Parenting Semi-Adults – The Talk

If you think The Talk is going to be about sex, remember that by definition a semi-adult is at least 18 years of age. If by age 18 you are not having an on going rapport with your child about all aspects of sexuality, either you are raising your family in one of the subcultures of American society in which sex and sexuality belong in marriage and you don’t need that rapport yet or you are a fool.The topic for The Talk we are having with our semi-adult child who resides in our home is: How do adults live together under one roof. To be accurate its Talks, not Talk. Her father and I have been living together under one roof for 25 years. It took awhile for us to figure how to live happily together. Occasionally we still hit a bump (when he removed the 13 year olds Friday night bedtime without a word to me was a recent minor bump). It is to be expected that it will take awhile for her also. The trouble is while she is learning how to live like an adult with other adults, we have to endure the process.Take money. This is a very hard concept for out semi-adult to grasp; the Bank of MOM is closed. We expect that if we loan you money you will pay us back…first. Before you buy new clothes, before you go to the movies. We are very glad you tithe, but you still need to pay us back. It should be noted that when I borrow money from you, I always pay you back usually before you have to come hunting for your money.Take caring for shared spaces: The counter fairy (a relative of the tooth fairy, takes dishes off counters instead of teeth from under pillows) has retired. You use the kitchen to make chocolate chip cookies at 3 am; you clean it up and make sure you leave some cookies for mom and dad to try. I do not complain about having no sugar, flour or chocolate chips because I know how to live with other adults and I like cookies.Take respecting others schedule: I do the family’s wash on Monday and Tuesdays. My house, my schedule, on this one, my way. We have four people getting out of the house in the morning and one shower: you cannot decide to change your shower time without consulting anyone else and you don’t get to wake me up if dad has cut into your shower time by less than 7 minutes. Living with other adults is not always fair.Take “borrowing” others possessions: Adults do not take items from other people’s bedrooms without permission. You don’t borrow your sister’s shirt or my socks without asking. Yes, she does that to you but again note, neither your father nor I “borrow” from you or your siblings without asking first. The exception: Flip-flops left next to the shoebox instead of instead of in it can be borrowed at will.The Talks generally go well. Occasionally we get rolled eyes (you can’t tell another adult not to roll her eyes at you), huffy behavior or tears. The message usually doesn’t sink in the first time. There is still a bit of teen selfishness and listening for loopholes in our semi-adult. There is still a bit of I’m the parent, do it my way in how we communicate with our resident semi-adult.We are all learning.