Hey Adults, Let’s Be the Adult

by

Guys, I’m reminded of a situation that played out in my home years ago, and I bet it’s something that others can relate to. I had found myself in a hefty disagreement with our teen, and words and emotions were flying from both directions. We had unearthed a battle ground in the midst of our home, and both of us were ready to have a verbal tornado. Convinced of my own correctness, I was bound and determined to prove my point.

In the midst of this heated debate, my wife turned to me and said something that I didn’t expect at all, “Hey babe, remember, you’re the adult here.” The verbal gunfire stopped as I stood there speechless at first. To tell you the truth, I was pretty offended at her words. In fact, I didn’t like them at all. I immediately felt betrayed by my partner, the one who was supposed to be on my side. To me, wrapped up in the argument itself, it looked like she was on my teen’s team—his side of the battle, and not my own. In a fast-form of defense I spouted off, “Oh, who are you going to side with? Are you going to try to prove their point, or are you going to come along and assist me like the co-parent in the situation?” As they say, hindsight is 20/20 and as I look back at that brief moment and the words that came out of my mouth, I realize that I didn’t act like an adult at all. And in fact, I didn’t even handle the situation with class. Although I may have had a point in the beginning of this argument (and possibly even a good one), I lost sight of it for the sake of defending my own point, and the way I handled the situation was by no means right.

As a parent, it can often be easy to step out of our adult role and act like a teenager again. Getting caught up in the moment, we can say things that are just as silly, trivial, and hurtful as our own children’s words—the words we teach them not to say. In my mind, there is no doubt that one of the greatest things I can do is to step up and act like the adult. If my actions do nothing to prove the words that I am speaking, the point that I am trying to make, or the things I teach, then they are meaningless. Our kids are not only listening to what we say, but they are watching and learning from the examples we set in all situations—in word and in deed. I need to make sure that as a parent I am responding to circumstances in a way that is reflective of my age, maturity, and experience.

So, are you acting like an adult parent? Are you showing maturity and wisdom? Are you reflecting years of experience in your actions that demonstrate the knowledge you have gained over the years? Let’s lead by example. Let’s walk, talk, and act like adults. Let’s make sure there is a difference between us and the children we are raising. To be quite frank, I think that this is something our culture lacks today—adults that know how to be adults.