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When do you realize your son is no longer a baby?

When do you let him become a man and have a say in decisions being made?


Asked by Prayerpartner at 3:56 AM on Nov. 19, 2010 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 20 (10,072 Credits)
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Answers (13)
  • You go grocery shopping together and need to cross the road. Just before you do so, you instincitvely try and grab his hand. He pulls it back and goes: "Mahaam, I'm 28!" (LOL My mother still does that sometimes, must be a protective reflex.)

    Or when you tell him to drive carefully before he leaves for a date. He gives you that look and replies: "I'm a traffic cop, mom."

    Or when he kisses your forehaed and says: "I've spoken to the head nurse, mom. It's all been taken care of."

    But I guess they can grow up and become independent and on both sides everybody holds on a bit and then lets go a bit, but they'll always stay your children. Parents need to be needed and children need to be wanted.

    Answer by BeachMom81 at 6:30 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • cont

    Soon, he's going to be an adult in the eyes of the law, and a few months after that, he will be an adult in the eyes of our family (we tell our kids, and they agree and understand - you need to be 18 and graduated). For both things, there isn't a magic wand that we can wave over his head and say "bam - now you know everything that you need to know to be an adult". It's a gradual process - sort of like wading into the water until you're in deep enough to swim :-) So, with that in mind, we've been letting him wade a little farther in, then a little more, then a little more, for awhile - but all with us there to watch and basically be "lifeguard", so that soon he's going to be able to "swim" on his own. :-)

    Because to me, if we don't let them grow up and make their choices, we're really insulting them (saying they aren't capable), and to us, saying we didn't raise them to be capable, kwim? :-)

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 6:22 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • My son turns 18 in January, and is a Senior in high school. For us, it's been a gradual process since he was younger - some, looking back on it from the point of view of him being the age he is now was like a "well, duh" sort of thing, some, more recent, things have been harder.

    Some of the more "recent" choices - he got injured last year playing a sport. It wasn't his choice whether we went to the Dr or not. The Dr said he needed stitches, or it could be surgically glued. Our ds got to make the choice (I would have picked stitches - less scar, he wanted glue - his body, so they glued it). In Middle School, he had an awards ceremony, he didn't want to go - his awards, his choice (but he had to go to his sister's - because it was important to her, and being supportive of each other is something we stress).


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 6:18 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • You start the process early in his life by allowing him to begin making his own decisions. A two-year old can choose between black socks and white ones. Then you gradually "let out the rope" and allow him to make more important decisions. You allow him to make some that you know are wrong, but you want him to experience the consequences of wrong decisions while he is still under your care and you can reassure him that everyone makes bad choices and that there are consequences for every decision. When the time finally comes for him to leave the nest, you will be confident that he is ready to make the hard choices and to make the correct ones.

    Answer by NannyB. at 6:25 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • My son is 23 and all my kids will always be my babies, but they are their own persons since around 18 or so.

    Answer by older at 6:53 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • at about 11-12 they started making very mature observations and well thought out decisions, and I realized at that time, my boys were evolving into young men and its very hard to always stand back and not treat them as little boys and let them decide. Although sometimes it is easier for time constraint purposes to just decide for them.

    Answer by Zoeyis at 7:05 AM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • Well, I stopped treating my 4 sons like babies as soon as they started to become indepedent, probably around 5-6. I didn't treat them like adults but I didn't treat them like babies either. I have never seen them as incapable and it's been many, many years (they are 18, 20, 22 and 24) since I felt a need to have to jump in and help them with basic things. They are now adults and I respect that all of them are more than capable of making their own choices.

    Answer by tracylynnr67 at 12:50 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • My son is 15 and I'm seeing a lot more maturity in him since he went into high school this year. It's still hard for me since it seems he should still be 2 feet tall with little baby fingers and chubby cheeks when he's actually as tall as me!

    Answer by ceallaigh at 3:23 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • When your son reaches adulthood, you have to let go and start allowing him to make his own decisions whether good or bad. You can always offer your advice and opinions if he asks for them, but if he doesn't, it's best to let him figure it out on his own. Otherwise he might become resentful of you.

    Answer by twinkletoes0408 at 4:08 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • When he entered the military ...

    Answer by tasches at 8:02 PM on Nov. 19, 2010