Do You Like Being An Adult?

In the past couple of years, Bart and I have started using a little phrase that we say all the time now.

“We want our kids to WANT to be grown-ups.”

Through our adult life, we’ve seen so many kids and teens who seem to have ZERO desire to be adults – they want to stay dependent children or adolescents forever.

And who can blame them if all they see of adult life is drudgery, complaining and catering to children?

If being a child feels like the best thing ever and being a grown-up is made to look like purgatory, I’d want to avoid adulthood too.

But our goal as parents is to help our children grow up into capable, happy adults and one of the ways we try to do that is by modeling for them how awesome it is to be an adult.

Obviously, being an adult comes with plenty of responsibilities and less-than-delightful parts. You’re the one who gets up in the middle of the night when someone throws up or pays the taxes or schedules dental appointments or goes to work every day or deals with a commute or makes sure all the doors are locked before you go to bed.

But there are a LOT of benefits to being the grown-up and I want to make sure my children see those benefits, not just the chore side of being a grown-up.

When we went on our trip to Miami, the girls kept asking, “Why do you get to go on a trip without us?” and we responded “Because we’re grown-ups!”

When we go play pickleball with friends and the girls ask if they can come, I say “Grown-ups have friends too!”

When we watch an episode of Loki together after the girls are in bed and they want to know why THEY don’t get to stay up and watch TV, Bart says, “When you’re a grown-up, you’ll get to stay up as late as you want and watch what you want too.”

Being the grown-up means I get to choose what meals we’ll be eating during the week and picking where we’ll go on vacation and buying a new pair of shoes when I want to and inviting friends over to play games and finding an exercise routine that’s enjoyable for me and creating my own family traditions and painting my bedroom whatever color I want it to be.

When I went off to college, my mom told me that some of her friends had asked if she was just so sad to see me go and her response was, “I’d be more sad if she WASN’T going to college.”

Growing up is what children are supposed to do.

I want them to look forward to all the fun and exciting things ahead for them, not dread adulthood as decades of monotony and unpleasant work.

What things do you do to make adulthood fun and enjoyable? I’d love to hear!


If you liked this post about being a grown-up, you might like these posts too:

Similar Posts


  1. Something we do is explicitly make clear that chores are something we do because we’re all part of the family (according to each one’s ability, of course). Keeping the house clean, laundry done, food shopped for and cooked, etc is not an adult task that the kids ‘help’ with – it’s a communal task that belongs to everyone who lives here. So the baby (20 months!) helps tidy and load the washing machine, the middle kid (4) helps sort laundry based on what belongs to who, and the older kid (7) clears the table and loads the dishwasher, and I make dinner (with help!) and my husband runs the laundry with the boys (because the baby can ‘help’ load the washer, but let’s be real). Mostly, that’s me hating feeling like I’m running ragged providing services to small dictators who are watching TV and want more ice in their water, but also, from a kid perspective, I want it to be really clear that the work needed to live is REAL, and can’t be ignored.

    The work doesn’t magically go away because someone else is doing it! I’ve met too many kids who just thought that meals appeared on schedule and that being forced to ‘help’ was the height of unfairness to want to encourage that at all… and also, frankly, too many grown men who didn’t seem to understand that caring for a house/family/meals/laundry didn’t magically happen.

    Also: the adults, one night a week (Sunday night) have date night. AKA: the kids to to bed early, and the adults have a late dinner and a glass of wine and a chat and some time together. And sometimes the kids whine about not being included, and the answer is ‘because we’re adults, and adults spend time with other adults without kids sometimes, because we like each other’.

  2. I love this! And hope to have this attitude around our future children some day. Another thing people like to complain about is marriage. My husband asked me the other day (on our 4th wedding anniversary) what’s something that has surprised me, and all I could think of was that, so far, marriage isn’t terrible like people made it sound like it would be! (Super grateful for that! I love being positive about things that others love to complain about, like marriage and adulting and exercise.

  3. I love this philosophy, especially in this season of parenting I find myself in right now. My daughter just graduated kindergarten so she is most definitely in that ‘discovering her own voice’ stage, which means we butt heads A LOT. She just does not understand why her daddy and I can’t devote all of our free time to her or why she can’t just do whatever she wants whenever she wants to. I haven’t thought to use the ‘when you’re an adult’ angle, but I think the next time I have the opportunity I will.

  4. You would love reading the book: Being Better Grownups by Brad Montgue. He brings up a lot of these topics you touched on. Great book after went to 100 classrooms listening to kids and wha they thought about grownups. My sister and I read it together and we kept saying it was like reading a warm hug.

  5. Ohhh…this is such a good point! I guess my husband and I make it look like fun because our oldest (8 now) has told us more than once that being an adult looks so much easier than being a kid. HAH.
    But, there are a lot of benefits, many that you mentioned! I’ll have to start pulling that out “because we’re grownups!” when they ask why we get to do certain things (stay up late, have snacks we don’t share, etc.)!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *