It seems a mother’s job is never done. When you send your kids off to college, you assume that all you’ll be needed for is a few bucks, clean laundry, and a place to crash on the weekends. That is until you get the call from your 30-year-old son that he needs to move back in because he lost his job or your 25-year-old-daughter who’s utterly distraught because she just broke up with her high school sweetheart.
The truth is, you’ll always be the mom to them. Though every part of you will want to jump in, take control, and save the day as you did when they were younger, this isn’t always the most effective. In order to properly support your adult children, you must take a different approach. You must be there to offer your advice and guide them. Below are a few bits of advice.
Be a Listening Ear
There may have been a time when finding out what was going on in your child’s life was like pulling teeth. However, now that they’re older, you’ll find that they come to you often. Allow them to speak to you without interrupting them. Listen to learn what the problem is, what they’re feeling, and how you might be able to help.
Provide Advice and Step Back
You can’t fight your child’s battles for you. Part of being an adult is learning how to make sound decisions despite the difficulty of your circumstances. You can provide them advice on what you believe would be the best course of action, but don’t do it for them. Take a step back and trust your child to follow-through on your advice.
Stay Out of Relationship Issues
If your child comes to you about their marriage or a serious relationship, it’s okay to listen and provide advice. However, the advice should be general in nature. Taking sides can cause some nasty issues and get too involved can make it awkward for your child and their significant other if they do decide to work things out. If your child is being abused, however, offer them shelter and assistance in getting help from the proper authorities.
Don’t Enable Them
If your child is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction or anything negative and you’re aware of it, it is imperative that you don’t enable them. Don’t give them cash, don’t take them to the pharmacy or liquor store, and don’t try to mend any fences they may have broken. You can suggest they go to alcohol treatment california or in another state, you can offer to go to counseling and group therapy with them, you can even offer them a place to stay after rehab so they can restart their lives.
Only Lend Money Within Reason
Mom and dad will always be the US bank in their children’s eyes no matter how old they get. When they need some cash it is imperative that you only loan it to them within reason. If they don’t have any groceries or can’t pay their rent one month, allowing them to borrow the money is fine. However, if they don’t repay money or seem to always be asking you for more and more cash, they may have a serious financial problem and you shouldn’t loan them the money. Instead offer to go over their finances with them, provide them with reading materials or suggest they go to an advisor for guidance.
You love your children, no matter how old they are they will always be your babies. There is nothing wrong with always being there for them when they need you. The problem becomes when you try to control and save the day. Your job as a parent to an adult child is to provide a place of peace, a listening ear, and support. Doing this may seem harsh in some instances, but in the end, they’ll be better adults for it.