Parenting is not easy. When we come to the point where parenting is no longer required we may struggle in finding the right relationship with our young adults. I certainly don’t have all the answers but these seven things have been on my mind for a while.
Recognize your age and their age. It is age. A number of years counted of your existence and theirs. Age does not give power. Age is, again, the number of years of existence.
Walk a mile in their shoes. Your young adults are fully capable of making decisions. They know their situation and its parameters. Remember when you faced a problem or decision and you had the full capability to solve it? You may have been as young as sixteen. Give them credit to do the same when they are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.
Don’t say, “Oh but you don’t know my child!” Again, young adults should not be called children. While age is just the number of years one has existed, as a society, we group and label by numbers. My son or my daughter are great terms to show their relation to you.
“Back when I was your age”… here we go again. Do I need to write more? Yes, let me say leave the past in the past and live for today. Tomorrow? It will worry about itself. Jesus said this and a number of wise men and women have phrased the same thought in all major religions of the world. Live in the present and allow your young adult to do the same.
Look at your young adult for the person they have become and do not look to see who you hoped they would become. Respect their sphere of influence and their space. You may or may not be invited into this place. They are moving ahead in life just as you did. Or maybe they will move ahead as you did not and be in a different place. IT’S OK.
Give advice if you are asked. Temper the advice with love and understanding. It is perfectly acceptable for you to say, “You’ve got this. You don’t need my advice. I believe in you and your decisions.”
Time now to focus on yourself and your life goals and let go of the last thread you hold to your young adult. Tie in to a new hobby, education, travel, or raise the remaining budding young adults in your home. Look to your success and be proud of the young adult in your life.