12 Things You Need To Tell Your Grown-Up Child
As you send your child off into the adult world, there always seems to be the feeling in the pit of your stomach that you may have left something out of all those important discussions about life that will help them to not only be successful, but stay as safe as they can in the precarious world in which we live in.
In case you may have forgotten a few gems of knowledge to impart to your children, here are a few things you need to remind yourself to tell your child as they enter into adulthood:
1. They are “perfect” as they are
With all the peer pressure during an adolescent’s teen years compounded by what now seems to be a bombardment of adult peer pressure through social media, magazine ads and television shows to keep up with fads and looking “better,” it is important to reassure your child that who they are inside and out is okay no matter who tells them anything differently.
2. You are proud of who they've become
You may give them a hug here and there as a sign of your pride, but hearing the words mean so much more to a child than just a handshake or a hug. Tell them as often as you can, as loudly as you can, and as publicly as you can, how much pride you take in their behavior and their character.
3. You are there for them no matter what
Yes, our children do things that at times make us angry, embarrass us, and even get them in serious trouble, but we must show our unconditional love for them and let them know we will always support them through good times as well as the worst moments they experience throughout their life.
4. Saying you’re sorry
Sometimes we have absolutely no idea that in some way, large or small, we may have contributed to emotionally hurting our children. This could be something from when they were a small child that they have carried with them into adulthood. When they talk to you about it, verbalize your sorrow at hurting them as well as saying you are sorry for your actions in a genuine and sympathetic manner to acknowledge their pain and to promote the healing process between both of you.
5. Tell them why you were not afraid to say “no.”
No one respects a parent who is a pushover, especially a child. Children may seem like they are resisting rules that a parent sets, but in fact, they thrive much more under a structured environment than a chaotic one. It also tells them that their adult life must be structured in the same way, so any parent who puts their foot down when it isn’t popular to do so is actually doing their child a huge favor in the long run.
6. Let them share their innermost emotions.
Even though it may be uncomfortable for you to hear what they have to say, give them the opportunity to share something that you may not know about them or that they feel about you that they have been holding inside them for some time. Don’t anticipate it is always something negative; in fact, it could be something about you that is endearing or they take pride in that they have been reticent to verbalize to you for fear of being made fun of or sounding strange. It will draw you closer to your child to let them share their deepest emotions and for you to learn something revelatory about them or yourself.
7. Talk to them about respect.
This just isn’t about the respect that they show to others, it is also about the respect they should expect from how others treat them. This includes knowing the difference between professional respect at work and not being taken advantage of by co-workers and supervisors and personal respect from a significant other and how that affects their choice in who they spend the rest of their life within a healthy relationship.
8. Show them your gratitude for their existence
Many parents will say to their children that they should be grateful that they gave birth to them. Well, parents should also be grateful for the miracle that is their child. From the point of conception, a parent has won the “baby lottery” just by conceiving. So, remind your child of how grateful you are to actually have the opportunity to have raised them into adulthood and said them off to be productive members of society.
9. Tell them not to settle for mediocrity
Life for anyone should be adventurous, exciting, passionate, and everything that a human being could possibly dream it could be. Every child needs to know this and embrace this attitude and not accept that when they graduate from high school, go on to college, get a job, and then have a family of their own that everything is already planned out for them and not supposed to be a joyous journey. Encourage them to travel, meet new people, and think out of the box their entire life.
10. Remind them how special they truly are
It may sound like a cliché, but everyone is truly unique as a human being. Every parent needs to remind their child how important it is to embrace their individuality throughout their life and follow their own path because that is what contributes to their uniqueness. Many children find this hard to believe coming from a mom or dad since every parent is supposed to think their child is better than all the rest, but don’t let this stop you from verbalizing to them how special you think they truly are; eventually, they will embrace it.
11. Tell them it wasn’t their fault
Very often, children take on the burden of responsibility for decisions that are actually solely those of a parent and have nothing to do with the children in a family. Unfortunately, in a child’s mind, they see everything as their fault until they are told otherwise by their parents. This is when you need to take a moment and have a talk with your child and reassure them that any decisions made between you and your spouse were just that—between the two of you—and they are not to blame for any consequences that arose from it.
12. Make sure they know that happiness is theirs to have
Maybe your relationship with a spouse or significant other wasn’t the best role model for your child when it came to what a relationship should be. Remind them that just because you made mistakes that led to unhappiness, doesn’t mean they have to emulate the same pattern in their life. Tell them they have the right to be happy and to not settle for anything less.
Have you had these important conversations with your child? Were there other things you shared with them that are just as important that will help others? Pass this on to your family and loved ones.