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BEING AN ADULT PARENT TO AN ADULT CHILD

Have you ever asked the question, “What is my responsibility to my adult children? When do I get in my children’s business and when do I stay out?”

Because we have been teaching, guarding, and protecting our children for 18n years, it’s difficult to “loosen the grip” when they become adults. 

This new position in our children’s lives is foreign to us.  Our brains want to tell we still need to be shadow parenting them.  When our children don’t accept our counsel or our advice upsets them, we may feel fear, confusion, doubt, uncertainty, anxiety, or insecurity. 

We ask “When do I get in my child’s business and when do I stay out?”  Our brains tell us that our children won’t be as happy if we don’t help them choose the right.

We think we need to fix them when they fall.

We think we need to remind them that they are making poor choices.

We think we should be there to bail them out of difficulties.

We think we know what’s best for our children.

The truth is all of these thoughts our brain is telling us are lies.

What our adult children want is to figure things out for themselves.  They want to feel the satisfaction of solving their own problems. 

What our adult children want is to have space between you and them to grow on their timeline, not ours. To not rob children of their agency, it’s well to let them decide the how to live their lives.

What our children want is love and respect, unconditionally; to accept them whether they are succeeding or failing.  Just like our Heavenly Father does with us.

And what our children want is for us to take responsibility for our own happiness.

Each of our children will need us in different ways but as said, all of them want two things:  Love and respect.

Here are six ways we can show love and respect:

  1. Be available to them.  Through your body language and communication, instill in them that you will always be there for them.
  2. Show unconditional love by acknowledging all the good things they are doing and and not judging them for the things that are disappointing to you.
  3. Recognize that when they fall hardest is when they need our love the most, not our judgement.
  4. Make a list of reasons to have faith in them that they can figure out their own lives.
  5. Remember to honor the The Great Plan of Happiness (everyone is given the right to choose for himself).
  6. Our only responsibility to our adult children is to love them. Love means respecting their abilities to make choices that will allow them to grow.  Love does not mean managing their lives.

If we do this our children will feel safe enough to come to us when they need help.

The only time we get into our adult children’s business is when they ask or they are physically or mentally incapable of making decisions on their own.  They are adults now.  We do not know better than them and our experience isn’t always valuable because we have not lived at their age at this time in life.

It’s not an easy thing to do but it enables us to not rob our children of their customized, life lessons.

It just being human to think, “No, no, no.  Don’t do that!”  But the way we can help our children the best is to work on being a better version of ourselves.

Love always wins….we just need to be committed to practice intentionally loving others.

Is it time to get on a call with me to get some help managing your brain to be the kind of parent to your adult child you would like to be?  Let’s do it.

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