According to the AARP, divorce rates have nearly doubled since the 1990s. This means that
more women are finding themselves in different roles in mid-life. Additionally, this can change
the dynamics of their relationships with their adult children as often it feels like there are ‘sides’
and everyone has to choose one.
Even if you’re not widowed or divorced, you may find that the relationships you have with your
adult children are not as fulfilling as you hoped they might be. Creating new relationships with
your adult children takes work, and we’ve got a few tips on how to rejuvenate those family
They’re Not Kids Anymore
It’s often said that getting older is not for sissies! Truer words have never been spoken. As we get
older, we may find it difficult to view our adult children as adults. We still see them as the
adorable little girls and boys with milk mustaches and silly Halloween costumes. While the years
may pass quickly, letting go gets harder and harder.
Whether you find you need to create new relationships with your adult children because of the
death of/divorce from your partner, or you simply need to get used to the idea that they’re not
kids anymore, it takes work. The most important thing you can do is recognize this and then
move into action to create new relationships with your children.
Divorce and Death Add New Dimensions
When you and your partner divorce, or your partner dies, the relationship with your adult
children changes. You might experience anger from your adult children, as they’re not sure why
the divorce happened. Or, they may be angry if they find out you just stayed in the marriage ‘for
their sake,’ because they’ll feel like so much of their life wasn’t what they thought it was.
Or, if you’re in a different dynamic with your children because your spouse or partner has died,
you may find that they immediately want to take the reigns and begin ‘parenting’ you. This can
be endearing at first, but frustrating as you’re still capable of taking care of yourself.
In these cases, the most important thing you can do is communicate with your adult children. Let
them know that you understand their feelings, and you want to validate them. Let them know that
you won’t speak badly about their other parent, nor will you lean too heavily on them in the event
of the death of their other parent, as you know they’re grieving too. Communication is key when
establishing new relationships with your adult children.
While divorce and death do uniquely affect your relationships with your adult children, simply
the nature of their growing up and becoming adults makes it imperative you create new
relationships with them.
You have to learn to let go of wanting to parent each step they take, and you have to learn to hold
back when they’re finding their footing in this world they’re navigating. Even if you’re not
divorced, or your partner hasn’t died, your relationships with your children will change because
you are all adults doing adult things. Remember that now, as the mother to adult children, your
advice is just that—advice. They’re no longer expected to take it simply because you say so, and
so a little trusting encouragement goes a long way.
Recognize that instead of losing the little ones they were, you’ve now been given these amazing
adults to bond with and grow with. Embrace the new relationships by allowing them to grow
organically. Life changes whether are ready or not and creating new relationships with our adult
children is one of the privileges that comes with change. Embrace them and bloom with them;
who better to do so with than the amazing children you raised?
Owner, Fave Lifestyles
I was becoming an empty nester, a woman of a more interesting age and in transition. Sound familiar? I was at that place where we question our purpose, value, and worth and what in the world are we going to do with the rest of our lives.
I noticed women have a huge hunger to belong to a community of women where they can feel safe, share openly from their heart and have other women to do life with! This is why I created my Fave Lifestyles.
Fave is for the woman who wants to call Fave her community of women who support, uplift, and make her feel better about herself. I want to create a place where we help her answer life's questions and just do life together!
Let's Do Life Together at Fave Lifestyles
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