Sunday Firesides: Don’t Surrender the Privilege of Adulthood to Your Kids

If you have kids, and your goal is to be the best possible parent for them, it’s easy to think that they should be just like you. This thinking didn’t work in our society–we’ve still got a ton of social stigma around adulthood even though we’re all adults now–but what happens when your children are young?

The “art of manliness die red” is a blog post by Joe Rogan, who discusses the privilege of adulthood. He argues that we shouldn’t surrender this privilege to our kids.

A man putting crown on girl's head.

Growing up, you don’t have a lot of responsibilities, and life is simple. The one disadvantage of youth is that you can’t make all of your own decisions as a dependant.

As an adult, you have a great deal of responsibility. However, this duty is balanced by the benefit of total autonomy. You make all of your own choices and call all of the shots.

Surprisingly, many parents relinquish their sovereignty… to their children as soon as they ascend this throne.

These days, too many interactions with parents sound like this: “I haven’t listened to that podcast in a while since my kids want to listen to a program they enjoy when we’re driving.” “I’m unable to attend tonight’s celebration since Harper requested an overnight with a friend.” “I’m not sure where we’ll be vacationing this year; we’ll have to speak to the kids about it.” “We can’t eat there anymore since the kids don’t like it.”

Of course, a parent may make choices based on what their children need or just want, but in general, adults should decide what they want to do, and the children must accompany them. Otherwise, growing up is taking on all of the responsibilities of royal autonomy while missing out on all of the enjoyment. That’s a prescription for an unhappy adulthood.

“Someday, when you’re a grown-up, you’ll get to select whatever music you want to listen to and determine where you want to go,” we tell our kids when they say, “We don’t want to listen to this song” or “We don’t want to go to this museum.”

You’ll not only enjoy adulthood more if you keep the tremendous luxury of adulthood, but your children will have something to look forward to as they grow older.