As adults with college age or twenty-something kids, you’ve seen a lot of changes in our society and definitely in the working world. And your kids saw some of those changes happen, whether they were very aware of them or not. For those young people what they saw was ‘The Way Life Is’. So the dot com boom and the incredible money that many people in their twenties made, the huge press that these people got, along with the toys, homes, and subsequent opportunities is probably one of their assumptions about ‘The Way It Is’. Add to that the rise of women in a whole host of careers and the relatively new expectation that women can and should be able to achieve any professional level they want if they’re willing to go for it. Then add the incredible rise in Celebrity Star Power and Reality TV stardom, where the value of being on TV or in a magazine has soared in popularity. Everyone can and should be Famous. Then top all of that glamour and chaos off with our national disaster of 9/11 and the scary insecurity of all the ‘what ifs’ that silently pressure all of us to gobble up everything life has to offer because we just honestly don’t know what will happen tomorrow…This is what our twenty-somethings are walking into as they begin their careers and adult lives.

Of course, what many of us have seen and lived through are the hard and fast fall of those whose dot com dreams didn’t materialize, the thousands upon thousands of people who went through multiple layoffs and the companies that disappeared as fast as they’d begun. Many very qualified professionals experienced the prolonged job searches of the sluggish economy.

So here you are, having seen so much, experienced so much and you are helping to launch your kids into this wonderful and crazy world of new work worlds and positions that have titles you and I have only just heard of. How do you know how to effectively support your kid(s) as they try to get going? How do you answer their questions and concerns? Or answer your own?

This category (Parenting) is about helping parents to know what they and their kids can expect to experience as they enter and maneuver through their twenties. Why should parents know about this? Because let’s face it, being in the twenties is being in the new adolescence . The Los Angeles Times reported on a study by the University of Pennsylvania which concluded that young people are less likely to reach the expected milestones of adulthood such as ‘leaving home, getting married, having a child and being financially independent’ by age 30 then they were in 1960. The increasing cost of a first home, the length of time it takes to get out of school debt, the lower starting salaries, the rising age of (first) marriages and subsequent parenthood…all of these components of launching a life translates into the lengthening of active parenting of adult children for many families.

For all of the reasons mentioned above, and several others I’ll be highlighting below, kids these days have tremendous challenges that make decision making even harder and more complex then ever.

After working as a career counselor with literally hundreds of high school, college and graduate students, as well as working adults in their twenties and early thirties I know that the pressures and questions that young adults face are daunting. And whether their parents take the position that ‘we support you in whatever you want to do’ or that of ‘you should be an X and follow in the family footsteps’ the resulting confusion is the same. The fear of making a wrong step, a life altering miscalculation, the ‘what if I make the wrong choice out of all of these choices’ – these decisions or indecisions can be deafeningly loud and crazy making.

My Services: I am expanding my career coaching services to work with parents of adult children to help them, the parents, to know what to expect (of and for their kids) in order to minimize the frustration level and to be prepared to face what may inevitably come to pass. I am available to help you to develop sane strategies to cope with your adult kids moving back into their old rooms. New rules need to be established regarding rent, household responsibilities, communicating with each other and setting goals and expectations. I am collecting data from clients and others who are in their twenties and early thirties to learn more directly what it is that helps young adults establish themselves as adults. I have worked with hundreds of clients to develop new habits and ways of dealing with themselves to get what they want in their lives. Now I’d like to make a difference in families by working with parents who want to know the best way to parent their kids.

I am still also working with clients of all ages as they deal with all sorts of transitions.

No matter what age we are we can hear the negative voice in our heads as we start to contemplate a move to change something in our lives that says ‘why can’t you be more like X and know what you want and just do that’. “What’s wrong with me/my kids/my spouse that I or they haven’t gotten it together’. Please know that the quiet majority of people don’t know their path. My services, and this website, are for anyone who wants to learn how to support and understand the often messy and delightful realities of launching a life. The launch can be confusing and haltingly bumpy and still result in a fascinating, surprising, stimulating and ‘successful’ life.

For More, see LifeStages