by Jim Daly
Unfortunately, even good parents might one day see their adult children make poor choices. Here at Focus we’ve spoken with many heartbroken moms and dads who are grappling to understand and respond well to their grown kids’ decisions.
Here are four tips from our counselors on how parents can help their child get back on track.
1. Ease your guilt.
Every parent makes mistakes. However, as an adult, your son or daughter is now old enough to make their own choices and to take responsibility for them.
2. Understand the burden of getting life back on track is your child’s, not yours.
As parents, this is a truth that’s all-too-easy to forget. Your role now is to encourage your adult child to make better choices and to give him advice if he asks for it. Just remember that he’s old enough to take responsibility for his own life now, so let him be his own person.
3. Let your child suffer the consequences of his choices.
This piece of advice is a difficult one for parents to live out. But the bottom line is if you rescue your child from his problems, he may never feel a reason to live differently. So don’t be too quick to save him from his pain. Trust God, because He can use tough consequences to bring about humility, repentance and change.
4. Pray for your son or daughter.
Parents of grown children may not be in a place to directly impact their choices like they could when their child was a minor; that’s why, in some ways, parenting a grown child requires more faith than before. That’s why prayer is so important. God can still speak to your child’s heart and He can still supernaturally work in his or her life.
I hope these tips are helpful for parents (and grandparents) who might be living through a tough season in their lives. Know that our counselors and family specialists are here for you if you want someone to talk with. You can contact us at 1-800-A-FAMILY.
Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family and host of its National Radio Hall of Fame-honored daily broadcast, heard by more than 2.9 million listeners a week on more than 1,000 radio stations across the U.S.