The Conversation

It’s not easy to know what your young adult thinks.

One of the hardest things we learn as a parent is how to listen to our teen and 20-something children.

They’re young adults, and that’s the root of the problem.

Parents and children speak different languages, making it difficult to have a meaningful conversation.

After spending years investing your time, love, and energy into feeding them, reading to them, worrying about their development, and cheering their victories, it’s like a big thud when they don’t seem to appreciate it. Hey – they seemed to like a lot of it!

So, why do you feel so clueless?

Parenting doesn’t stop after high school.

Yes, your investment was a wise one. The disconnect comes when you need to begin pivoting from seeing and treating your young adults like children and helping them do the work of becoming young adults.

You don’t love your children and throw them out onto the street when they reach a certain age. That’s harsh.

But it’s also not wise to take care of dotting all the i’s through high school and sending them off to college as they magically become adults. Also, continuing to dot the i’s while they’re in college isn’t helping you or them.

The investments we make as parents prepare our children to handle almost any bumps they’ll encounter daily. The challenge is letting them figure out the messes while knowing how to support them. In many ways, they’re telling you how.

Listening rather than telling is sometimes the right choice.

Do you ever hear your children, or their friends, say, “I don’t want you to solve this problem – I just need you to listen while I think through how I’m going to handle it”?

Wow, that’s going to take a long time, and you can tell them the right way and save everyone a lot of time. Except, that’s not how humans learn to do things in a way they’ll remember.

Learning happens when they’ve taken the actions, made mistakes, rebound from them, and feel proud.

So, back to how hard it is to listen to our young adult children. They may come off as knowing more than we do, but they also wonder how to have the conversation.

Think of a situation you wish, hope, and pray was going better for your young adult. Then, join me so we can work on your conversation with them.