From Dr. Jane's Notebook

Where have all the children gone?

Some of the most gratifying moments in the life of a parent occur when adult children come home for visits. Once the kids have moved out, parent –child relationships go through a series of changes with each separation and reunion. Initially, we stand ready to welcome them back by preserving each element of their bedrooms. Eventually, they really move away and establish their own lives, at which point, parents and adult children graduate to a new level in their relationship. Then, some time between when we’re changing their diapers and they’re changing ours, comes the time for adult friendship between parents and their grown children. Here are a few more thoughts on the matter.

Even though you have been a role model for relationships all of your child’s life, there is danger anytime you interfere with cupid’s arrow. In most cases, our children desperately want us to like their friends. On the other hand, if you are asked for a serious opinion about a prospective mate, don’t hesitate to name any behaviors which concern you.

In short, the quality of your relationship with your grown up child will likely depend on your openness to their thoughts and ideas. Most grown children want their parents’ openness, respect and approval. If they don’t feel safe communicating their true thoughts with you, they won’t! The month of December offers families an annual opportunity to rekindle and intensify parent-child relationships. A wise woman once told me, “I learn a whole lot more by listening than by talking”. A great deal of pleasure can be found in getting to know your children as they grow. 

©Copyright, 2003, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.

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