I remember reading and learning about some of the challenges of the toddler years, and the teenage years, and so was somewhat prepared for those…but I was taken by surprise with the encounters that come with adult children. I didn’t see the changes coming! The consequences of decisions made or not made by adult children are so much greater than the consequences of the toddler who won’t share a toy, or the teenager who misses curfew.
I am very blessed in that both of my children love God, His Church, and Philip and me. However, I did have to learn a few things along the way.
1. Ask for help
There are people who have navigated this season, so get some wisdom- either in person or by reading a book. (Doing Life with your Adult Children by Jim Burns is a great one!)
2. Stop hovering
My generation was referred to as ‘helicopter’ parents. Most of us supervised every decision and activity of our children. This is the time to stop. Our job now is to simply be available. Don’t offer unsolicited advice. (I admit this is hard for me!) Let them experience the consequences of their own decisions.
3. Have fun together
This is the best part of adult children! Do fun things together. Sporting events, dinners, even vacations. My daughter has become one of my best friends, and I love the fun we have together!
4. Set boundaries
Everyone needs help, but there is a line between enabling and helping. I think I have crossed it a few times, which is why it is good to get help!
5. Apologize and offer grace
As with any relationship, mistakes will be made. Be the first to apologize when you might resort to ‘helicoptering’ or trying to control.
6. When they marry and become parents, don’t make them choose between you and their new family.
Enjoy the time you have and make the decision to be uncomplicated. Assist them as they parent, but again, no unsolicited advice!
ABOUT HOLLY WAGNER
Holly and her husband, Philip, are the Pastors of Oasis Church – a growing, relevant, multi-cultural, church located in Los Angeles. They have been married for over 30 years, love life and enjoy spending time with their two adult children, Jordan and Paris. Holly is passionate about seeing women become who God has designed them to become, and to see every generation of woman extend a helping hand to the generation that is younger. Through the women’s ministry of Oasis, She Rises (GodChicks), she has empowered thousands of women around the world. Holly has written several books including Find Your Brave, WarriorChicks, Love Works, and Awakened.