This is a guest post by Stacey Margaret.
When your kids become adults, your relationship with them changes significantly. Here are some tips that will help make things go smoothly between you.
Resist the Urge to Interfere
No matter how old your children are, you’re still their parent, and you still want to do whatever you can to help them succeed. The worst thing you can do, however, is interfere in their lives. You’re going to have a very rocky relationship if you don’t respect personal boundaries. If you want to do something to help, always get explicit permission from your child first, and respect their wishes if they decline your offer. Going behind their back or meddling will only cause a fight or tension.
Don’t Be Overly Critical
Now that your kids are adults, they are making all of their own choices in regards to how they live their life. You might not agree with their choices, but you can try to accept them. At the very least, do not be overly critical of them. Be careful what you say, because being too harsh can hurt their feelings or create animosity. If you want to give constructive criticism, think carefully before you do so, and make sure it’s something that is really important, and not just a difference in personal preferences.
Offer Limited Advice
Unless your kids ask you for advice, offer it to them sparingly. Most adult kids do not appreciate their parents giving them advice on a regular basis, because they feel like it discredits their own ability to make smart decisions. As hard as it can be, try to stop yourself from giving advice at every turn. Save your advice-giving for things that matter most. If you do that, your kids will be much more likely to listen to you and respect your advice, rather than tune you out or get offended.
Create Clear Boundaries
It’s more and more common for adult children to live with their parents. The economy isn’t great, and some people have a very difficult time finding the means to support themselves entirely. If your adult child lives at home with you, or if you help them with some of their bills, make sure you create very clear boundaries for the limits of your help. Give an explicit date that you’d like them to move out or start paying rent by, or tell them exactly how long your help will last. Make sure they know what you will and will not do for them, and this way they won’t complain about it or try to push things too far.
Respect Their Boundaries
On the other hand, your adult children will likely have boundaries for you, too. For example, they might not want you stopping over without asking first, or they might not want you to give too many cookies to your grandkids. Whatever their boundaries are, respect them. It’s very important for having a smooth, strong relationship.
Author Bio: Stacey Margaret is a mommy blogger with quite a bit of experience when it comes to adult kids. She loves to blog about her parenting experiences in the hope they help others avoid her mistakes.