"You're lucky. You're kids are grown up. They don't need you anymore," my sister says to me as we sit on the floor playing with her 2 year old. My other sister agrees; her kids are 4, and 6 months.
Excuse me? My kids are 13, 14 and 16. They don't need me?
"Well they can do so much for themselves," they protest.
That's true but they can't do everything for themselves. It is a mistake to think that once they're out of diapers they can 'go make their own lunch'- so to speak.
A youth needs as much support as a young child. I would say- perhaps even more. They need you to be there for them if not always physically, definitely emotionally.
When they come home from wherever they've been, they want a pair of eyes to SEE them, a pair of ears to HEAR them if they want to vent or to share their joy.
A youth needs you to help them achieve the small steps along the path to reaching their goals. This is especially true of the unschooled youth. It's still up to you to help your youth find opportunities and also for you to do some hand-holding. This might mean doing things that we might see as easy but for the youth, quite daunting. For example it might mean making that appointment they're a feeling too nervous to do on their own. It might mean taking them somewhere where they need to go. It might mean helping them raise funds for a project they are working on.
You need to be there for your youth both physically and emotionally and your youth needs to know this.