by Dr. Ken Canfield

Do you support your adult children as parents? Maybe more important …

Do they know they have your support?

Many of us grew up in a generation where many people let their actions do all the talking. But there are times when we need to speak what’s on our heart plainly and with conviction. Sometimes saying it makes all the difference to our adult kids.

And more than that, we should do it regularly, just in case they don’t fully hear or understand the support we’re trying to give them.

If being a parent was difficult for you, try to imagine what it’s like for your grandkids’ parents. The list of potential dangers in a child’s path today are multiplied compared to the simpler way of life we knew as kids. Keeping track of their schoolwork, sports schedules, social calendars, and what they’re seeing on their devices is really a never-ending challenge for parents.

Our involvement as grandparents can help with some of that. We can step in and keep track of the grandkids for an afternoon or, on occasion, a few days. But we get to hug them “goodbye” and rest up for the next time. Parents usually don’t have that luxury.

So, please find ways to communicate your support for them as parents. Here’s how it might sound:

I know parenting is tough, but count me as your team member, your cheerleader, and your biggest supporter. After all, we have something big in common: we both think your children are awesome!

That’s just an example—and you’re welcome to use it word-for-word if you want to … but only once. Come up with other statements that reflect your unique role in their lives and your bond with the grandkids

Now, does a statement like that mean you approve of every decision they make as parents? Not at all. But struggling teams need cheerleaders too. And if you can create a positive pattern and an atmosphere of acceptance and praise, I wouldn’t be surprised if that helps to minimize whatever difficult issues there may be in the relationship.

How do you support your adult kids as parents? Share your insights and encourage another grandparent on our Facebook page.