Tips for Struggling Adult Children

635995551842428548423414045_adultingYesterday, I posted some tips for the parents who might be struggling to parent their adult children well. Today, I want to write specifically for the adult children of those parents…

Adulting isn’t easy. You might miss your mom, the freedom of your childhood, or the dreams you determined but just can’t seem to reach. Or you might be angry that your mom isn’t who you need her to be as you grow into adulthood. She’s not available, doesn’t seem to understand, or can’t seem to accept you as an adult. What can you do?

Step through grief. Life changes. You’ve left many things behind—some that you were too young to remember. You celebrated moving on at times, but other times, it’s been difficult. That’s okay. Let yourself grieve the loss of something or someone, recognize you can’t completely go back, but you can celebrate and embrace what God has in store for the next stage of life.

Focus on what you need, not what you want. This is a hard one no matter how selfless you think you are. You’ll wrestle through assumptions and expectations. Dreams begin to rub against reality. Be as honest as you can be with yourself and others. Instead of choosing to surround yourself with people who affirm whatever you want, choose people who will support and encourage you but also challenge you to continually grow.

Refuse to think you have all the answers. With adulthood comes with responsibility to be a humble, lifelong learner. Admit you don’t know it all, and face the idea that your experiences don’t reflect all of reality. Avoid being too hard on yourself. You’ll have to learn some things the hard way.

Refrain from keeping people where they were, including your parents. Just because your parents responded to you in a certain way in a specific situation or season of your life doesn’t mean that response defines them. Just as you change and grow, so will they. That doesn’t mean they’ll become more like you want them to be, but it also doesn’t mean you understand everything about them.

Be responsible. Blame only digs a hole of insecurities and hurt feelings that are difficult to overcome. Honestly evaluate yourself often in order to learn and grow.

Give God your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. It’s easier said than done. So many things grab at our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and while God wants us to invest in and be passionate about people, they are never to take His place. Let Him lead. You can trust Him, even through the messiness of adulting.

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