What relationship can I have with my adult children? Part 2

Once children become adults, we as parents can no longer play the role of Moses. It is no longer up to us to impose anything on them.

Yes, yes, I can hear you. They do not always know what is best for them. They don't know how to be men or women as well as you; they need your advice. This may be true, but the time has passed when you were in charge of their lives!

You are no longer in a position of authority, whatever your culture of origin, because they have become adults. They must now be strengthened by what you have taught them and transmitted by your words and by your actions. They must learn to make their own choices, and to bear both positive and negative consequences.

Attention Parents:

Do not use emotional blackmail to keep them dependent on you! This common weapon not only infantilizes them and prevents them from developing their own emotional maturity, but one day will turn against you when you start to become the target of their resentment for not being able to let them grow! They will become bitter when they see you as always there to serve them when they need it, denying you a life independent of theirs.

You did not receive your children from God to keep them with you all your life! Yes, it can hurt to watch them go, but it was to send them into the world that God had entrusted them to you!

What influence do we have left in their lives?

Prayer! They need your presence before God every day.

Your role is that of grace more than that of the law! You may be an available adviser, but do not impose yourselves upon them. Your opinion will be all the more important if they come to search for it. But if they don't follow it, remember that they are adults! Pray even more without telling them, in the secret of your room.

Have faith in God, if they seem distant from Him. Believe that what they received in their children's hearts will one day mature in their adult heart.

Want to see them come back? Let them go! Don't make them run away from you by trying to keep them close at all cost!

Help them live their dreams. Encourage them, be positive. Welcome their spouses, because this is a new part of themselves that you will learn to love. No, their spouse did not "steal" your son or daughter from you. To reject their choice is to reject your own child.

Easy? No, but you will be delighted to see the seeds of faith and wisdom which were planted during their early years begin to grow and produce fruit in their life. Balance will appear in their choices and they will strongly walk in their faith.

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Eric Dufour