I gave birth to two very fascinating, yet vastly different children; Ryan and Emily. Their differences were evident from the second they entered the world but each one amazes and delights me in their own special way.
Today, I’m writing about my handsome baby boy (yes, even at 6’2 and 20 years old he’s still my baby) Ryan. Life with Ryan has always been a roller coaster. I don’t mind the ups and downs because I personally I love thrill rides but wow, are boys a handful!
Ryan is an old soul and relishes in a good story whether it’s one from his Great Grandma (aka Nana), the mailman or a stranger in the grocery store. He has a breathtaking smile that has gotten him out of more than one predicament and is almost too handsome for his own good.
Last night, as I watched him talk to a former teacher at his sister's Christmas concert, it struck me that I am now the parent of an adult. I realized my job as a parent, while far from over, is certainly different these days. Gone is a rebellious teenager and the day-to-day challenges and in its place, a man who still needs his Mom.
So, for all you “Adult Children Parents” I’m jotting down a list that I hope will help all of us deal with our adult babies.
- Consultant Vs. Manager – You have now been fired as your child’s 24/7 manager and need to become a consultant extraordinaire. Provide your expertise only when asked, provide guidance diplomatically and always remember half of what you say is going to be ignored. Your input is only a small part of what your child may be using to make decisions and ultimately, it’s their decision to make.
- Be respectful – Don’t criticize their choice in schools, relationships, jobs or even clothes. Use the same tact you would with a friend. Remember that children, at any age, usually hear implied criticism from their parents so exercise respect and compassion when speaking to your children.
- Nurture the relationship – Just the way you need to nurture your friendships, you need to find ways to connect and stay connected with your children. Respect their schedules but explore shared interests.
- National Bank of Parents is now closed – Sure, we’ve all been in tough spots but helping and being taken advantage of are two different things. Insist, even if they are still in college, that they get a job and help pay their own expenses. If you are still providing a roof over their head, don’t be Daddy Warbucks and keep handing them bags of money. Ask them to help with utilities, food, or pitch in a do special projects and chores around the house.
My list is small but hey, I just started it this morning. I’m cutting it short because Ryan called, and he needs to borrow twenty bucks. Like I said, I HOPE my list helps all of us deal with adult babies!