"As children grow older, parents must give them greater freedom, including greater freedom to make mistakes. "

Young Adult (19-25 years)

John's Most Recent Articles

Parent Involvement

Posted on 11/11/2014

Why are young adult children emancipating so much later than they did in 1970, when the average age of male emancipation (independent living, paying one’s own bills) was 21? Why do...

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Biting Finger Nails: What to do?

Posted on 1/21/2014

Q: What can be done to stop a nineteen year old from biting his finger nails? This has been an ongoing habit from early childhood. He's obviously damaging his fingers and maybe even his teeth....

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21-Year-Old Needs Walking Papers

Posted on 2/26/2013

Q: My husband and I have a 21-year-old daughter from his first marriage. She was suspended from college for bad grades and is waiting out her time until she can go back. Meanwhile, she works for...

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Adult Child: What to do?

Posted on 12/11/2012

Q: We have an adult child who doesn't want to grow up. She quit college after two years and moved across the country. As we anticipated, she's having difficulty supporting herself. In fact, she...

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19-Year-Old Girl Dating Sarcastic Boyfriend

Posted on 3/15/2011

Is it verbal abuse or just snide humor? It appears that a recent column of mine had an effect similar to a Rorschach inkblot: People read their own personal experiences and/or biases into it...

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19-Year-Old Girl Dating Negative Boyfriend

Posted on 3/1/2011

Boyfriend just needs to grow up Q. Our 19-year-old daughter is dating a 19-year-old, who, in general, we like. He's not a partier, he's serious about his education, etc. The problem is that his...

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Kids Hitting Parents

Posted on 2/22/2011

A hidden abuse problem: Kids who assault parents One of the more heartbreaking consequences of the "psychological" parenting philosophy and style that American parents began adopting in the...

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20-Something Daughter Back Home

Posted on 1/26/2010

Parents need to teach adult daughter to take care of herself A colleague of mine used to say, "Don't ask a question if you don't want the answer." A reader recently asked me what rules she...

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College Graduate Returning Home

Posted on 12/29/2009

IN FORMERLY EMPTY NEST, SHE'LL RUFFLE FEATHERS Q. What, if any, ground rules can and should parents set for a child returning to live at home after college graduation? My husband and I are...

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Clarification on Military Accepting GEDs

Posted on 12/8/2009

CLARIFICATION ON MILITARY ACCEPTING GEDS A recent column in which I advised the parents of a teen to let him drop out of high school, get his GED, and join the Army has been challenged by some...

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Recent Questions

Adult children taking sides.

Posted 3 weeks ago

We have 2 adult kids, 23 & 19 and they are being brainwashed & siding with my ex regarding a very critical & legal matter regarding a business/financial agreement for my elderly father of 87. My...

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19 yo Narcissist Revisited

Posted 4 weeks ago

We need more help in dealing with the daughter that I have asked questions about in the past. She is continuing her pattern of bitterness. She made no contact with me on a recent birthday and no...

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Safety first.

Posted on 4/23/2017

On 4/19/17 I asked a question about my 18 year old step son saying he would hit me. I also said that my husband stated he would divorce me if I called the police on the boy if he does hit me. I...

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Being responsible for adult children.

Posted on 4/20/2017

Our 19 year old son from my husband's first marriage returned home after his first college semester because he was having problems. We soon realized he had been on drugs. Our suspicion was...

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Unresolved marital issues impact parenting.

Posted on 4/19/2017

My 18 year old step son caused a horrible scene at our family Easter gathering this weekend. His younger brother was in trouble for being rude and disrespectful to both his father and me. However...

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Adult child's negative influence on minor siblings.

Posted on 3/29/2017

Dear John, What is your solution to this? We have an older, out of the house child (30 years old), who is sowing seeds of discontent with his younger siblings (teens) who still live at home. He...

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Finances and the Bank of Mom and Dad

Posted on 3/28/2017

We have our first child in college. We are giving her a monthly stipend to pay for incidentals. Room, board and tuition are paid for both with money we saved and a scholarship she earned. She also...

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Reestablishing Relationships with Rebellious Young Adults

Posted on 3/21/2017

Unsuccessful in how I stated this a week ago, so trying once more. Have one of our ten children, adopted from Eastern Europe, who after many infractions, was thrown out of the house by my husband,...

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College student lessons.

Posted on 3/21/2017

Against our advice, our college student chose a roommate known to be prone to histrionics. Before the decision was made, we outlined all the potential ramifications but let her make the final...

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Adult children continue to be parented.

Posted on 2/22/2017

Do you have any advise on how to recconect with an estranged adult child who is in their 30's? And yes, I made all the "giving your child self-esteem" mistakes in the 1980-2000 that you speak...

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