Managing Relationships with Adult Children

multi-generational family enjoying dinner together at home.

Managing relationships with adult children can be especially challenging during religious holidays like Easter and Passover when our adult children don’t share our values and if they are estranged, it can be incredibly painful. So I thought it would be helpful to offer some tips this week.

Tips to Manage Relationships with Adult Children When You Don’t Share the Same Values

Neither my son nor daughter subscribe to any spiritual belief system, in spite of my best efforts. LOL And here I am a DreamBuilder Coach who teaches a program based on spiritual principles!

However, I don’t make this into a big problem. As I shared in my previous article on this topic, Strained Relationships with Adult Children, I follow the advice of Kahlil Gibran that “Your children are not YOUR children.” The way I look at it is that I did my best to teach and set a good example and that’s all I can do.

On the other hand, one of my coaching clients has adult children who DO subscribe to the family’s religious practices, but they have conflicting opinions on how the country should be managed. She and her husband have chosen to avoid that subject as much as possible.

It’s a fact that trying to control other people will always backfire, so we choose to release and let go — to be at peace with the things we cannot change.

This is how we maintain loving relationships with our adult children in the face of societal changes that cause children to not automatically embrace the values of their parents.

Managing Relationships with Adult Children Who Are Estranged

photo of senior couple looking worried about managing their relationship with their adult children and mother is sending a text message

What if there is complete estrangement from your adult children and your DreamBuilder vision is to have a loving, harmonious relationship with them? What action can you take?

Well, for a geek like me, internet searches are a good place to start. All the answers for life are on the internet right? LOL So I did a little research and found this helpful article written by a licensed Marriage and Family Counselor, Debbie Pincus, MS LMHC, Estranged from Your Adult Child? 5 Things You Can Do. It explains:

  • why some adult children distance themselves,
  • some things you can do to connect, and
  • how to take care of yourself emotionally in the process.

Why Some Adult Children Distance Themselves

Pincus explains that

“We humans manage stress in pretty predictable ways. We have a fight or flight response just like other species. And some people are more prone to distancing (flight) when emotional intensity gets high.”

I know I’m that way and I think it’s a good strategy when tensions are high. However, at some point you have to get back together to resolve the issues at hand.

Lack of Communication Skills

Most of us were not taught how to communicate effectively. There are lots of books and courses on how to communicate effectively, but it takes practice. In many cases it will be quicker and more effective to work with a therapist.

The Role of a Coach

photo of Mardi Lynn, certified DreamBuilder Coach and Owner of Dream Big and Bloom Coaching

As a DreamBuilder Coach my role is to encourage you to honor your longings and discontent and to pursue your vision of the life you would love by taking action. Sometimes the action is doing research on the internet or reading a book; and sometimes it might involve working with a psychotherapist. Your Higher Self will guide you.


What I know for sure, is that there IS a solution available and you truly CAN feel happy, rich and free if you stay focused on your vision and keep taking action.

I invite you to read the article, How to Manage Estranged Children. Then post in the comments and let me know if it was helpful and if you have any questions.

Much love,

P.S. If you feel stuck, I can help. Book a complementary strategy session and I’ll show you how.

P.P.S. 80% of coaching clients say that they improved their self-esteem or self-confidence thanks to coaching. (2009 International Coaching Federation (IFC) Global Coaching Study)

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