Since our children have been in their 20’s now for 9 years I have been wondering what does it meant to be a parent of adult children. I remember when I was pregnant, 29 and 26 years ago respectively, I read Dr. Spock, and then books about toddlers, and then eventually teenagers. However when it came to reading about parenting adult children I didn’t have any books to use as references.
Now I have come across a website, www.david-freeman.org, that offers some very useful tips by Dr. David Freeman, family therapist, who died in 2010, and left a legacy of audio recordings about parenting. I had heard about David from our friends, because he was their first cousin, and then I met his widow, who told me about the website she created with his writings and audio lectures.
Thus far I listened to From Parenting to Mentoring and finally found the useful tips that I have been looking for regarding parenting adult children. Here are some of the major points that I have gleaned from this audio lecture.
As a parent of older children, basically we realize that parenting never stops. However the changes occur as to how we parent. Here are five tips that I learned from Dr. Freeman.
1. Acknowledge, hear and understand without having an agenda.
2. Respect boundaries
3. Take joy over accomplishments
4. If you are a mentor, let go of any ego about being a mentor.
5. Let go of reactivity.
Other audio lectures on the website are Raising Healthy Children, Siblings and Emotional Pain.