If you want to maintain a strong bond with your adult children, say goodbye to these 9 behaviors|

Maintaining a strong bond with your adult children isn’t always easy. As they grow and change, so must your approach to parenting.

The trick is understanding which behaviors to let go of. Holding on to old habits can create a barrier between you and your grown-up kids.

To keep a strong connection with your adult children, you’ll need to say goodbye to some behaviors.

Here, I’ve pinpointed 9 key behaviors that you should consider putting to rest. By doing this, you’ll be paving the way for a more mature and balanced relationship with your children.

1) Stop trying to fix their problems

As a parent, it’s instinctive to want to swoop in and save the day whenever your children face difficulties. This urge doesn’t magically disappear when they become adults.

However, continuously trying to solve their problems can actually be detrimental to your relationship.

When you jump in with solutions, it can unintentionally send the message that you don’t believe in their ability to handle things themselves. This can breed resentment and dependence, neither of which are conducive to maintaining a strong bond.

Instead of always offering solutions, try simply listening and offering emotional support. Let them know you believe in their ability to figure things out on their own.

This doesn’t mean you can’t ever give advice or help out. But it’s important to strike a balance and respect their autonomy.

Saying goodbye to the habit of always trying to fix their problems is a crucial step towards maintaining a strong bond with your adult children.

2) Avoid unsolicited advice

I remember a time when my daughter was struggling with a decision about her career. As a parent, I felt the urge to give her my two cents, telling her what I thought was the best choice. But then I realized I was about to fall into the trap of offering unsolicited advice.

Unsolicited advice can be perceived as intrusive and controlling, even if it’s well-intentioned. It was hard, but I bit my tongue and instead of giving advice, I asked her questions to help her think through her options.

She eventually made a decision that she was really happy with, and I could tell she appreciated that I had respected her ability to make her own choices.

So, remember to resist the urge to give unsolicited advice if you want to maintain a strong bond with your adult children. Instead, ask thoughtful questions that can guide them in their decision-making process. And if they ask for your advice, by all means, give it. Just make sure it’s wanted first.

3) Don’t dismiss their feelings

Our emotional responses are wired into our brain, specifically in a region called the amygdala. This region is responsible for our fight or flight response, and it’s incredibly sensitive to perceived threats. When someone dismisses our feelings, the amygdala perceives it as a threat, triggering feelings of stress, anxiety, or anger.

So when you dismiss your adult children’s feelings – perhaps by saying “you’re overreacting” or “it’s not that big of a deal” – you’re not just hurting your relationship with them. You’re also causing them psychological stress.

It’s crucial to validate their feelings, even if you don’t fully understand or agree with them. Doing so shows respect and empathy, which can strengthen your bond with your adult children.

4) Avoid the blame game

Blaming is a destructive behavior that can seriously damage your relationship with your adult children. When you blame, you’re essentially pointing a finger and saying “this is your fault”. This can cause them to feel defensive and shut down communication.

Instead of blaming, focus on expressing how you feel and what you need. For instance, instead of saying “You never call me”, try saying “I feel lonely when I don’t hear from you for a while. Can we arrange regular phone calls?”

By shifting from blame to expressing needs, you can maintain open communication and a strong bond with your adult children.

5) Don’t compare them to others

We all have our own journeys in life, our own successes and failures. It’s not fair or productive to compare your adult children to their siblings, friends, or even to you at their age.

Comparisons can lead to feelings of inadequacy and resentment, which can strain your relationship.

Instead of comparing, celebrate their unique accomplishments and encourage their individuality. Recognizing and respecting their personal path can greatly help maintain a strong bond with your adult children.

6) Let go of old grudges

We all make mistakes – as parents and as children. There might be instances from the past where your child did something that hurt you, and it’s been a sore spot ever since.

However, holding on to these old grudges doesn’t serve anyone. It only creates an invisible wall between you and your adult child – a wall that prevents a strong bond from forming.

Forgiveness is a powerful tool. It doesn’t mean that you’re forgetting or condoning what happened, but rather choosing to let go of the resentment for your own peace and for the health of your relationship.

Embrace forgiveness and let go of old grudges. Your heart will feel lighter, and it will make room for a stronger bond with your adult children.

7) Respect their boundaries

There was a time when I found out my son was going through a tough phase. My immediate instinct was to step in, ask questions, and try to help. But he made it clear he needed space to work through it on his own.

At first, it was hard to step back. But I realized that respecting his boundaries was crucial. It showed him that I trusted his capacity to handle his own challenges and respected his individuality.

Respecting your adult children’s boundaries – whether physical, emotional, or mental – is key to maintaining a strong bond. It allows them to feel safe and understood, fostering a deeper connection between you both.

8) Quit the guilt trips

Using guilt to motivate your adult children to act in a certain way can create tension and resentment. It’s a form of emotional manipulation that can damage your relationship over time.

Instead of resorting to guilt trips, communicate openly and honestly about your needs and feelings. Encourage open dialogue and strive to understand each other better.

Remember, strong relationships are built on respect and understanding, not guilt and obligation. Letting go of guilt trips will pave the way for a healthier, stronger bond with your adult children.

9) Keep your love unconditional

Love is the foundation of any parent-child relationship. But it’s important to remember that this love should be unconditional – not dependent on achievements, behavior, or choices.

When your adult children feel that your love and acceptance are conditional, it can lead to feelings of insecurity and strain your relationship.

So, no matter what happens, make sure your children know that you love them just because they are who they are. This unconditional love is the linchpin in maintaining a strong bond with your adult children.

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