Parents: What’s wrong with my kid???

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011, Written by jackrosenberger

It’s happened more than once that a young person will be brought to my office, sometimes unwillingly, by parents who are confused and very frequently very scared by the behavior of their son/daughter.  This behavior usually falls into one of two categories:  familiar inappropriate behavior and unfamiliar inappropriate behavior.  With all this behavior living on a spectrum, it can get dicey trying to figure out what exactly is offending the family subculture.  In some families, marijuana use is just part of what people do–I know of parents that will get high with their kids.  In other families, a single joint is cause for a trip to rehab.  In all these cases, what is very important is the parental perception of their children.  Often times it is the young person not meeting the traditional marks of adulthood that becomes the root of family concern.  Things like:  not graduating from high school on time, trouble with college, not graduating from college on time, difficulty finding a job, not being able to live on one’s own, not being to obtain healthcare, or lacking a sense of direction in life can become cause for a trip to the therapist’s office.

For parents and children perhaps some comfort, albeit cold, can be found in the fact that none of you are alone.  Studies are showing across the board that much more than many believe, young people are taking longer to hit the developmental milestones than their parents did.  In short, 30 is the new 21.  The decade of the twenties becomes a searching period; when young people are taking the time at hand to explore their world or themselves.  That is in many way a best case scenario.  Better to ask the hard questions now, rather than asking them at mid-life when one has more obligations and less freedom to make changes.  If on the other hand, this time is spent getting high all day and playing x-box live, then a trip to the therapist’s couch might be in order.  But even this young person is not beyond hope!  I for one would say that even if a young person appears “stuck”, they might be searching for something:  some kind of attachment or work that might give their lives the meaning they are trying to achieve on their “quests.”  In this sense, there is hope for all of us!

Comments are closed.