I can't express how important it is to treat your kids as adults. I think that the more you treat them as adults the more independence you actually create for the child, which may be a good thing.
I have seen countless parents treat their 19 year old or 20 year olds as children. Not letting them go out without permission or drive. Now the question is why? If your kid goes to college and has been independent for the longest time why treat them as a kid? They have probably been doing things without you anyway.
To me this is the most frustrating thing in the world. This is second to the parents who make their kids work, make them act like an adult, and do adult responsibilities. However, when the child asks if they can go do something the parents says no because they are not ready.
I think that is ridiculous. Especially since the child will never be "ready" if you don't let them experience the world for themselves. I understand that sheltering is a good thing sometimes but if you are doing it all the time you're doing more harm than good to your child.
In the end, if you expect your child to act as an adult you better treat them as one in my opinion.