Major: 18 years, a symbolic date?

Although the eighteen years are a symbolic date can become the starting point to help mature our son. He will need that maturity from now on for his future adult life. The first step is to reflect on our son because not only do they meet 18 years the children, somehow so do the parents.

With the idea of ​​helping them to be more responsible and showing them that we have confidence in them, they have to learn to be good citizens, and at eighteen we can encourage them to participate, for example, in solidarity projects, to spend some of their time helping as volunteers...

We have to open horizons, travel, meet other people and other societies, get to know art in all its manifestations, etc. We can consider a special trip, in which our son is the protagonist, taking advantage of this date of coming of age.

A symbolic date without traces

This symbolic date usually does not leave traces, because it does not usually coincide with the maturational leap. A few months later, the boy or girl will have forgotten their craziest pretensions, which are more the result of the environment, of friends and a crazy imagination than of real needs. However, the need to grow as an adult will endure.

The older brother: turns 18

When the boy or girl who turns 18 is the oldest, other considerations come into play. Especially that the older brother always acts as an icebreaker. It will cost him more than his brothers to get freedoms, because he is the first of the family to go through these stages. His brothers find the most made way. Everything the senior gets is a step gained by the following.

Reflections on coming of age: turning 18

1. To turn eighteen years does not mean to mature at once. The most normal thing is that our son begins to become truly adult later on.

2. There are certain activities that help you mature and that we can be encouraging now that he is eighteen years old: take out his card and take care of everything; get a small job; decide what career to do ...

3. On the occasion of his birthday, the children ask for many more freedoms. The general tendency will be to give them these freedoms, but they do not have to be the ones that ask but those that are convenient.

4. A formula that we can point to for this stage it is: "Transference in the accidental, not yielding in the essential".

5. Each family knows what they can not give in, and that although the boy is eighteen or twenty-two years old.

6. This date can be a good starting point to help you mature: giving them more responsibilities at home, encouraging them to spend some of their time volunteering, putting all the receipts that concern them in their name, even if they are still paid by their parents, etc.

A few months later, the young man with just turned eighteen will forget his craziest pretensions. As a sign of confidence and that we have realized that our son is getting older, we can move forward and encourage him (even before the birthday) to get his driving license. We will tell you that we will help you, in part, to pay for the classes and the second-hand car. But he will take care of all the paperwork and the maintenance.

Ignacio Iturbe
Advice: Gerardo Castillo. Doctor in Educational Sciences and Deputy Director of the Institute of Education Sciences of the University of Navarra.


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