So your children are all grown up with children of their own, the dynamics of your relationship with your grown child has changed but no one told you! Here you are continuing in your role as mother when your adult child speaks to you in a disrespectful way. You're upset and start to chastise your child with all the authority a mother has, when you realize that you're not getting the results you're used to. All the power has worn off.

When your grown child has a child, he/she can automatically switch his/her own dynamics from child to adult to parent with all that it entails. This unfolds due to changing circumstances that a younger person is faced with on the road to full-fledged adulthood. When your child has a child, he/she is forced to step into another role whereas you stay in the same place, essentially. You become a grandparent but are not saddled with all of the responsibility of having to care for your own child. You continue to see your grown child as your child and perhaps not the parent that they've become, with all the angst and worry that comes with it.

Your grown child has a role now that is independent of you and is raising his/her child in keeping with their own personal style, beliefs and perceptions. Don't get offended if your child has differing opinions from you in the way that he/she chooses to raise their child. You may come with wisdom and experience as well as excitement about sharing those pearls, but don't expect your child to adopt any or all of them. After all, you raised a free thinker didn’t you? Be proud of that and take direction from your child on how he/she would like to raise their child. It is not a reflection of you if your child does not wish to adopt your style or methods.

Each generation learns from the generation before and then they choose to keep what works for them and toss out what doesn't. Arguments will erupt from time to time between you and your grown child, especially around child rearing, and this is normal. It is up to you to also respect the grown child and the parent that he or she has become. Don't sit back and judge but offer advice when it is solicited and take direction from him/her. Your child is now a parent too.

The only time unsolicited intervention should be given is if the child is being put into an unsafe situation, physically or mentally. At other times by all means offer support, if it is rebuffed, resist the urge to charge in. You learned from your mistakes and so will your child. If there does come a time when you are in a clash with your grown child, remember that respect is a two way street and that you are not the only one with feelings, and that the old patterns of communication may not work for the two of you any longer. If you feel disrespected by your child, express yourself clearly and succinctly about how you feel you've been treated, and do not threaten him/her in any way. It may not be easy seeing your grown child as an equal adult but it will make the transition smoother.

Remember to keep your face to the sunshine!

Cheryl Hitchcock DSW, ADC, CACCF
Certified Counsellor & Coach

Author's Bio: 

Cheryl has been a certified clinical counsellor for over 12 years. Her experience and education are in the areas of counselling, developmental disabilities, mental health and addictions. Cheryl also holds a specialized forensic certification in the areas of high risk sexual behaviours and anger management. In addition, Cheryl also has many years of experience and training as a Spiritual Coach, studying spiritual philosophies under the guidance of Buddhist Monks.

Cheryl uses a diverse repertoire of skills that enable her to guide individuals so that they can foster healthy, positive and sustainable change in their lives and foster the ideal vision of their existence.

Cheryl adds a component of spirituality to her practice in respect to positive and negative energy flow and how our thoughts, emotions, and actions relate to whether we manifest positive or negative influences in our lives. Using her spiritual philosophy for many years with successful results, Cheryl now incorporates this as well as other diverse spiritual aspects in her counselling to help people manifest their ideal lives.

Cheryl has also practices in the area of women's issues and what we can expect in our developing lifespan. Her outcomes have produced positive results, as well as sustainable change.

With two years of nursing, behaviour modification, augmentative communication (the study of non-verbal communication), and three years of pharmacology education, Cheryl is proficient in related areas of overall health and wellbeing.

As well as counselling and coaching, Cheryl also conducts workshops and seminars pertaining to elements of behavioural change as well as motivational speaking.

You can contact Cheryl at or 416-919-9831