Our children will always be our children, even when they are adults themselves. While you may no longer have to provide constant support, no doubt you want to maintain a healthy relationship with your adult children. Here are top tips for parenting kids once they become adults.
Recognize and Respect Your Differences
Many families experience conflict, and this is not likely to change just because your children have grown up. Recognizing and respecting the differences between you will help to keep your relationship on an even keel. You may not always agree with their opinions or choices but as their independence grows, you can respect their decisions without getting into a conflict.
Wherever your children are living, whether they are still with you or living independently, you both need to set boundaries. You may still be their first port of call if they have an emergency, or they may prefer to confide in their friends or partners. Likewise, you don’t need to share everything about your life with your adult kids. It may feel uncomfortable to set boundaries and ground rules, but it will get easier. A lack of respect for boundaries between parents and children is one of the reasons for divorce, as parents need to be united as a team in how they deal with their children at every age. So, keep in mind that the benefits of boundaries are quite layered.
Share Wisdom and Insights
Your adult children may not always respond well to your suggestions, especially if they sense criticism. If you do have any wisdom or insights to share, do it sensitively. If you feel that they need some financial advice, show that you understand and empathize with their situation while offering practical solutions that they can take themselves. If they’re finding it hard to make ends meet, you can suggest ways to reduce their outgoings. Looking to refinance student loans into a new loan with lower monthly payments is a great way to lower monthly payments. Help with understanding the benefits of refinancing and make sure you’re both clear on the new obligations.
Do Things You Love Together
If you loved taking your son to a sports match when they were younger, there’s no need to stop now. Schedule time to watch your favorite team together. If your weekends were spent exploring the great outdoors, book a weekend away together to relive your adventures. Find opportunities to do the things you all love together and to keep the family bond strong over time.
Make Room for Partners and Special Relationships
It can be hard to come to terms with the fact that your child has someone in their life who seems to be more important than you. Remember that these relationships are an important stage in their personal growth. Try to remain open-minded and get to know their partner or special person without getting too involved. There is room in our lives for many people and many kinds of relationships so be open.
Schedule Regular Family Meetings
As children get older and move away, it can be difficult to keep everyone updated on what is happening within the family. Regular meetings offer a place for people to share their news, voice concerns, process difficult things together and support each other. If family meetings and open communication were a regular occurrence while your children were living at home, it will be easier to keep these going as they become adults.