3 Tips for Moms of Adult Children

Motherhood. Who can begin to put into words all the emotions wrapped up in that role? It’s a wonder we’re not all half-crazy at times. It’s a dichotomy of numerous mysteries: great joys and unending sacrifices. For those who carry their child in their womb for nine months, every change in their body reminds them that life is about to be forever different. They begin to anticipate the greatest odyssey known to mankind—raising another human being. For 6,570 days, their entire life is consumed with thoughts of the child’s well-being. Then BAM! Whether they are the biological mother or an adopted mother, the child leaves the nest after high school and all of a sudden their role forever changes where “mothering” takes on a new purpose. They find themselves starting all over again in learning how to be mom—only now, a different shade they’ve never known before.

I have four adult children who have families of their own. I’m blessed beyond measure! I know where they are walking as young parents because I’ve been there. Yet for the most part, our emerging adult children don’t need us like they did in previous years. They are now seeking confidence in their OWN coping skills and, I might add, without mama. So how can we best aid them in their increasing capacity of taking on adult responsibilities?

First, we pray up. Prayer is our greatest friend and result producer. James 5:16 promises that the earnest and hearty prayer of a mother who loves God will accomplish much through His working power. Prayer transfers our heartfelt desires for our kids into the hands of the One who rules the world and created them. Our children may pass through seasons that worry us, but they are defenseless against our prayers. Prayer is the greatest navigation tool we possess in shaping their lives for a lifetime.

Second, we hush up. It’s a wise mom who realizes that often silence is golden. Sometimes it’s hard to keep our mouths shut because God has given us wisdom through the years that our kids might not have experienced yet. So why shouldn’t we rush in there and just tell them everything we know? Because they may not have ears to hear or even want to hear. Often our children’s life lessons can only be learned by their experience, not ours. At times unsolicited advice can come across as critical and condescending. That’s when restraint and prayerful insight become our most valuable virtues and guiding light.

And finally, we step up. Yes, here’s the best part. We step up into a purpose that has always been true for us and will always remain—our opportunity to be an influencer. We do that by nurturing what lies in our control and dropping the rest. We respect our differences and celebrate their strengths by offering unconditional love. We’re quick to praise and slow to judge. We let our girls know they are valued and beautiful and our boys know the various ways we respect them. We honor them as our offspring by letting go of unmet expectations and seeking their good. We forgive ourselves for the messes we’ve made, and praise God that HE pursues them beyond our former mistakes and missed opportunities because He loves them even MORE than we love them. We simply let God’s grace abundantly flow through us.  And what’s the result? Hopefully our kids can’t help but notice and be empowered in their own life journey.

About Pam Kanaly  

Aloha! I’m Pam Kanaly, President and co-founder of Arise Ministries. But actually, I think Arise found me wanting to bless single moms years ago. Ministry was never on my mind as a kid. All I wanted to be was a hula dancer. So Mother enrolled me in the tiny tots’ class. Guess God knew I’d have two grandbabies born in Hawaii. I love the great outdoors. You might even find me spending time with my husband grizzly bear watching or camping. In fact, it was on a turkey hunt that God gave me the name Arise Ministries in 2002. I suppose it’s a good thing that I majored in Grammar in college since I love to write words of encouragement to single moms.