How to Build Relationships with Older Children

Psychologist Ekaterina Zhdan advises: do not be afraid to make mistakes and do not reproach for your child’s mistakes, because together you are experiencing a new experience for yourself

As our children grow up, parent-child relationships inevitably change. At some point, the “adult – baby” link becomes irrelevant, and the “adult – adult” link should replace it.

And if children, as a rule, very subtly feel this moment and begin to fight for their “adult” rights in different ways, then parents often ignore this evolution of relations to the last, which causes a lot of worries both for themselves and their already grown children.

Why do parents not want to accept the adulthood of their children to the last?

Often, this reluctance hides the fear of becoming unnecessary for their children. It seems that as soon as we let go of the children’s hand, we will never feel its warmth in our palm. For every parent, a child is a huge, maybe the biggest part of his life, filled with excitement and happy experiences.

That is why many seek, often unconsciously, to stretch parenting for as long as possible, and this inevitably leads to the fact that the relationship between the child and the parent deteriorates, conflicts and misunderstandings arise.

If your child has grown up, this does not mean that you have ceased to be a mom or dad for him. It is important for adult children, as well as small ones, to feel closeness to their parents, but this closeness should be of a different kind. Most of all, adult children need emotional support from their parents, which will make them stronger, help them overcome difficulties and teach them to take responsibility for their lives.

Every parent who wants to build a happy and trusting relationship with an adult child will have to learn to respect and respect his boundaries.

Your child is no longer you.

It is important for a growing person to learn independence. At this stage, it seems to the parent that the child is moving away from him, and many are ready to take this as a personal insult, but in fact, this is a natural process.

All that yesterday’s baby needs at this stage is unconditional love and support. By criticizing his decisions or actions, you return the adult already to childhood, making it clear to him that he is inconsistent. The only reaction to this behavior of yours will be resentment and unwillingness to discuss anything with you next time. Make communication safe and you will never lose touch with your child.

Learn to accept your adult child. It may seem to you not so, incomprehensible, wrong, but accept for yourself as a fact – you cannot change it. All you can do is either accept it and learn to build a relationship, or not accept it and destroy your relationship. If you love your child, the choice is clear. Don’t make unrealistic expectations about your child. He does not have to justify them.

Tell your children that you love them. It may seem to you that this is superfluous, and they already know about it, but every psychologist in his work encounters a huge number of adults who suffer from the fact that they have not heard words of love and support from their parents. When talking about love, try to keep your words consistent with your deeds. Practical expressions of love are respect, acceptance, and support.

It may seem that all of this advice is very one-sided, in the sense that not only a parent should strive to improve relations with an adult child, but the child should also strive for the same – to love, respect and accept their parents. It is very dangerous to think so, because we can only control ourselves and decide only for ourselves. Do not be afraid to make mistakes and do not reproach for the mistakes of your children, because together you are going through a new experience for yourself. Become a good example for your children, and when the time comes, it will be easier for them to build relationships with your growing grandchildren.

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