Ways to maintain healthy relationships with adult children  

Raising children to adulthood can be a difficult journey, rewarding and challenging all at the same time. As parents, we want to raise independent, confident adults with the skills they need to succeed.

But once our children reach adulthood, it can be tough to maintain healthy relationships, especially if your child has moved away or lives an independent life overseas.

It’s easy to become concerned that you have lost connection with your adult children, but you can maintain healthy relationships despite distance or lifestyle choices in many ways.

In this blog post, we will provide some great tips on staying connected with your adult children and leading them toward strong social connections throughout their lives.

Managing your expectations

Maintaining healthy relationships with adult children can be challenging, especially if they are living in a different city or country. It is important to manage your expectations to ensure your relationship remains positive. 

Before conversing with your adult child, focus on what you want to achieve from the interaction and keep an open mind. Instead of expecting immediate agreement from your adult child, take the time to listen and understand their perspective.

It is also important to accept that while you may share similar values, your adult children will have different opinions from yours. Encourage dialogue and engage in meaningful conversations by asking questions and respectfully providing feedback. 

Respect their right to make decisions; don’t try to control their day-to-day activities. In the end, open communication and mutual respect are essential to healthy relationships with adult children. 

You can maintain strong ties even when physically distant by managing expectations through dialogue and understanding each other’s boundaries. Building meaningful and lasting connections with your adult children is possible with mutual love and effort.

Respect each other’s boundaries

Respect is essential for maintaining healthy relationships with adult children. It’s important to respect each other’s boundaries and opinions, even when they differ from your own. 

Respect the ideas of your adult child, even if you don’t agree with them. Acknowledge their right to make decisions without trying to control or manipulate them.

It’s important to communicate openly and often to ensure that both parties are on the same page. Listen carefully to your adult child so that you can understand their feelings and perspective. 

Respect their limits when discussing personal matters – some topics may be off-limits. Show respect by refraining from judging or criticizing them; instead, offer advice and encouragement.

When spending time together, respect your adult child’s preferences and schedule. Don’t push them to spend more time than they are comfortable with. Let them pursue their interests without feeling obligated to do your suggested activities.

Finally, respect each other’s privacy by not gossiping or sharing private information. Respect should be mutual, allowing both parties to feel comfortable. 

Showing respect for your adult child’s autonomy and rights will help create a strong, healthy bond between you. By respecting each other’s boundaries, it is possible to maintain a healthy relationship with your adult children.

Support their decisions

Good communication and understanding are essential to maintaining a healthy relationship with adult children. As your child ages, they will begin making decisions about various aspects of their life. 

It is important to provide them with the necessary support as they do this, even if you do not necessarily agree with or understand their choices.

Rather than judging them for their decisions, try to understand why they made them and provide constructive advice if necessary. Asking questions can be a great way to start this conversation and build understanding between you both.

Encouraging your adult children to discuss their feelings with you is important in maintaining a healthy relationship. Give them space to express themselves openly, as this will make it easier for them to come to you with any worries or issues that may arise.

Communicating with them

Maintaining healthy relationships with adult children begins with effective communication. Regular conversations help build understanding and trust between both parties. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open, as adult kids may not always express their feelings or thoughts in person. 

Ask questions about their lives, goals, and dreams. Showing genuine interest in your child’s life will help them feel appreciated, respected, and understood.

This also gives you a better understanding of what your adult child values in life, which can help avoid misunderstandings in the future. 

Strive to listen more than you talk. Listen carefully and openly to what your adult children have to say so that they understand their feelings are being heard and considered. Make sure to also set boundaries in the conversation so that both parties clearly understand what is acceptable and what isn’t.

Schedule a regular bonding date

It is important to maintain a healthy relationship with adult children. One way to stay connected is to schedule regular bonding time. This allows the parent and child to spend quality, uninterrupted time together. 

Depending on individual preferences, this could be mealtime conversations, nature walks, or other activities that individuals can enjoy together. During these precious moments, parents must remain engaged by actively listening, being attentive, and expressing genuine interest in their child’s life. 

This can foster a sense of security and trust between parent and child.

Never guilt them

Parents must remember that adult children can make their own decisions. Guilting them into doing something a certain way or making them feel like they’ve done something wrong can be damaging and create unnecessary tension. 

It can also limit the ability of each person to express themselves freely, leading to communication breakdowns and further problems in the relationship.

Regarding adult children, parents should never feel guilty about their decisions. 

While it can be hard to let go of guilt around choices made in the past, it is essential if parents want to maintain a healthy relationship with their children. Instead of falling into patterns of guilt and shame, focus on creating open lines of communication where each person feels comfortable and respected.

Most importantly, remember that it’s ok to disagree with an adult child without guilt-tripping them into submission. Listening to their point of view and making compromises can help keep relationships healthy, even when disagreements occur.

Accept feedback

Accepting feedback can be difficult at times, but it is important for maintaining healthy relationships with adult children. Acknowledging and understanding your child’s perspective allows you to develop a deeper connection. It also allows them to feel heard and respected, making communication easier.

Listening without judgment or criticism is important when receiving feedback from your adult child. Instead, focus on understanding their perspective and take time to reflect. 

Providing honest feedback in return is also important, as this will help your child trust you more and ultimately strengthen the relationship.

Engage in constructive disputes

Engaging in constructive disputes is essential for maintaining healthy relationships with adult children. Constructive disputes involve respectful exchanges of perspectives and ideas and open dialogue between all parties. 

During these discussions, it’s important to remain calm and focus on the facts at hand rather than placing blame or getting angry. It’s also important to listen without becoming defensive when an argument arises.

When a dispute arises, it’s important to identify the issue and determine what needs to be done to address it. This could mean developing a plan of action or creating boundaries that need to be respected. It’s also important to express your feelings without attacking your child or blaming them for the problem.

Befriend them

Maintaining a healthy relationship with adult children can be challenging, but parents can take some easy steps to ensure the connection is strong and lasting. 

One of the best ways to foster a positive relationship with an adult child is to befriend them. Parents need to remember that their sons or daughters are not children anymore – they are adults with their ideas and opinions, which should be respected.

Parents can start by getting to know their adult children more personally – ask them about their hobbies, interests, passions, and happy memories. Showing an interest in the adult child’s life will let them know they are valued and respected. 

Additionally, parents should listen carefully when their adult children speak and ask questions to ensure that they fully understand what is being said.


How do you keep communication lines open with adult children?

Communication is key to maintaining a healthy relationship with adult children. You can do this by scheduling regular catch-ups (phone or video calls are great options for those who live far away), sending emails and messages, and writing letters and cards throughout the year. 

What are some things to avoid saying to or around adult children?

Being mindful of how your words and actions may affect an adult child is important. Avoid making hurtful comments or being overly critical about their choices, decisions, and lifestyle. Refrain from using comparison statements or dismissing their opinions. Lastly, avoid giving unsolicited advice unless asked for it.

What are some ways to show love and support to adult children?

Showing love and support to an adult child can be as simple as listening to them without judgment, being available when they need someone to talk to, offering encouragement, or even showing interest in their lives. Showing unconditional love and acceptance is also great for expressing your support.

What are some ways to set boundaries with adult children?

ItIt’smportant to remain firm yet compassionate when setting boundaries with adult children. Explain why the boundaries are necessary and discuss the repercussions if these are not respected. Finally, make sure everyone in the family is aware of any changes in expectations and boundaries.

What are some red flags to watch out for in adult children’s relationships?

Pay attention to any signs of unhealthy or abusive behavior in the relationships with your adult children and take action if necessary. Things to watch out for include controlling language, excessive criticism, physical violence, emotional manipulation, financial abuse, and lack of respect. 


It is important to remember that maintaining a healthy relationship with adult children requires time and effort. It is not easy, as most relationships require work. However, the reward for this effort may be greater if done right than most other ventures in life. 

The key lies in understanding your expectations as well as those of your adult children, respecting each other’s boundaries, supporting their decisions, communicating openly and often, scheduling regular bonding dates, and never guilting them or making them feel guilty for their decisions and actions, accepting feedback from them graciously, engaging in constructive disputes if necessary and being both a teacher and a friend.

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