Nagging your child may seem like the responsible thing to do as a parent with a 20+ year-old child, but need we remind you ladies and gentlemen that there is a reason the government acknowledges all persons over the age of 18 as adults? You may be thinking, "But how will they know what to do? What if they make a mistake? And, god forbid, what if they don’t graduate from an Ivy League School and pursue a prestigious Wall Street career?"

You’re going to need a shrink who spews out the Prozac to tolerate it all. If any of those thoughts are going through your head as your OFFspring (note: OFF), are leaving for college, their first job, or even their honeymoon, then chances are you fucked up long ago. You see, after the age of 16 children are legally able to drive…in cars…ON THEIR OWN! At 18, they can cast a ballot for a man that will not only govern their lives, but the lives of the most powerful country in the world. Beginning to feel insignificant? That’s the point…by 21 they can drink, and by that point, if you’ve done something right, they’ve moved out and have their own apartment…yes, their OWN house. In case you were distracted by the futuristic, computer-web-machine in front of you and didn’t get the point, they’re gone, G-O-N-E.

With nostalgia in your hearts and Depends in your pants, you’re probably sitting at home, petting the cat (which is really just a molded sandwich from Thanksgiving) thinking, "I’m old…." But then it hits you, BOOM, out of nowhere, like a conversation after you remember to turn on your hearing aid: with age comes wisdom!!! At this point, your gray hairs turn brown, your wrinkles disappear into the knives of some loaded douchebag surgeon, and those Depends you’ve had shoved up your butt for the past 10 years turn into a sexy pair of youthful briefs.

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This is the point when most parents sign the lifetime contract to their child’s basement lease, the 24-hour Domino’s meal plan, a porn subscription, and eventually the shrink who spews out the Prozac you’ll need to tolerate it all.

You see, maturation is a natural course of action. All things begin, develop, and ultimately become independent structures: buildings (including nursing homes), trees, digital enterprises, and even children. That being said, it is important to be mindful of the independence and maturation that your "baby" girl or boy is capable of. It is also important to note that the use of "baby" in reference to your own child is, at this point, highly inappropriate, seeing as they’re likely to be popping out some of their own kids in the next couple of years. Ain’t that a scary thought….

So let’s face it (not literally, we don’t need any hip replacements this month), they’re all grown up. Before you leave your 12th voicemail of the hour or decide to plan your third "surprise visit" of the week, consider the aforementioned, as well as a student’s response below, prompted by a parent who clearly didn’t read the guide:

OOOOOOH thanks for reminding me that I have to apply for a job. Some people say 3rd time’s the charm, but you prove that excess leads to success. I know it’s only the 6th time I’ve heard from you this hour, but I didn’t respond because I was so confused by all the different ways you tried to contact me! Between the emails, voicemails, Facebook, Twitter, BBM and text message reminders I just find myself so overwhelmed that I need a nap just to get my head on straight. When I woke up I had no clue what to do. I’ve just been sitting around all day twiddling my thumbs and picking my toes trying to think of something. So thanks for the information. Now I know that I don’t have to do anything on my own because you’ll always be there to remind me… always. And not just once, but 10,000x over will you tell me when and how to do everything. I probably didn’t even need to write that 12-page Spanish paper last night, or do my problem set on Tuesday. Actually, come to think of it, I should probably just forget about the two papers and the presentation I have due tomorrow because I know I can count on Y-O-U to remind me!!!! Anyways, my fingers hurt and my eyes are doing that thing when they forget what words mean so I’m totally going to need a nap. Ain’t life just a peach.

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