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BOOKS ON EMERGING ADULTHOOD BY DR. ARNETT

When Will My Grown-Up Kid Grow Up? Loving and Understanding Your Emerging Adult

with Elizabeth Fishel
(2013, Workman Publishing)

I do a lot of public speaking, and I have often had parents approach me after my talk and thank me for providing them with insights about how to understand their emerging adults. They often seemed relieved to know about the new life stage of emerging adulthood. Knowing that their own children’s struggles in their twenties are normal is a great consolation. So, I have often thought of writing a guide for parents, but I hesitated, because my own kids are now just 14 years old (twins) and I was reluctant to give advice for a life stage I had not yet experienced as a parent. When Workman connected me with Elizabeth, it seemed to me like the perfect pairing, with her personal experience as a mom of two boys in their twenties (and her substantial experience writing trade books) and my research chops.
We interviewed a lot of parents for the book, and most of them were around my age (I’m 56). It was fun to interview people my age for a change! I was impressed with how much their own lives were changing, now that their kids were growing up and moving out, and this became a theme of the book, how it’s not just kids who are developing but parents, too.
There are two main themes in the book: that parents need to strike a delicate balance between stepping back and staying connected when their kids are in the twenties; and that parents are developing and changing in important new ways during this time as well. The book covers a wide range of topics likely to be of interest and concern to parents, including education, work, love and sexuality, moving out and moving back, media use, and religion. There are several other books that concern this age period (18-29), but this is the first book that is explicitly a parents’ guide to the period.

 Download the Introduction and Chapter 1.
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