After your kids grow up, you remain a parent, but your job description changes. Your role changes from that of a teacher who shows your child how to do things and why, to that of a guide and mentor. Your adult children can make their own decisions, and you’re both free to determine how you want to interact with each other. Setting boundaries will help you to maintain a healthy relationship with each other. We can use our emotional boundaries to let others know how we want to be treated. This month’s newsletter is all about how you can still provide guidance to your adult children whilst respecting their independence.
How To Guide Your Adult Children Toward Independence:
Listen closely. Provide your children with an objective sounding board rather than trying to fix their troubles for them. They’ll learn more by coming up with their own solutions.
Set goals. Work with your children as they develop a plan to become self-supporting or decide what they should work towards. Help support them to stay on track.
Consult with your partner. Make sure that your spouse, partner or relevant family member is on board. You’re more likely to succeed if you present a united front.
How To Deal With Conflict And Respect With Your Adult Children:
Are you feeling like your adult children are being hostile towards you? This is a tricky area to navigate but resolving the conflicts quickly and effectively will help your relationship going forward. There are a few things you can use to keep these conflicts and feelings to a minimum.
Hold yourself accountable. Your child may need to vent about how you have been as a parent in the past. You can treat yourself with compassion while being open to hearing what they have to say and acknowledging mistakes you have unwittingly made (thinking they were the right decisions with the knowledge you had at the time).
Be flexible. What if your child wants some time apart? Let them know that you’re willing to work on your differences and are eager to welcome them back when they’re ready to talk.
Set limits. You need to decide as the other adult in this situation what you consider as intolerable. Discuss this with your adult child and make sure that you’re both aware of each other’s limits and expectations.
When To Stay in Touch And When To Step Back:
Stay in touch. What if you want to see more of your children? Long distances and busy schedules can make that difficult. Suggest fun opportunities to get together without applying pressure. Take advantage of video calls and other technology.
Allow your children to raise their kids their way. When you become a grandparent, you can leave the parenting up to your adult child. It can be easy to overstep this boundary.
Remember that when you have adult children, this is your chance to pursue your goals – there’s more to you than being a parent! It’s your chance to create a balanced life and an opportunity to fulfill your personal dreams.
It’s incredible to share love and wisdom with our adult children and to be open to learning from them too. Respecting each other’s boundaries will bring you closer together.