4 Steps to Parenting Your Adult Child


Parenting continues even as your children enter into adulthood, but your job description changes as you release them into God’s hands. Dr. Randy Carlson explains.

Parenting continues even as your children enter into adulthood, but your job description changes as you release them into God’s hands to accomplish what He intends for them.

After you guide your children through the challenges of life from birth to adulthood, you will find that your coaching is not quite finished, and there will be some “overtime” to play. This is an important phase for you to handle prayerfully and intentionally.

There are four steps you can take to parent your adult children:

  • Know your role. It is no longer your responsibility to be a sole provider – or job interview companion. Provide emotional support and encouragement. Be a friend and, when appropriate, share advice you have gleaned from your experiences, and convey the confidence you have in them.
  • Hold them accountable. As adults, your children need to forge their own way. Early on, they may have a tendency to rely on you as a backstop for bad financial or relationship decisions. Allow them to experience the consequences of their choices letting them learn the lessons God has for them.
  • Treat them with respect. Respect is a two-way street. You can’t ignore negative behavior or allow yourself to be bullied by your children. Your respect and love for God’s commands also means you will be intentional about what He wants you to do as a parent.
  • Let reality be the teacher. Ultimately, this means releasing your children. It will likely be the toughest thing you do as a parent, but it is the only way for them to reach their God-given potential.

Being intentional in all areas of your life is vital and will carry over to impact how you parent during the “overtime” years. Remember, your duty is no longer to catch your children if they fall, but to release them God’s intentions for their lives.


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