three things we would love our parents to understand – a message to parents with adult children.
I’ve heard many times parents with adult children telling me: You will see, when you’re children are adult, they will tell you what you all made wrong. You will have rebel teenagers too, that’s just the way it is.
I agree that my children will surely (hopefully) tell me what I’ve done wrong, what has hurt them. Because that way, I will be able to talk with them about it. I will be able to ask for forgiveness where it is needed, explaining where there is needed to explain.
However, there are three points I wish every parent of adult children would understand. These points came out by reflecting my own situation or by talking to other young adults – what they would wish their parents would understand.
- Try to remember how you really were when your now adult children were kids.
Many years later it’s more difficult to remember how it was back then. Often the memories are so blurred that somehow parents only remember the thing they want to remember (or remember what they can handle today)
Therefore, when your child comes and tells you how it was for them (example:” the many times you did send me to bed without food”) so don’t just assume that never happened only because in who you are today you would never do that. But be open. Ask them what memory they have about it. Talk about it. Let them express their emotions about it. And ask for forgiveness where it is needed.
- Don’t forget that you did raise them.
Not every decision a child makes is because of the parents.
However, it is a fact that much of the foundation is laid in early age.
So if your child in adult life is struggling with different things such as yelling at their kids (your grandchildren) and be talking harsh to them… Try to be honest how it was when your daughter was a child. How did you/your spouse handle it? So instead of judging or blaming your child, talk to them and use your wisdom and grace you have today with your grandchildren to maybe teach your daughter to do otherwise?
Maybe your child can’t handle money – or can’t keep a house clean – or has a really bad temper and can’t control his/her anger.
Think about it, what did you teach your child in those matters you see your child failing today? It’s your opportunity to help them, and to try to have an attitude of grace and love towards those issues, teaching them, being there for them. Don’t make them feel like a failure.
- Ask for forgiveness. Fact is: I will never be the perfect parent – I will always give my best in what I know. All of us do. And so did you. Therefore, it’s normal that you made mistakes. It’s normal that there might be even big mistake. Things you would never do today if you would be that mother/father for your small kids. However, back then you didn’t realize. You didn’t know or did not have the strength to do otherwise. So just admit it. And ask for forgiveness. That will do much of healing in your children. And personally, I would love to hear that from my parents and be able to say: Don’t worry, I forgave you long ago, I love you.”
There may be other points your children would want you to understand. Maybe you are of those amazing parents who have this openness and humility to talk with your kids about it and were able to have this deep, honest and loving relationship with your children.
If you are one of them I would love to hear from you!
Do you have a message to deliver for those of us who have parents who aren’t able to or for those parents who would love to have such a relationship with their adult children?
Let us know!!