How To Have A Good (Enough) Relationship With Your Adult Child
What's the secret?
I have been writing a lot about adult child + parent relationships lately, like:
I know we talk a lot about what went wrong, but there are a lot of people out there doing it right. So I asked my Instagram followers who have a great adult relationship with their parents to tell me how that was possible.
I received hundreds of responses, here are some of the best ones:
“Good healthy boundaries in place and give each other space to make our own decisions without either of us meddling in the others decisions.”
“Counseling. Boundaries. Apologies when needed. Respect.”
“She listens to me! Actually listens, thinks, and asks what she can do next. I’m honest with her, about the good and bad. And I ask her to be honest with me too; I think deeply about the stories she tells me and her truth when she was making the decisions she did.”
“my parents see me as an adult, they listen to and try to respect my decisions, and they are (starting to be) open to constructive criticism.”
“Unconditional support, love, and genuine interest in my life and wellbeing, carried over from childhood… with a dynamic balanced between both the child and being an equal as another adult.”
“My parents always encouraged communication since I can remember. We would talk about dumb stuff all the time and share details about our daily lives. We would just sit around after dinner telling jokes. I feel this made it easier to talk about important stuff or ask for feedback.”
“my parents are here for every one of their children, whenever we need something. They go above and beyond to be available and supportive. They listen, give advice, know things we like and dislike and cater to our own needs/wants, they are funny and silly. They did not let me and my siblings fight as kids, which gives us a strong bond. We were not allowed to call each other names or say shut up, this creates mutual respect and love.”
“My mom apologizes - and has always apologized - when she has doing something that hurt me, even when unintentional. She acknowledges that she’s not a perfect human. She makes sure I know that she loves me and is proud of me, even if there are moments it doesn’t feel/look like that (because: human). Having a double major in early childhood education and psychology probably didn’t hurt”
“A willingness to hear our truths, take accountability when necessary, and always strive to love and support us better than before”
“We acknowledge that we are different and we respect other”
“My parents aren't perfect, but I've never questioned that they know my life is my own, and I think that makes the biggest difference. Even if they've handled specific situations poorly, the overall vibe was that they trust me to make appropriate decisions. I do a lot of things differently than they did now that I have my own kids, but I always trust that my parents will take the time to listen when I explain why I do it, and do their best to respect it!”
What’s your favorite response? If you have a great relationship with your parents as an adult, what makes it work? What would you add? Would love to hear from you in the comments so we can learn from each other.
Have a great week!