this is a time for our kids to go out in the world and find themselves … there is so much more to life, so many more thoughts to explore, people to meet, opportunities to experience, than what they are exposed to as they’re growing up … this is a huge chance for kids to spread their wings and explore, to figure out who *they* are.
But our kids need to stay hungry – they need to continue to challenge themselves, to search for what will make their lives worthwhile. If we as parents encourage them to “be comfortable,” we are not doing them a service.
As our children grow up, it can be hard to let them go and see them change from the teens we knew at home … but by encouraging them to explore and test boundaries, they will become stronger people who can stand on their own, people who will be confident, happy, and who will succeed in whatever they choose to do with their lives.