Firstly, if you are looking into personal development, personality type, or psychological state management, you need to take a look at our free MP3 designed to 'tune' your brainwaves. To get it, click here.
According to The Guardian (2014), approximately 25% of adults(20 to 35) live at home with their parents.
Did you think that life would get easier once your child was an adult? Did you also think that your relationship would suddenly improve once he or she was out of the house? Surprise! That is not always the case. In fact, many times, if you and your child had a contentious relationship when he or she was young, more than likely those maladaptive, negative, and unhealthy behaviors followed you both into your child’s adult life. Truth-be-told, life changes drastically once your child is an adult. He or she almost becomes your peer—but not quite. You are still the parent, although your child may feel differently.
In fact, it is common for older adult children to resume the “parent role” to a certain extent. And, while some adult children get along fabulously with their parents, others feel resentful and hostile towards them. Why? Well, these individuals probably did not have a good relationship with their parents during childhood. Hurt feelings, neglect, abuse, and betrayal do not simply disappear when an individual becomes an adult; no, those feelings linger, typically affecting every part of the individual’s life. The good news is that you can improve your relationship with your adult child. With the help of this trusty article, you can get along better than ever with your “grown up” child.
An excellent way to get along better with your adult child is to listen to him or her. Some adult children feel that their parents do not see them as “adults,” and as a result, rarely, if ever, really listen to them, because they feel they know better. And, while you may know more than your adult child, it is important to respect his or her opinions, even if you disagree with them. Do not block out what your adult child shares with you, simply because you don’t like what he or she is telling you.
Listen but do not judge, criticize, bully, blame, and/or offer unsolicited advice. In other words, do not provide feedback unless your adult child asks for it. If you do not understand what your adult child is trying to tell you, ask him or her to clarify it. Do not assume you know how he or she feels or is going to respond, because he or she might just surprise you. Show your support by being accessible and actively listen to what your adult child has to say.
This may a particularly difficult suggestion, but it is important for getting along better with your adult child. Truth-be-told, there may be plenty of times when you feel that you know more than your adult child because of your life experiences, although he or she refuses to listen, because he or she claims to know better. Do not curse at or criticize your adult child; rather keep your cool and be patient. Allow your adult child to make his or her own decisions, and then, offer love and support when he or she fails or makes a mistake (Note: Your adult child will mostly likely realize his or her mistake). No matter what, do not rub the poor choice in your adult child’s face. Instead, offer your child a shoulder to cry on, and if he or she requests help and/or guidance, give it to him or her, wholeheartedly. In other words, show your adult child unconditional love and support—even when he or she “messes” up.
Another good way to get along with your adult child is to be positive. When children are young they observe and mimic their parents’ behaviors and interactions, so a great way to raise a positive person is to model those behaviors, when he or she is young. For instance, if you were a negative person, when your child was young, most likely he or she is negative now, as an adult. However, if you were a happy, uplifting, and forgiving person, your adult child is most likely the same way. So, if you want a better relationship with your child as an adult, you will need to start early with him or her—teaching your child how to think and behave in a positive, loving way.
Be a Friend
This may sound odd, but when your child grows up and no longer needs “parenting,” your role changes. How? Well, you become more of a friend than a parent. Sound ludicrous? Well, for many, the notion that you somehow stop being a parent when your child grows up is preposterous. But, it is true, if you are honest with yourself. Gone are the days of telling your child when to get up, go to bed, and what to eat. You no longer have control over how long he or she stays up or out at night, and you definitely have no say in how your adult child lives his or her life (although you think you do). The child you carried for 9 months—18 or so years ago—is now an adult, who does what he or she wants to do, whether you like it or not.
Is it hard to wrap your head around this concept? I bet it is. Now is the time to develop a new relationship with your adult-size “bundle of joy.” How do you do that? First, you show your adult child respect and stop treating him or her like a child. Then, you offer him or her helpful, non-condescending advice and suggestions, when requested. And, lastly you make sure your adult child knows that you are there for him or her, if he or she needs you. Your adult child needs to know that you love and support him or her unconditionally. Once your adult child understands that he or she will always be your “baby,” your relationship with him or her will improve by leaps and bounds.
Fishel, E. & Arnett, J. J. (2013). Are you a good friend to your grown-up kid? AARP. Retrieved from http://www.aarp.org/home-family/friends-family/info-04-2013/parenting-adult-children-family-relationships.html
Huffington Post. (2015). Parenting adult children. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/parenting-adult-children/
Miles, L. A. (2015). Adult children of dysfunctional families. Psych Central. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/adult-children-of-dysfunctional-families/00017543
The Guardian. (2014). Record numbers of young adults living with their parents. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/jan/21/record-numbers-young-adults-living-with-parents