Tips on Setting Boundaries and Handling Conflict With Your Adult Child

Health Information Lifestyle

“No other transition into adulthood has been delayed by nearly this much,” Dr. Steinberg said. “And many young adults are happy to be single and childless.”

The parents of young adults today are part of the helicopter generation, Dr. Steinberg said, spending more money on their kids than previous generations and hovering protectively over their progeny.

“These parents have been very, very involved from the get-go, searching for a preschool like it was a matter of life and death,” he said. As a result, their lives might be more deeply intertwined with those of their children, and the increased intimacy could lead them to worry more.

As these children get older, parents may assume there’s no reason to scale back their involvement, Dr. Steinberg wrote in his book, and it can be tough when children “individuate,” or introduce a little emotional distance.

Take cues from your children, he said. Don’t guilt them if, for example, they don’t text you back right away — or at all. “Adjust your expectations about being in touch,” he said. “I tell parents to remind themselves that your child isn’t rejecting you as a person. They are trying to demonstrate that they’re capable, and they don’t need to rely on you.”

Dr. Steinberg suggested holding your tongue, unless your child is going to do something “dire and irreparable,” such as marrying someone with a history of violence, or investing money in something dicey. Allowing your kids to make small missteps, he said, shores up their sense of competence.

Parents may still be surprised by some of the reckless things that their young adult children do, he said, “but they’re still developing the capacity to rein in their impulses and emotions, which is why so many risky behaviors peak during this stage.”, GO TO SAUBIO DIGITAL FOR MORE ANSWERS AND INFORMATION ON ANY TOPIC

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