Strained Relationships with Adult Children

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Relationships with adult children are very challenging for many retirement-age women and can be the trigger for deep pain.

image of woman looking sad, representing sadness and confusion about estrangement with adult children

The Underlying Cause of Issues with Adult Children

The root of the issue is that we have needs and expectations that are not being met.

The reality is that we cannot control other people and force them to meet our needs and expectations.

Although this may be a hard pill to swallow, it’s absolutely true.

How to Improve Relationships with Adult Children

What we CAN do, is shift our perspective.

When I was a young mother, I read a poem by Kahlil Gibran that became a guiding principle for my relationship with my children and it has served me and my children very well.      

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On Children

From The Prophet by Kahil Gibran (Knopf, 1923)

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
     And he said:
     Your children are not your children.
     They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
     They come through you but not from you,
     And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
     You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
     For they have their own thoughts.
     You may house their bodies but not their souls,
     For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
     You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
     For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
     You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
     The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
     Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
     For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Release and Let Go

As we accept that we are the “bow” that enables our children to launch their dreams, we are able to release and let go of our expectations. 

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The DreamBuilder Solution

Then, as DreamBuilders, we turn our attention to getting our needs met in other ways. We take responsibility for making ourselves happy instead of expecting our children to meet our needs.

How do we do that?

  1. We create a detailed vision of the life we would love
  2. Focus on it every day
  3. Keep taking action and
  4. Live like the person who is experiencing that joyful life

And the irony is that when we “release the elusive butterfly, it often comes and rests upon our shoulder.” 

Positive energy is attractive energy

  1. We become more attractive and appealing to be around, (our children may notice and come around)
  2. We are energetically aligned with the Law of Attraction that will bring our vision into the physical realm.
  3. We will be so happy and fulfilled that we won’t be concerned about what they are doing or not doing.

Do these tips for resolving issues with adult children resonate with you? Do you have questions?

Share in the comments

I invite you to post in the comments and I’ll be happy to respond.

Here’s to creating a life filled with loving relationships! 

Much love,


P.S. Sharing is caring…who do you know who is unhappy about her relationship with adult children and would benefit from reading this.

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