Columns
Residents' Association Image

Residents' Association

Stay safe, Southbank
Read more >>

Business in Southbank Image

Business in Southbank

An unbeatable lifestyle and location
Read more >>

St Johns Southgate Image

St Johns Southgate

The organ of emotion
Read more >>

Owners Corporation Law Image

Owners Corporation Law

VCAT declares that committees have the power to terminate an OC manager
Read more >>

Chinese

政府资助 受创商家
Read more >>

Metro Tunnel

Metro Tunnel lessons just a click away
Read more >>

Owners' Corporation Management

Why it pays to be neighbourly in a strata building
Read more >>

Federal Politics Image

Federal Politics

Why Magnitsky Act is important for Australia
Read more >>

We Live Here Image

We Live Here

Stage 3 lockdown fines for short-stays
Read more >>

Southbanker Image

Southbanker

Lending a hand through books
Read more >>

Port Places

Fishermans Bend: the first quarter 2019
Read more >>

Housing Image

Housing

Housing All Australians – a new paradigm
Read more >>

History Image

History

BANKING on it in Southbank!
Read more >>

Safety and Security

Looking out for signs of a drug lab
Read more >>

Southbank Sustainability Group Image

Southbank Sustainability Group

The garden is still here for you
Read more >>

Health and Wellbeing Image

Health and Wellbeing

How to combat insomnia
Read more >>

Skypad Living Image

Skypad Living

Finally, vertical villages are on government’s radar – but is the focus right?
Read more >>

Pets Corner Image

Pets Corner

Spoiling princess Chloe
Read more >>

Southbank Fashion Image

Southbank Fashion

Spring racing in Southbank
Read more >>

Street Smarts Image

Street Smarts

Power Street – Southbank
Read more >>

Letters Image

Letters

What’s behind the lights?
Read more >>

Health and Wellbeing

10 Sep 2019

How to connect with your grown-up child

Connecting with grown-up children can be difficult.

As children grow up, they can become disconnected from parents due to distance, changes in lifestyles and schedules. Or simply they grow into adulthood, and the nature of the relationship changes.

Although cell phones and texting have made sharing information inexpensive, easy and more immediate, these methods of communication can sometimes be the only ones used between the busy child and parent, sometimes leaving one or both sides longing for more connection. Regardless of the mode of communication between you and your adult child/children, it is important to understand that as your child grows and develops, so too will your relationship.

Understand your needs as a parent

The needs of a parent and those of an adult child are different. Which of the below best fit you?

  1. You want to maintain a connection with your child: you want to be a part of their lives.
  2. You want to spend time with their child: You just want to see them.
  3. You want to feel reassured that their child is doing well, and is happy.
  4. Your sense of who you are, your identity, your sense of self and your purpose is tied to you child and so when those same children become distant and detached, it can feel like losing your sense of self.

Know what “unhealthy” parent- child dynamics are

Some relationship dynamics can lead to a strained relationship, poor communication, a mismatching of needs and potential dissatisfaction. Here are just a few:

  • Projecting your own values, wishes, or dreams onto your adult child;
  • Not respecting them as their own people who make their own decisions and lead their own lives, separate from you and yours;
  • Emotional needs, and incorrectly thinking adult children are responsible for meeting them (they’re not, and vice versa);
  • Guilt-tripping your adult child about the amount of time they see you; and
  • Passive-aggressive communication: Including silent treatment, withholding, saying one thing when you mean another, being combative, etc.

Developing a healthier parent- child relationship

There are plenty of things you can do to nurture the relationship you have with your adult child, here are just a few:

  • Listen if you sense that your child needs to talk to you, make time for them;
  • Respect an adult child as their own person;
  • Understand that your adult child is not responsible for meeting your emotional needs;
  • Accept spouses and partners. Unless you fear that your child is in an abusive relationship, keep your concerns to yourself;
  • Use healthy communication. Speak clearly and directly, without being passive-aggressive, sarcastic, or saying one thing when you mean another;
  • Praise your child. Even as adults, your children crave your approval.
  • Set reasonable expectations. Avoid comparing.
  • Watch your words. If an adult child asks for advice or opens up a topic for discussion, it’s okay to share your opinion, but be tactful; and
  • Set aside adult-only time. If your adult child has children, try and enjoy some adults-only time, without the grandkids around.

Rajna Bogdanovic - Clinical Psychologist

Stay in touch with Southbank. Subscribe to FREE monthly e-Newspaper.

You must be registered with Southbank Local News to be able to post comments.
To register, please click here.