The relationship I have with my children is the most important relationship in my life. I had to make adjustments for my mental health and if I wanted my children to strive in a world filled with so many options.
I went from planning my entire schedule around their basketball games, birthday parties or swimming schedule to sitting in an empty room wondering where did the time go. There was a time I wished they were young again, especially when they are making decisions I don’t agree with, but I sit in silence hoping they will change their minds.
I have a great relationship with my mother but I have had to be the one to be flexible. My mother comes from a generation that did not compromise much, I say that with a grin. I had to be so flexible that I turned into a pretzel. I knew in order for me to maintain a good functioning relationship with my adult children, I would have to once again be flexible.
I have such a critical role in my children’s physical and mental growth. Some of the books I read claims the mother-daughter relationship is most likely to remain important for both parties even when major changes happen.
When my daughter’s voice got stronger as an adult she started to make her own choices, sometimes I don’t approve but I recognize the mistakes are hers to make and that’s the only way she will grow. Keep in mind I won’t simply keep my mouth shut but I will continue to watch the growth.
When my relationship with my children is strained, I look inward and I ask myself, am I being too overbearing, is my advice necessary (was it asked for) am I being intrusive? My adult children have every right to set boundaries.
Here are some tips on how I am staying assertive with my adult children:
- I let them know that I am not their friend – Telling your adult children, you are their friend encourages oversharing and some things I really did not want to hear.
- I don’t burden my children with my personal problems. I don’t want my children to be my counsellor so I limit the problems I share with them.
- Spend time together, you don’t have to have something plan just sit around eat pizza chat about world events.
- Forgive and move on from conflict quickly. The more they see me forgive, the more they are willing to do the same.
I heard my children say I was a good mom, and my eyes welled up. I spent so much of my life telling my mother she was good that I didn’t realize I needed to hear those words as well. Be thankful that you are blessed to see your children to adulthood.
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