Continuing the “How To” series is a topic that has a thin line of judgment. As parents, our children are always our .babies. But babies grow up and our treatment has to be reflective of their maturity. Our interference should not be offensive to their intelligence. We train our children to become responsible adults. So we have to let them exercise that obligation. So if you are wondering … I am not a helicopter Mother who zooms around the territories of my two adult children. Look at them! Oh my I cannot believe how much they have they grown!
Alright, it’s difficult to keep our nose out of their affairs, but it becomes easier when we think about the fact that we didn’t and don’t want our parents meddling in our business. We need not micro manage our children. We need to know our boundaries and respect their privacy. In other words, we need to mind our own business and respectfully stay out of theirs. Said differently … get a life! I swear! I have so much going on in my life, I really don’t have time for their trivia. Once you let them manage their lives, you have so much more time to do your own thing. The less you know; the less the stress; most likely the more cash too.
Now let’s take a look at what the experts say.
There are 5 strategies that can be used to nurture your adult children who are in their 20’s and beyond.
1. Observe respectful boundaries.
2. Listen more than you talk.
3. Do what you love together and the rest will follow. Activities together won’t hurt.
4. Set ground rules for how to disagree.
5. Make room for the significant other folks in their lives.
Recommendations that will assist you in getting along with your adult children:
1. “Be Flexible. Parents need to realize that their way is not the only way. They need to be open to new ideas and willing to learn from their adult children.
2. Be Fun to be around. If parents can laugh, use some humor and avoid saying “No” to everything. Create an enjoyable atmosphere.
3. Be Considerate, Empathic and Understanding. See the issue from the adult child’s point of view. They may be going through their own struggles and especially need a parent’s love and support.
4. Be Patient and Listen. If parents would actually take time to hear the verbal and non-verbal words of their children, they would draw closer to them.
5. Be Affirming and Not Critical. Praise draws, criticism repels. Parents often give out more criticism than they give out affirmation. Everyone knows that as human beings we love to be around people who appreciate us. Jesus set an example when He looked for the best in people. Affirmation draws us close in relationships.
6. Be Willing to Communicate but Don’t Push it. It’s all about timing and when their time is right, it should be the parent’s prime time to listen and relate.
7. Be Loving and Show Affection. Put your arm around them; a gentle touch; a pat on the shoulder; a hug; and often saying the words, “I love you.” But more importantly, adult children need to see that their parents are in-love with each other. Role modeling affection sets an example for their kid’s marriage.
8. Be Willing to Say “I’m Sorry, I was Wrong.” Some parents think because they are the parent that they are always in the right but when an adult child hears those words in an honest way, they will respond in love. It’s just as valuable to be a forgiving parent and over-look small inadequacies and personality temperaments, rather than making an emotional scene about these differences.
9. Be spiritual. They can preach and talk about it all they want but the loudest example is how the parent lives.”
10. Be a role model. You cannot say do as I say; not as I do.
In summary, parenting is experimental. We learn as we grow. We become wiser. Laying a foundation of solid principles will be something that our children can grasp as they age. Yes, children move from our laps to our hearts. They leave our homes hopefully, but they never leave our hearts.
Photo credit: www.nextavenue.org; Source: www.aarp.com; www.answersforme.org