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When Should Parents Stop Being a Parent to an Adult Child?

Parents are the most solid foundation of every person’s life. The child from birth is dependent on the parents for their care, their education, and their needs and for their comfort. Parents, on the other hand, try to cope up with the understanding of the mental state to rear their child the best possible way. The bond that forms between a child and parents is the most mounting in a sense that it is centralized on the core of the children growth and parent’s love for their child. Every parent looks out for best resources for their child, whether the expensive or the cheap depending upon the economic status. Parents are the ones who persevere and show flexibility towards the problems on the way of parenting.

The child and parent relationship is dynamic and changes throughout the life course. The life path of a child from adolescence to the adulthood impacts the parent-child bond n terms of different variables such as shifting of a child with a partner of choice, leaving parents, entering parenthood or getting financial independence. The parent-child bond gets stronger as the child enters into adulthood. According to data from the study, 1064 young adults of age group (16-21) were examined for their balance in relationship with their parents for a period of six years. The result reported that adolescent as they aged felt lovingness with their parents. [1] The children develop a sense of balance in their life through the relationship they form with their parents. It is estimated from few studies that adults get into a good relationship with the parents over time and their welfare is dependent on the kind of the relationship. A good and reasonable relationship with the parents influences their wellbeing. According to quote mentioned in the paper “When my parents criticize my behavior, I take it to heart”; “l can still learn a lot from my parents”. It is evident that parent-child bond gets stronger with age and children look out for lifestyle attitude from their parents. [1]

There are three hypothetical aspects through which transitions in the parent-child bond can predict. The theories which hypothesized are individuation, role identity, and stress and uncertainties theory. From individuation theory, the element of individual sense or autonomy develops in adults through financial stability that leads to less dependency on the parents. The focus of the child diverges from closeness to advancement in professional life which affects the bond. The second theory is role identity that focuses the role of the child in the transition from young phase to parenthood. The adults form emotional connection being in the shoes of a parent and there develop a connection based on the role. A third theory suggests that life transitions destabilize the equilibrium in the pattern of the bond.

The parents should not advise that much to the young adolescent who get independent financially because this might offend them. The adults love to be autonomous and the strict parenting can affect them badly. Closeness in bond shifts with external factors like career, marriage, and parenthood. But the role theory is in favor that child would develop closeness in bond when he. She enters into parenthood phase. Parents must have a coherent approach to life transitions give the child a sense of love and affection despite all the temporary barriers. The expectation of parents must synchronize with the mindset and age of the child in terms of parenting.

The executive function or cognitive ability is linked to achievement, stabilization in adolescent and parenting. The Executive function among the young children is linked to genetic of their parents about 99 percent. The significant role of parenting behavior affects the Cognitive skill development of a child.[3] The parents are the attention switches for the young developing child but with adolescence, they mature and stabilize in their cognitive skill with the brain development. They become in charge of their life. Parent-child bond in the development age become stronger with positive parenting behavior that includes, direction, maintenance of discipline. This authoritarian parenting is effective from the 9-14 aged children. [2] But as the children become autonomous, the parenting pattern should get changed. The executive function of the children changes the brain of the adolescent and there develops a sense of self-regulation in him. The child learns with each error at the phase of life and is open to self-regulation this is the time where a parent should stop parenting. The adolescent learns more through the socialization in the educational and professional world.


Bucx, Freek and Frits van Wel. “Parental bond and life course transitions from adolescence to young adulthood.” Adolescence (2008): 71.

Naomi P. Friedman., Akira Miyake., Lee J. Altamirano., Robin P. Corley., Susan E. Young., Sally Ann Rhea., John K. Hewitt. “Stability and Change in Executive Function Abilities From Late Adolescence to Early Adulthood: A Longitudinal Twin Study.” Dev Psychol (2017): 326-340.

Zrinka Sosic-Vasic., Julia KrönerSibylle Schneider., Nenad Vasic., Manfred Spitzer & Judith Streb. “The Association between Parenting Behavior and Executive Functioning in Children and Young Adolescents.” Front Psychol (2017): 472.



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