Adult Children And Your Relationship With Them

Okay. I need to talk about a subject that most of you, with children are probably familiar with. Relationships with your adult children.

Let’s get really real for a moment.

I don’t know about you but I struggle with living with my adult children. When they were smaller it seemed a lot easier.

I am struggling with how to have relationships with them.

How to talk to them.

Where the boundaries are.

What things are reasonable to say and which are not.

How far is too far.

How much advice is too much advice.

How much of anything is enough and or not enough.

And, just what do I do about all the comments everyone else makes about me and my adult children.

There is more, but I’m sure you get the point so far.

I have two wonderful sons. Let me just say that off the bat. They are great. They are 23 and 17 years old and are the best sons a mother could have. So, what is the problem?

The problem is we all are adults living in the same house and they are not fully ready to leave emotionally and financially but getting there and we still deal with father or lack of a father issues.

Frankly, I feel I am navigating in waters I never been in and it’s scary.

Talking To Adult Children

How do you really talk to an adult son who is independent and living with you but not on his own and a 17 year old who thinks he’s on is own but he is not.

These lines are very blurred. I have people giving me all kinds of advice and honestly, the advice is not helpful.

I get advice from “put them out” to “let them stay and pay rent and go and come.” It’s so confusing.

I’ve been a single mom for nearly 9 years with my sons. What most people giving the advice don’t seem to understand is that this is really a hard job.  I see them growing up and I want them to grow up but yet they’re not navigating things as well as they could. You see your kid sort of making decisions that the culture makes. You see them sort of wandering in their decisions and the lines are blurred for them. So, what do you do?

3 (Good) Parenting Tips For Moms With Adult Children

1.) Trust in God

You trust God that you know your children. You pray and you trust God that He knows them better. You release your adult children to God and you let go. The stress is not worth it. If you raised them in God, then trust those years of teaching.

2.) Listen to Them

Listen to them more. Just listen. Only offer advice when they ask. Try not to be a busybody. Harder to do than saying it, I know. But, let them see you being a listening ear and trust that they will make the right decisions. They will come to you when they need to. Trust me. They will.

3.) Trust in Yourself

Trust yourself. How? Trust that you did all you could with your children and that they must now fly the coup and go out into the world and be productive person. Trust that you were a good parent and let go.

As moms and women, we go through different things. I know there is grace to get through this phase of life. Adult children are a blessing. Navigating this will have a silver lining as God is with us in all things.

Join the Conversation

Where are you at in your parenting journey? Do you have any advice to share, or have you ever gotten any advice that was bad or contradictory? Join the conversation in the comments below!

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  1. This is a great subject. I myself have a wonderful relationship with my mother that turned into a friendship the older I got. I feel like she role modeled it so well for me that I’m hoping for the same with my children when they’re adults. With that said- I couldn’t live with my mother LOL

    1. Ok… I totally get that… this is such new territory for me with my sons…. I am hoping our relationship stays very good… They are wonderful yet I see them wanting independence too.

  2. I hear ya, Stephanie. One thing that we always told our adult kids still living under our roof that as long as they are under our roof, then our rules apply – curfews, chores to help running of the house including taking turns making the meals, etc. I think number 2 is very important: don’t give advice until they ask for it although for your 17 year old, you are really still parenting him. May God continue to lead you clearly.

  3. Thank you for this, Stephanie. It was certainly very timely for me. My husband and I have been dealing with the drama of issues with our 14-year old daughter’s friends. We want to much to be there for her, but we also wonder if we are really helping her by being there too much… I just want to make it all go away for her so she’ll never be hurt, but I’m learning to give her space. It’s torture to walk away when your child is crying, but she’ll never learn how to deal with life if I’m constantly hovering. Thank you for this encouragement.

  4. We are approaching this with our eldest. RIght now we are in the throws of her struggle with no longer being a young child and not quite being an adult. We’ve been talking for a year about how our household will function should the adult kids choose to stay on for a bit. Things like time frames and must have a job and contribute to the household operations. We have also been discussing how different it will be as parents and that we can focus on friendship with our adult kids and while we most certainly care about their choices it’s no longer our responsibility in the same regard as to when they are young. Such a fascinating time to experience.

  5. Stephanie, I’m just going to say what a loaded question, but I’m sure you are feeling that even as you spoke it. I am a survivor of single parenting 4 adult children and I can tell you it wasn’t easy. It may sound ridiculous but this one thing which kept me sane is remembering that their little brains are not fully developed so whatever strange thing they may do, I remember they still have holes to fill. I continue to guide them with Gold admonishments and love. I don’t try to be their friend but respect each of them where they are in life. I listen to their concerns and encourage when I can. But most important and most fervently, I prayed in the Spirit to keep myself built up and when challenges came I was able to address them with Godly patience as the Spirit led. I have never been an advocate of putting children out of the home until they are prepared however if they disrupt your spirit and the home then other arrangements should be implemented. I only raised one son of my own but have been a helping hand with many nephews. I used to think that boys were easier than girls but now realize that it’s not the gene that determines their character and God has made us each very unique. I am learning that my relationship with my children (ages 23 – 31) is ever increasing as I continue to reveal my truths about Godly choices, it allows them to be honest about sharing. There are times however that I don’t agree with their worldly choices but guess what, I don’t have to answer for them and so I leave it all at the cross, As I’m sure you already know to stay prayed up and be led by the Spirit and He will guide you to and through all truth.

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