Being the parent of adult children is sometimes more difficult than when the children are still at home. I can’t tell you how many strained relationships, bitterness, hurt and even anger I’ve witnessed over the years with adult children. I know some young adults who, though they still speak, avoid their parents influence because of the way it has been offered to them. I know some parents of adult children who are miserable watching their adult children make bad decisions, but not knowing how to reach them.
Thankfully, I have a wonderful relationship with my two adult children. They are two of my best friends. But, I’m careful. I want to protect my influence in their life. And, I know the lines are delicate at times.
So, I offer these thoughts with reservation — knowing that I don’t know it all — but I do have some “experienced” thoughts.
Here are 7 suggestions for parenting adult children:
Speak reservedly – Don’t share every opinion you have about how they should be handling their life. That’s a key word. It’s “their” life. And, they may not tell you in so many words, but most adult children want to live their life. Just like you probably want to live yours. You can share on occasion — especially when asked or you know they are about to make a major mistake — but if you share everything it will eventually be noise not influence in their life.
Model – Be the maturer one in the relationship. That makes sense, right? You’ve got more experience, shouldn’t you have more maturity? I’ve known parents who give the silent treatment to their adult children because they didn’t call when they should or perform as they expected. Is that the mature response? And, does it work? It may guilt a response but it doesn’t promote growth and health in the relationship. Model the behavior you think your adult children should have. They will likely follow actions more than words.
Pray – Pray like crazy for your adult kids. Intercede for them. You don’t even have to tell them you are — although occasionally I suspect they’d like to hear it — even if they act like they don’t. In fact, when you’re tempted to worry about them — pray for them. It’s far more powerful and one of the best ways you can influence them.
Remember you were once this age. That’s a key. Remember what it was like to be their age. You wanted to explore. You had dreams. You were scared at times. Confused. Not sure what steps to take. Some days you were just trying to hold it all together. You didn’t know everything. You were still learning. (Hopefully you still are.) You got aggravated at parents at times. And, those parents got aggravated at you. Remember? Try to identify with them by remembering you at their age again. You can influence them better if you can identify more with their season of life.
Keep the door open. Always. As soon as you close the door — when you draw hard lines on the ground or place strict rules upon the relationship — it will be much harder to open the doors again. That doesn’t mean you have to let them take advantage of you. There may be some non-negotiable issues, but let those be rare. Be generous with grace and forgiveness. Remember, you’re trying to develop a long-term opportunity to influence them.
Love them more than their life. You may not love all the decisions they are making. You may even think they are making a mistake. Again, if there’s an open door to share your insight — share it. I find writing a letter is sometimes the best way, especially if communication is strained. But, the fact is again, you are not raising — you’re influencing. And, they may or may not accept your influence. So, love them — generously and unconditionally — more than you love the decisions they are making with their life. And, make sure they know how unconditional your love is also. It will guard your influence — if not now — in the future.
Guard the heart. Yours and theirs. You want to protect the opportunity to speak into their life for years to come. Be careful making statements or doing things you may later regret.
Hopefully, if influence is protected — if they can understand your intentions towards them are good — you can speak into their life — from your success, your failure, and your experience.
article by Ron Edmondson http://www.ronedmondson.com/
I took my children to school but not to church.
I taught them to drink but not the living water.
My child heard me begging God for things but never heard me praising Him.
My child saw me working hard but I always said I was too tired to spend time with them.
My child heard me telling lies to my supervisor about being absent from work and I scolded and punished them when they lied to me.
My child has seen me driving recklessly. Now I worry about them speeding and driving while under the influence.
My child saw me angry, drinking, smoking weed, selling drugs and/or my body for money. My child has heard me cursing at their Mother/Father. My child saw violence in our home. Now I’m stressed. I worry, judge and frown upon their disrespect and reckless ways.
My child saw me as a passive door mat in my marriage. Now I see … click here to finish reading this prayer
A great source of stress comes from attempting every exhausting way to get those you love or those you have to work with to understand you. You may be struggling to improve communication or gain respect and understanding.
You may feel like your relationship or job is emotionally draining and taking all of your joy, peace, time and sanity.
You may feel like; you are not being heard, they don’t follow your logic, you’re running into dead ends and they just don’t get it!
No one wins when you implode, explode, attack, blame, shut down, retaliate, whine, complain or begin to manipulate others. What you avoid or what you allow to anger you…controls you. OK…so now there is an old school song in my head…Stop in the name of love (Diana Ross and the Supremes). That’s right…STOP in the name of love.
STOP in the name of peace and well-being. STOP in the name of REALITY. The reality is people are different. Life can be messy, miraculous, mysterious, uncertain, unfair, beautiful, wonderful, crazy and painful.
Remember the main causes of your stress when you are exhausted from dealing with crazy and difficult family, friends, customers, and co-workers. These five things are most likely the source of your stress and unhappiness.
1. Your fantasies, denial and expectations collide with reality and you can’t make peace with reality.
2. You want somebody or something to change. You feel responsible to fix, change, protect or rescue.
3. You have allowed others to be like a vacuum cleaner and suck you into their “stuff”. You feel like a victim in a vacuum and you don’t know how to get out.
5. You lack support, courage, faith, coping/communication skills or awareness to comprehend, mend, bend, blend, transcend or end the relationship.
STOP in the name of love and schedule your one-on-one life coaching/counseling session with me soon! e-mail JewelMotivates@gmail.com or call 323.964.1736.
A…avoid negative people, places and habits
B…believe in yourself. Distance yourself from people who belittle you.
C…consider things from every angle.
to continue reading the ABCs click here
Give us the courage to be disliked sometimes by our children, when we must do necessary things which are displeasing to their eyes. Give us the imagination to enter into their world in order to understand and guide them. Give us all the virtues we need to lead them by word and example in the path of righteousness. Father God we are limited in what we can do when our children suffer or make choices against our will. When circumstances require forgiveness, communication or boundaries, give us the courage and heart to do and say what is best for the all concerned.
You have all power and we trust you to bless and guide them. As parents we clearly have responsibility to do and be the best we can before them. Help us as parents to practice love, wisdom, self-control and courage. Help us as parents to know when it is time launch them from home, to let go of their rebellious ways or their stressful issues. Teach us to guide with wisdom, to love with tenderness and be good role models of your goodness, salvation and glory. Our children are living in very challenging times and we trust YOU, our Father, to provide and guide them through their valleys. May they grow to seek Your wisdom, Your way and Your will. AMEN”by the Self-esteem Dr., Jewel Diamond Taylor, Inspirational Speaker, Minister and Author
email – JewelMotivates@gmail.com visit web site www.DoNotGiveUp.net
Many of the successful strategies I have learned, applied and shared in my leadership seminars are lessons I learned from being a mother.
1. God blessed me and my husband with two wonderful sons. My sons are extremely different in their personalities. I had to learn as a parent how to communicate and motivate them in different ways. I learned to understand their communication style and what things triggered their moods, desires, obedience and best results. Motivation is NOT one size fits all. People are different and need different styles of leading, loving and influencing. People respond to the personal touch. Find out what is unique about the people you work with, serve, love and lead.
2. The parent is supposed to be the mature one and not lose his/her cool with your young ones. As a Mom I had to learn to exercise emotional intelligence whenever my sons were immature, disobedient, disappointed us or made bad choices. I had to be careful not to make radical and hasty decisions or say things I would later regret because I was hot with anger or hurt and caught up in the moment. A good leader doesn’t do or say stupid things. A good leader practices emotional intelligence and self-control. We have to lead and influence by example, not by emotionally exploding.
3. When you have more than one child, it is critical and challenging not to show favoritism at times. You may have a child that is excelling in school academically or in sports or a child who always exhibits good behavior. You may have a child who is sick or physically challenged. You may have a child who is flexible and shows you more affection than your other children. Children mature at different levels and in different ways. Showing favoritism is not good. Make an honest attempt to acknowledge even the ones on your team, workforce, or family who are not meeting your expectations. People act out and scream for attention in interesting ways. If they are ignored and feel invisible, you could be setting yourself up for some rebellious, sabotaging and undesirable behavior that will affect and cost everyone eventually.
4. In hindsight I see that I had an “S” on my chest for SuperMom. I should have delegated more to my sons. I learned a lesson about empowering others with responsibility, even if they make a mistake or don’t do it my way. We enable people in a negative way if we do not practice shared responsibility. I had to learn how to step back as they grew and not micro-manage their lives. A mother will teach her children how to serve others and not always expect to be served and rescued. A good leader will teach their team how to serve others (i.e. customer service, community, church, co-workers, etc.) Learn to empower by delegating. Avoid burnout. Develop future leaders by delegating duties, not dumping.
5. Of course children love money and allowances. I learned that praise and acknowledgement of good deeds and achievements goes a long way. I love planting seeds of appreciation and praise when my sons would speak or act in positive ways. I wanted them to know that I was proud of them. Praise builds confidence and self-esteem. Money gives a momentary pleasure. Praise goes a long way to improve performance and relationships. Of course people always appreciate getting an increase in money…a raise. Remember the importance also of sincere acknowledgement by adding one letter to the word raise…you get PRAISE… and you will see a positive difference in performance and teamwork. Love and appreciation are great motivators! Oh yeah, this works in marriages also 🙂
6. My parents divorced when I was 7 yrs old. I recall my Father, who lived in Washington D. C., visiting my sisters and I in California. During those visits my Father promised my sisters and me several times that he was going to take us to Disneyland. It never happened. As a child I made a promise to myself that when I became a parent I would never break promises to my children. As an imperfect adult parent I’m sure there were times I disappointed my sons, but never intentionally or carelessly. Keep your promises. Don’t overextend or over promise others just to make yourself look good. Your integrity is key to effective persuasion and leadership. Be a leader that others can trust and depend on.
7. Parents make mistakes. I believe parenting is one the hardest jobs I’ll ever have. You learn as you go. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you don’t. When you really care about your loved ones; you strive to get better, you keep the lines of communication open, you learn to forgive, you learn to ask for help, you learn more from your children, you learn to focus and sacrifice willingly, you learn to manage your time, money and emotions, you learn that they are watching you, you learn that leading them is a great and rewarding responsibility, you learn that you have to make tough decisions that are not always popular, you learn to pray, you learn the importance of seeking their ideas, you learn to adapt and accept what you can’t control, you learn it’s important to teach them what you know in order to leave a legacy…you learn and you learn. I think all of these learning lessons apply to leading a company, team, church, etc. Leaders will make mistakes. Keep learning. Be open to support and feedback. Be willing to take a stand when it’s for the good of the whole.
8. Being a mother taught me to be flexible and a multi-tasker. I had to be an out-of-the-box thinker, resilient and be creative with the budget, decorating, cooking and problem solving. I had to learn how check homework, cook, take them to school, nurse them when they were sick, go to their open house at school, PTA, football games and go to my full-time job. As a mother you often burn the midnight oil after everyone else is sleeping (i.e. folding clothes, cleaning, preparing children’s things for the next day, your own homework, working on your goals, etc.) Changes happen everyday with children. While my sons were young my greatest grief and losses happened when my Mother, Mother-in-law, Father-in-law, Father, and my best friend died. I couldn’t stop my life to grieve. My grandmothers passed before I had children. My mother and mother-in-law passed away while my sons were very young. So I had very little mentoring and support from wise women. I learned to reach out to other mothers on how to be a good mother for sons. I grew up with all females and no brothers. So parenting boys was very foreign to me. I had on-the-job training and I’m sure I made many mistakes. The demands and duties of motherhood did not stop. Shift happened and I had to still be emotionally available for my children. I had to know how to prioritize and focus on the most important things. I couldn’t make excuses and go to bed early just because I was tired. I had to give my 100% because my children were depending on me. The buck stops with the leader. No excuses. Great leaders are students always seeking knowledge and better ways to develop their team/employees/staff/church. A great leader acknowledges their weaknesses and their strengths. A leader puts in more hours planning, working, and preparing for future projects while the team/employees have clocked out. To whom much is given, much is required. Prioritize and yet be flexible and resilient because shift happens. People are depending on you (employees, staff, team, church members, etc.)
9. My constant mantra then and now with my sons is to remember the family is a team. In order to survive and thrive, we must communicate with each other. We must have a prayer life. We must stick together. When one falls, we must there for the other. We must respect each other’s differences. We have a family business (TaylorMade Limo and Sedan Service). So this mindset is something we drill down for the family as well as for the business. Every leader must have a standard, vision, mission and motto to keep their team together and moving forward. Every leader should prepare those coming after them and mentor them for advancement. There is no letter ” i ” in the word “team.”
10. When my sons go through the seasons and challenges of life, I have always been there to encourage them. Whether life was beating them up or they were suffering from their own choices, I never give up on them. It hurts a parent to see their children discouraged. A good leader knows how to build morale in the midst of adversity. A good leader knows how to inspire their team in and out of season. When sales are down or the congregation is slow in building or a team is losing or your child is living below their potential, the leader encourages and boosts morale to have hope and a plan for the future. A good leader keeps optimism and a vision for the future alive.
“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” Henry Ford