From a note to myself when my sons were in their late teens. I was struggling as a father to give them the direction they needed while learning to step away and let them find their path. Never as easy dance! But parents must learn to adjust parenting approaches as kids develop. That adjustment requires a spirituality that enables the shifts to take place, an experience of prayerfulness that make releasing our kids possible:
Why do I try to manage the path my sons take? Managing them isn't really about them; it's about me. I'm only projecting my anxiety upon them, fueling their self-doubt, their resentment. Their life is their life, not mine. What they most need is my love, my confidence and wisdom when they ask for it, my presence when they approach me. So, don't answer questions they're not asking. Don't do for them what they don't want done. Don't suggest what's not on their minds. And don't protect them from their mistakes---even their serious ones. Remember your youth. remember that you've not learned anything worth learning without pain. Tend to your own life, prayerfulness, wholeness---your own path. There's enough work in that alone. Love what is, not what should be, could be, or would be if only . . . . Crucifiy your illusions, idolatries, ideals. Delight instead in everything here and now. This is life. You have no other.
They know your values. They know what works, even if they're unconscious to it now. Let them fail and put their own practices into play, learning their own values---which may or may not be yours. That is success. But keep pushing and demanding, and you'll not only push them away, you'll cripple them. Do what you want and need to do. No more. And keep watch over your wounds that can quickly turn to stifling, oppressive demands that make us all into losers.