There is no rule book when a child grows up and becomes an adult how to have a relationship with an adult child. And yet, the mothers, they always remain in their hearts, their babies. And yet, they are not a child anymore, they are a self-sufficient, self-supporting adults no longer requiring their moms and dads to be in that same role they played for so many years.
At times, this is an easy transition, for either a mother or a dad. Letting loose, living your life free of the responsibilities of parenting sound fun and carefree. But this change can be emotionally hard. When the road gets rocky, or when parents construe their adult children making mistakes in judgment that are going to cost them down the road, let’s face it, as parents they want to jump and give their two cents But these are different times, their children have different dynamics as a family and their children are unique. They deserve the freedom and the confidence to be their problem solvers. Rule one, butt out! It helps keep the peace. Reality, interference will be reprimanded. Some adult children won’t see the love behind it and will resent their parents for trying to right a wrong.
As children, many of us raised our children in a Christian home that mandated going to church regularly. Their anchor, you taught, was their faith in God, their family and all else fell behind that. At a certain age, it is hard to watch but they may very well fall away from the church. This is so normal. But, when families begin to grow and little children come to the forefront, things change. Many come back to their Christian beginnings where they were fostered in their faith. They often times, begin the path of leading their children to Jesus. Be patient. God has a plan for these children of God, they were only given to their parents for a short time.
Trying to give marital advice can be detrimental big time. Their marriage is sacred and must come before all others. Confiding in parents is only presenting one view of the issues. Giving advice is not input from an expert. This puts their parents in a vicarious position, accepting the responsibility again of their adult children’s success or failure of something bigger than a Band-Aid fix. The bias of a parent can’t be removed from input also. Encourage counseling and communication and if they need help, let them seek out others. Parents get burnt by getting involved! They are not children. Ultimately, they want the respect of their parents as are now adults so treat them that way. Rule 1, butt out.
It is hard not being in the know in their lives. Many parents struggle with this. When children are young, mothers in particular are the master schedulers, the project managers of their children’s life. Now the role is on the sidelines. Most weeks Mon.-Fri. is a mystery unless a parent is told in advance by a grandchild! In today’s world, adult children are leading hectic busy lives. It is hard to get everything done let alone keep their parents current with the timeline of their lives. They tell their parents when they are out of time; keep them updated on news items and when they need to be where. Be grateful for these snippets. It is like the song Cats in the Cradle in a way, leading busy lives is what was taught. Now it is playing out in their lives. They are what they were taught.
What role is it a parent plays in an adult child’s life, friend or parent or both? How to know which direction to go? This is tricky. As they say, untie your apron strings, unless baking cookies. No longer are there curfews to be held over anyone’s head nor holding up car keys as punishment, or cutting back allowance. The priority in their life is not their parents and it shouldn’t be. It does not mean the love is not there. Now they put their own immediate family first, as they were taught behind their faith. Extended family and then friends are next in line as important in their lives. In the family category is also ‘chosen family’ which indeed includes friends. Some friends are as endearing as or more endearing than family.
Ironic that now the parents have the time and the desire to put a great deal more time into the relationship with their children and their child, now an adult simply does not have the time. It isn’t as if the adult child does not have the desire as they know their parent is aging and time is in shorter supply but time is not always a best friend. But, the parents can look at Facebook, hear updates on phone calls and reflect on families visits and see how rich their lives are. This is what you raised them for, to have a blessed life. Knowing this is a comfort and on a lonely day, this is important to remember. Be grateful they are letting you share in it when they can. Know the time frame doesn’t represent the love.
Know that you will never stop being parents in a child’s eyes. In some far recesses of their mind, they feel it. They may not even like it, they may hate their parent, disown them, and defy them but God chose their parent for a reason and they will always remain bonded. That fact can’t be changed. Obviously it is healthier if the relationship is a positive one. When in need for someone to fall upon, it is comforting to know a relationship that has been mutually fostered with your parent though-out all the years, keeps that unconditional love alive. The adult child can always tap into it when in need.
The past is over. Embrace the now. The sooner it is done, the better for all. Social media is a great source of information also. Check it out and get with the times. It is a new world and change is good. Live in today’s world so that adult children can feel good about the relationship that is continuing to develop with their parents. It should continue to grow and develop.
The best part about prosperous adult children is sitting back and seeing the legacy at work. When parents are together with them, know it was a conscious choice to make time to be with their parents. Feel the love in the air and remember the feeling from all those years ago. It is different in ways, being with your adult child; the child has grown but is now fostering those feelings into their own children. The love and bonding between parent and child is still felt, though at any age. Cherish it, even now. See, some things really never do go away. Parents are still the anchor right behind God. This Link has some of my fav photos to 1 of my fav songs