Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Something to Muench on: Who said BIG kids were easy?

I started my parent coaching practice in August 2016, pursuing the career because of my own parenting challenges that I’d experienced as a mother of five and having lived through both teen pregnancy and walking with my son through an addiction to alcohol in his early twenties.

What I’ve seen in the past six months is, I believe, a small indication of what is happening around the country with parents, no matter what their kid’s ages.

When I became Real Life Parent Guide, my original focus was to serve parents of middle and high school age kids. I have had at least one child in those stages for over 20 years and I know there isn’t enough support (nor cheerleading) for moms and dads raising adolescents.

In the past several months, it has become alarmingly clear to me the group of parents I didn’t think I’d be serving, is now desperately seeking assistance. Which says a lot because they are almost done with the job…or at least they should be.

What I’m seeing are parents of kids ages 18+ asking for parent coaching right now. They find themselves challenged because their sons and daughters are flailing. In some cases, it’s their child’s addiction, mental health, lack of motivation, or just plain using the family home like the local Hilton and feeling entitled to do so.

The two biggest reasons parents of young adults are frustrated seems to come from two types of parenting styles, those who had inconsistent expectations and boundaries, and those who had overly controlling expectations and boundaries.

As kids are coming of age, these parents are experiencing their kids being unable to step firmly into the real world of adulthood or they are stepping fully in and saying goodbye to their parents by not talking to them, the kids are so hurt because they were raised in such a controlling manner.

Some of this comes from the culture their parents were raised in, some of this is a result of the circumstances we’ve all been living in since March 2020. All of it is a wake-up call.

What our kid’s ultimately need from us as they head through their teen years into young adulthood are parents who will set some non-negotiables based on safety and their family values, and progressive autonomy and choices wherever they can so kids can feel seen and heard for who they are, and not who mom or dad need them to be.

And, just as important, parents who will allow the natural consequences of their kid’s choices dictate the life lesson to be learned.

That may sound harsh, or maybe not strong enough depending on how you were raised.

I don’t know any parent who doesn’t want their child to grow up to be a contributing, content, kind adult. We are in a chapter where parenting has to evolve to meet the needs of how are kids are responding to the life they are living right now.

Folks, parenting is in a transition. Our kid’s behavior is screaming at us to level up, which has nothing to do with being permissive or becoming their friend. It has everything to do with getting refocused on our own physical and emotional well-being so we can be better in tune with them.

The pandemic has been a call to families to remember what is truly important, and to know that the relationship we build with our self and with our parents and siblings is the foundation of how we relate to the rest of the world.

Kimberly Muench
Kimberly Muench
Kim Muench is a Flower Mound mother of five kiddos. She is a certified parent coach who loves working with moms and dads of adolescents to build stronger, healthier connections in their home. To learn more, visit her website at

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