The relationship between parents and their children can be beautiful when fostered correctly. It starts young. The child needs to feel heard and understood. The key is to find the balance between being their friend and parent, rather than just one. Being a strict parent and restricting them too much may lead to your kids rebelling, and being too friendly may spoil them. Therefore, balance is critical. The relationship you build with your kids when they are young will evolve into a beautiful one as they grow older. However, in most cases, old habits die hard, and you may end up causing a dent in your relationship with your adult kids. Don’t worry, because we are here to help you. Here are 5 ways in which parents and adult children can improve their relationship with each other:
1. Treat Each Other Like Adults
Parents often forget to consider their kids as adults. They forget that they’ve grown up to be their person, and children often forget that they are no longer kids. Because of the habit of speaking to each other for decades in a particular manner, parents and children engage in age-inappropriate communication, which can be detrimental to their relationship with each other. It’s expected that this happens, but recognizing the pattern goes a long way in repairing the relationship. Take a step back and ensure you are conversing with each other as adults.
2. Address Concerns Constructively
As parents, you might have resorted to unhealthy conflict resolution techniques. Whether it is silent treatments, passive-aggressive behaviors, screams and yells, or even sweeping issues under the rug, harmful conflict resolution techniques can impact your relationship with your kids. These patterns can change with an effort from both sides. Holding a grudge, making the other party feel guilty for something they did years ago, or getting into a screaming match with each other does not solve the problem. Instead, engaging in constructive criticism and speaking from a place of concern and love will help mend your relationship.
3. Take Responsibility
Nurturing a relationship includes two parties coming together and making an effort to build, shape, and maintain it. Compromising, negotiating, and accepting each other are essential parts of a relationship. You must find activities of mutual interest to bond and build a strong connection. Neither the child nor the parent should feel entitled to wait for the other to make an effort. It can lead to resentment.
4. Accept Feedback
When one party is making an effort to mend a relationship, the other must oblige. It might all be in vain if both sides are stubborn and refuse to accept feedback about the relationship. Perhaps you overstepped your boundaries, or you could have said something hurtful to the other. Voicing out your concerns and accepting the other person’s concerns with respect is an excellent way to make your relationship stronger.
5. Set Boundaries
Most often, parents and children do not maintain boundaries. Personal space, uncomfortable situations, and private information are things that have to be decided in advance. Both parents and children have to establish healthy boundaries that will nurture the relationship. It is important to express what you feel about the other’s involvement in your life. If healthy boundaries are not set, children and parents can resent each other when they are violated.
Relationships are complicated. With parents and children, the bond is meant to be everlasting. Therefore, the right practices can ensure that you build a beautiful relationship with your children. However, it’s a two-way street, and improvements to the relationship can only be made if both parents and children make an effort. It might be easy to maintain your relationship the way it is without trying to mend it, but it will eventually lead to frustration, causing your relationship to deteriorate. We hope our suggestions help you build a strong bond with your children.