Parenting a Young Adult

This last month of staying at home with Hope has been hard for me. She has been testing limits in ways that are new. It’s normal; it’s age appropriate, and I hate it.

Since the ‘stupid games’ episode, Hope seems to have forgotten a number of truths: I no longer trust her because she lied. I rarely forget. We are not roommates; I am her mother.

This week Hope announced her plans to me on a number of occasions. She was going to the outlet to shop for shoes (Ok, she really needed shoes). She was going on an all day date (Oh really? Did we forget we were supposed to be experiencing the consequences of stupid decisions?) She was taking the car to go out on Friday.

This is where I drew the bright line. Hella irritated by these declarations brought on by Hope’s trying on of adulthood, I said no. I initiated a conversation about how I’m trying to give her space to develop some independence, but I needed her to reframe her declarations to requests. We ain’t roommates; that’s my car and she needed to ask to use it. There are still expectations of a curfew and I fully expect to be told where she’s going.

That conversation was several days ago, and I’m still struggling with Hope. She is a good kid, but she is wildly immature. She recently ordered about $100 of slime.

SLIME, y’all. 🙄 A sophomore in college and binge spending on slime. Woooosawww. Ok.

When you see those kinds of purchases rolling into the house and then get *told* about how your car will be used without any consideration about any plans you might have… Well it’s triggering.

I’m committed to not yelling, to discussing things like adults and to coming to positive resolution. Yeah, all that. But real talk, I didn’t issue any ‘declarative statements’ to my parents until I was living completely independently with my own address in another zip code. This version of young adulting is foreign to me, and I. Don’t. Like. It.

I can’t even get Hope to do the chores I ask of her when I ask, so my emotional struggle these last few weeks has me hot under the collar. Lots of deep breaths.

I have tried explain my response to these shenanigans. I have attempted to articulate my communications needs. I have tried to find some grace, especially since I only have another month with my daughter before she heads back to campus. But, real talk, I’m seriously annoyed.

And what’s even more annoying? There only so much I can do. I’m super conscious of that. This is a gray area. I need to offer some rules and guidance— less of the former and more of the latter. I’m trying to grow the trust (super hard lately) and independence while insisting on respect for me, this home and my things. I’m also hyper aware that there are things I would never do to Hope, like threaten to put her out. I did tell her that if she wanted to do all the things she thinks she’s grown enough to do, she might make plans to get and finance her own apartment next summer since somethings just ain’t ever going down here. That said this will always be home, but it comes with some rules.

I’m struggling, and the more I struggle the more irritated I become. I worry that this conflict will engulf us. I need to avoid that, but I need Hope to find her emerging lane and promptly get in it.

I’m really worried about Hope going back to school next month, what with the pandemic and all. That said, I am looking forward to missing her a bit. I’m ready for a parenting-cation.


About AdoptiveBlackMom

I'm a single Black professional woman living in the DC area. I adopted my now adult daughter in 2014, and this blog chronicles my journey. Feel free to contact me at, on Facebook at Adoptive Black Mom, and on Twitter @adoptiveblkmom. ©, 2013-2022. All rights reserved. (Don't copy my ish without credit!) View all posts by AdoptiveBlackMom

8 responses to “Parenting a Young Adult

  • rose

    It is OK to tell your daughter you are scared about her possibly getting sick or in serious trouble at school. Ask her what you are proud of her for achieving also. Specifics in detail.
    It is also OK to ask her if she trusts you to do and be where you say and how she would feel if she could not trust you. Her words and ideas. Then ask her how she thinks she can regain your trust after the ‘games’. Ask her why you should trust her ever again? Get her to talk about her feelings about trusting and being trusted. Is this important to her? Does she understand and can she explain why this is important to you. Many at her age do not think it is a big thing to break trust …… get her to talk about that idea and talk about different positions on that idea. Who does she want or need to be able to trust in her life…….. IF a person cannot be trusted about small matters, can they be trusted in bigger problems and WHY. Trusting is fragile and valuable and not easily won.
    Such hard times. You are doing great and you are keeping holding on and that is wonderful. It is also very helpful that you have shared how hard it is because that normalizes what lots of people struggle with and feel so alone in facing. You are not alone.

  • rose

    PS: have the discussion about lies of commission as well as those of omission and have her tell you how they work and why they can be so terrible in consequences. Ask her how she thinks they have worked in her life experience and how she wants her home/life to work.
    These are discussions she needs to learn to have now as her future will include other people she will wish to trust and she will need to know if they have similar values on those types of lies.
    She needs to use her words and explain the two lies in detail to you…. then tell you how she thinks you see them. THEN you can start talking about her ideas about you and also lies……..

  • Maggie

    The summers my daughter came home from being away at school were some of the hardest. Now we are 20 years beyond those days, we are close friends and laughing because neither of us remember the things the other stressed over. I hope she does well at school and you get some much needed time. Love to you.

  • K E Garland

    This is why my 21-year-old lives in another city on her own (with some assistance here and there).

    At the same time, I often think about what you’ve mentioned here with my 18-year-old. I don’t mind the declarations because I realize if she was in college, she wouldn’t have to say anything at all; however, I do expect (and she does) for her to meet curfew and tell me where she is. But also, she has her own car. I wouldn’t tolerate declarations and such if she had to ASK to use my car.

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