It’s one of those big moments in life; a real milestone. Your teen turns 18 and suddenly people start throwing around the word “adult” in reference to someone you very much still think of as a “kid.”
You may look at them and think with a healthy dose of skepticism, “Really, an adult?” But once the candles are blown out you may shed a tear or two because deep down you understand that things are changing, really changing.
It’s not like going from having a 4-year-old to having a 5-year-old. All of our children’s birthdays are momentous and important to us, and certainly they all represent change. But, the 18th birthday may be the biggest one of them all.
This is the point in time when the world begins to open up for our children and when they can test the waters of adulthood. And even though we parents may look at our 18 year olds and still see the small child within, turning 18 is the gateway to a lot of behaviors that have not previously been permitted.
What your teen can do when they turn 18:
2. Join the Military
3. Register for the Selective Service (mandatory for males)
4. Buy a lottery ticket
5. Have an alcoholic drink in most places outside of the US
6. Get a body piercing or tattoo without parental consent
7. Buy a pet
8. Sign a contract
9. Change their name
10. Open a brokerage account and buy stock
11. Use a meat/deli slicer at a grocery store job
12. Book a hotel room
13. Become a realtor
15. Enter an adults-only store
18. Work in a bar and serve drinks
19. Sign themselves out of high school
20. Be called for jury duty
21. Open a bank account
22. Have sex legally with someone over 18
23. Get married without parental permission
25. Get a Costco card
26. Buy real estate or apply for a mortgage
27. Apply to find their biological parents if they are adopted
28. Drive a taxi
29. Get a license to drive a truck
30. Be the only one home when a service repair person needs to enter the home.
31. Go to the ER alone and get treatment
32. Work full time in the school year
33. Register to give blood or be an organ donor
34. Apply for credit cards
35. File a lawsuit
36. Adopt a child
37. Create a will
38. Buy a car
39. Rent an apartment
40. Buy pornogrpahy
42. Sue someone
43. Pawn your belongings
44. Buy spraypaint
45. Bet on a horse race
46. Buy cough suppressants
47. Rent Airbnb
48. Use a ride sharing scooter like Bird or Lime
50. Move out of their parents’ home.
You probably knew that your kids can vote at 18 but there are quite a few of these came as a surprise to us. So yes, while some things change when your child turns 18 one thing doesn’t change and probably never will; whether your kids are 18 or 80, they are still your babies. They may drive you insane but you wouldn’t have it any other way.
To all the “kids” who are turning 18 this year, enjoy the new freedoms, but please understand that those freedoms come with new responsibilities, as well.
And to all the parents of those kids, don’t forget our motto here at Grown and Flown, “Parenting never ends.”
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