Check out our 6-session Daily Discipleship course, Navigating Life With Adult Children with Dr. Jim Burns and Chip Ingram.
Is your parenting role changing? Find answers to 5 pressing questions being asked by parents with adult children.
Q3: We cover our son’s living expenses, and he foots the bill for his car, gas, insurance and entertainment. We’d like to ask him to also start paying for his personal hygiene items as well. How should we approach this?
The role of parent doesn’t end when children turn 18, but it does have to change. Your adult child is launching on a new journey — and you have to, too. Let’s check out what a parenting expert says about parenting adult children.
Recently, we were able to talk with author and speaker Dr. Jim Burns, president of Homeword, and answer several viewer questions on this complex subject. The free webinar touches on pivotal questions like drug use, sexuality, pornography, abuse and financial independence.
In this article, we’ll touch on a few of those questions and give you a peek into the webinar content.
Is your parenting role changing? Read ahead and find answers to 5 pressing questions being asked by parents with adult children.
Question #1: Parenting my adult kids, should I just forget about any verbal influence and instead just pray? How can I encourage them to encourage them toward the Lord?
Yes, pray! Maybe even more now that your kids are adults — sometimes bigger kids have even bigger problems.
I always say, “Keep your mouth shut but keep your welcome mat out.”
Build and maintain your relationship with your kids and then look for opportunities to speak into their lives. It’s often wise to wait until they request advice or ask for your opinion on a matter so the lines of communication can remain open.
Parents, don’t be discouraged about kids who are in a season of doubt or disillusionment from their faith. Keep praying for them to find their way back, knowing the Scriptures say they will not turn from it.Parents, don’t be discouraged about adult kids who are in a season of doubt. Keep praying! Be encouraged by Proverbs 22:6: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Click To Tweet
Question #2: How do you give loving advice to an adult child experimenting with marijuana without breaking ties with them?
No matter what your kids are doing, make an effort to maintain ties with them. That doesn’t mean you condone or agree with them, of course! But you bring your concerns to them with love and grace, being careful not to lecture or preach.We can’t be one-topic parents. When voicing your concerns to adult children, be careful not to lecture or preach. Click To Tweet
You might be heartbroken by their choices, but if you want your adult child to become a responsible adult, you have to start letting him make his own decisions.
Also, it’s critical that parents persevere and surround themselves with people who will pray with you and encourage your relationship with your adult kids.
Note: Jim explains that marijuana usage, though legal in many places, should be taken very seriously. The potency and purity of each sample can be different and users need to be aware of the unpredictable nature of the drug.
Watch the full answers when you check out the webinar: Q&A With Dr. Jim Burns
Question #3: We cover our son’s living expenses, and he foots the bill for his car, gas, insurance and entertainment. We’d like to ask him to also start paying for his personal hygiene items as well. How should we approach this?
First of all, this is a typical experience for most families: 75% of parents have helped their adult kids financially. This is, on its own, not a bad thing, but it must be a short-term commitment and not a long-term situation.
Second, this family should be commended for working towards the goal of financial independence for their son. The true concern is when the parents consider this kind of help a long-term arrangement and just keep providing, which makes it even more difficult when it’s time to separate.
The recommended approach includes an exit strategy that’s clearly communicated, with all parties understanding the goal of moving adult kids to independence.
Want to learn more? Sign up for our free course, Navigating Life With Adult Children, taught by Jim Burns and Chip Ingram.
Question #4: I have differing political views than my three adult kids. I make a point not to discuss my politics, but they like to talk about theirs. What can I do?
The best way to approach this issue is to treat your family like you would friends — agree to disagree and choose to base your discussions on other subjects.
I don’t see politics as being worth the battle with your kids, and yet sometimes the relationship can get to a point where you can exchange opinions within a healthy dialogue. But until that time, it’s best to steer clear of loaded topics that are largely impacted by generational perspectives.
Question #5: I have some things to discuss with my 22-year-old daughter and her 24-year-old boyfriend. Should I speak to the couple together? Or should I just talk with my daughter alone?
It’s healthy to have a relationship with both your daughter and her boyfriend. You might find that your child’s partner is more receptive to your concerns than they are! Start by —
- Asking permission to have a candid conversation.
- Begin by inviting your daughter to a discussion; include her boyfriend when the timing is right.
- Don’t blindside the recipients of the discussion. Give fair warning and — depending on history — reassure them you will stay on topic and remain calm.
It’s normal to have a “list” of concerns you want to touch on when you interact with your adult children, but keep the lines of communication open by allowing subjects to come up naturally, possibly over the course of more than one interaction.
Did any of these 5 questions resonate with you?
In our course, Navigating Life With Adult Children, Chip Ingram and Jim Burns have prepared 6 sessions on the subject, teaching parenting principles straight from the Scriptures. Every session includes an engaging video discussion between Jim and Chip, and a printable handout to work through individually or with a group.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip