1. Parents assume what is right for them will be right for their adult child
We’ve all heard when you assume what it can do for you……. Make an (ass) out of (u) and (me). If parents would stop to think for a minute, they will see that their own thoughts and beliefs have changed and evolved from what their parent’s thoughts and beliefs were as well.
When parents assume what will be right for their adult kids, they don’t try to understand, and many times dismiss what is important to their adult child because they are too concerned with what is important to them. No one wants to be around someone who doesn’t try to understand what is important to them.
No two people think exactly alike, and no one wants to be told what is right for them. When parents expect their adult kids to do what is right for the parent, they will judge their adult kids when they don’t live up to this. No adult wants what is right for someone else to be the standard they are judged by.
If parents would stop to think for a minute, they would remember that when they were adult kids, they hated their parents judging them, and know this drove them away from their parents. So, if parents do this same thing to their adult kids, they can expect the same result.
2. Parents not letting adult kids live their own life
No adult wants to be told how to live their life according to how someone else lives theirs. When parents were adult kids, they hated it when their parents didn’t let them live their own lives, and they know this drove them away from their parents. So, again if parents do this same thing to their adult kids, they can expect the same result.
When parents want their adult kids to live according to their expectations, they will continually be telling their adult kids what they are doing wrong, when they don’t live up to these expectations. These expectations can include what the adult kids are doing, as well as who they are hang out with. No one wants to be around someone who never has anything encouraging to say. Unfortunately, many parents can never have an encouraging word for their adult kid, unless it is “encouraging” them to do what they want them to do.
If the parents feel like they are not getting enough information from their adult kids, they can find themselves “prying” into what their adult kids are doing and then making them feel guilty if it’s not what the parents want them to do. As a rule of thumb, parents should not give their opinion unless they are asked for it, and when they are asked for it, they should never tell their adult kids, “this is what I would do if I were you.” Instead, parents should help their kids think through their decision pointing out various viewpoints, with the upside and downside to each, so their adult kids can make an informed decision for themselves. Not only will this help the adult kids, it will also help the parents broaden their own views as well
3. Not being fun, or being boring
This should be self-explanatory. When parents get together with their adult kids, do you sit around with little, or boring conversation, and stare at the television, or do you have fun, stimulating conversation and have fun activities or play games? If parents are not in touch with what is important to their adult kids, they will not be able to talk about things that are interesting to them.
Parents must realize this relationship is a two-way street. The adult child will have as much to add to the parent as the parent will to the adult child. No one wants a relationship that is one-sided, so if the parents are just interested in doing, and talking about what is important to them, they will lose their adults kids interest very fast. For this relationship to be possible, parents can’t act like a parent – they must act more like a friend.
One other thing that parents must always keep in mind is that they can’t try too hard – forcing things never work for anyone. There will always times that adult kids want to hang out with friends their age, or just people other than their parents. We all know what it is like to have someone always trying to “force” their way into our life. We don’t like it, we find it annoying, and we tend to stay away from people like this. If parents do this to their adult kids, they will feel the same way.
So, What Should Parents Do?
Don’t make it about you! If you want your adult kids to be around and want to hang out with you, then make sure you make it about them.
Try to understand what is important to them
Stop judging your adult kids according to what you think they should do
Support your adult kids in finding their own way and living their own life
Start encouraging your kids and tell them what they do right
Make the relationship fun and enjoyable for them.
After all, these are the things you would want from the people who you want to be friends with.
Above all, parents need to remember the following thoughts.
“You reap what you sow”, simply stated, you get back what you put into things. So, if you are griping at your adult child because “they don’t come around enough”, instead of griping at them, maybe you should be looking at yourself.
Not one of us will continue a friendship with someone who……
Assumes what is right for them should be right for us
Judges us by their standard of what they think we should do
Is constantly telling us how they think we should live our life
Is always telling us what they think we are doing wrong
Is boring, or no fun to be around.
So, parents, now it’s up to you. If you want your adult kids to be around, are you willing to do what is necessary to make that happen?