John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Stop Raising Children

I know the title of this post may seem strange, but please hear me out. Here in America, we spend somewhere between 18-24 years raising children. The biggest problem, as I see it, is that when we're done, that's precisely what we have: children.

Physically, they're adults, but emotionally-, psychologically- and spiritually-speaking they're children -- or at least they're childish, woefully unprepared for life in the real world.

Life in the real world requires skilled, mature adults who are less concerned about following rules and more concerned about making wise choices.

Now, I haven't changed my name to Chicken Little, and I'm not saying that the sky is falling (except in Iceland where it kind of is). Most kids seem to be doing fine. They're not in jail at least. The vast majority of kids go to school. They get jobs. They don't carry concealed weapons or deal drugs.

But there are some -- some days it seems like most -- who aren't doing so well. They're aimless and anxious, sad and sullen, fearful and I can't think of another thing that starts with F.

The sad truth is that many of our children reach adulthood seriously lacking the life skills they need to navigate adulthood. They can't cope with pressure. They don't know how to make decisions. They're intellectually impoverished and spiritually bankrupt.

And the worst part is, few of them are even aware of this.

We've been raising children, and it's not working out so well. We've got to stop raising children and start raising adults.

Question: How would you parent differently, if you began thinking about how to raise an adult instead of settling for raising a child?