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Tips for Connecting with your Adult Children in Retirement

they start to figure out who they want to be you don't want to take it personally that all of a sudden you know they're now changing to something different and really that perspective was there for you to take that first step and reflect back on your childhood and your relationship with your parents [Music] our six children will tell you that we work hard at connecting with them they will also tell you that we ask a lot of questions and we try really hard not to judge and do we have bumps in the road of course we do all relationships can have a bad season or a bad time the key is to recognize when it's off kilter and then adjust as quickly as you can you know the danger is not getting back on track there's plenty of isolation there's separation and sometimes even estrangement you know my dad my dad was an alcoholic i worked with him for 25 years in the family business and unfortunately for him that was something that he just struggled with my mom actually quit drinking so she could help enable it but from the outside they lived a wonderful life you know they were happy they were in love with each other and i have empathy and compassion for the disease alcoholism but there became a point in time when my three children who were two four and five became of an age that they were easily influenced and my wife at the time and i made a decision to not let them be around my dad a really difficult decision for you because i know you think about it a lot but it was really time for boundaries and i think you told me it went on for like three years but you did let your mom see the kids i did and i know that was hard on both of them you as the adult child and your parents it was hard it was it was really the most difficult decision that i've ever made and you know my dad never forgave me for that but over time as we tried so hard to to get him to to get over this disease and he couldn't he finally understood why i did what i did and he got over it and we had a fine relationship and in the end it was really the alcohol that killed him at the age of 80 well before his time now this story isn't about alcoholism it's just about the fact that i had a difficult relationship with my dad for a period of time we had a really bad season you did and we share this story because we're now parents and grandparents and we would never want that to happen to us and it really did shape the way we live our lives and how we manage our relationship with our children before we get into our nine tips let us give you a little perspective on mark and i our kids transitioned into adulthood pretty recently all of them there are six of them they range from age 37 to 24.

you know can be a challenging time they get they get jobs they're looking for meaningful relationships they're moving all over the u.s they bought their you know when that when kids buy their first car they get into a deep relationship like jody just said they start to have a family maybe they get married you know we nurtured and influenced them for a long time for most of their life up until then and we did the best we could with the tools that we had but as they became of age and they moved from being dependent to independent they all started to change a little bit they did they they really looked at themselves where they came from and their characteristics their traits their identity and who they wanted to be so what we learned is that and i reflected back on my time at that time getting my first car getting married starting a family i changed i didn't turn into what my parents were i turned into what i think is a better version of them so we have experience there and we just wanted to reflect on this to give some perspective to what the kids are going through and as they start to figure out who they want to be you don't want to take it personally that all of a sudden you know they're now changing to something different and really that perspective was there for you to take that first step and reflect back on your childhood and your relationship with your parents you know one of the things that we have that our children don't are these past experiences you know past mistakes past heartbreaks and a tremendous amount of wisdom now look we hope you're getting value out of this and if you are do us a favor hit the subscribe button down below or like it and even better yet share it and leave comments and don't forget we want you to stay to the end because after we go through the nine tips we're going to give you a surefire exercise to begin how you can deepen your relationship with your adult adult children so let's jump into the nine tips you know first our research included many experts in this this area many articles many institutions and our own experiences and we had our own little kind of group with our children that we could bounce some ideas off of well i would say it was more than a group we actually took the time well it's a focus group well yeah focus group with our kids yeah well that's a different thing did we call it that we did we didn't we called each of our kids and we had a conversation about about our relationship and we actually got some really great feedback which was fun some of the things that they said were um well you go to bed earlier oh sorry you eat dinner earlier what else did they say that was kind of funny sometimes you're rigid oh yeah we're a little more rigid why you keep pointing at me well i'm not sure okay well but we but we also found that they said things like we listen well right we ask a lot of questions we're interested in what they're doing right not always just telling them how interesting we are right so we had a it was really good for us to spend some time with our kids to talk about this so let's get into the nineteen so the first one first one is really a reflection take stock of the situation how bad is it how bad is your current relationship with your adult children and you wanna open a dialogue absolutely and again think back on that relationship with your parents and maybe if it's at a breaking point get some professional help yeah it's really important number two recognize and respect your differences you know you parented those children for a long time and like mark said you did the best you could you know you worked with what you had and then you launched them into the world which is what we're supposed to do absolutely but now they've developed it's time for them to grow and change you know it's time for them to find maybe other influences develop their own voice and it could be a time to set some boundaries like i did i i listen it was the hardest thing i did was to pull my kids away from my dad but it was important to do it didn't change him and my kids now i believe have a much different respect of alcoholism so that so so that was helpful but setting boundaries is really important if you need to do it you need to do it the third thing is to try to understand where they're coming from i mean really listen listen to try to understand and to ask questions have empathy and one point that's always really hard for me is try not to always fix everything don't be a fixer let's talk about that just listen with someone because we you know that's that's your mo it is kids come to you with a problem and they say you know i have this this this and this and you immediately want to fix it you know the kids don't necessarily want that they really want to be heard first and then you can offer do they need advice or not but you really want to understand where they're coming from and that's it right right um the fourth one respond and don't react right yes we did an entire youtube on this and it's going to be in the notes below you know it's really a time for you to listen reflect ponder take five if you need a pause but don't react really come back with a thoughtful response so when we say react you know it's your reaction is really you saying something you haven't really given any thought to you hear something and your children might be halfway through the sentence and you know exactly it is what you want to say that's a reaction so making sure that you sit back pause and listen carefully and quietly like jody said and just slow down so you can't take it back you know when you react you can't take it back you've already done it so the fifth one is try to avoid power plays you know using money as a leverage you know if they need something they need to be bailed out but then you don't have full say over what they do with the rest of the with the rest of their lives and along with that is this idea of ultimatums giving them an ultimatum in that power play conversation never works all right number six do things with your children that you love doing together we love this one you know one of the things we do is try to do every two years a huge family vacation i think we're up this year we i hope we are uh but do hobbies and sports um shopping you know take your kids shopping one-on-one and buy them a few things you know my boys and i like to play golf so we do golf trips or even you know like the girls and i will all read the same book so it doesn't always have to be buying them things you could read the same book or you know share some sort of memory i call this really the big bucket of be a memory maker all right this one making sure number seven number seven a way to go deep in your relationship with your adult children make room in your life for their significant others now this might be hard you know we hear people all the time i don't really like him she's she's just not really good for him listen your kids pick who they pick right and it's really important that if they're really in love you've got to find a way to make a relationship with this important person that's in your kid's life and and outside of just making room for them make that connection important to you yeah because the more it's important to you the more time you invest the better you'll be and get just get to know them right absolutely number eight be a consultant not a ceo of their life you know it's not about running their world and their lives and making decisions for them that's up to them it's just about offering some expert advice asking some questions and give them some guidance that's it and if you start to shell out criticism it's going to shut them down so you have to be careful yeah you do have to you know find a way to share your wisdom and do it with grace and humility without overstepping but continuously supporting i think that's really really big and number nine foster open communication and that doesn't just mean with what you say it's the tone of your voice your posture your non-verbal cue cues rolling of your eyes you're a good eye roller yeah particularly to me um but it's your body language and your facial expressions you know it's a it's a big part of how people pick up on how you're communicating so that was the nine and we're going to give you our surefire way to start a process but you know the decision i made with my dad was tough but we all survived it right we talked about it a lot and over time he understood why we did what we did and had we not talked about it and had we not worked through it it definitely could have broken our family apart but it didn't and that's not what we want for your family so here's a quick exercise to begin the process first might sound silly write down the name of all your kids just write them down we have six so we have to make a list big list next thing on the list is write down everything good and healthy about your relationship with that child one at a time and make the list long i mean just keep focusing and writing everything that's good about it we want to focus on the positive because the next thing you're going to do is make a list of everything you love about who they are what is it that that when you think of them you think of this positive thing and then the fourth thing to do is to make a list of areas that you want to work on with that particular relationship yeah not a list of things that they're bad at or why you don't love them a list of things you want to work on and then the last step number five is set up a call or better yet get some time with them have a coffee absolutely you know be kind and thoughtful focus on the positive be interested in what they're doing not interesting but interested you know chip away at the areas that need work one at a time so guys we hope you enjoy this do us a favor we really want to get out in front of as many people as we can so share it with your friends please hit the subscribe button by clicking the button below and don't forget join our free facebook community and follow us on all social media instagram and everything else all the links are below absolutely thanks for listening and we look forward to being back with you again soon

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