Growing together: Parent-Child in Adulthood

by Lorna Martinez Magill

As our children grow up and become adults, it’s important to remember that our relationships with them will also change. While we may no longer play the primary role in their lives, it’s possible to maintain a strong, supportive relationship with our adult children. Here are some tips to help you build and maintain a positive relationship with your adult children:

Communicate openly and regularly

Open and honest communication is key to any healthy relationship, and this holds true for relationships with adult children as well. Encourage them to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with you, and do the same in return. Whether through in-person conversations, phone calls, or even text messages, make an effort to stay connected and stay informed about what’s going on in their lives.

Respect their independence

As adults, your children are making their own decisions and navigating their own lives. It’s important to respect their independence and give them the space they need to do so. Avoid trying to control or micromanage their decisions, and instead offer support and guidance when they ask for it.

Show genuine interest in their lives

Take an active interest in what your adult children are doing and what they’re passionate about. Ask about their work, hobbies, and goals, and offer to help in any way you can. This can help you stay connected and build a stronger bond with your adult children.

Offer support and guidance when needed

While it’s important to respect your adult children’s independence, there may be times when they need your support and guidance. Be available to offer a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or practical advice when they need it. Just be mindful of not overstepping boundaries or trying to solve their problems for them.

Avoid overstepping boundaries

As your children become adults, it’s important to establish and maintain healthy boundaries. Avoid prying into their private lives or trying to control their decisions, and instead focus on offering support and guidance when asked. This can help you maintain a positive, healthy relationship with your adult children.

Apologize and forgive when necessary

Like all relationships, your relationship with your adult children is not immune to conflict. If a disagreement arises, be willing to apologize and forgive when necessary. This can help you resolve conflicts and maintain a positive relationship with your adult children.

Share experiences and create memories together

Finally, make an effort to share experiences and create memories with your adult children. Whether it’s taking a trip together, trying a new activity, or simply having dinner, these shared experiences can help you strengthen your bond and create lasting memories.

Maintaining a strong relationship with your adult children requires effort and a willingness to adapt to changes in the relationship. By communicating openly, respecting their independence, showing genuine interest in their lives, offering support and guidance, avoiding overstepping boundaries, apologizing and forgiving when necessary, and sharing experiences and creating memories together, you can build and maintain a positive, supportive relationship with your adult children.

Action Step: Reach out to each of your adult children and ask them what the best way is to communicate with them. Is it a text, phone call, Facetime, an occasional dinner out?

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