12 Reasons Parents Are Worried About Their 20-Something Kids

I get a lot of questions about what is or isn’t “normal” at all different stages of development, especially teens and twenty-somethings. But what about when “normal” is changing? For twenty-somethings, we have gradually adopted a new set of norms.

The new twenties have got a lot of folks over 40 scratching our heads. Most often, the questions I hear come from parents. They ask if their kids have something I can prescribe medication or psychotherapy to cure.

But the new normal for the 20’s can be understood if we just step back and consider what changed to get us here.

12 Reasons 20-Something-Year-Olds Are Different Now Than in the Past

1.     They've never been unsupervised.

2.     We raise them with a different set of parenting goals- primarily to keep them safe.

3.     We educate them with a different set of goals- primarily to get into Harvard, or the closest thing they can get to it.

4.     Society doesn't think that they're adults.

5.     We (parents) don't think they're adults either.

6.     They don't know how to do anything. We don’t teach basic life skills like we once did. Most twenty-somethings don’t know how to cook a meal or sew on a button.

7.     They lack confidence. See item 6 above.

8.     They worry constantly- about the environment, about their futures, about satisfying careers, about whether they feel passion for their work, about marriage and family, about retirement, and even about worrying so much.

9.     Nobody told them adulthood would be so hard.

10. We still do things for them that our parents would not have done for us at that age.

11. We send mixed messages. Sometimes we say, “You’re an adult.” But that’s often followed with, “Let me do that for you.”

12. We adults are always around to save the day.


Posted on July 24, 2017 .