Worry and frustration are two of the most frequent words that parents use to describe their feelings toward their young adult/millennial children. The major challenge for parents of these young adults is how to balance support- saying “yes” with letting go – saying “no.” More than at any time in history, parents in the United States and many western countries are providing greater support to young adults. But these parents are ambivalent about how much or how little to do for their young adult. There are no simple, black and white answers.
Parentslettinggo.com introduces six practices that parents can undertake or strengthen that can provide the combination of support and letting go that is needed to successfully launch a young adult. Two practices lay the foundation. These are understanding and connecting to the young adult and demonstrating unconditional love. The second two practices are intended to heal and address emotions that often keep young adults and their parents stuck. These are apologizing and forgiving. The last two are critical to the stage of letting go and include demonstrating love with backbone and growing apart.
Having a relationship with your young adult is necessary to successfully launching the young adult. But how can you have a relationship without understanding them? Clearly understanding and the practices outlined above go both ways; but, I believe parents have the responsibility to “be first” to step up and model these practices. Since relationships are inherently reciprocal, when a parent reaches out to understand they are more likely to find the young adult reaching back in a similar fashion. Understanding involves engaging your young adult with nonjudgmental listening and enquiry. It involves understanding their developmental challenges. This is one of the toughest stages of the life cycle where big issues such as identity, independence and intimacy need to be mastered. Parents cannot accomplish these tasks for the young adult or force the young adult to do so and are not responsible for the young adult’s actions. However, parents are responsible for their actions, which can support or undermine the young adult’s progress toward mature independence.
How Are You Doing Understanding Your Young Adult?
Why not check. If you don’t do well on these quizzes or you believe you need to learn more about your young adult, consider interviewing your young adult. Finally, a booklet is available on the website entitled – Can You Speak Millennial”ese?” that you can download or purchase in print form. This booklet has many valuable ideas, information and techniques that will increase your ability to connect to your young adult.