Life’s transitions can be tricky, especially when it comes to letting your kids grow up. You know there will come a time to back off and let your adult children become their true selves without your help, but how much do you back off, and when? What if you back off too much and they feel abandoned? These are hard questions to answer, especially as things change due to relocation, grandchildren and any number of other factors. Here are five ways to navigate these unfamiliar waters.
Timing is key
Know when to keep things light. Any time you need to give advice, do it in private. For example, asking highly personal questions at the family reunion is really bad timing. It is a much better idea to gently bring them up one on one. That way, you have a better opportunity to talk and you don’t have to make your kids feel uncomfortable. Smart timing makes life run much more smoothly. The less you embarrass them, the better. Your kids will definitely respect you so much more when you share your insights with them at a private and appropriate time.
Share your wisdom
Give them your secret recipes. Show them how you get the yard to look so nice. Just pass on all of the information you can. This is an essential part of parenting. You need to share your knowledge and experiences with your children. However, be careful that you never force it on them. Over time, they will retain it and possibly use it. Even if they don’t use it, they will remember that you cared enough to share.
When it comes to sharing your information, it is essential that you don’t push it on them. You don’t want to go around telling your older kids what to do or how to live their lives. That can end up doing a lot more damage than good. It is the best idea to just share your ideas and opinions as well as your experiences and then let them choose for themselves.
Work hard at listening
This is harder to do than people acknowledge. Listening well means that you don’t rush to respond to what they’re saying. It’s difficult to truly hear someone when you are busy crafting your response as they speak. When you take the time to really listen to your kids, you can better understand them and see where they are coming from. By taking the time to listen you can build better relationships with your children. You definitely can’t expect to be listened to, if you aren’t listening in return.
Family meal times are important
Family meals are a great time to be able to spend quality time together as a family and really be able to get to know each other. This can be a great way to get everyone away from distractions, enjoy a delicious meal and focus on the family.
To get the most out of family meal time, make their favorite food. It will make them feel cherished. The world is everyone for themselves; let family togetherness be a respite from the storm. This is a really good time to get to know your kids really well. It is truly amazing how much you can learn about your kids by just sitting down and talking to them without any distractions.
Help your kids to network
Introduce your kids to people who can help them with their careers. Help them become involved with any professional organizations you’re a part of (if they are interested). We all have a team of professionals who are on our side. Help them assemble theirs. For instance, acquaint them with great legal resources. For example, knowing a good attorney could benefit them significantly in the future. You can really help your kids find great people like this to help them throughout their lives with whatever they may need such as plumbers, lawyers, doctors, etc. Your kids will be much more likely to be fans of workers you know than just people they find online.
Getting to know your kids’ as adults is a pleasure and a blessing and helping them become what they always dreamed of being is a delight. It is essential that you follow your instincts and listen so you don’t put too much pressure on them. Your kids are good kids. You don’t have to worry about them needing an attorney or an analyst if you have raised them right. All you have to do is love them unconditionally and provide them with all the knowledge you have. That is definitely something that they will always remember you by and respect you for.
Abut the author
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.