AT FORTY FIVE MAGAZINE / 10 You Want To Be Friends With Your Adult Child, Right? / BY JANICE HRYNKOW MA CCC PSYCHOTHERAPIST Navigating how to get along with your adult children can be fraught with challenges. Many parents wished a manual accompanied their bundle of joy home from the hospital so many years ago. If the roller coaster ride of those angsty teenage years was puzzling, well your job is not any easier now that they are adults. Over the years in my practice, I have dealt with many parents. Here are some tips on what has helped parents successfully move to being friends with their adult children. Depending on what philosophy you raised them with has everything to do with how you choose to get along with them. Now, as when they were children, they all have different temperaments. They will see things differently from their brothers and sisters or you. Knowing this will give you a head start because if you ever want to get along with anyone you must first hear how they see it. Accept that now, as an adult, they do not have to see it your way. Even as a child they may not have seen it your way, so it is futile to think they should now. If you are the oldest in your own family chances are your youngest looked at life a lot differently than you did. However, that youngest had to live under your rules in really-- your home.
AT FORTY FIVE MAGAZINE /11 F E A T U R E S So, he either adapted which says he is flexible, or he rebelled. Perhaps you’re a Christian and he decided to become Buddhist. Now, as an adult that is the way the ball bounces. Be glad he believes in someone, remember Buddha isn’t Charles Manson. So, your good then? Did you have your heart set on making a big wedding for your daughter. In your mind, she was going to grow up and marry a handsome prince who would take care of her and support her, even if she had a job or career. But now you find out she likes Margaret. So what? Does Margaret have a job, a car, and is she a good person? Grandchildren? Yes, you can still have them, although it is true you will have to adjust. Even if you have a son who loves another man, then you will have 2 sons, think of it that way. If need be and you have trouble explaining your child's choice to relatives or friends, you can practice role-playing with someone else. This is called adaptation and acceptance. It is integral to being friends with your child and their significant other. Adult children who still live in your home which is also their home however more so yours as you paid the mortgage. The rule is school or work. It is the only way. Now depending on the work and their pay, you both can negotiate on what’s a good amount to contribute to the house. It is up to you to either use it for expenses or save it if you have a lot of money to give back when s/he decides to move out. Unless you have a plan when your child moves out, try making a
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