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How To Love Adult Children...

Discussion in 'Parents & Siblings' started by BhumiBabe, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. BhumiBabe

    BhumiBabe Platinum IL'ite

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    When children are young, I think it’s quite easy for parents to love their children despite their flaws. Afterall, it’s hallmark how Indian parents love their children - feeding them the best food, sending them to great schools, and showering them affection well into adulthood.

    But I think it’s inevitable for parental love to change once the child is an adult. There is an article I came across that I wish my own parents could follow.

    How to Love Your Adult Children Really Well

    Pray for your adult children and their children.

    I’ve always asked God to bless and protect my children. Since watching the movie, War Room, I’m getting very specific in my prayer requests for them. I want to be in the battle for my children and grandchildren.

    Tell your adult children you love them.

    Often! They simply never outgrow the need to hear the words, “I love you.” Think about it. You know it’s true.

    Forgive the past.

    Sure they messed up. They may have messed up BIG, but forgive and believe God is able to work His plans and purposes in them. Believe in their hope-filled future.

    Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answer to.

    Your adult children are on their own. Deeply personal questions can come with answers that make you uncomfortable. Do you really want to know about your child’s sex life? Finances? Or the details from last Saturday night? If they want to talk about it, be a good listener but don’t ask.

    Give your adult children room to grow and grow up.

    Everyone changes. Admit it. You’re still growing and learning. You don’t have everything figured out. Neither do your children. But they’re learning and growing . . . that’s what’s important.

    Remember, it’s okay to say ‘no.’

    They’re adults. You don’t have to say yes to every request for money or childcare or….

    Refuse to manipulate your adult children with guilt.

    They didn’t call. It’s okay. Maybe they’re busy. Maybe they’re REALLY busy. Give them grace, then remember phones go both ways. Call them. Better yet, text them. It only takes a minute to type, “I love you.” And remember . . . it’s okay for them to say ‘no’ too.

    Give your adult children the freedom to make life choices.

    Career? Where they’ll live? Who they date or marry? You know you have opinions, but it’s their life. Don’t pressure them or make them feel you’ll be disappointed in them or that you won’t be there for them if they choose “poorly.”

    Give your adult children freedom over the holidays.

    Balancing relationships is challenging. Remember what it was like when you were trying to please your parents and your in-laws? Maybe you still are. It’s okay to celebrate on a day other than the holiday itself. The important thing is enjoying time together not when you do it.

    Give your adult children a verbal pat on the back.

    They still want to know you’re proud of them and think they’re doing a good job. Tell them.


    Respect their parenting decisions.

    If they say no sugar don’t try to sneak your grandchild a cookie. If their boundaries are too rigid or not rigid enough for you they are the parents. You had your turn. And NEVER disagree with their parenting approach in front of your grandchild!

    Offer a listening ear with a tender heart.

    They don’t always need advice. Most of the time they just need to know you care and that you’re listening. You don’t have to have all the answers. Just be available.

    Toughen up. Avoid giving in to hurt feelings.

    They probably hurt your feelings occasionally when they lived at home and it’s possible they’ll say or do something that hurts after they’re grown. They’re not perfect. Neither are you. Let it slide.

    Respect their boundaries and expect them to respect yours.

    Boundaries are good for all relationships. It’s important for parents and adult children to have boundaries too. Call before you drop in. Ask don’t expect. Define off-limits topics. And expect respectful conversations.

    Pray again.

    Life is moving at an amazing speed for your children. They need your prayers more than ever and more often than you think.

    Let me be perfectly honest with you.

    I didn’t get here quickly. You won’t either.

    I spent the years raising our children completely invested. I gave it my all, and I in all honesty, I didn’t really want to let go.

    But… it wasn’t about me.

    It’s about allowing them to become and be the people God created them to be and sometimes the best way to do that is to simply get out of the way and let Him do His work.

    Always remember…

    “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

    God will give you all you need to be the parents your adult children need. Remember He got you here. He got them here.

    His grace really is sufficient!

    How to Love Your Adult Children Really Well | Counting My Blessings
    Rihana, vrikshakadali and livinitup like this.

  2. kaluputti

    kaluputti Gold IL'ite

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    Honestly I don't mean to be harsh or rude but....Indian or Hindu philosophy believes in karma and once you endure through what life holds out with patience you get out of it and if you try to escape, it is always looming over your head in the future, be it in this life or the next,next....! .With this in mind the parents do their duty by bring up their children, educate them , prepare for their independent lives , but lived under the same roof.They were supposed to remain aloof once the son & DIL took over, of course respected by the next generations, and at 60 embrace vanaprastha ashrama and then sannyas. A graceful life and end.

    This was the Indian system till the western influence,where the child at 16 leaves and starts life independently. Children were not supposed to take care of the parents or vice versa. Now the culture and practice is the cross between the two and not knowing where the boundary lies. Ironical that we look up to western media and thought rather than our own ancient wisdom, which we don't lack right here in this forum,to learn or know how both generations should behave with each other.
    peartree and vrikshakadali like this.
  3. Rihana

    Rihana Finest Post Winner

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    Good compilation in the article, BB. I've been thinking about this thread on and off the past few weeks.

    "... and showering them affection well into adulthood" - this is where trouble can start. When the child's adulthood does not bring about the required changes in the parent's relationship with the child.

    Sometimes parents learn to let go after their experience with the eldest child. And sometimes, they are simply too occupied by other things to interfere in an adult child's life, often the one living far away.

    And in some cases, the adult child finds it convenient to have parents still in-charge of his or her life.
  4. BhumiBabe

    BhumiBabe Platinum IL'ite

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    What are the required changes? I admit, I found it very convenient to have my parents approve my every decision in case I don’t miss a mistake. They enjoyed it too. I never rebelled or challenged them in the cultural sense.
    kaluputti likes this.
  5. SGBV

    SGBV Finest Post Winner

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    When I was 5, my parents decided the School in which I should study
    When I was 15, they decided the stream I should follow for my heigher studies, but they consulted my opinion and explained the pros and cons of each. Though I had different tastes, they only decided what was best for me
    When I was 20, they gave me the freedom to chose the foreign university, and supported me financially to get there
    When I was 25, they accepted my choice of marriage, though it seemed as a strict NO (i had an inter religious marriage). They shared their wisdom and a lot of practical advice before I finalize
    When I was 30, they interfered and poke their nose into each and every decision that I made in my marriage life. Though it seemed as nonsense that time, I understand the effect, and how that saved me from a hell. Unlike before, at this point in life, I was very fragile, and clumsy. I had a dysfunctional marriage with 2 young babies and a very demanding career. All my parents wanted was to align me straight towards a happy and successful path, specially whenever I was drowning without even knowing it.
    Now, at the age of 35, with seemingly a perfect marriage and settled career, my mom (dad passed away) chose to take a back seat, yet stay fully supportive of whatever i decide. Currently she acts as my backbone, and as a second mother to my kids, so that I could really focus at work front.

    This is how my parents have changed, rather evolved in how they showered me with love.
    Whenever we became fragile and clumsy (in my case, during my childhood, teen times and for a shorter period after marriage), they put their foot down to help me recollect myself and move on.
    But whenever I showed clarity in what I thought or did, they moved out and silently supported.
    Their way of support varied with time, but their intention remained the same. That is to make me happy and successful in life.

    I would rather follow similar path as a parent in my children's life.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
    kaluputti and BhumiBabe like this.

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