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Posts tagged ‘Parenting Adult Children’

Adult Children: Refusal To Work

SOURCE:  Living Free

“For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘If a man will not work, he shall not eat.'”   2 Thessalonians 3:10 NIV

If you have chosen to provide a home for your adult child, then it becomes his (or her) responsibility to provide some compensation for you. If he works, he should always pay a reasonable amount of room and board on a monthly basis. You should not provide free living conditions for an adult child who refuses to work. (Read Proverbs 6:6-11.)

God wants each of us to develop a sense of responsibility and to do our part. If you let your adult child take advantage of you, not only do you suffer for it but your child does as well. Allowing him to shirk responsibility enables him to continue living in irresponsible ways.

Of course, there might be special circumstances—perhaps your child is in school fulltime and you have agreed to help for a set period of time. Or he might have health problems. In these and similar types of extenuating circumstances, helping by providing free room and board may be the right thing to do.

It is desirable, if possible, to provide separate living quarters, and even a separate entrance, within your home for your child’s use. You need and have a right to your privacy, and so does he. If this type of arrangement is available, your relationship with your adult child is likely to be much more pleasant.

Father, help us plan these living arrangements in such a way that is pleasing to you. Help my child to grow in a sense of responsibility during this time, rather than decline. Help me to resist the temptation to “baby” my child. I know that is not in our best interests—and is not pleasing to you. In Jesus’ name …


These thoughts were drawn from …

Godly Parenting: Parenting Skills at Each Stage of Growth by N. Elizabeth Holland, M.D.

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Adult Children: Setting Boundaries

SOURCE:  Living Free

Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” Deuteronomy 5:16 NIV

Although it is vital for you to respect your adult child in the way you communicate and relate, he will need to adjust his behavior to keep the rules of your home. God has called sons and daughters to honor their parents.

You have every right to set boundaries and require them to be kept. Do not allow an adult child to take over your home, living any way that he pleases, and not assuming specific responsibilities and duties. Boundaries might include not smoking in the home and reasonable limitations for having visitors.

Your child is a grown adult and will make his own sexual decisions. However, it is reasonable for you to continue to enforce the moral code that you have taught him as long as he lives in your home. You should never allow persons of the opposite sex or of homosexual persuasion to spend the night in your home with your child (Deuteronomy 5:18, Hebrews 13:4, Romans 1:26-27).

Expectations should include maintaining a respectful attitude toward you, doing household chores, yard and car maintenance, keeping his area of the home clean and payment of room and board.

In most cases, an adult son or daughter living at home will want to help and will be willing to live by the house rules. However, there are also instances when he or she consistently refuses to keep the rules or to accept any responsibility. What then? It would be entirely reasonable and acceptable for you to ask him or her to move out. In this case, the child would likely try to instill guilt, but a godly parent who has tried in every way to make the living arrangement work should not feel guilty. You may feel sorrow, pain and regret, but do not feel guilty.

Father, give me wisdom in establishing boundaries and expectations while my adult child is living at home. I pray that he will honor me and my wishes and that this time together will be a good time of drawing closer to one another and to you. In Jesus’ name …


These thoughts were drawn from …

Godly Parenting: Parenting Skills at Each Stage of Growth by N. Elizabeth Holland, M.D. 

ADULT CHILDREN: Moving Back In

SOURCE:  Living Free

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” 

Proverbs 16:3 NIV

For many different reasons, more and more adult children, both male and female, are returning home to live with their parents.

Whatever the reason for the return, the parenting skills you will need to maintain a healthy relationship with your adult child are markedly different from those you used when he or she was younger.

If your child is planning to move in with you, one of the most helpful steps you can take is to sit down with your child before move-in day and establish boundaries and ground rules that are acceptable to both. It is much easier to iron out difficulties on the front end; however, if your child is already living with you, you might still find this step to be helpful.

You might also want to plan a short time, perhaps 1/2 to 1 hour each week, to talk out any difficulties you may be having rather than allowing them to build into major problems.

Ask God for wisdom in setting up the boundaries and ground rules. And then, if your child is agreeable, pray together to commit your plans to Him.

Father, I ask your guidance and help in planning for my child’s moving back in with me. I pray that he will be open to seeking your guidance and committing our plans to you. In Jesus’ name …

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These thoughts were drawn from …

Godly Parenting: Parenting Skills at Each Stage of Growth by N. Elizabeth Holland, M.D.

Parenting an ADULT CHILD: Love and Respect

SOURCE:  Living Free

Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the king.” 1 Peter 2:17 NLT

The key to parenting an adult child is love and respect.

This is especially important if your adult child has moved back home with you. All children are admonished to honor and respect their parents (Deuteronomy 5:16), but all of us are called to respect all people—including our children!

Communication with your adult child is on the level of adult to adult. It can be a tough challenge to respect his maturity and his independence, while at the same time, to maintain your position as his parent. You need to learn to suggest and request, rather than order. And here’s a real challenge—you need to give advice to your adult son or daughter only when asked. At the same time, remember that this is your home, and your child is the guest; therefore, it is reasonable to expect (and require if necessary) that the rules of your home be respected.

An adult child living in your home can cause stress on both you and your child, but both of you can learn and grow from this experience. There will be times for compromise and times for submission. God can use all this as he works to transform you into the image of his Son. As you and your child work through various situations, always remember that mutual respect is a vital key.

Father, teach me to communicate with my adult child on an adult level—showing respect. Help us both to learn to compromise, to submit to each other and to grow in you through all this experience. In Jesus’ name …


These thoughts were drawn from …

Godly Parenting: Parenting Skills at Each Stage of Growth by N. Elizabeth Holland, M.D.

Adult Children Gone Astray

We Raised Our Children To Love And Follow God. Now They Have Rebelled. What Did We Do Wrong?

SOURCE:  Jerry White/Discipleship Journal

“The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him” (Prov. 20:7).

We have all claimed verses like this for our children. But many of us have seen our children struggle and even turn away from God. For those who love God, there is no greater fear than the possibility that their children will rebel and fail to follow Him.

I know hundreds of committed Christians with teenagers and adult children whose difficulties run the gamut—drugs, rebellion, alcoholism, homosexuality, divorce, psychological disorders, immorality, children born outside of marriage, coldness of heart toward God.

These parents ask, “What did we do wrong?” assuming that the fault is theirs. Many godly parents around the world have done all they knew to do to nurture their children in the Lord— yet their children still face many problems. Even though today my wife and I thank God that our own children are walking with Him, we have been through our share of troubles.

When spiritual disaster strikes their children, some parents reason that they are no longer qualified to minister. Guilt, shame, discouragement, worry, and fear invade our hearts when our children rebel. All our biblical knowledge and teaching cannot erase pain that is real and deep.

Let me encourage you not to blame yourselves. As children mature, they make their own decisions, some of which are disastrous. They, too, are sinners, needing their own deep encounters with God. They choose their own actions. You did not make them do what they did. You brought them up to fear the Lord and allowed them to make their own decisions.

In today’s psychological climate of parent bashing, do not fall prey to unfounded accusations. Certainly you’ve made mistakes, for no parent is perfect. But you did not set out to harm your children. If there are areas where you have sinned, confess this to God and to your children. Ask for forgiveness and claim God’s grace Do not wallow in guilt.

If you are struggling with a difficult situation with your teen or young adult child, may I offer a few words of advice and encouragement?

• Realize you are not alone. Other parents have similar experiences. Most important, remember that God is with you (Is. 41:10, Is. 41:13).

• Find a few trusted friends to share your concerns and pain. Don’t put on an “everything is okay” front (Prov. 17:17).

• You are not obligated to explain your family situation to everyone. If curious people probe, merely ask them to pray (Prov. 10:19).

• If you know you have sinned against one of your children, confess to them and to God, asking their forgiveness (Prov. 28: 13).

• Hold your children accountable for their actions. God does (Prov. 20:11, Gal. 6:7).

• Refuse to feel guilty or ashamed. Don’t let your children lay guilt upon you when you know you served God and them with integrity.

• Love them deeply. Be there for them, but don’t always rescue.

• Wait and pray. God is a God of patience and hope. Wait for them to respond. In most cases there will be reconciliation (Ro. 5:3–5, Ro. 12:12).

• Keep ministering. You are still called by God. Satan often seeks to shake us from our calling by attacking our families (Prov. 24:10, Ro. 11:29).

• Submit yourself to God’s sovereignty, both in your life and in the lives of your children (Ro. 8:28–29).

What about outside counseling? It may be helpful, but only if the counselor operates from a biblical base, not just a secular, psychological one. In their book What Did I Do Wrong? What Can I Do Now? psychologist William Backus and his wife, Candace, comment on psychological theories:

Many parents who blame themselves for their child’s problems don’t realize that much of what they’re telling themselves is out-of-date psychological theory and not fact at all. Most are unaware that the theories, in fact, change regularly. It’s important, therefore, not to crucify yourself or anybody else on the basis of a psychological theory!

God’s children, too, rebelled: “Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! for the Lord has spoken: ‘I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me'” (Is. 1:2). He cried in His pain for them to repent and return. Finally, He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for their sin and rebellion.

Christ is our hope. He is committed to you and your children and has not given up on you or on them. In His time He will work in their lives.

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