"When you are an adult..."

Before you ask: yes, this is real.
My children, as with most teens and young adults, want very much to make all their own decisions, with complete independence (aka meddling) of Dear Husband and myself. They dream of a world where they can do whatever they wish, whenever they wish, and the parents that have gotten them this far in life would simply nod quietly in the background, muttering, "As you wish."

Ha.

We have had, over the course of the past few years, about 8,344,203 discussions about tattoos and piercings in our house. Popular culture what it is, these things look quite attractive to young people to whom the word "permanent" seems to mean "until I'm tired of it".

Whenever these discussions come up (as one just did), our response to the child in question is, "You can do whatever you want when you are an adult." Said child this weekend responded with, "Well, now I'm 18!" as if that meant a damn thing.

No, dear. Let me clarify: "An adult means you are on your own, paying all your own bills, taking care of yourself and any dependents. You are financially independent and a constructive, helpful part of society. THAT is an adult. Until then, you're all mine, kid."

As you might imagine, this does not go over well. Those of us over the age of...well, 18...remember what life seems like at 18. We know exactly what is right for us, and we know that anyone "old" is working from an out-dated paradigm that just doesn't fit anymore. Can you imagine?

Actually, I can. That's why I'm telling you this, kid: "When you're an adult, you can do what you want."

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