7 Tips For Parenting Adult Children – by Ali Skylar

As my kids hit their twenties, there was at first a big sigh of relief.  Okay, now it’s going to get easier.  Uh…I don’t think so!

The hardest part?  Well, you don’t realize it until it happens, but it’s the “letting go” part.  All of those times you were exhausted, fried and not sure whether or not you’d ever get a full night’s sleep, is nothing compared to the feeling of your offspring flying the coop.  

Don’t get me wrong, all good stuff, all necessary stuff happening as your kids step into adulthood.  But it’s not just them that’s starting fresh and new.  It’s us parents too. We need to learn how to connect with our “wittle angels” from a whole new perspective.

So the following tips are just some of the “new” ways in which I’ve learned how to relate to my aspiring adult kids. Take all of my tips with a grain of salt (and yes, I write tongue in cheek)  and remember that everyone’s experience of their kids moving into adulthood is a unique one. But no matter who you are, the journey requires a ton of humor and a doo-doo load of patience…:)

1 –  DON’T call you adult kids by your affectionate nicknames in public.  A big no-no. My son’s name is Chaz.  We call him Chazzy baby, Chazlicious, and Chewchee (when he was a little kid he would chew everything he could get his hands on).  Doesn’t fly well at a restaurant when you have a cute waitress who he’s trying to impress.  Make this mistake and expect stares filled with daggers and an unfriending on facebook.

2 – DON’T call them.  Let them call you. I know, I know this is a real tough one. But believe me, it will serve you in the long run if you let them come to you instead of vice versa.  You may be chomping at the bit to hear your kid’s voice, but just don’t do it!!!  Have a back-up person you can call in their place.  Kind of like an AA sponsor who can keep you from falling off the wagon.  Maybe YOUR mom?!?!

3 – DON’T ask questions about their love life.  Oh my God this is such a biggie!  They feel like we’re sticking our nose in where it totally doesn’t belong.  And they will bite your head off the same way a dog will turn on you when you’re trying to take a raw, grass-fed bone away from them (luckily my dog is a 10lb. Yorkie so I can get the bone away pretty fast before any damage is done).

4 – DON’T take anything personally.  The twenties seem to be a time when your kids change into Jekyll and Hyde as they navigate their “rebirth” into their new independence stage. One day they may need your advice or support, the next they’ll tell you it’s not your concern when you follow up on the conversation the day before. Dizzying for sure.

5 – DON’T expect hugs and schmushes the way you would get them when they were younger and shorter than you.  Ever since my kids got taller and bigger than I, (I’m now the shortest person in the family – except for our dog), they can no longer nestle their head on my shoulder.  And I definitely am not into nestling my head onto their shoulder as if I was their kid. And no more sitting on your lap anymore. Even though my kids try to sometimes, (I gotta admit I love it), I have to quickly move them off as they will either break my hips and legs, or suffocate me from the weight.  My 6 ft., 185 lb. son sometimes thinks it’s really funny to see how long he can stay on my lap before I turn blue in the face.

6 – DON’T expect them to ask you a ton of questions about YOU and what’s going on in your life.  They’re way too focused on themselves and figuring out how to manage an adult life.  Who has time to listen to get to know mom?  From what I hear, getting to know mom starts in the thirties after they’ve solidified some roots of their own. I’m really looking forward to sharing all about my menopausal symptoms when they’re ready to listen (LOL!).

7 – DON’T interrupt them with wise words of parenting wisdom NO MATTER WHAT.  Stay quiet and cool, nod your head, and say “uh uh” a couple of times here and there when they open up about their lives. You might have to bite your tongue a couple of times, but the last thing they want now is unsolicited advice.  They want to figure it out on their own.  For us parents, the stakes feel a lot higher now in their twenties than when they were kids, but it will serve them and your relationship so much better if when they do mess up that they can only blame themselves and not you!  A learning experience for them of the highest order.

In conclusion, all joking aside, it is the coolest thing ever to watch your children navigate their twenties.  There are trials and tribulations, but there are also incredible moments where they experience the thrill of success, of having made things happen ALL ON THEIR OWN.

What greater gift can you give your kid then allowing them to leave the nest, knowing that you know that they GOT THIS!  The preparation, love and support you gave them through their childhood is now paying off as they develop into their own version of adulthood.

And one day they are sure to call you and sincerely ask, “So mom, how are you doing?”

Have any heartfelt tips you would like to share?  Feel free to comment below.  



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  1. One Response to “7 Tips For Parenting Adult Children – by Ali Skylar”

  2. YOU NAILED IT!! Great post, i learned this a bit of the hard way! If only i rras this earlier in life lol! But…my joys are still in their 20s so i am definitely going to bookmark these tips and follow them. Soo funny how u mentioned menopause, my boys know i m going through it and everytime they see me in a mood they just know it’s not the time so they say i love you mom and walk right back out the door! LOL!

    Menopause is a fun sucker, for sure!!!

    By Michele on Apr 5, 2021