Your affection for children certainly doesn’t weaken throughout the years. And the same is true for them as they always look for your appreciation and kind words. So why does that parent-adult child relationship in your family go less full-hearted? Maybe you even sense the passive aggression from your son or daughter and see them going distant in communication?

Problems like these usually have two causes. First, it’s tough for you to accept that your offspring take care of themselves independently and don’t depend on you as much as they did back in their childhood. Secondly, there are plenty of activities they prefer to do rather than spend time with their families.

As you can see, it is quite natural for your grown kids to stand for their independence and wish to have personal boundaries. You’re still welcome as a part of their life, and as a caring parent, you can figure out a normal parent-adult child relationship. It would only take you to adapt to a slightly different role.

Key Elements of a Healthy Parent-Adult Child Relationship

These are several cornerstones of a close-knit and deeply trusted parent and adult-child relationship. By committing to these principles, you will show each other care, acceptance, and encouragement. These relationship elements may eliminate miscommunication problems between you and your adult kids. They also generally strengthen your self-confidence and self-perception as an honored and loved individual.

Mutual Respect

Teaching respect towards you personally and obedience to parental guidance was vital for kids’ safety as they were growing. But as they go through the adolescent years and step into adulthood, the role of the parent evolves too. There’s no longer a need for you to care for the younger generation. And what’s more important to understand about normal parent-adult child relationships – you are no longer responsible for the decision-making and behavior of your adult kids.

Hence, you should allow kids to manage their lives to build mutual respect. You must get used to the fact that you can no longer tell them what to do since they are adults. You should also realize that a healthy parent and adult child relationship is about caring involvement, not directing someone’s behavior. The children would appreciate your attention to their affairs but don’t like overprotection. Besides, letting each other speak their minds and listening patiently helps a lot. You can learn what the children love or hate about your attitude to change your behavior and improve the relationships.

As we’ve already outlined in our post on miscommunication with elderly parents, it’s essential to treat a person respectfully in conversation and listen more than talk. The same principle works here.


Building a cheerful parent and adult-child relationship should be an intentional process. Sadly, most people don’t realize that keeping in touch and spending family time together takes effort. The everyday schedule of an average adult can get packed with tons of work duties, child-rearing, and social life. So take time to plan and discuss it with kids the day you can devote to family hours.

If you wonder how to incentivize grown children after you’ve been disconnected for a while, the best way would be to start with a few warm words. Ask what they enjoyed last time and let them talk for themselves instead of annoying them with nosy questions. By the end of the conversation, you’ll likely hear that they would be glad to hear more from you.


Agreeing is sometimes challenging for even the most close-knit families. To reach a compromise that would foster a normal parent-adult child relationship, we advise you to know the purpose of every sensitive conversation. For instance, you may want grandchildren to decide where to spend the holidays, in a summer camp or at your place.

The same works when a family comes together on particular dates and holidays. You’ll likely admit that meeting each other on a specific day with zero enthusiasm isn’t the way to go. Remembering the bright and joyful family moments is more important than sticking to the plans. Hence, if your children don’t feel like coming, don’t get offended and arrange a get-together the next time.

The mutual respect and acceptance of your role as a grandparent must guide you in dealing with relatives. This way, you can fulfill a healthy parent-adult child relationship and get along with your extended family.

Mutual Benefit

The bottom line of developing a satisfying parent-adult child relationship is when both parties benefit from them. Apart from financial support and providing each other with timely aid for better livelihood, there is much more you can offer.

You can discuss each other’s problems or just listen to make your loved one feel better. It soothes your worries and encourages you to overcome challenges.

People can mutually benefit from a robust parent and adult child relationship as they start to appreciate each other’s support and dedication. Being mutually grateful is an excellent way to build closer ties.

6 Steps: Practical Suggestions for a Healthy Parent-Adult Child Relationship

If you want to be closer with your kids, you may need to change something in your current relationship. Let’s see what behavior strategies you may adopt for a normal parent-adult child relationship.

1. Be a Grandparent, Not a Parent

The kids expect you to be a loving grandparent, so step aside and let them be parents for your grandchildren. They’ll gladly ask for your assistance or advice about childcare, but the last thing they want from you are demands or commands. Be willing to accept and respect their decisions on what after-school activities grandchildren should take, what schedule to follow, etc. 

2. Make Room for Others in Their Lives

Remember that your son or a daughter also has a commitment to their spouse and in-laws. They also have friends, co-workers, and many other people to spend time with. Show your emotional support by embracing the people your adult kid loves. Another healthy thing about normal parent-adult child relationships is to accept that a married person naturally puts their partner first.

3. Respect Personal Boundaries

It may be hard to put up with the distancing of grown children. But personal space is crucial for emerging adults to gain confidence in making decisions and nurture their individuality. Welcome it as significant progress in their life and feel proud of them instead of taking offense. Do not pay visits without invitation, and choose appropriate hours for lengthy phone chats.

4. Share Your Favorite Activities

If you lack intimacy in a parent and adult child relationship, you might always take on something you enjoy doing together. Take camping, hunting, and fishing, for example. Most active labor, crafting, and sporting activities are also great for keeping close and open to each other. So have fun and share a common passion. Yet don’t forget to ask your children what they like before arranging an activity.

5. Settle a Disagreement Effectively

The tension between young and old generations is hard to avoid, and it’s okay. The University of Michigan found that parents encounter it more frequently with their adult daughters. But despite the disagreements overshadowing a normal parent-adult child relationship, you still can nip a conflict in the bud.

Don’t rush to oppose your kid’s thoughts. Let them talk without commenting. Remember, if you wish to be heard, express yourself in an appropriate tone and give reasons without the taunts. Sometimes, it might be better to take a break from each other to calm down. Go to unwind or sleep on it to come up with a balanced solution.

6. Be Willing to Listen Rather than Talk

It’s hard to overestimate the role of restraint in normal parent-adult child relationships. Sure, you might struggle when suppressing the impulse to object or resent in conversation. But before you bring in any suggestion you deem unquestionably right, take a few seconds to reconsider the situation. Perhaps, there’s nothing worth being concerned about, and you simply feel distressed because of a tough day?

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Last Update: 26 March 2024