Before we embark on this journey on the road to forgiving our parents, I want you to get rid of all disempowering beliefs such as victimhood, unworthiness & weak.  You are none of those things.  We sometimes use an unforgiving spirit as a defence to protect ourselves from feeling hurt again. Even the most well-intentioned parent does not meet their children’s emotional needs. There are many factors to consider when assessing your parents, financial challenges, unhealed wounds, divorce, depression and many other things.

The brutal truth is we all can die at any moment, so we should appreciate our lives and everyone in it. Ending a relationship with someone is similar to a death because its the end of a connection just think of the instances when your life changes. Have you moved away from friends and family?  Did you start a new school?  Did you start a new job?  These are all examples of new beginnings that cause relationships to fade away.

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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I grew up in a home that recognized God as our creator, but I never felt the need to reference the Bible in my everyday life.

An atheist approached me, that’s someone who does not believe in God. He was struggling with self-esteem issues. Why would I think the Bible can help a client that doesn’t believe in God?

The Bible has some of the best definitions and practical advice that I have ever seen. I am always researching great concepts and encouraging words for my friends, family and my clients.

Even if you are not Christian, that doesn’t mean you cannot learn valuable lessons from the Bible or gain insight from it.

Being a Transition Coach, I often face the challenge of supporting clients on their journey to change, and sometimes people are defeated mentally, and they cannot see a better future.

I made an executive decision to try a different approach, something that an atheist may not have seen. I decided to use the words of the best selling book of all time, The Bible.

My client had issues with self-esteem, so I decided to review the Corinthians’ definition of love and share it with him and explain to him that self-love is an essential part of self-esteem.

“Love is patient; love is kind. It does not envy; it does not boast; it is not proud. It does not dishonour others; it is not self-seeking; it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hope, always perseveres.”

I asked him if he applies that definition to himself. He said,” definitely not,” I said, Wow! What do you think will happen if you did? He said, “I’m not sure,” I said,” Let’s try.”

I suggest You try this as well and let’s start today.