How to Parent Grown Children? It’s a question many people ask because the phase of parenting isn’t over once the child reaches teenage. As a matter of fact, this phase is a lot more different than the initial years of child development.
The art of parenting is highly dependent on the who are you parenting. Parenting your son is different from parenting your daughter.
Parenting a one and only child would be different than parenting all your children combined. In the same way, how to Parent Grown children would be completely different than Parenting teens.
But how different it is?
Parenting grown children come under a different category because the child has already gone through several years of parenting.
You’ve taught him basic manners when he was a toddler, you’ve taught him the right behavior when he was a teenager. But now he is an adult and has different brain capabilities and different mentality level to understand things.
Thus the route of parenting for this phase would be different and even harder.
Why Parenting Grown Children is Hard?
They have a separate life now
It’s one of the very first things you as Parents would need to digest. Ever since your child was a kid, they were dependent on you. You were responsible to shape their thinking and you had to help them learn most of the basic things. But it’s not the case anymore, they have outgrown that phase and you shouldn’t put much pressure on them. This is exactly the age where your child is supposed to move out or stand on his feet. Thus you as Parents would have to understand that your grown children deserve a little privacy and you shouldn’t be intervening in your child’s matter always.
You don’t get to spend time together.
Either if something is wrong with your work life or your routine, you should never compromise the time with your grown children. Spending time with your children is important, irrespective of what their age is. But as the child grows to be older and is transitioning towards a separate life as an adult, there’d be a gap compiled between you and him. You may live in the same house and still not talk to each other very often. It is because the parents are not taking out time for their children in this phase and thus loses the connection with them very easily which later is hard to be fixed.
Your Grown Children ignore you.
Another cause can be that your grown children ignore Parents purposefully. This is a common problem a lot of parents deal with as their children grow older and there’re several reasons as to why it happens. This behavior can be easily identified from your children’s side and can build a huge emotional gap between you and them. As children are growing out of their teen years, they start relying less on their parents and certain actions of their start bothering them. This is considered a pretty normal behavior nowadays; however, it’s not and makes parenting them harder.
How to Parent Grown Children?
Make their place in your life
The very first step of this should be for you to accept your grown children and make their place in your heart. Most of the Parents, considering that their children now have grown up, put them out of their lives. This doesn’t mean parents don’t talk to children at all, but just that they won’t consider them a part of their routine and want them to figure out their own lives. This phase divides the parents to the children by limiting their communication and interaction later. Hence the very first step of parenting grown children is to re-develop their lost space in your heart and consider them a significant part of your life.
Prioritize spending time with them.
In your daily routine, you should prioritize spending time with your grown children. There are multiple benefits of it and this practice can be a step forward to bring you closer to them. And to do so you’d need to be thoughtful of how you spend your time at home. For example; instead of staying home the whole Sunday you can help in any of their work or go with them to watch a football game, etc. There are multiple ways you can get to spend time with your adult children; you just need to be willing to do it at the expense of other activities which require your time and attention.
Talk to them and convey your feelings.
Having a conversation with your children (no matter what their age is) should be a basic practice. It makes Parents and kids engage better. And your children aren’t kids anymore, so you need not parent them like a kid. You can have serious conversations with your children about your feelings and thoughts emerging in your mind. For example, you should be openly discussing ‘How you want to build a strong relationship with them forever”. They being adults would understand your sentiments. This will, in turn, make them think about this and ultimately they’d start being more cooperative with you.
Give them their space.
Just as important bringing your grown children into your life is, it’s equally important to give them some personal space. What we mean by personal space here is that you as Parents should let them make decisions for themselves. As they have grown as an adult, they have the right to make their own choices. For example, saying things like; “You shouldn’t be wearing that shirt, it doesn’t look good on you” would be considered inappropriate. Thus placing your own perception of wearing something, or living life in general, on them wouldn’t be a good way to advise them. So your approach by saying; “That shirt really suits you, what about this one?” would be better.
Be careful with your words.
Scolding your child was a normal practice in his childhood. But for Grown children, they have an adult life and thus deserve some respect. So you as their parents should always be very careful with your words. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t advise or criticize any of their actions. But rather you should do it in a sensible way. There are certain things you should consider while communicating with your adult child. For example, you should be advising them on parenting their own children effectively but you need to show faith in them equally. Your wrong words can really impact the relationship between you and your adult children negatively. Thus it’s important to think before talking.
Let Them Make Decisions for themselves.
As your children are growing old you should understand their choice and respect the decisions made by you. You’d need to set your grown children free in order to make their full potential come out. You making decisions for them all the time won’t help a bit and you’d see their outraged behavior in return. A really good way of approaching them in anything would be to prefer “Suggesting” over “Commanding” them. This way they’d feel more in control for themselves. For example; saying “When do you plan to marry? I’d personally suggest you do it earlier” sounds better than “You should get married now”.
Hold them Responsible for themselves.
It’s important to set your adult children free for sure but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep them accountable. Your children, when grown-up have specific responsibilities on them and keeping them liable for those responsibilities, isn’t a bad thing. In fact, if you become a little permissive and don’t let them face their problems and challenges they’d have an uncontrollable softness in their behavior for a whole life. Don’t let them party all day and come home late at night. Once they have grown to a certain age they should be working somewhere and bearing their own expenses to some extent.
Always talk positively about them in front of others.
One of your children have grown up, society would play a big role in shaping their personality further. And more specifically it refers to their friends, colleagues, spouse or other people close to them. Thus it’s important for you to always point out the bright side of your child. Try never to complain to any outsider of any of their bad habit (as long as it’s not too bad). You don’t want your child to hear and be upset realizing his father always criticizes him in front of his friends. And on the other hand, if he hears compliments from outside that you made for him, he’d be more confident outside home.
Important Things to Understand
It’s important to realize that the foundational years of any kid is his toddler and childhood years until he becomes a teenager. In this period he’ll build his entire personality and when he crossed the teenage line, you should just be nourishing his character.
Another important thing is that you shouldn’t be indulging into debates for things which doesn’t matter that much. If the child is now a complete man, at times, he’ll definitely have some heated moments and disagreements with parents and it’s completely normal.
Whenever there’s a disagreement between you two, you being the Parents should try to keep it rational rather than emotional. You should be dealing maturely in a condition like this so it doesn’t lead to a dispute between you and your grown children.
“How to Parent Grown Children” won’t even be a question for you if you just consider the fact that your children have grown the phase of rebelliousness and if you as Parents just cooperate with them, they won’t be hard to handle.
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