Parents always try to guide their children. Senior parents giving advice to adult children is completely different than giving advice to kids or teens. As a result, parental advice is heard differently by adult children than by a child or a teen.
Senior Parents Giving Advice to Adult Children
Parents get older. So do their kids. The relationship between parents and kids changes with age. Even though senior parents have a lot of practical life experience, adult children sometimes don’t want to hear that experience. As senior parents, we always need to be ready to help, advice and support. But, remember, the world was different from when we learned about life.
Stress is Unhealthy no Matter What the Cause.
Because of financial worries after retirement, many seniors live with stress. When age bring declining health, more stress is added. Parents of any age worry about their children. This is true of senior parents giving advice because they worry about their adult children. The U.S. National Library of Medicine along with National Institute of Health write about concern about global stress and cognitive aging in older adults.
The world is changing and shrinking. There is a constant bombardment of information. Natural disasters years ago were read about in the papers or reported on TV. Now we see the event unfolding minute by minute. Young adults sometimes feel that the parents’ parental experience does not relate their world. Adult children are worried about the environment and financial and racial inequality. We as parents were worried about a stable job market and world peace.
Senior parents are stressed when they see their children living through the same difficulties they faced. The stress is greater when we can’t help. Our adult kids are stressed because they don’t want to be told what to do. But, they don’t want to ignore our advice. Deborah Christensen, on medium.com in February of 2019, offers insight into difficult parent adult child relationships.
We are stressed. Our kids are stressed. Sometimes, all we can do is listen and support until asked.
Parents Giving Advice to Adult Children Can Minimize Stress.
- Do a lot of listening.
- Don’t use any phrases like: “I remember when….” or “When this happened to me …..”
- Actively help out as appropriate.
- Be Present but not in the way.
- Offer the specific advice requested.
Our Adult Children’s World is Different than Ours.
Everything about the world today is the same as it for seniors, but very different. Live video captures anything going on anywhere in the world. Social media spreads news and more almost instantly. Texting is both informative and destructive while almost continuous. The” Knowledge of Wharton” website published by the University of Pennsylvania present a great article on the impact of social media.
Decades of personal life experience is no longer a primary source of advice. Adult children can instantly find information ranging from pop culture to scholarly lectures on any subject. A lot of of internet searches are inaccurate, irrelevant or incorrect. Sorting through information is part of the life experience of adult children. Trying things in life is no different today than it was for senior parents. The source of ideas to try is different.
Coping with the e-world builds bonds with adult children.
- Accept that adult children often look to the internet for advice first.
- Learn to use the e-tools your adult children use.
- Fully participate in e-activities that your adult children suggest.
- Engage in your own e-activities and let your adult children know.
- Establish clear e-boundaries with your adult children when using social media.
Work is Different for our Adult Children.
Many jobs are the same as they were 20 years ago. The e-world has created a whole new type of work. As an adult, every time I saw my father, he would ask, “Workin’ son?” I encouraged my children when they were applied for work. After interviews, I usually asked how they went. I inquired about how work was going. Working was the foundation of life for my father. Working was a necessary and important part of life for me. Its necessary in the lives of my children but not in the same way.
I looked for stability in a job and always hoped to move up. Adult children today look more for fulfillment from work. I used to think, “If its not illegal and probably won’t kill you, do whatever you are asked to do.” Adult children today often express, “Its not my job but I did it. I won’t do it again.” Human Resources sets the tone for almost any job now rather than a manager or foreman. Fortunately, safety, inclusion and respect are the basis of most work today.
Relaxing with Our Adult Children Can Bring Us Closer.
There will always be the need to relax from work. Commuting for work takes time out of the day. Emails, pms, texts, etc. can create constant pressure to move to the next task. New procedures, machines, equipment, programs and techniques mean constantly learning and catching up. Decreases in staffing but not in production mean more work in the same time.
Senior Parents Giving Advice and Relaxing with Adult Children
- Set times for texting and internet use in your house and stick to them.
- Prepare and eat meals together.
- Talk about neutral things. No embarrassing stories.
- Plan activities that everyone needs to learn plus old favorites.
- If possible, go somewhere together.
- Encourage participation without guilt or tension.
- Stop when it feels like its time to stop.
Parents often “play it by ear” when it comes to helping their kids through life. This is no different for senior parents giving advice and helping adult children today. Because each generation faces the world differently than their parents, senior parents need to be patient as we support our children.