Parenting Adult Children


I am sure I am not alone when I say that parenting would have to be one of the hardest jobs in the world.

One that has the most impact on another human being, and yet one that we can be thrust into with minimal training and preparation.

No surprise why some animals eat their young!!

There is a different way we need to parent after our children are no longer under our roof and are legally, even though sometimes not emotionally, adults.

The stepping back and allowing them to make mistakes is not only a necessary part of their development but our own.

Part of our own development is to understand that, in part, the reason we enable our children is that we are actually, doing it for our own peace of mind.  It makes us feel better when we know they aren’t going without, are sad or making foolish, (in our opinions) choices.

We can stunt their emotional and spiritual growth when we constantly don’t allow them to slip and fall, make mistakes, go without, budget, problem solve, and suffer consequences.

It was our job to protect, provide and give them security, when they couldn’t fend for themselves, but now all our job description entails is to love and respect them.

Even though our parental instincts never fade we have to make some adjustments to our roles and allow our adult children to learn their valuable life lessons in their own way and in their own time to enable them to manage in the world.

When we first practise this emancipation of our adult children we will be thwarted by guilt, over protectiveness and the need to fix it.  We can certainly justify that we have more life experience and hence can see around corners, therefore should intervene. But how are our adult children going to get that same life experience if we constantly go in and clean up after them?

As a parent, I fully understand that we worry about our children, adult or minor, but what I have learnt is that worrying doesn’t serve any worthwhile purpose except to restrict our flow of positive thoughts. Worry is just a fear of something that may never happen and we all know how fear can cripple us. Fear has an acronym that is worthy of remembering.

False Evidence Appearing Real

If we can stay in the NOW and deal with what is presented to us at the time rather than assuming the worst, the calmer and more grounded we will be.  This is also beneficial to our children to show them how to handle problems.  Remember, it’s not what we SAY that influences them, it’s what we DO. So being a role model is the best gift we can give our children.

Trust that you have done everything to give them the groundwork for them to venture out in the world and trust them. Their journey is their own. We can’t live it for them or control it.

Our children don’t belong to us; they are just here on loan.

The old saying of ‘Don’t give a man a fish, teach him how to fish‘, is the definite message here. 

I was first reminded of this stepping back process nearly ten years ago with one of my children in its mildest form and again recently with another. It’s as much a growth for parent as it is for child.

I would like to leave you with an extract I received from the works of Abraham, through the writings of Esther and Jerry Hicks that I found so profound that I keep it with me always just as a reminder of what I will do for my adult children now because I love them enough to step back.

Nothing is more debilitating than to care about something you cant do anything about.  And you cant do anything about your adult children.  You can want better for them, and maybe even begin to provide something for them, but in the long run, you cannot do anything about someone else’s vibration other than hold them in the best light you can, mentally, and then project that to them.  And sometimes, distance makes that much more possible than being up close to them.

Child of mine, I will never do for you that which I know you can do for yourself. I will never rob you of an opportunity to show yourself your ability and talent. I will see you at all times as the capable, effective, powerful creator that you’ve come forth to be. And I will stand back as your most avid cheerleading section. But I will not do for you that which you have intended to do for yourself. Anything you need from me, ask. I’m always here to compliment or assist. I am here to encourage your growth, not to justify my experience through you.

Success in Life doesn’t come from following rules, it comes from thinking for oneself and following ones heart and inner will

John Gray PHD


Subscribe to our mailing list

Leave a Comment