Some more thoughts on #8 of my Top 10 List for Parenting Young Adults ...
#8 - LISTEN!
Now, here's the truth: We parents of young adults have some wisdom; the hard-earned kind, the kind that comes from livin' life. It is a good thing to want to share some of that wisdom with the humans we love, the humans we have raised.
The problem comes with how we think we should dispense that wisdom. Too often, we want to offer it on our timeline. Thus, it falls on deaf ears.
Which is really too bad.
What to do?
Influence - the offering of wisdom, advice and guidance - is found, I believe, at the end of a road paved with listening, asking open-ended, genuinely curious questions and deep investment in the lives of our young adult chlidren.
Let me explain:
As your child makes the transition to young adulthood and beyond, change your listening to speaking ratio to about 10:1.
Ask your growing-up kid about all the things they are interested in and showing passion for.
And ask in light-hearted, curious, gentle, genuine ways!
"Tell me more about .........."
"What kinds of things are you reading these days?"
"Can you teach me what you are learning about ..........?"
"That is so cool! I wish I had pursued that when I was your age. What are you loving the most about ............?"
And then, invest in their lives! Make time to visit them, wherever they live. Include them in group texts. Send them a care package just because. Learn about their friends, and love them no matter what. Budget well enough that you can take them out to dinner, include them in your vacations, if possible. Simply be available and show up in their lives. Even if they seem a tad irritated by your presence. Trust me, if you play your cards right, this investment will pay off.
When you do show up, remember ... shut up.
Listen, Learn, Love ...
And one day ... at the end of the road of listening, asking and investing ... they just might ask you for your advice.