Parents of Adult Children

“He is a failure,” a deep sense of sadness was clear in the father’s voice. In childhood his son was so smart that his parents had high hopes for their only son. But life turned out to be different. Depression and inability to complete his education resulted in an unfortunate situation.

In childhood, parents can be like the mother eagle hovering over  children. And children seem to enjoy the quick fixes parents do to save them from trouble and mishap. Last minute help with projects or providing some excuse for being late to school, failing the exam, or covering up the child’s mistake also save parents from shame. But how long can a parent do this? Will parents always have the resources or energy to meet all the demands as parents and children grow older?

Of course, it is painful to witness unfulfilled dreams and unresolved hurts in children. When they’re young we hope that everything will be okay when they grow up. This is an optimistic outlook but can be an excuse for enabling the child to learn to deal with issues. When children reach adulthood, parents cannot adhere to such an optimistic outlook. Then they may feel helpless. Greater will be the sense of helplessness if adult children do not want parents to meddle in their situation.
Even though I pray that none of the readers face disheartening situation with adult children, what can parents of adult children do in such a situation? Are parents helpless just because they don’t have the resources and strength to help their children? Not at all. God answers the prayer of parents and will open doors that no one can close. So parents can continue to bring their requests to God on behalf of their children. Besides, parents can continue to model how to walk fixing their eyes on Jesus no matter what they face. Next, parents can stop acting as the savior for the adult children for every situation but can be of help in emergencies. This is especially true with providing all financial support for healthy adult children as this will further hinder children from obeying the biblical mandate to work to eat. Fourth is about parents being the remote control for the children. This will disable them from being self-directed adult. It doesn’t mean parents don’t provide any directions or wisdom. Parents continue to be all these for children no matter how old they grow. Fifthly, parents can avoid speaking disheartening words to children and to others about them. But say words that build children’s self worth and hope in Lord. It will remind them that no matter how long is the night, the sun will rise again. Besides, from childhood, walk closely with children so that when they fall or make mistakes you are available to teach them how to get up and do life with the lessons learned. Finally, you can live out the perspective that education is not just about scoring good marks and being on the top of the world but about learning to live together in harmony with others with total trust in God. In other words life is all about learning to love God and love your neighbours.

Published earlier in Kraistavaezhuthupura

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