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