The Science of Parenting

Emerging Adults | S.5 Ep. 8

May 27, 2021 Season 5 Episode 8
The Science of Parenting
Emerging Adults | S.5 Ep. 8
Show Notes Transcript

As your child-parent relationship grows up, learn how to co-exist with your young adult.

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Mackenzie Johnson:

Welcome to The Science of Parenting podcast, where we connect you with research based information that fits your family. We're going to talk about the realities of being a parent, and how research can help guide our parenting decisions. I'm Mackenzie Johnson, parent of two littles with their own quirks. And I'm a parenting educator.

Lori Korthals:

And I'm Lori Korthals, parent of three in two different life stages. Two are launched, I know, and one is still in high school. And today we are talking about those two of mine that are launched and they're in early adulthood or it's like that idea of emerging adulthood. And, that's hard, right, I still kind of struggle with does that mean I'm the parent of emerging adults? Huh, I guess I am.

Mackenzie Johnson:

And so, you know, every episode this season, we've had this precursor, we want to tell you, yes, that kids develop a different like rates and that, like development, and we're gonna talk about it generally. And I was like, do I say that in this adulthood episode? But I kind of think we do. Because like, some emerging and early adults are quicker to move out. Some are quicker to be financially independent. Some might be, quote, unquote, late bloomers. And so there is still this idea of like, this rate of development is different. And so we're going to give research based information about this stage, and some suggestions and talk about some reality around how we can help inform our parenting decisions. But it's still there.

Lori Korthals:

Yeah, exactly. It is still there. And again, also recognizing that they still have temperament influencing their move into adulthood. They still have the environment in which they're growing up in impacting the rate at which they move into adulthood. And so there are still these factors their genetics that are impacting whether they move into or out of things more quickly. So we're going to define it though, of course, first for you. I think we're being very vague on purpose. But the definition that we're looking at specifically, is this idea of emerging adults or early adults. So this concept is actually fairly recent, and there's some, again, you know, some differences in opinion on what this really means. So tell us about that.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. So Arnett is kind of the researcher who like coined this phrase, and it's kind of considered the father of emerging adulthood. And really, it was like the late 90s, early 2000s, when this phrase even came around, so we're still really figuring it out. But as he defined it it is a new conception of development, from the period through the late teens into the 20s, with a focus on ages 18 to 25. But I've also seen it from 18 to 29. So yes, but really, the big thing is that this life stage is not confined to a specific age. It's more typical, the big characteristic is, and I love this, I think this is so accurate, the freedoms of adulthood. So someone who has the some of the freedoms of adulthood, but does not have all of the responsibility characteristics of adulthood, yes, some of the freedoms, but not all of the responsibility. So some of the freedoms to choose when you'd like to come and go, what you do for a job, how you want to spend your money, but maybe not all the responsibilities of like, paying bills or being responsible for another human being, or, yeah, just some of that stuff, like some of the freedoms not all responsibility.

Lori Korthals:

Exactly. And that kind of that kind of goes along with that idea of, there may be some of you out there saying, why are you still talking about child development, these people are 18 to 25. There are laws around the nation that actually say they are old enough to do things. You should be done talking about child development. But essentially, we aren't ever done parenting, right. So we kind of felt like we still needed to talk about this age. And we've been telling you for weeks that their brains are not fully developed yet. So we actually can't stop talking about it until their brains are developed fully right?

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. When we do we, like once we're a parent, we're a parent forever kind of thing. And I think that's a really great point. There's still some new parenting skills required of us in this age of parenting an adult. Absolutely,

Lori Korthals:

Yes. And according to Bartlett and Bartlett, there are actually several qualities that fit this unique developmental stage. So we're gonna review some of these qualities. And remember all along, again, their brain is still developing. Yes, their brain is still developing. So, you know, as we think about these factors and these unique qualities, there's some brain development coming into play. Yes, definitely big time. So okay, a couple of these are the idea of identity exploration. So they're exploring, what is my identity in this world? Am I going to go straight out of high school into a job? Am I going to be in the military? Am I going to be a college student? Am I going to be in a full time relationship? Am I going to be a parent? They're exploring these identities and trying to figure out what fits essentially, I'll give you a quick story. When I when I taught college, I remember thinking to myself, who are we to think that 18 year olds should be deciding their college major? Right, the thing they're going to do for the next 30 years, you have to decide at 18? Okay, I

Mackenzie Johnson:

Maybe that's why I changed my major four times.

Lori Korthals:

Yes, exactly. Okay. This is this is identity exploration. There's also experimenting that happens during this time along side that identity exploration, they're experimenting on, you know, they have all of these options and opportunities, right in the palm of their hand. You know, suddenly there are laws, again, that say they can do this, they must do this, right. And so they have these opportunities and options. And so the idea that they have optimism around, wow, look at all of this. And then hitting the third unique developmental factor that happens during this time, that fear and suddenly overwhelming, you know, pressure of, I have all these decisions to make. I don't know how to make all of these decisions, you know, I've been allowed to make some decisions. But now, do I have to make all of these and they might feel that they have to make them all when, as a parent, we can say you who were still here, we can help you if you want. You know, I have a child that went from college to launch just in the last several weeks. And I definitely saw that overwhelming sense of oh, my goodness, what? Like, what, what's, I have no idea what's next. And, you know, there were things that happened to her in the last couple of weeks, where I was like, oh, my goodness, who is this kid? And I had to recognize she's overwhelmed, overwhelmed with all these decisions she thought she was going to have to make on her own. Yes. How about some other factors?

Mackenzie Johnson:

I'll say it makes me think of this. I've heard this phrase like, I need an adultier adult. You know, like, I'm not I'm kind of a fake adult, like I needed an adultier adult to help me. And but yeah, the like, instability. Oh like, I don't know what's coming. I don't know what I'm doing. I'm not good at this. How do people know how to pay taxes? How do people know how to do this? Right? Like, all that stuff. And so but a few other factors that tend to be true of this stage. One is this feeling of in between using the phrase and what's next? Because it's like, well, I'm, I'm like, yeah, I'm kind of doing this thing right now. Or even if you know where they're like, maybe in college, like, well, I don't know what I'm gonna do for the rest of my life. But right now, I'm taking these classes, or, you know, if you're working a job, like, this is the job, you know, I need this to pay my rent. But I don't know if I want to do this forever. But so this, this feeling of like in between or in transition is really common at this stage. And then the last two kind of go together, one being that this stage is typically very self focused, right? If you're taking like classes, if you're in the military, if you're working your job, it can be a very independent, like very focused on yourself, the goals you have or the things you're thinking about. So it can be very self focused age. And at the same time, it can also sometimes be a very other focused age, maybe it's a relationship they're in, that they're clung, that they're clinging to, or that almost makes it sound bad. I don't mean it bad. But you know, investing themselves and other people in, you know, my friend has this thing going on. And I don't feel like I know what's going on with my life, but I'm really gonna help them. And so sometimes they can focus that energy because they feel not sure they can really focus their energy into others as well. So as I think about these, you know, kind of six things of like, they're exploring their identity, they're experimenting, they feel like I don't really know what I'm doing. And also this like I'm in between, and then I like focused on the things that I want in my life, while maybe sometimes getting a little meshed in other people that like if you are hearing these things, and whether it's all six or one of them, and you're hearing this and you're like that is my kid, you are not alone, like this tends to be true of this stage that it's like, what is going on with you? Who is this person? You suddenly are trying to think like, it's experimenting, right? Trying new things. I was joined the skydiving club in college. And I am afraid of heights like very afraid of heights. But like I wanted to try things. So it can sometimes be like who is this person? And it can be typical of the stage because of these factors. For sure.

Lori Korthals:

Absolutely.

Mackenzie Johnson:

What stands out to you? You have kids. Well, now, more than one kid at this stage and I do not.

Lori Korthals:

Two thirds of my children are currently emerging adults. Yes,

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes.

Lori Korthals:

And, you know, I tried Taekwondo in college, you know, because I suddenly had all of these options at my fingertips. And I am not like, I am not an aggressive person. And that's not what it's about. But that's I learned, you know, that experimentation that huh I can try this that I think is what stands out to me about these stages is, you know, two different children. Right, two very different children temperamentally. They experienced and tried things differently. They explored things differently. They have different levels of confidence, they have different levels of focus on others and themselves. And so I think, though, that yes, all six of those really did stand out to me like, yes, those. Those were my two children that are currently in that. And the idea that I still parented them differently. In those in this in this particular stage, I still am parenting them differently. Yes. And even though one went through it, I still had to I couldn't say I was very prepared yet for the second one. I mean, I was, but I wasn't. So I don't know if that was an answer. What stands out to me

Mackenzie Johnson:

Different

Lori Korthals:

Yeah, it was different and the same? I yes.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. Well, and I even think like, I'm one of six. And so not all of us, we have kind of an age gap in our family, but like, between my siblings, and I. And I just think of the different things that were happening, like, some had a child during this stage some were, a traditional college student some were, a non-traditional college student, some went into the full time workforce, like some moved out worked part time and weren't sure where they were headed. Like, no, just all the differences, but still similarities. Yeah, that makes total sense to me.

Lori Korthals:

Just go with it, right? That was kinda like, hey, just go with this. Like, I have all these, like, I have this child development background. But I still needed to essentially let my children's temperament, their situation, who they were evolving with us as a person, kind of be my guide, honestly.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. And I think that really brings there's this other term. So you know, we're talking a lot about emerging adults. You know, there's a little feels like a little more parenting action, you know, as it's a transition stage. But yeah, also early adults and middle like middle adults and parent at all these stages. But in previous episodes, we've mentioned that there's this debate about each stage, about like, some are like no it's, the milestones that define it, and others like no, no, it's the age that defines it and it's still the case like that is the debate here as we think about emerging adults and adults. But actually, there's this term that I love, from Horowitz and Bromnick in 2007. And they refer to this in between stages that Arnett calls emerging adults, they call it contestable adulthood. And I'm like, yeah, it's up for debate. Like, yes. It's contestable. You can say like, I contest, I do not agree you're an adult. Like Yes. If you and your child or adult or whatever if you have a disagreement or debate about like, I'm an adult. No, you're not, do you know what I still do for you? Like if that, whether a conversation you have or that you mentally have, you might have an emerging adult.

Lori Korthals:

Yes. Definitely, that I'm mentally having this conversation and mentally having this argument. Yeah. Well, and think about parenting an early or emerging adult their status of an adult is? I mean, what is that? Right? What so we have these national laws that say, yes, you're an adult. No, you're not.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes, you're an adult, but not an adult, adult.

Lori Korthals:

Right? Yeah, you can't do this. But you need to do this. Like you need to register but you can't purchase right? These kinds of things. And as parents, we also, like we still make these decisions or have these rules like you must do this. But you have to decide this. And I think, okay? Well, yeah, we still have these responsibilities for them. But they still haven't had all the experiences that we had. And sometimes when there are big decisions, like we're, as a parent, we think, well, they're too young to make that decision. So it is contestable. It's so darn contestable.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. Well, and I remember when I remember when I was learning this for the first time about emerging adults, I was literally in college like, oh, this is me. I've got some of the freedom but not all the responsibility. Yeah, I knew what a golden time that was. But then, when I learned more about this, and then I actually wrote a paper on this in grad school, and because I'm so fascinated by it. And so there is this argument, again, like I said, this debate, and some would say like, so the question is, when does adulthood begin? Like when? Yeah, is it 18 is it insert you know, and so one school of thought is that demographic factors. And so that would be like, once you're certain age, once you're married, once you own a home, once you're full time employed, once you're a parent, once you've completed formal education, there's all there's this whole list. And so that's one school of thought. And then the other school of thought is individualistic markers. Things like accepting responsibility for yourself, being financially independent, making your own decisions. So there's like, yeah, what, what what is it? And I think, honestly, because it yeah, it's contestable, because it's like, well, I'm an adult, no, you're not like, I think that shows that we need to like, give our kids grace through this and like, give grace to ourselves, like, does it serve us to argue about right? does it serve our relationship with our kids? To argue about whether or not they're an adult? Exactly? I don't know. I don't know that I think it does.

Lori Korthals:

I think that I can, I can literally hear myself saying this phrase to each of my children, you are 21. You're 21. And to me, that was that argument of you are an adult. However, I will tell you, I use that also that same phrase on a different child. And the age I used was different. My response at that time with that particular child was you are 19. You are 19. And at that time with that child, essentially what I was saying is, you are an adult.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes.

Lori Korthals:

And so it is different. I love what Arnett says that emerging adulthood is the only period in life where nothing is normative when it comes to these demographics like essentially is saying, you know what, it is so independent on everything. There is no, there's no right answer. And there is no magic line to draw in the sand that says, you are now an adult, you have now entered the land of adulthood. Which again, just sends us right into that phrase of, what do we say at the Science of Parenting? There's no right way to parent. Right? So there's

Mackenzie Johnson:

no right way. Yeah, to become an adult? No. Like, there's not only one way that our kids and that there's only one way we did it, like how you became an adult and how I became an adult looks different. So there's not yeah, there's not one right way, there's more than one way to go through this transition to adulthood. And yeah, I just think about the relationship, you know, if I'm honest, not being that far from the status of an emerging adult, like exactly I'm I am past emerging adulthood, but not like so far passing.

Lori Korthals:

But I am obviously the adultier adult,

Mackenzie Johnson:

You are the adultier adult.

Lori Korthals:

I am the adultier adult in this podcast.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. But I do have a younger sister who is very much in this emerging adulthood stage. And so getting this opportunity that I'm spending a lot more time with her. And all these things. It's just interesting to see this play out and the kind of like guidance and like coming alongside I get to do, but also not her parent.

Lori Korthals:

Exactly, nope.

Mackenzie Johnson:

But it is interesting. So one other thing that is worth mentioning, and that's in a lot of the research is this idea of the renegotiation that happens in this stage of like when our kids move from kids to adults, and whether that's in emerging adulthood or there's this limbo time or in early adults that we got to renegotiate and reevaluate and reappraise the relationship that we have. And it's one of the biggest challenges for parents, is coming to terms with that adult status of their child. And so there's research from Aquilino, that suggests that when parents are reluctant or unable to accept that adult status of their child can actually hinder their kid's development. And so it's complicated. And they even say that this can be even harder if the adult child is still living at home. So it is like, this is a complicated like they're an adult. How do we accept how do we, you know, renegotiate and change this power dynamic? It is it's tough.

Lori Korthals:

I love that word, renegotiate. You know, and that is that is important because that involves two people. Like it's not just the decision of one person. It involves that two party dyad kind of thought process and both people are involved in this and Ellen Galinsky who we have also been talking about the parenting stages, right? setting this parent up for the idea that there is a departure, and she talks about this age of child that we have as a parent that this parenting stage is the departure stage. And Arnett even refers to it as this is helping to promote more psychological growth and independence when they leave home. And I can't help but see the big red sign that says exit. In my head, as I think about this data about my two children in this stage like, exit, they're leaving my home one has left my home. Yes. And all the feelings that go along with that, but still that idea of we are renegotiating our relationship in a different way.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. And I think yeah, Ellen Galinsky talks about how the big thing that's happening at this departure stage for a parent renegotiation, but also the reflection, like the reflection that happens of like this my child's lifetime, that I have been parenting them, and how the dynamics are shifting and all of those things. And yeah, that idea of exit. And the research does, you know, it does talk about like, if a child's living at home and like, that can be complicated, you know, and Arnett talks about that sometimes the best thing to promote responsibility and independence and growth is for them to move out. And that's hard too or maybe it's not hard, right? Sometimes it's like, yes, please be free. But I also just want to acknowledge that that is, we always talk about research and reality, here at The Science of Parenting. And so there is some research that points to that, that can help with the relationship between an adult parent and an adult child, is them not residing together. But also there is your own reality, there are factors that are true for your specific family, for your specific child, for your specific situation, that help inform that decision. Research is one part of it, you know, that you can consider and can help you make an informed decision, but only you can decide what's best. Well, I should only say, only you and your adult child can decide what's best for you guys and for your relationship. Because I do think that is a huge, you know, yeah, like I said, not being that far from it myself, I think emerging and early adulthood, it kind of is we've had this whole foundation of parenting a child, and now the whole rest of our relationship with our child is going to be adult parent, adult child, so how we interact and renegotiate at this stage. Yeah, it's where we're going to be forever.

Lori Korthals:

Absolutely. Absolutely. And that is one of the biggest things we have to do. So if we were supposed to, if we were going to move into this reality phase of our podcast, you know, talk a little bit about that, you know, some of those strategies that we have to take with us into this stage.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Definitely. So some strategies. One is that our biggest job is to renegotiate. There are things like there's research that tells us that emerging adults don't tend to care as much about family traditions and rituals as their parents do, and that they want to make their own decisions. And we have to renegotiate instead of always being the parent or always being the one in charge. And so it's a big shift in power dynamics to be two adults who coexist, which ties right into our second tip, which is to practice acceptance. So our emerging adults are going to do some things we love and some things that we're like, what are you thinking?

Lori Korthals:

Not love that decision.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. And they might, you know, they might do things differently than you did or differently than you think they should do now, but it's a natural part of becoming an adult, and so that we can practice acceptance alongside those things.

Lori Korthals:

Absolutely. And then a couple other strategies. You know, we've talked all along about giving our children decision making skills. And so as they you know, even as they were toddlers, we offered them choices. And so now in these early adult years, they're able to show us how they can take on more responsibility, how they can navigate the world independently. You've taught them so many skills throughout their life, and now you get to kind of see them carry those things out in their own ways. And that means that if something fails it, it cannot be our job then to blame or shame. Like I think of the phrase, 'see, I told you, so.' I mean, that phrase is really a blaming or shaming phrase, and it doesn't help build that bridge between the renegotiated parties of two adults, right. And so it becomes very important that as they're taking on more responsibility and navigating this independent world that we support them, even through their mistakes. Now, recognizing that also, as an adult parent, you need to set boundaries, right, you need to set boundaries that protect your safety and health as well. But building a bridge between us as you know, to adult parties, is really important. So then the second the, I guess it would be the fourth strategy would be to find ways that you can seek joy, find joy, in all those changes that happen between that relationship in this stage. So as you see your child experience the world, you might now find that you have more time and availability for things that you kind of set aside, while raising them. I've taken on a little bit of extra school myself, and, and finding joy in being able to say, Oh, you know, I can now I can do this because I don't have to do the carpool run every 15 minutes. I have a free night because I don't have to, you know, be at this activity. And so as the parent, as you've renegotiated your roles, you're their support, but you also have the opportunity to now look back at yourself and the things that you would like, and that's important for them to see you do that as well.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. Yes, you're both two whole people.

Lori Korthals:

You are absolutely.

Mackenzie Johnson:

And you've been a whole person while you've been a parent, but there may have been things, times that you had to prioritize things your kids needed from you. And so yeah, that renegotiation can also come with a little bit of regaining some things for you.

Lori Korthals:

Exactly. Definitely. So if I were to give any advice to parents who have children in this stage.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Oh yes, I wasn't sure whether to ask if you were ready to give some advice.

Lori Korthals:

I'm, honestly, I think that two big words stand out to me. And I know you won't be surprised at one of them. But the one of the words is respect. So respecting their decisions, even if they are different from ones that you would make now as an adult, even if they're different as from ones that you would have made as a young adult yourself, respecting their decision. And, you know, if that decision turns out to have maybe not been a good decision, supporting them, and helping them to lift themselves up from that poor decision. There may be times where you're going to have to repair which would be the second word, you're going to have to repair the bridge, because maybe you did say, I told you so. And repairing that bridge between you means letting them know that you are there to always listen, you're always going to listen, sometimes, you might also offer advice, but always you're there to listen. And I think that that, I hope, that that is what my two launched children know, that they can come to me for is that I will listen. I know sometimes I have to really scrunch my toes up in my shoe or bite my tongue literally or squeeze my fingers really tight so that I don't give unsolicited advice. And that I keep listening. But that idea of respecting and asking for respect back. We don't have to just allow our adult children to disrespect us or disrespect our home or disrespect our decisions. It's a mutual respect. But also then recognizing that there are still going to be times where we're going to have to repair and just like we've said in all the other stages, we're the adults. And so that repairing may have to come from us first.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes.

Lori Korthals:

That's all guys.

Mackenzie Johnson:

I'm so glad. I was like, should I ask her if she's got advice? Eh, maybe she doesn't want to. Eh, maybe I should ask her. So I'm glad you, I'm glad you offered it up. So this does bring us to our section that we like to call the stop, breathe, talk space, where our producer Mackenzie Dejong gets to come in. And she asked us a question on the topic of today. And we don't really know what she's gonna ask, so. Hey, Kenz.

Mackenzie DeJong:

Hello! So, today, I have, I don't think I've ever related to a podcast more than I relate to today's. I can't lie. But, so I am a 28, almost 29 year old, and I still think I'm in that emerging adulthood stage. In fact, my sister gave me a set of pens for Christmas a year or two ago. And you mentioned something,

Mackenzie Johnson:

I need an adultier adult.

Mackenzie DeJong:

And this is also very true of me, I'm a very reluctant adult.

Mackenzie Johnson:

I need a pen that says 'very reluctant adult', I like that.

Lori Korthals:

Then I get the one that says 'adultier adult', right?

Mackenzie DeJong:

I need an adultier adult. You are the adultier adult for all of us here. So. Um, this question is coming from me as somewhat of an emerging adult, or some of the experiences I've been through something I know, I've talked to Mackenzie about experiencing before, as an emerging adult, as we go out in the world, something that's expected of us well, I don't know if it's expected of us, or we expect it of ourselves. But there is this idea that as I am entering the workforce, or as I'm entering the world, like I, I know my stuff, I know what I'm talking about. But at the same time, I have absolutely no idea what's going on, right? How as a parent, because I guess this comes from the experiences in like work settings where you, you feel like, people don't respect you, this doesn't happen always. But sometimes you can get that feeling of like, people don't respect you because of your age. And as the emerging adult, I can get that feeling in my head like, yeah, I don't, I don't feel like I know what I'm talking about either. But you know, at the same time, but I do know what I'm talking about, right? So how as a parent, can we help our emerging adults navigate that feeling and navigate that transition into the world as well?

Mackenzie Johnson:

That's a good one, I got a couple things that come right to mind.

Lori Korthals:

Okay, you go.

Mackenzie Johnson:

One is a term called imposter syndrome. And so it can be the idea of feeling like you don't belong in a certain space, and that you're about to be exposed as a fraud. And people don't think you belong there. And you don't, and everybody knows it, but you don't. And so there's and this can happen, like related to age, related to culture, related to race, like all these different things. And so that's a term called imposter syndrome. And so helping, as a parent, I would say, helping our emerging adult, recognize what they do bring to the table and how they do belong. So if it's related to your job, like you were hired for this job, because you are competent, you know, and sometimes it is that factor of encouragement, but also a willingness to consider. And so like a willingness to consider someone offering a suggestion, you know, not that you're like, if some, if another coworker, whoever would give you advice, not that it's to blindly accept it, but encourage our emerging adults to be open to considering, like, maybe this is helpful information down the road. And I can even think of times when I have received good advice from people that I was not ready to accept at the time. And so I think encouraging in our emerging adults, like helping them understand that they are competent, and that they have abilities, even when they don't feel confident in that, like, I am capable, and I can do it. So I think it's that and then encouraging them to be open minded, to be willing to hear experience.

Lori Korthals:

I love those. Okay, so then mine are related to that idea of helping them tap into their own toolbox. And so that comes from this idea that first I need to listen again, when I was talking about before and not give advice like they might be coming to me asking, mom, I cannot believe that this is happening. Like I am so frustrated with this. And we might feel that sense of oh, they're asking me for advice, finally, oh my gosh I've been waiting for them to come back to home for three weeks and now they're here. Now I get to give them advice. And, you know, taking a pause and just listening and saying things like, well tell me more, you know, even something like, wow, how did you feel about that? You know, and asking them, then, what do you think you want to do? Or what do you think you want to say? And the idea behind that is actually, instead of me jumping in to give them advice, which they potentially could have literally been asking me for, resisting that, and showing them that, guess what, like, they already had the answer to their problem. And they just had to take a step back from all of that emotion that was swirling and that there it is, their answer was right there within them and their selves. And, you know, I definitely know that there was an evening where my daughter called me and she was fired up about something that was happening at her job. And I said, wow, that oh, man, that would frustrate me too. What are you going to do? Like, what do you, what do you think you're going to say, Well, this is what I'm going to do, and this is how the email is going to go. And I was like, wow. Okay, so how might they receive that? Well, they could receive it this way. But at least it says this. And I was like, yeah, and okay, well, tell me another way that you might do this. And so just, essentially, I didn't ever give her the words for the email that was going to go back to her boss or her supervisor. But in the end, she created this fabulous response of, you know, a misunderstanding. And what happened was that her boss said, wow, you know, this was a really excellent point, I appreciate you coming to me in this manner. First party communication was so important. I'm glad that you, I'm glad that you displayed these behaviors. And I mean, it's all because they were her words, and they were her skills. And as much as I wanted to give her the advice. So as much as I wanted to say, that's right, they are disrespecting you, Kenzi. So I was able to say, Kenzi, you have these skills.

Mackenzie DeJong:

So I just thought of an a kind of a picture of, sometimes you just need your mom to be like, it's alright, you can do it. And it brings you back to like, when we talked about toddlers, or when we talked about those shy, inhibited kids that need a second just to hide behind their mom's leg. I know, I'm too tall, to like, like that'd be a little weird. But the idea of like, sometimes I just need to, like, hide behind my mom's shoulder until she goes, yes, you got this, you can do it to go phew, alright, I can do this. It's the same. It's that reverting back to when we were kids of needing our moms to just be like, you can do it.

Mackenzie Johnson:

And I think what you're really, part of what I hear you saying is also this idea of like, our parents are still a safe space.

Mackenzie DeJong:

Yeah, absolutely.

Mackenzie Johnson:

That our dads and our moms can reassure and help our kids consider and, Lori a lot of what you said also, I'm hearing myself, say the phrase like, 'Alright, so let's consider," um, you know, and so even like, so yeah, I said, I have my emerging adult sisters living with us. And so the chance to like, see her decision making process and sometimes I'm like, okay, okay, red light. On some of the decisions she's about to make, but you know, hearing myself saying that the phrase of like, okay, so like making decisions about jobs, like, okay, let's consider, alright, yep, income is one factor. Okay. schedule, you know, consider flexibility, consider location, you know, and so yeah, it's a matter of, we do have life experience that we can help offer our kids and help provide information. But I do see that as different than, okay, don't do that. That's like, don't do that. That's a bad idea. Yeah, it's a very different thing to like, let's consider this and let's consider this and right. And yeah, it's your choice, like, and that empowerment, you're also talking about of, you do have skills, you do have skills that you can

Lori Korthals:

You have skills. And even with my second child, I use. could say to her, remember when you were able to do this, okay, think about how you made that decision. Now, I know this is a big hard decision, but is there something in this other decision, or is there something that you did before that you can bring to the situation like so you have two legs to stand on, you know, just helping them recognize they actually do have other tools in their toolbox to help them make these hard decisions.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Okay, I got to say one more thing. What you are describing, and what we are talking about is honestly, the way that I try to interact with other adults. Right? Even if another parent comes to me for advice on something, 'Okay, let's consider, okay'. And, and then I even had a friend one time who said, like, 'I don't know how to do this,' like, you know, this big, tough parenting moment. I've never done this before. I don't know how to do this. I'm like, 'Hold on, let's consider the times where you've done this, all the times that you have practiced patience and grace, all the times that you have navigated, you know, this and this. And even if it's not this exact situation, you have all these skills you can lean back on.' And so we're really talking about how to parent an adult or how we can interact with other adults too like, okay, full circle, bow tie.

Lori Korthals:

Bow tied. End of episode.

Mackenzie DeJong:

End of season.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yeah, and end of season. Aw, end of season.

Mackenzie DeJong:

Oh, sorry.

Lori Korthals:

Ah, man. Wah.. wah.. wah.

Mackenzie Johnson:

That is a great question though. And we do we want to support our emerging and early adult kids. It just looks different than we did when we supported them when they were preschoolers and toddlers, and preteens and on.

Mackenzie DeJong:

Sometimes, sometimes it looks different. And sometimes, it's just you've got this, you can do it. You must be so proud of yourself for what you did there.

Lori Korthals:

Yes.

Mackenzie DeJong:

Alright, well. Thank you, as always, for your wise advice.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Yes. Thank you. So that is our episode on emerging and early adults and how we parent that and yeah, as Kenz pointed out, and that's our season.

Lori Korthals:

I'm sitting here thinking, oh, oh, man. That's our season. Okay.

Mackenzie Johnson:

So yeah, all season.. Yeah, exit. There it is. All season, we've been talking about understanding child development and how that affects, you know, how the age of our child affects the way that we parent and interact with them. And yeah, we are kind of wrapping a bow on for the rest of our lives, right. Like we said, you know, they're kids, and then as they become adults, for the rest of our relationship with them, they will be adults. And so we get this opportunity to interact with them that they might have some kind of quirks in these stages of in between, of instability and self focused and all this stuff, and might feel like their status as an adult is kind of up for debate. But that's just what's true of the emerging adult stage. But we get to be there alongside them supporting and encouraging through this stage of early adulthood.

Lori Korthals:

We do so as we go alongside them, and they come alongside us, right? We want you to come alongside us as well, at The Science of Parenting. You can subscribe to our weekly podcast, you can watch us on video, you can join us on Facebook and Twitter and see us in your feed right, just follow us, follow along with us.

Mackenzie Johnson:

Please do and you know, this is the end of this season, we're going to be taking a little bit of a break here before the season that we're going to be releasing this summer. But know that there's more good stuff to come. We're going to be talking about parenting and tough times, one of which has been the pandemic. So we're gonna do some reflection there. But now that we've got more stuff coming your way on resilience, and all of these things that we have going for us as parents that we can tap into in tough times. So please do come along with us as we tackle the ups and downs, the ins and outs and the research and reality all around the science of parenting.

Anthony Santiago:

The Science of Parenting is hosted by Lori Korthals and and Mackenzie Johnson, produced by Mackenzie DeJong, with research and writing by Barbara Dunn Swanson. Send in questions and comments to parenting@iastate.edu and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries go to www.extension.iastate.edu/diversity/ext.