An Accredited Member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society, Julie Graduated with distinctions from S.A. College of Botanic Medicine and Natural Therapies Pty Ltd. Professional Qualifications include: Naturopathic Doctor, Herbal & Homoeopathic Practitioner: Diet and Nutritional Medicine: Remedial & Therapeutic... more
Today I am focused on sharing with you the challenges that parents face with their adult children and steps to work through these. Unfortunately our adult children don't always see this and often can be quite critical of their parents and parents' lives without realizing the hurt and pain they bring to them.
I was once told that you cannot ruin your child's life unless you have gone out of your way to do that. Wow! I thought, "Who would do that?" Well there are a few parents who do, whether that be intentionally or because the parents are living toxic lives.
If that is the case, then you just have to move on with your life and work on your self-development so as not to let your parents' behavior have a detrimental effect on you building a positive life.
Let's get back to focusing on the parents who have truly done their best and still love their adult children immensely, and those who want to be a part of their adult child's life without interfering or causing any problems.
Let's take a look at the important areas to be addressed.
Forgiveness: No one is perfect and no life is perfect. Life is all about learning lessons to move forward to positive and happy times. So in this element, forgiveness is a vital key to continuing a positive relationship with parent and adult child.
Remove all blame: Yes, it can be so easy to blame either your parents or for parents to blame their children for things that either go wrong or haven't happened, that they would have liked to have happened or taken place. So remove all blame! You still have time to enjoy your life, learn from your mistakes, and take responsibility for your actions. Nobody else can rent a space in your mind or your life unless you allow them to.
Focus on the positives: It is so easy to get caught up in the things that we don't like or annoy us. Here it is vitally important to keep this simple. Most of the time, you will find that the positives outweigh the negatives.
Stop comparing: This is a major problem when it comes to having a positive relationship with your adult child or vice versa. "When I was young I didn't behave that way," or "What would you know (Mom or Dad) that was in the old days?". Live in the here and now. Remember that each of us has our own path to follow; therefore, as close as you might be to your children, they are their own individual people. This is the same when looking at your parents. They are human, normal, and just people like you!
Love one another for what each of you are, not what you want each other to be: This is a tricky one. Whether your adult children are on what you see as the right path or the wrong path (which can be very difficult, feeling an array of emotions), it is their path. Now this is where distancing your relationship may be necessary, allowing their life to take its course.
For a parent, this is very difficult, especially if they can see harm coming to their adult child's life or their adult child causing harm to other people. The importance here is to still let them know that you love them dearly and that it is their behavior that you don't condone. Believe that they will grow and move away from these negative behaviors. It is important that as the parent, you continue to live your life in positive and constructive ways, not to allow your adult child's behavior to bring you or your life down.
Understand the elements of control: One of the most difficult things for a parent to come to terms with is that, as a parent, especially as your children go onto becoming teenagers then adults, we lose control of the external elements that affect our children and their behaviors. What is necessary to be understood here is the only control you have here is with your behavior as the parent and with how your child acts or behaves when in your home or your company. So, setting boundaries of how you want your children to have respect for you, your spouse, your home, your life, and your feelings is what you have control over. Always remember that this works both ways as your children are now adults and deserve the same respect.
Life isn't perfect and there are many rocky roads, however for each step you make toward love, happiness, empathy and understanding is another step closer to building positive and happy relationships.
Here is the link to my latest article Letter of Love to Your Adult Children - A Parents Love Never Dies