STAGE 8: Age 18-25 – Independence
Defining factor: She is beginning to be fully independent of her parents. Although she feels mature, certain crucial brain functions are still being developed (it’s why some kids race cars, text-message while driving, etc). This may be the first time she is responsible for her own financial well-being. School may be over, her career may be starting and she may be in a permanent relationship. She is likely engaged sexually, through marriage or otherwise. She may also give birth to her first child or may be considering having kids.
Observations From 101 Dads of Daughters
- I’m noticing changes as my daughter is more grown up.
- Her finally being on her own—that’s an issue.
- The whole issue of boys—yes that’s been complicated.
- I loved being there when my daughter really needed someone.
- I supported her taking a big challenge—it brought us closer.
- I wouldn’t interact with her as directly as her mom did.
- The secret is not telling my daughter what to do.
- I do have lengthy conversations with my daughter.
- Tough subjects sometimes make guys want to disappear.
- Of course it would be a lot tougher as a single parent.
I NEED TO AVOID BEING NEGATIVE
“I think my kids are just slow bloomers with being able to support themselves. [I need to be careful]—trying to get them on the right track to be self sufficient but not negatively impacting their lives [by constantly mentioning] their faults.”
Denis, CPA, father of a twenty-four year old daughter and a twenty-eight year old son
SHE’S GETTING MARRIED—I’M IN SHOCK
“[My daughter is getting married in a couple of days and] I’ll be a puddle [of tears].
Richard, fifty year old male nurse anesthesiologist, father of a twenty-five year old daughter and two sons