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Family Counseling: Maintaining Good Relationships with Adult Children
Family Counseling: How to Encourage Good Interactions with your Adult Children
You might be surprised to learn that family counseling is not just for parents of young children or teens. Parenting an adult child can be difficult! If you are the parent of an adult child, you are probably familiar with the unique challenges of maintaining a positive relationship with your grown kids. Once your kids have “flown the nest”, it’s hard to know where you fit into their new, adult lives.
Today, you will learn about things you can do to create and keep a positive relationship with your grown children.
Listen and Learn
When it comes to maintaining positive relationships with your kids at any stage, everything starts with good listening skills. It can be tempting to assume that you know everything about your child. After all, you raised them! But, as your child grows and matures, they will begin to create their own identity, goals, and plans for themselves. (Related article: Case Studies for Parenting Young Adults).
You know your child, but there is even more that you will continue to learn throughout their life. Don’t be afraid to approach them with curiosity when it comes to these changes and their decisions. Make an effort to listen and learn about who they are becoming now that they are moved out and on their own. (Related article: Family Therapy).
Here’s something you can try with your adult kids. Ask open-ended questions about their life to get to know them better. Instead of saying “Is school going well?” you could ask “what is your favorite class? Why is it your favorite?”. Making an effort to show genuine interest in the things they are passionate about will help your kids know that you are there for them and the person they are becoming now that they are grown.
Let Your Child Lead
Now that they are on their own, you might also struggle to know how often you should reach out and check in. Is there a magic number of texts and calls that creates good adult child and parent relationships?
Unfortunately, there is no magic number when it comes to maintaining good communication with your kids now that they are adults. So, a good rule of thumb is to let them lead! If they request more time together, more calls, or more spontaneous text messages checking in, then follow the lead. If they tend to only reach out with questions for you, that’s great too! Your
relationship will evolve and seem different than when they lived at home. (Related article: Learn to Communicate Better Through Boundaries). That might be scary, but showing your child you trust their judgment for their own lives can go a long way.
Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Advice
Your family relationships can be complicated now that your kids are getting older. But, you don’t have to go it alone! (Related Article: Learn How to Cope- Individual Therapy). Family therapy is a great resource that can help you and your kids improve your bond. You can even see a therapist individually to work through your own feelings after the kids move out on their own. Family counseling can help you and your family create the relationship you want by improving the one you have.
Ready to reconnect with your adult kids? Schedule a family counseling appointment with us today in Orem, South Jordan, or Spanish Fork.
Written by Lauren Adkins