Difficult relationships with adult children. How to change them?
Family and relationships

Difficult relationships with adult children. How to change them?

It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

In every family there are better and worse moments. This is completely normal. If your relationship with your adult child is difficult, then with a little goodwill on both sides it can be repaired.

Chilly relations with an adult child – what to do?

Relationships are something that needs to be taken care of constantly in the family. Sometimes, in the busyness of other matters, we forget that an untended bond can break down. If this is compounded by distaste after a quarrel (even one so insignificant that we don’t remember the reason for it later), relationships can become difficult.

Such a situation is especially painful if it involves a relationship with a child. What to do in such a situation? Is it possible to repair relations with an adult child? It certainly is. If there were no drastic situations between you, then with good faith on both sides it is possible to rebuild good relations.

Your child is probably also affected by this situation

Before you start fighting for a good relationship with your child, it is worth realizing that this situation is certainly difficult for him too. An adult child also needs a good relationship with his parents, and leaving aside very complicated and pathological situations, he will certainly, like you, want to try to improve your relationship.

An honest conversation is the key!

To rebuild a good relationship with an adult child, it is necessary to explain to each other the reasons for the situation. We do not mean, of course, to accuse the other party of ill-will and to reproach mistakes. All evaluative sentences, such as those beginning with “You never”, “You always”, are best left unspoken. Such opinions can only exacerbate the conflict. A much better solution is to honestly confess that the current situation is agonizing for us, that we care about good relations and therefore we apologize for everything we did wrong and forgive what our child said/does wrong. This attitude is an invitation to talk. However, it is important to remember to do it at the right time and in private.  

How to repair a difficult relationship with an adult child?

Difficult relationships, unfortunately, cannot be repaired with a single “sorry.” It is, of course, an excellent starting point for further action, but it is not a golden mean that will erase what was wrong. So if both parties want to improve relations, it’s worth thinking about spending time together regularly.

Being active together can make it easier for you to repair a difficult relationship, and will make the whole process less stressful than, say, meeting regularly for coffee and a chat. So, for starters, we suggest going out together (e.g. to the movies, to the pool, shopping, etc.) or doing an activity together – maybe you have a plot of land that could use some attention or a room that needs repainting? Take advantage of the situation and ask your child for help. 

Be supportive of your adult child

Surely you remember very well how exhausting the daily life of parents of young children can be. Therefore, if your child is in just such a situation, then perhaps your relationship has loosened due to a flurry of important matters. It is then worth offering to help, such as taking care of grandchildren. Surely then there will be an opportunity to drink tea and talk together for a while. Relationships are best rebuilt in small steps, so such short but systematic meetings will bring more to your relationship than long and irregular outings together.

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