My eldest son has turned 18. In one fell swoop, on the one day, he was suddenly legally able to drink, drive and vote! BAM! On the other hand he is still at high-school doing his final year (Year 12). Interesting times for all of us!
I have always firmly believed we have our children on loan for a short time and during these 18 years it has been my job to raise a physically , emotionally and financially independent adult who leaves home 😉 Of course that doesn’t all happen at 18 and there will be a few more years to achieve the financially independent stuff but the other stuff we’ve hopefully set the ground work for.
Right now he is applying for university places and residential colleges and I’ve left the applications up to him…although I do proof-read them!
Legally at 18 here in Australia, you’re an adult but I see this 18-21 as a ‘Youth’ period; a training ground for serious adulthood. I guess that is why 21 was the age you got ‘the key’ in days gone by.
I remember 18-21. I was a student nurse living away from home, dealing with death and trauma, juggling study and work, learning you really need to sleep rather than coming off duty, going to a party all night and then going straight back to work at 7am. (OK I only did it once cos it was New Year’s Eve but you get the idea.) I made some big mistakes but fortunately none of them were fatal for me or for the patients. I learned. I changed.
My son will make mistakes….I am waiting for the, ‘Mum, I dented the car’ call. I have to let him make the mistakes. I have to sit back and be available if he wants advice and I have to tread the road of giving the advice sometimes even if he thinks he doesn’t need it (!)
Tricky, right? Next year he will be living away from home and this is a good thing cos as parents I really don’t think we need to see the ‘little’ mistakes. I had that luxury as a student nurse and he needs that too. Chances to spread his wings.
As I said in my speech to him on his birthday, “Vote wisely, drink moderately and drive safely.”
What other advice should I be giving him?