Parenting grown kids. Who thought this would still be on our agenda at this stage of life? As baby boomers, our actual parenting days should be behind us. For many of us, however, making the transition from caretaker to consultant to our grown kids isn’t so easy.
As many eighteen- to twenty-five-year-olds take their places in the world, startling numbers of them are incapable of holding a job, paying their bills, or maintaining a lucrative career path. Others are struggling with drug or alcohol dependency and violence with partners. Still others are in jail or prison.
The parents of such kids are encountering serious barriers in an attempt to make the necessary shift in their parenting roles. Unfamiliar with the territory, they struggle between wanting to be fixers and knowing they must let go. Learning to adjust is a critical component of surviving—and mastering—this new phase of life.
So…what’s the solution?
A few years ago, I co-wrote a book on the subject of parenting grown kids with clinician Merille C. Glover, PhD. After interviewing scores of parents who have dealt with the issue of difficult grown kids, we identified several effective ways to deal with the challenges. The results are documented in Cutting the Cord: Eight Secrets to Coping When Your Grown Kid Goes Sideways.
In the book, we show parents how to cut the caretaking cord and replace it with a consulting lifeline, allowing grown kids to accept their own fortunes. We explain how to value realistic expectations and how to manage to feel love for the child who is causing so much emotional pain.
We devote a chapter of the book to each of the eight secrets for parenting grown kids, explaining in detail how each one works. Included are several real-life stories gleaned from the parents who were interviewed. These personal vignettes illustrate how they employed the particular coping mechanism to generate acceptance and healing when their lives were disrupted by their adult children.
Want a sneak preview? Here are the eight secrets:
- Examine Your Conscience
- Move through Guilt
- Re-Evaluate Your Expectations
- Shift Responsibility
- Hold Faith
- Allow Yourself to Grieve
- Take Comfort Where You Can
- Usher in Wisdom
If you’d like more details, you can purchase the ebook on Amazon.
Elle Gianforte is an award-winning writer and published author whose work includes non-fiction books on a variety of subjects, including adoption, fashion, food, design, healthcare, and memoir. She is currently co-authoring a new book, Don’t Stop Now, Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life (DontStopNow.us). You can see a complete list of books on her Amazon author page.