Children become teenagers then they become adults. In most situations, the relationship goes tense as the years progress and this is because the kids start to see their parents as their own person. An individual with ideals, values, and beliefs that do not correlate with the ones they have. This is where the difference starts. To keep in touch with your kids even when they’re adults you have to regard as individuals and forge a friendship with them. It can be quite disarming to wake up one day and realize your kid is off to college. The noise and constant jabbering your kid used to make has been replaced by silence. The contrast is severe. Some people get pets to help them adapt but it just isn’t the same. You must have a guide line to keep the strong connection after your kids become adults.
The good news is that it doesn’t always have to be like that. Your kid going off to college or getting a family of their own doesn’t have to be goodbye. Here are some tips and ways to preserve the family feel even when your kid doesn’t live with you anymore. It will also help keep the connection strong after your kids become adults. It takes time but you have to align yourselves together, in order to have a strong relationship.
1. SPEND TIME TOGETHER – If your kid still lives in the same state as you, you can always have a particular day in a month or week, depending on the proximity, that you meet with your kid and their family to simply hang out, talk about what’s currently happening in your individual lives. This will preserve the homey feel in your family.
2. CALL OR TEXT THEM – Your child has become an adult and that could be difficult to handle. Change, although beneficial is often painful. Message them words of encouragement and love. Call them every once in a while to check in and ask about their well being. Treat them the way you’ll treat a friend. At this point in their lives, you cannot operate on fear anymore. You need them to trust you. Let them know you care and that you’re there and if they’re okay with it, you could make a family group chat but only if they’re okay with it. Don’t force them into it.
3. HELP OUT – This is specifically for your kids who have just become parents. Help them out with the kids, you obviously remember how overwhelming it can be, so help them babysit from time to time or just take the kids for a few days while they take time to relax. It isn’t easy being a new parent. Offer them words of advice, do-it-yourself (DIY) tips to make parenting easier on them. Be as supportive as possible
4. RESPECT – By the time your kids are adults you will truly understand the meaning of the phrase “Respect is reciprocal”. What you give is what you will get back. As stated before, you need to learn to see your kids as individuals. It will be hard detaching them from the image that is already ingrained in your memory but you need to try for the sake of your relationship. Respect will fester the foundations of a strong and solid relationship. If your kids like you as an individual they’ll make more effort to maintain a relationship with you.
5. FAMILY TIME – This is usually more large scale than merely spending time together. This could be a garden party with extended family as guests. It’s always a wonderful feeling having your family around you and it makes one feel unified. This could be a yearly event that would last for two to three days. Different members of the family meet, mix and get to know one another. This helps to cement the family and keep it tightly knitted together.
6. GET TO KNOW THEM – This is very important. Your kid is going to move on and have their own life. It’s very important that you do not make them feel guilty about it or make them feel isolated. It can be hard watching someone you care about, care about someone else because you’re scared they’ll get hurt. It’s impossible to keep them sheltered throughout their lives. One day you’re going to have to set them free and let them free. Your kid making a life of their own doesn’t mean you’ve automatically become excluded. All you have to do is make the effort to be involved. All relationships need a self-conscious effort. This one is no different. Which can also mean accepting things you don’t necessarily want to accept. Maybe swallowing your pride or just keeping your thoughts and opinions to yourself.
7. GET TO KNOW THEIR FAMILY – Your kid might get married one day if they choose to and it’s fundamental to treat their family like you would yours. A lot of spouses complain about bitter treatment from their family members-in-law. Remember their family is now their major priority just as yours is. Spend time with your daughter or son-in-law and grandchildren, get to know them. Be sure to form bonds between the relationships with them. By doing this you’re ensuring the family connection is certain for at least another generation. A good parent builds, unites, and never allows chaos to get bigger than it has to.
8. VISIT – If your children have their own place, try to visit and see how they’re doing just as you would a friend. Be sure to convey to them that you’re coming. No one likes unexpected visitors. If you show up unannounced they’ll feel cornered and that visit will not go as you had hoped.
Some other ways to preserve your relationship with your kids is by being in contact with them; making use of FaceTime or Skype to converse with them, supporting them in their endeavors while also giving constructive criticism. Never be judgmental towards them or try using the guilt card. It’s manipulative in nature. Remember you’re getting to know your judgment as an individual so you should treat them with the respect they deserve.
You know the saying, blood is thicker than water? We need to act like it. We are so divided as a unit, we must unite as quickly as we can. The devil is busy, and destroying the strong connection that the family has is one of his favorite things to do. Expressing love is vital, who could live without it. Without hearing or feeling the most intimate gift God has giving us. Once we are united, we will be a force to be wrecking with. Ditch the television, put away the computers and cellphones for a moment and spend quality time together. Stop yelling and communicate, stop assuming and ask, most of all be slow to anger. It will ruin the strong connection you are trying to build, and ultimately Satan wins.
Remember, that everyone has a vital part in the family. It is also important, that everyone remembers their role. Something that we lack in my family while growing up. The enemy sets a trap, which starts with the elders in the family. If our forefathers fall in the snare, unless the next generation recognizes it, and vows to break the curse, then the enemy has won. He comes to kill, steal, and destroy according to the bible. It is possible to defeat the devil, just believe in God’s word. Never take the low road, always the high road. Thrive for unity, construct a system for the family. Impress on the family about the union you must have, let them know, what is acceptable or what’s required from them.
You must involve yourself with your child’s spouse, as well as the grand kids. Don’t gripe about petty issues, make yourself friendly as the bible tells us to do. Build the bond because you are the more mature of the two, learn to hold your peace, and God will always bless you. Not to mention the fact that the other person will have to eventually meet you in the middle. This works best if you are aligned with God’s word. If not, then this is the time to draw nigh to our heavenly father. There will be situations, God forbid where you will have to hold your peace for the good of the entire family. But to be able to connect and blend the family as one, is the reward that puts smile on your face forever.
ENCOURAGE YOURSELF: Ensuring that your adult children still feel loved and part of your home is paramount in this task. Be sure to be available but not overbearing. The key is to simply be there for them. Be their safe house.
I want to confess you my readers, that although I tell you guys to keep the strong connection. I often find my self struggling with my own daughter. There are times when I just cannot figure her out. When it is all said and done, and I feel like I have done all I can. I have to force myself to back off. I hate it because when I do that, my conversation with the boys are few and far between. With my many calls, if Courtney is in her feelings, then she might not answer the phone. Which leaves me more upset than before. It is the leverage I feel she sometimes hold over my head, especially if I am not in town. She leaves me scratching my head when she tells me she wants me there, but doesn’t act the way I feel a daughter should.
I am sure she feels like an entire investigation happens when I first show up on her door step. She might even goes as far as to think I am a little judgmental, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth; Lol. I think it’s hard to let go and allow her to be an adult. To let her make mistakes, to let her be the woman God is calling her to be. New leaf, as of today. I vow to sit and listen, to hear what it is she is really trying to say when she speaks. By all means I will stop acting like most other mothers, when it come to knowing, EVERYTHING. P.S. I do know a lot; Lol.
Therefore I have to pray more, hold off on the calls, and hope she comes to her senses as soon as possible. Usually by the third day I will hear from her, telling me the boys wanted to talk, or she not feeling well and needed to know some information about a her symptoms. It’s funny because then I become Dr. Phifer. Pray for me and my little Lovey, she is everything to me. A mother’s love is truly tried, and giving chance after chance is what we do. It also reminds me of the bible when it says to forgive 7 times 70. I pray for a strong connection, something my family growing up didn’t have. A mother’s love. Thanks Anita