Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Parenting Adult Children

I read this the other day and it got me thinking. 
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. "
I now have an "almost adult" child (just turned 20), and here are some random questions:
  • What should a parent expect in the way of "Obey and Honor"? 
  • Is a family like the military where adult children should snap to attention and salute?
  • Or does this quote only apply to minor children?
  • Should they follow every order, even when they disagree or it compromises their happiness, spousal relationship, relationship with their children, etc?
  • What does "not provoke your children to anger" mean?  What if they are putting themselves in danger?
  • Is following orders the same as treating with honor?  Or can they be different?
  • Where does just loving, supporting and accepting your adult children as they are fit into this?
  • Has this changed over time?
Thankfully, so far my children are great and we have few significant differences of opinion.  However I am sure there will be times when we strongly disagree over something "important". So I am curious how you all interpret and handle this difficult balancing act with your adult children or your parents.  Thoughts?
Food for Thought
Pictures for Fun


Laurie said...

I think parents should give their adult children career information/advice.

My advice to my kids is don't go into teaching.

Here is a link that might make for another interesting education topic some time:

The Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher
When kids can get their lessons from the Internet, what's left for classroom instructors to do?

John said...

And what if they ignore your sage advice?

Laurie said...

My kids (ages 18 and 21) are very independent and have been ignoring my advice for years. I'm used to it. Sometimes I resort to bribes such as get a job and I will match your first $1000 of income.

John said...

Now the question is what if it is something that puts their health or future at risk?

When does advice/bribes become controlling/angering?

When does one give up on your kids and let them learn the very painful way?

Remember my friend's addicted daughter, 10+ years of trying to help her. And just watching her fall backwards again and again.... They finally had to separate from her and keep praying for her.

John said...

These folks captured and explain my preferred Parenting style well. Thoughts?

Arbinger Parenting Pyramid

Remember that Arbinger is the group who wrote my 2 favorite interpersonal relationship books.

John said...

Their primary premise is that many parents strive to "correct" their children.

Whereas they believe that the parents must strive to create and/or maintain strong positive relationships with their kids. This gives the parents the necessary standing to help teach their kids regularly and correct them on the rare occasion when it is required

John said...

However some older and/or more religious people I have discussed this topic with think that they are owed honor and submission just because they are older aand/or "the parents".

Being my praagmatic self, this makes no sense to me. I believe that most good things need to be earned, inccluding respect.

John said...

Now I understand that young children need to listen and learn.
And Parents need to discipline and ingrain solid beliefs, habits, behaviors, etc.

But at some point demanding submission needs to shift to coaching and influencing. And to accomplish this kids need to respect the parents, their knowledge and their guidance.

Or arre they just supposed to honor and obey?

Laurie said...

I think the most effective parents (of kids) have a similar style to the most effective teachers - warmly strict. I tend to err on the side of overly permissive, but it has worked out fairly well for my kids. Neither of my kids fully applied themselves in high school (more like top 20% rather than top 10% in their class.) This kept my younger from being accepted into his first choice college. Otherwise both are respectful, responsible, trustworthy etc.

I consider both of them adults who will live with the choices they make. Btw, 20 years old is adult. Our neighbors kicked their oldest son out on his 18th birthday. He managed to find friends to live with and eventually found a job at a gas station. I haven't figured out why his life went in that direction, while his 5 siblings are all doing well.

Anyhow, I prefer terms like cooperate or comply to obey. I would never want adult children to obey or submit to my authority. Being responsible for my own life is enough for me.