A Mom's Guide to Communicating with Your Adult Son

You adore your grown son and want to keep in touch with him. However, things don't always turn out the way you expect.

Communication within the family might be difficult. It's all too easy to fall into old habits that have been reinforced over time. It's hard to believe that the child you raised has a job and children of his own.

Changing the way you communicate with one another can help you improve your bond and avoid misunderstandings. Use these tips to communicate with your adult son.

Staying in Touch with Your Adult Son

Are Zoom calls or FaceTime enough? Parents and adult children who connect face to face have more beneficial relationships, according to studies. Use technology as a supplement rather than a mainstay if at all possible.

Try these strategies:

  1. Prepare in advance. Even if you live in the same home, your relationships will most likely be more fulfilling if you approach them with intention. If you're miles away, this is even more critical. Schedule time together on a regular basis.
  2. Share the interests you have in common. If you share similar interests, you'll have more to talk about. Get curious and learn what you have in common. Maybe it's cooking, playing games, or working on home improvement projects. When you find out what those activities are, you can plan to occasionally do them together.
  3. Take a vacation together. Family vacations leave a lasting impression. A change of scenery might also make it simpler to try new ways of communicating with one another. Choose a location that will appeal to everyone in your group.
  4. Invite your grandchildren over. Spend time with your grandchildren and get points with your own children. You'll have a good time with the kids, and their parents will be able to relax.
  5. Make time to communicate 1:1. Family gatherings are nice, but it's also important to connect personally. Having private conversations and outings with your son can support a stronger bond.
  6. Pick up the phone. Technology has its limitations, but it's still useful. When you can't see each other, communicate using regular photo calls, as well as video calls and text messages.

Conflict Resolution with Your Adult Son

Family disagreements are common, and they can bring up intense emotions. Even so, if you deal with them constructively, they have the potential to bring you closer together.

Keep the following things in mind to help you avoid problems:

  1. Pay attention. Spend less time talking and more time listening to your adult son. Instead of formulating your rebuttal, pay attention to what he's saying. Be encouraging by using positive facial expressions and gestures during the conversation.
  2. Maintain boundaries. Tell your family how you want to be treated and what will happen if you go over your limitations. Show them the same respect and courtesy.
  3. Define your priorities. Choose the beliefs and ideals that matter to you. In other areas, be adaptable and willing to compromise to make sure the decisions made are something everyone can live with. 
  4. Let go of your preconceived notions. Enjoy the fact that your son has grown into a strong, independent individual capable of making his own choices. Provide moral support but refrain from offering unwanted advice unless a major health and safety problem exists.
  5. Sincere apologies. You're sure to let each other down or struggle to find common ground at times. When appropriate, be quick to ask for forgiveness and be generous with second chances.
  6. Show your gratitude. If you practice gratitude, you'll probably encounter less disputes. Consider the characteristics you admire in your son. Let him know you care about him and value his accomplishments.

Establish a good, mutually beneficial relationship with your adult son. You will be able to have important talks and have fun if you communicate openly and respectfully. You may like your new friendship even more as your interactions continue to change over time.

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