Do parents have a right to control their adult children?
The legal age of adulthood in the United States is 18 years old. After this point, a parent's legal obligation towards their child no longer exists. 18-year-olds are able to enlist in the army, secure loans on their own, among a few examples.
Many parents agree that one never stops being a parent, regardless of the age of any child. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with this belief, however, there are parents who will take this saying and use it as justification to still order their children around, even after they are legal adults.
In a recently viral Reddit post, a mother asks if she is in the wrong for not allowing her adult daughter to drive at night, because she is a woman.
This begs the question: should parents still have a say in their children's freedom of movement, even after they are grown adults?
To some parents, age means nothing – they still make the rules.
An online post, reported on by Ashley Gale of Newsweek, has gone viral with 9,400 upvotes and 1,500 comments. In this post, the mother asks if she was in the wrong for not allowing her daughter to drive alone at night, resulting in a large argument.
The author clarifies that her daughter is 21-years-old and lives in another city for university. The daughter is home for the holidays and is spending time with her family, who unfortunately are sick with the flu.
The daughter became stir crazy because she wasn't leaving the house, and so she asked if she could borrow the car to go to the store that was 5 minutes away. The mother said that she would have to ask her older brother for a drive, but the brother refused to drive his sister. When the mother wouldn't allow the daughter to leave the house, an argument ensued.
The mother goes on to clarify in her post that she didn't want her daughter to be driving at night because she feared for her safety. The author initially said ‘no’ because she only wanted to protect her daughter, and didn't want anything bad to happen to her.
Adults deserve freedom of movement and travel.
The National Center for Educational Statistics states that 87% of college students have to travel to and from school rather than staying on campus. Young adults needing to travel at any time of day to address their basic needs and responsibilities is a fairly common reality for college-aged students.
That said, statistics show that female children are routinely not given equal treatment to their male counterparts. Psychologists have proven that double standard parenting between female and male children can lead to strained relationships down the road, and resentment on the side of the female children who only desire to be treated equally.
After the argument with her daughter, who is feeling cooped up and just wanted to get out of the house for a bit, the mother sent her 21-year-old daughter to her room. The mother says that her daughter hasn't spoken to her in days.
What do you think? Was the mother justified to not allow her daughter to drive to the nearby store because it was dark out, for her own safety? Or does the adult daughter deserve the same amount of freedom that her adult brother receives?