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The Myth of Maturity: What Teenagers Need from Parents to Become Adults

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What do young people at the threshold of adulthood really need and want? Why do so many responsible and motivated teenagers become young adults who are still dependent, financially and emotionally, on their parents? Why are many young people today so quick to leave childhood behind, but so slow to become adults?
In this wise and compassionate book, Terri Apter debunks outdated and misguided ideas about maturity: Acting in the name of love, many parents withdraw emotional or ...

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Overview

What do young people at the threshold of adulthood really need and want? Why do so many responsible and motivated teenagers become young adults who are still dependent, financially and emotionally, on their parents? Why are many young people today so quick to leave childhood behind, but so slow to become adults?
In this wise and compassionate book, Terri Apter debunks outdated and misguided ideas about maturity: Acting in the name of love, many parents withdraw emotional or practical support, thinking it best for a son or daughter to solve his or her own problems—even to suffer alone the consequences of mistakes. Apter shows us that young adults actually need a parent's guidance and support, while also requiring respect and independence. Based on carefully observed case studies and current research, this book describes how we can support young people through a crucial stage in their development.

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Editorial Reviews

Ruthellen Josselson
“[A]n insightful and compelling view of how parents can provide what the emerging adult needs to bloom.”
Lynn Ponton
“[Apter] offers important guidelines for mothers and fathers, indicating the pitfalls and pleasures of this crucial transition.”
Judith Michael
“I wish I'd had this book when I was bringing up my own youngsters—and when I was a teen.”
Yorick Blumenfeld
“[E]xtremely sensible advice to parents and young adults about what they can do to temper often problematic transitions to adulthood.”
Washington Post
Parents and young adults alike should benefit from the advice in Apter's insightful book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393049428
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Terri Apter is a writer, psychologist, and Fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge University. Her books include The Sister Knot and What Do You Want from Me? She lives in Cambridge, England.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Life on One's Own 15
1 First Solo Flight 37
2 Forming Identities 69
3 Making Choices 93
4 Emotional Educations 118
5 The Pressure of Great Expectations 152
6 Foothold in the Adult World 176
7 Thresholders on the Fast Track 194
8 Shortcuts to Maturity: Thresholder Marriages 208
9 Thresholders in a Material World: Managing Money 224
10 Closing the Door: Suicide and Self-Harm during the Threshold Years 238
11 Crossing the Threshold 254
Endnotes 269
Index 281
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