5 Strategies for Parenting Adult Children

As kids grown up, you would think parenting gets easier, right? But actually, the opposite is most likely true.

Dr. Matt Townsend shares how to parent your adult children to maintain strong relationships.



Parenting Adult Children

There is a tendency to believe that parenting gets easier as families grow older. However, parents of adult children know this isn’t always the case. Here are five parenting principles you can use to govern your interactions with your adult children.

1. Accept Their Agency

As parents of adult children, it’s important to remember that you don’t have the control you once had. Try influencing the process rather than controlling the outcomes. If you want your child to eventually become independent, you need to honor their choices.

2. Respect Their Choice Just Like Any Other Adult

The fastest way to get your adult child to become a grown-up is to respect their choices. Many of the hardest problems parents face is when their adult child makes a choice they themselves would not make. Allow your child to become the person they were meant to be by giving advice just as you would a neighbor or friend.

3. “Let Them Reap What They Sow”

There is a law of development in human beings which is sometimes called the “Law of the Harvest.” If you want your child to thrive in the world, you cannot be overprotective. There is no way to prevent the inevitable consequences of bad decisions. They need to learn to pay the bills and clean up their messes.

4. Adjust Your Game If It’s Not Working

A sign of a mature person is the ability to adjust their behavior while still being effective. Parents need to learn how to adjust their game plan with their adult children. If something isn’t working, try a different tactic!

5. Love Them No Matter What

The number one thing children need to know is that they are loved unconditionally by their parents. When kids don’t do what we want them to do, our tendency is to play the “either or game.” Remember that “my way or the highway” doesn’t work with adult children.

For more than a decade, Dr. Matt Townsend has been energizing audiences with his unique approach to maintaining successful relationships. Known as one of America’s top presenters in the field of Human Relations and Development, Matt blends humor and storytelling with interactive, real-life solutions that inspire immediate results in his audiences.

Matt has dedicated his life to the study of communication and interpersonal relationships. He has shared his experience with thousands of clients ranging from individuals and marriages to large corporations such as CNN, Cox Communication, and Lockheed Martin.

In addition to his professional life, Matt spends his time playing tennis and spending time with his wife Mardi, their six children, and three grandchildren.

Find details about Matt’s next workshop on his website,