by Relationships Editor | Kathryn Morrow
Parenting at every stage presents us with a lot of different challenges. The sleepless newborn stage, the trying toddler stage, the frustrating preschool years and a variety of ever evolving challenges as your children grow into their own individual personalities. Adult children, on the other hand, while very different than the aforementioned stages, can present a whole new and often forgotten phase of parenting; one that is lacking in the abundance of self help books often found in the previous stages. As they fly the coop, many mums find the empty nest lonely, and they miss the chaos of their now quiet daily routine.
is the mother of 2 adult children, a teenager, 2 teenage stepchildren and one granddaughter. She has also been a freelance writer for over 6 years with a passion for parenting – at all stages. As a preschool and toddler mum, I spoke with her and asked her to share some of her golden nuggets about this less understood phase.
According to Allison, here are 5 easy and simple ways to develop a closer bond with your now adult child, and to foster a mutually respectful and loving relationship:
1. Set new boundaries for yourself and respect theirs. Going through their house under the guise of cleaning, for example, is a no-no ladies.
2. Refrain from imposing your way on them especially in their own home – our way may not be their way, and that is ok.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask their advice – you must trust in them. You raised them – allow them the chance to offer you advice or suggestions. It might just surprise you how good they are at it!
4. Accept they may have issues with their childhood – despite our efforts, none of us are perfect, and as adults it gives both parties the chance to go deeper into issues that you couldn’t when they were children. A greater bond can be found by acknowledging any issues they have without trying to assign blame.
5. Continue to be a safe place for their emotions, decisions and actions. As adults we don’t like being judged for our decisions; this is important to remember when our children become adults
“Letting go of the child and embracing the adult is hard – perhaps harder than any other stage, for we are so afraid of losing them it can make us mums act a little strange. Letting go of this fear helps us to embrace the new chapter in the road of parenting,” Allison adds. “The best thing about adult children is the friendship you can develop. So, reminisce in the memories but embrace the adult before you.”
There you have it. Parenting at every stage can be hard, but there are tips and tricks that can help with even the forgotten moments and stages.
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Kathryn Morrow, MSc
CEO: The White Picket Fence Project