How can we remain good parents when our children have grown up? I will share several things that God, by his grace, has taught me in this season of life with my grown children:
Remain in touch and stay close
Even though we don’t live together under one roof, we can still be close! Consistently reach out to your children, expressing your thankfulness for them and giving them encouragement.
- Adult children still need to know their parents believe in them. Be your kids’ biggest fans! As they build their marriages, raise their kids, and develop their careers, they will sometimes feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and insecure. You can be a source of encouragement and strength to help them keep going!
- Pray consistently for them, all the while asking them for any needs they may have. Also pray with them—in person or over the phone.
- Continue making memories together through shared meals and times together.
- Your kids still need you—just in different ways. As you learn about their practical needs, offer and seek to serve them in any ways you can.
- Encourage all of your grown children to spend times together with each other, and with each other’s families.
- If your children are married, open your heart to their spouse and cultivate your own relationship with them. What a blessing this new relationship can be!
Advice goes two ways
- When your children were young, you were the one to give all the advice. But now that they are mature, you’ll be amazed by all you can learn from your children! As you invite your children’s advice, you will draw closer to each other, and your humility will earn their respect!
- Of course you can still give your children helpful advice, but be sure to do so in a humble and gentle manner. I rarely offer my children unsolicited advice—I usually wait for an invitation to share my thoughts.
Be close to your grandkids
- Grandchildren are a wonderful blessing God has given us to enjoy:
…And may you live to see your children’s children. – Psalm 128:6
But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’S love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children. – Psalm 103:17
Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. – Proverbs 17:6
- God wants us to help to teach his truths to our grandkids:
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. – Deuteronomy 4:9, emphasis added
- Geri and I have been blessed with 12 grandchildren, and one of the things we most enjoy is getting to know each grandchild individually. We celebrate each child’s interests and talents, and we try to create unique memories and points of connection with each child.
- When we spend time with our grandchildren, let’s have fun, express our love, pray together, share the love of God with them, and share stories about raising their parents.
As our kids grow older, we will need to make some changes in our relationship dynamic, but we can still be close, loving, and encouraging. As we do so, we will all be blessed, enjoying the legacy of faith and joy God has given to families in his kingdom.