Ages 19-24

New Adults

Is it quiet in here?

Your baby is ready to leave the nest, with all the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Whether they’re heading to a two- or four-year college or continuing their education on the job, they might be out of the house, but they still need your guidance and love. We’re not crying, you’re crying. (Okay, everyone’s crying.)

Here’s What’s Going On

It can be hard, as a parent, to know how involved you should be in your child’s life now that they’re on their way to real adulthood. You want to help, but you also want to let them try—and sometimes fail. How much guidance should you give them? How much should you let them get things wrong? 

We don’t know the answers to those questions (we’re working them out as we go along with our own kids). But we’ve got some ideas on how to help your now-taller-than-you child navigate the academic, social, emotional, and financial demands of their new adult-ish lives.

How to Help Your New Adult

3 Ways to Support Your Child’s Development at Home

1

Make sure they know what they need to earn their diploma or certification. Those graduation and certification requirements are important, because if they miss a course or don’t earn enough hours on the job, they might have to spend time (and money) making up for it. It’s their job to stay on top of what they need to do, but you know your kid best: If you think they’ll need a reminder to make sure they’re on track, go ahead and give that (gentle) nudge.

2

Help them become financially literate. As your new adult kid starts working and earning money, learning how to manage their income so they can cover their costs (and maybe even save for the future) is an incredibly important milestone. Even if they’re still in an education setting, they’ll need to know how to manage their spending so they don’t spend more than they can afford. Many of us grown-ups never learned financial literacy when we were teens (and unfortunately, it isn’t often taught in high school!). So if you need support to help your child build these skills, check out some of the resources we recommend.

3

Pass along some family traditions. Have a favorite family recipe? A story you’ve carried with you? A special place you love to visit? As your grown-up kid leaves home, these are the most important things they’ll take with them. Now’s the time to pass on the secret ingredients so they can make that meal for themselves when they need it.

It's time to

Learn to Drive

Maybe your kid already learned to drive in high school, but if they haven’t yet, it’s a good skill to learn now. Yes, if they have access to public transport, they might not need to drive much—and that’s great for the environment. But having a driver’s license can even come in handy when they apply to certain types of jobs, and it’ll allow them to be less limited in where they look for work and housing down the road.

What's Next For Your Child's School Journey

You’re done.

That’s it. Seriously. Now you get to relax. (Wait, really?) But hey, if you’re in the mood to start back at square one, start thinking about those (potential) grandchildren.