In trying to help our adult sons and daughters, we may inadvertently discourage them. This is particularly true when we hold them to an ideal, a notion of how they ought to be. Perhaps unconsciously, we expect children to fulfill our aspirations and make us happy. Parents unwittingly try to press children into a prescriptive mold and are disappointed when teenagers select divergent paths. We must be cautious and vigilant of our motives when conversing with adult sons and daughters.
As parents of young adults, our parental roles change when children mature. The primary responsibility of teaching children how to love and make responsible choices remains. However, the methods we use must be different. We no longer establish and enforce the rules, nor discipline our adult children. We don’t prescribe directions or make their decisions. […]