When my children were in elementary school, I was busy being a mom and the future seemed distant. I was in the midst of soccer games, mounds of laundry, and meal preparation. I thought my boys would always be rough and tumble, video-game-playing, eating-all-the-groceries kids. In a blink, however, they transformed from smelly energetic boys to mature adults living on their own, holding down jobs, and taking care of themselves. It all happened so fast.
As parents, we practice parenting for so many years we often neglect to consider our future relationship as parents of adult children. We never consider how “parenting” becomes “being a parent.”
The two seem similar, but there is a significant difference. Parenting is caring for, nurturing, and training a child to make good choices. Scripture assures us our hard work as parents is beneficial. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Parenting means teaching them to love God and serve others and helping them learn to reach wise decisions and master taking care of themselves.
On the other hand, being a parent of adult children is more about a relationship. Being the parent is about adults relating to adults. The rules change. If we don’t make the transition from “parenting” to “being a parent,” we can hurt the new relationship with our adult children without knowing.
Here are 10 ways we may be hurting our relationship and not know:
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