How to Parent Your Adult Children with GRACE

We’re back again today with the final post in the Summer Sizzle Series!

Teaming up with some of my very favorite blogging friends, we are offering a series that Summer Sizzle Serieswe are calling, “Summer Sizzle.” 

Each week, I’ll be sharing the best articles from several amazing women that I personally know, pray for, do ministry with, and dearly love.

Today, you get to enjoy the wisdom and the words of my friend Deb Wolf. She’s one of my most precious friends and one of my favorite bloggers. And, this post is so good!

I believe you will be blessed by what you read

I’m not a perfect parent.

I’ve always known that, but for a long time, I thought, at least, I was perfect for my children. I don’t know if that’s true either.


One thing I do know to be true.

I love them. With all my heart. I love them.

Not perfectly, but completely. Always have. Always will.

I don’t give much parenting advice here because well . . . I don’t have much to give. Each child is unique and what worked for me may not work for you and what didn’t work for me might be the answer for you.

Since our children have been grown for some time, I do however have some advice on loving your adult children well.

How to Love Your Adult Children Really Well and Parent them with Grace:

How to Parent Your Adult Children with GRACE

1} Pray for them.

I’ve always asked God to bless and protect my children.

Since watching the movie, War Room, I’m getting very specific in my prayer requests for them.

I want to be in the battle for my children and grandchildren.

2} Tell them you love them. Often!

They simply never outgrow the need to hear the words, “I love you.”

Think about it.

You know it’s true.

3} Forgive the past.

Sure they messed up.

They may have messed up BIG, but forgive and believe God is able to work His plans and purposes in them.

Believe in their hope-filled future.

4} Don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answer to.

Your children are on their own.

Deeply personal questions can come with answers that make you uncomfortable.

Do you really want to know about your child’s sex life? Finances? Or the details from last Saturday night?

If they want to talk about it, be a good listener but don’t ask.

5} Give them room to grow and to grow up.

Everyone changes.

Admit it.

You’re still growing and learning.

You don’t have everything figured out. Neither do your children.

But they’re learning and growing . . . that’s what’s important.

6} Remember, it’s okay to say, “no.”

They’re adults.

You don’t have to say yes to every request for money or childcare or….

7} Refuse to manipulate them with guilt.

They didn’t call.

It’s okay.

Maybe they’re busy. Maybe they’re REALLY busy.

Give them grace, then remember phones go both ways.

Call them.

Better yet, text them. It only takes a minute to type, “I love you.”

And remember . . . it’s okay for them to say ‘no’ too.

8} Give them the freedom to make life choices.


Where they’ll live?

Who they date or marry?

You know you have opinions, but it’s their life.

Don’t pressure them or make them feel you’ll be disappointed in them or that you won’t be there for them if they choose “poorly.”

9} Give them freedom over holidays.

Balancing relationships is challenging.

Remember what it was like when you were trying to please your parents and your in-laws?

Maybe you still are.

It’s okay to celebrate on a day other than the holiday itself.

The important thing is enjoying time together not when you do it.

10} Give them a verbal pat on the back.

 They still want to know you’re proud of them and think they’re doing a good job.

Tell them.

11} Respect their parenting decisions.

If they say no sugar don’t try to sneak your grandchild a cookie.

If their boundaries are too rigid or not rigid enough for you… remember – they are the parents. You had your turn. And NEVER disagree with their parenting approach in front of your grandchild!

You had your turn. And NEVER disagree with their parenting approach in front of your grandchild!

And NEVER disagree with their parenting approach in front of your grandchild!

12} Offer a listening ear with a tender heart.

They don’t always need advice. Most of the time they just need to know you care and that you’re listening. You don’t have to have all the answers. Just be available.

Most of the time they just need to know you care and that you’re listening. You don’t have to have all the answers. Just be available.

You don’t have to have all the answers. ust be available.

Just be available.

13} Toughen up. Avoid giving in to hurt feelings.

They probably hurt your feelings occasionally when they lived at home and it’s possible they’ll say or do something that hurts after they’re grown. They’re not perfect. Neither are you. Let it slide.

They’re not perfect.

Neither are you.

Let it slide.

14} Respect their boundaries and expect them to respect yours.

Boundaries are good for all relationships.

It’s important for parents and adult children to have boundaries too.

Call before you drop in.

Ask don’t expect.

Define off-limits topics.

And expect respectful conversation.

15} Pray again.

Life is moving at an amazing speed for your children.

They need your prayers more than ever and more often than you think.

Let me be perfectly honest with you.

I didn’t get here quickly. You won’t either.

I’d completely invested in my kid’s lives. I gave it my all, and I didn’t really want to let go.

But… it wasn’t about me.

It’s about allowing them to be the people God created them to be and sometimes the best way to do that is to simply get out of the way and let Him do His work.

And always remember…“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

About the Author:

Deb Wolf head shotDeb is a passionate blessing counter who loves to study the ways faith and life intersect. This year at Counting My Blessings, she is sharing The Relationship Project – How One Relationship Affects All Others.

Deb lives in Missouri with her husband and furry child, Sadie now that all of their human children are grown and have little ones of their own. And yes, being a grandparent is the best!

She’s hoping you will join her on PinterestFacebook, and Twitter.

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© Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Blessed wife of Randy for over 25 years, mom to two great college students, blogger, women's ministry coach, speaker and author who is amazed by God's grace-

10 thoughts on “How to Parent Your Adult Children with GRACE

  1. Hi! My name is Josan Louw. I am very concerned about my daughter (27) and fiancé (33). They don’t want anything to do with God or Christianity. Not attending church. Not worrying about being saved. This is a big concern for me. They are staying together and both doing very well in their careers. But there is just no relationship with God. We are staying 80 kilometers from each other and I visit them once a month for a weekend. When I want to pray for food or just talk about faith, they’re getting irritated and uncomfortable. They are good people. Doen’t go out often. Love each other. And have very nice friends. Renovating the house they bought. It is just that they don’t think they need God in their lives!

    1. Hey Josan,

      Thank you for stopping by to share today. I will pray with you for your young adult children.

      One of my favorite ways to pray for my kids is this, “Lord, would you draw the hearts of my children back to you. Would you woo them and win them again? Would you put some people in love with Jesus in their lives and stir them to want more of Jesus themselves? I ask You to intervene as only You can. I let go of my kids and give them over to You. You love them even more than I do. Thank You that You can do this. I entrust You today with these kids that I love.”

      We love. We pray. We care. And, we give them over to God for His care.

      Each time God brings you to mind, I will lift you and your kids to Him. He can do this!

      Keep me posted~

  2. I finally sat down to read this article and it’s wonderful. I have two adult sons, a great DIL, and two grandlittle boys I adore. It is a great perspective on parenting adults…especially needed as I will be moving onto my older son and his familys property soon…about 75 yards from their home.
    It’s hard to “let go”…but I pray to follow your suggestions even more (some I do already). Thank you for the arty, thank you for sharing!

  3. I needed this post. I have three adult children and two adult grands. I have been seekin God about appropriate boundaries. Thanks for the repeated instructions. They spoke strongly at just the right time.

  4. Great information! I desire to parent my adult kids as winsomely as my mom. Two things she did were irresistible and drew me and my siblings to want to share our lives with her: she never hoisted expectations on us (to call, to visit, or be anyone different than who we were), and she took an active interest in what interested us. She had a curious posture toward us, always acting fascinated by who we were becoming.
    When I asked my social media followers what one thing their parents did RIGHT, the theme was similar–not applying pressure.

    1. You are blessed, Kit!
      What a great example your mom has set for you!
      And, not applying pressure… what a great theme for all of us parents.
      Sure appreciate you stopping by today to leave a comment!

    2. Kit, It sounds like you are blessed with an awesome mom! It’s not easy to step back and let our kids grow into who they are supposed to be! How wonderful that your mom has encouraged you and your sibs! God bless you!

  5. Thanks, Melanie! It takes grace and patience to do this parenting thing . . . as you well know. AND I’m so very thankful for the grace and patience my children extend back to me!! I need it just as much (maybe more) than they do! <3

  6. Thank you, Deb, for a wonderful article about dealing well with our adult children!
    Awesome words. Awesome advice. Very practical!
    I pray that we will all take these words to heart and learn to parent with grace.
    Sure am blessed by you~

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