Who Is This Person?

I don't know about you, but I find that parenting adult kids is so much more difficult than when they were little! There is no course for parents of adult kids to help us! When they are little it is easy to control them.

When they are small you can keep them safe. Their problems are small. A scraped knee is easily fixed by a bandaid and a cuddle. They run to us when they are hurt physically or emotionally.

It's not as easy when they are adults. Most of the time I think we parents are expected to just sit and listen, but not have any input. Our adult kids don't want us to fix their problems. We aren't supposed to say anything when they are ready to walk off the cliff. It makes me want to pull my hair out!

At what point do we stop being parents and become friends? Of course, even their friends often get more input into their lives than we do! What are we supposed to do?

I've been the parent of adults with children for a while now. I would love to be able to tell you it gets easier, but it doesn't. I think back to what they considered "traumatic" issues when they were younger, and I would take those problems any day of the week.

adult kidsWhy Does It Have To Be So Hard?

So what are we to do if we want "healthy" relationships with our adult kids?

Realize they will ask for advice if they want it. This is so hard! If we want them to ever talk to us, we can't force our opinions down their throats. If they DO ask for our advice, be prepared they might not even take it! It has to be ok. Try asking questions to get them thinking. Avoid making statements that can be construed as judgmental or preachy. Nothing will shut them down faster and keep them away.

Understand we can't protect them. Our adult kids are going to make mistakes. They will get hurt, or hurt others. There is nothing we can do about it expect PRAY if you are a praying person. It's part of their journey. It is not for us to judge what they need to learn from any life experience. We think it would be so much better if they would just listen! Why do they have to make their own mistakes? Our job is to love them unconditionally and pick them up and dust them off when they do come to us. Period.

We have to have healthy boundaries. We don't just "pop" over to their place without calling first, for example. We never contradict them, or go against their wishes in front of their friends, or their own kids. Often, an open and honest conversation will shed more light on what they deem as "acceptable boundaries" in their eyes than you are prepared to choke down. It is often just as important to set good boundaries for your own home, time and person as well.

Work on our own issues. Co-dependency is a big one! In a nutshell, co-dependency is when we want to work on their problems more than they do. What do I need to work on in myself so that I can have a healthy relationship with my adult kids? Maybe it's just learning to let go.

Another really tough one is knowing when to offer help and when not to. We can't constantly rescue our adult children or they never learn the hard life lessons such as how to manage money, or how to resolve problems. We have to remember that we won't always be around. Don't we want to know that when our time on this planet is done, that our kids will be strong, self-sufficient adults? That's the greatest gift we can give them, but requires a great deal of strength and will on our part.

Just Tear My Heart Out Why Don't You!

Too often, we moms (for the most part) make our kids our lives when they are younger, especially if the relationship with our partner isn't great. When the time comes to let our kids experience more independence, and eventually adulthood, we experience what feels like a terrible tearing in our hearts. This usually causes a type of identity crisis wherein we don't even know who we are without our kids.

This becomes a very strained time with our partners if we aren't careful. My husband would always say that our kids were going to grow up some day, move away and it would just be us. We needed to keep our relationship strong. He was right.

This could be a really good time in our lives to recreate ourselves. What are you passionate about that you could develop into a hobby, or maybe even a business if you have an entrepreneurial bent.

We recreate ourselves during the course of our lives, and when our children grow up and leave the nest is an important time to take stock and develop a new plan, and identity if necessary. It can be a very exciting time if we determine to make it exciting.

Are you at a stage in your life that you feel ready to recreate yourself? Why not take on a new personal and professional challenge and become an online entrepreneur? If connecting with a community of like minded, goal oriented community, learning new skills and mindsets, and developing and monetizing your passion sounds intriguing, click the image below and find out more.

Author's Bio: 

I have been married for almost 34 years to the same wonderful, supportive, loving - yet sometimes taxing man! He would say the same of me! We have two fantastic kids whom we love with all our hearts and are very proud of, five super special grand kids, (I am a "Mimi" I have bragging rights) and two adorable canine adopted kids that let us live in the house with them. Not to mention many fish and corals that are part of my addictive reef keeping hobby.

I have a passion for business and anything entrepreneurial. I believe that small businesses of all kinds are the foundation of this country. I have, in fact, owned a brick & mortar business, and am now mastering internet marketing. I know how hard it is for small businesses to compete in this world economy. It takes a special type of person to be an Entrepreneur.