Do you set New Year’s goals?
Gonna lose weight?
Gonna earn more money?
Set a goal to improve your relationship with your adult children. Here are four simple tips:
- Setting relationship goals with our adult children is not a one size fits all proposition. The way I treat my eldest son is very different from the way I treat my youngest daughter. However, I can improve both relationships. I need to set goals to connect with both of them in 2019. Thinking of their love languages helps me connect uniquely with that adult child.
- We often speak our own love language to our adult children and can’t figure out why don’t feel loved. Be curious in knowing their love language. (See my previous blog posts on that topic explaining each love language and how to speak it to your adult child!)
- As parents to adult children we leave the past in the past. Regardless of how rebellious they were as teens or the crazy antics they performed as adolescents–we approach them as adults now.
- Time ALONE with our adult children pays big dividends in terms of insight and info. Although as teens they may have run from us, while pursuing other relationships, as they mature they want more time with us. And what do we do with the time? We listen–more curiosity needed. We remove the judgmental filters that cause us to think, “Well, that’s dumb. Why do you think that?” I often told my teen daughters, “You are not held accountable for what you DO NOT SAY!” I take my own advice often now.
- Can you be interested in what they are interested in? Can you listen to them talking about what they are engaged with now? One of our daughters is in school so Ted and I are back in school. One son loves to talk about cars–so we listen about cars. Building a relationship means building interest in their interest.
- We tune in to their intellectual and emotional wavelength. We engage them in THEIR LIFE not ours. We must get to know THEM. Recently someone gave me the great compliment, “You are a student of your kids.” Yep, I work at knowing them.
- Noah St. John suggests, we ask to improve the relationship with two questions, “On the scale of one to ten where do you see our relationship?” When the person answers anything less than 10 your next question is, “What can I do to make our relationship a 10?” Then LISTEN and take action on what your adult child suggests.
We CAN improve our relationship with our adult children. Like ALL goals this one will take a PLAN and WORK! But what is more important? As we all know, the most important things in life are not things at all.
Happy New Year.
What are some goals you have for your relationship with your adult children this year? I would love to hear them! Drop them in the comments below!