I saw an article today which at first made me roll my eyes. According to some scientists who make their living studying the human brain, we aren't biologically adults until some point in our thirties. When I first read that, my immediate thought was of my parents who both explained to me that I had better have most of it figured out by the time I turned 18 because I would be on my own. To be fair, I did move out at 18, but I wasn't exactly "on my own." It was a rare occasion, but there were a couple of times where I had to call home because I'd gotten myself into a financial fix, but having either of my parents agree to regularly pay my bills would never have happened.

After getting over my initial "we're babying our kids too much these days" mentality, I found something in the article that actually makes sense and that I think most people (even those raised similarly to the way I was) would agree with. We mature differently. If you grew up in a family with siblings, I'm sure you could see that some had it together before others - maybe some never really got it together at all. They had the same parents, same rules, same home environment, but turned out completely different. My brother Ray was working at a radio station by age 14. He got a hardship license which allowed him to drive to and from work. By the time he was 16, he moved out and got an apartment. Not a typical case at all, but he was a smart guy, straight A student and always seemed very mature for his age. There had to be something different going on in his brain that was beyond the control of our parents.

So, for today's parents, do you have an age in mind that you will demand your kids be on their own? I don't mean that you wouldn't give them a place to stay if they needed it or let them starve or any such other cruel thing. Your child will always be your child, but what age do you expect them to have a clue about life and be mostly independent? I'm sticking with 18 for now because my daughter seems like she will be equipped to deal with the basics. If not, I'll drive her to the Air Force recruiter and let them sort it out.