WT 047: How Should I Parent My Grown Children?
The job of being a mom is never done! Even after your children have grown and left your home, difficult parenting situations still come up. Listen to today’s episode to hear Karen answer your questions on: How Should I Parent My Grown Children?
Question 1: Karen, how do you stay connected with Kelsey and your grandchildren? My oldest and her children moved away and I am trying to find creative ways to stay connected. I’m scared my grandchildren will forget me!
Karen’s Answer: I get what you are saying, but I also know that your children and grandchildren will NEVER FORGET you! Try to keep that “fear” at bay. Anytime we let fear creep into our lives, it makes us all a little crazy! Being the mom of a grown child is hard. My philosophy is to TRY to accept my children where they are in life, not be pushy, and be available. Of course, we want to be needed and wanted; but, since my children were young, I’ve tried not to make them my EVERYTHING in life. Anytime someone or something other than God becomes your everything, you get off balance.
Question 2: Hi Karen, I couldn’t stand it when my mom stepped in and told me how to do things when I was a young mom. But now that I’m older I literally can’t help myself sometimes from unsolicited advice. Do you ever experience this and how do you restrain yourself?
Karen’s Answer: Yes and yes! This is a daily struggle! Seriously, daily! Overcome it? I don’t think I have overcome it. It is truly hard! Honestly, I try to let things go and wait for Kelsey or Emily to ask. Whew! Girl, it is hard. I have to say a lot of times I fail at it. This is where your walk with the Lord really comes in handy. Confess to him that you can’t do it, but He can! If all else fails, bite your tongue, count to 10, and walk away.
Question 3: My youngest goes to college next fall. I have so looked forward to being an empty nester, but now that it’s on the horizon, I’m sad and a bit afraid of what the next chapter of life will look like. How did you adjust to being an empty nester?
Karen’s Answer: Don’t be sad, it is a glorious thing! Like anything in life, it is what you make it. When we dropped my youngest, Abby, off at college, it was my 30 year anniversary with Greg. So we took a trip to Italy for 17 days! The trip gave me something to look forward to and I wasn’t focused on my empty house. Also, Birds on a Wire keeps me busy. I miss Abby and all my children at the house, but I’ve gotten into a new routine and I love it.
You’ve got a little time before your child leaves, so right now start figuring out what you love to do in life and start doing it! When your child does leave there won’t be such a huge void.
Question 4: Karen, how do you know when to step in and give your kids advice or help and when to back away? My son is a recent college grad and I can see him struggling to keep things together financially, but he hasn’t asked for any help. Do I step in or let him experience this on his own?
Karen’s answer: I would talk with him more as one adult to another. Share a time in your life where you got in over your head financially. Tell him he is an adult now and will have to face the consequences. Then assure him you are there if he needs your help to find a solution.
We tell our children that we will pay for college, but their spending money throughout the year is on them. One time, Kelsey was making a lot of money in the summer, but she wasn’t thinking about college in the fall. She was blowing through her money fast. When fall rolled around, she ran out of money by October. She was one sad and broke little girl at college that semester. It was hard to watch, but we let her sit in it. She learned her lesson and is now very good with money.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your children, even after college. You are the parent. I think we just need to adjust our tone, and not be so authoritative. Try to go to your children more as a coach/friend.
OUR GUEST: CLAIRE STANFILL
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
The Power of Praying for your Adult Children by Stormie Omartian
Popular: Boys, Booze and Jesus by Tindell Baldwin
Moms, we know your time is precious. Thank for spending it with us. We hope you feel encouraged, equipped and most importantly—the peace of God.
If you have a question about motherhood I want to hear it, so make sure you visit birdsonawiremoms.com/askkaren and tune in each week to see if we cover your question!
Thank you moms, have a great day!