What Are the 7 Things You Should NEVER Tell Your Adult Children?

Have you ever wondered what are the things you should never tell your adult children?

Being a parent is never easy, regardless of how old your child is. One of my friends once told me that young kids equal small problems, while adult children mean big problems, and to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.

I know it’s tempting to always want to share your wisdom with your sons and daughters and tell them what they should or shouldn’t do, but there are some things you should never tell your adult children. You know they’re mature and they’re capable of making their own wise decisions, and unless they ask you for a piece of advice, they might feel like you don’t trust them enough you constantly feel the need to play your part.

I get it because it’s hard for me too to not get involved in my daughters’ lives, but then I remember that they’re over 30 and they know how to take care of themselves. If you struggle with giving your kids space, I’ve got you. I want every kid-parent relationship to be happy, loving, and supportive, and if you want to be called and visited weekly, these are the things you should never tell your adult children!

tell your adult children
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1. “When are you getting married?”

Okay, we start with something big but necessary. Many years ago, people used to get married when they were very young because of society’s rules, family obligations, and poor education. As the years went by, things started to change more and more, and we know we now have all the time in the world it takes to meet the love of our lives.

However, if you’re scared that you won’t have grandchildren anytime soon, I can understand how frustrating it can be, but you should never ask your adult kids when they’re getting married, especially if they’re single or freshly out of a relationship.

They might need time to heal, to find something with whom they can hit it off, or maybe they’re already in a relationship, but they want to be certain they want to spend the rest of their lives with that person. Whatever their relationship status is, you don’t need to put more pressure on them by asking when they’ll get married or when they plan on giving you grandchildren.

Give them space and let them live their lives as you would’ve loved to live yours. If they ask you for a piece of advice, go ahead and do it, but try to be respectful of their privacy. Trust me, it will be very appreciated.

This is only one of the first things you should NEVER tell your adult children! Keep reading, because we have many things to talk about!

2. “When I was your age…”

Each generation is unique, and everyone has their own struggles and challenges. Society changes constantly, and people want to align with it, so the things you went through when you were younger are different from those your children have to face.

If you tell your adult children things like “When I was your age…” you will make them feel uncomfortable and unappreciated, and you surely don’t want that. If they complain about different things to you, the best thing you can do is ask them if they need help or if they only want to be listened to.

If you acknowledge their struggles and genuinely seem interested in what they have to say without being judgmental, they will appreciate it, and your relationship will be a lot better.

3. “You should’ve listened to me”

Oh yes, the “I told you so” phrase is one of the worst things you could tell your adult children. This will give off the impression that you don’t believe in them and that your way would’ve worked better.

Saying something like this will only shut down communication, and they won’t appreciate it. While I totally understand why you’d like to tell them they should’ve listened to you, it’s better to focus on the present and support them in finding solutions to make things right.

tell your adult children
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4. “You should be more like your sibling”

Here’s one of the worst things you could tell your adult children: be more like your sibling. Comparison is the thief of joy, and when parents pin brothers and sisters against each other, get ready to see some flames.

While they surely love their siblings, a grown-up child will feel inadequate and unappreciated. They might think that there’s something more valuable in others than in themselves, and they can develop resentment. Focus on their strengths and how they overcome their journey, rather than on someone else’s achievement.

5. “You have to work harder”

You don’t know all the struggles your children have to face every day, and telling them to work harder than they already do can be harmful to your relationship.

They will understand that they only struggle because they don’t put in enough effort. Recognize their hard work, encourage them to strive for better, work toward achieving their dreams, and offer your help. Don’t push it; just let them know that you’re there for them when they need it.

If you don’t believe me when I say that this is one of the worst things you could tell your adult children, I’m going to share a story with you. My daughter is 26 years old now, and she got her first job after she finished high school. She was a waitress at a restaurant in Wisconsin, and she kept complaining that she didn’t have enough money.

I didn’t ask her what a working day looked like (she sometimes worked for 17 hours) or how much tips she was making. All I did was tell her that she should pick up some extra shifts. She started crying, and she didn’t talk to me for a week straight. Don’t make the same mistake I did, and don’t tell your adult children they should work harder, and you have no idea how much effort they put in each day. Know the facts before speaking.

Do you know any other things you should never tell your adult children?

tell your adult children
Photo by BearFotos from shutterstock.com

6. “Don’t say this to your partner”

While relationship advice can sometimes be appreciated, it might be one of the things you shouldn’t tell your adult children because they might not take it well. For instance, if your children are in a long-term relationship or even married, they might not enjoy your opinion.

They probably want to tell you what’s been happening in their lives, but if you constantly keep taking sides and telling them things like “you’ll end up alone if you keep doing that,” it will cause more harm than good. Couples should solve their issues with one another, not with friends or parents. Keep your distance from their relationship and only advise if they ask you to do so.

7. “Don’t be sorry for yourself”

It’s natural for someone to feel sorry for themselves when they feel like things aren’t going the way they planned, but if you tell your adult children to stop it, you can come across as disinterested and harsh.

It’s important to encourage them to feel their feelings, to understand their emotions, and to help them find a way to feel better and to evolve. They will love your approach and will feel that you’re genuinely there for them!

What do you think about these things you should never tell your adult children? Let us know in the comments below! If you want to get closer to your family and have fun when you’re together, I recommend you check out this board game. It’s a conversation starter, and it will make all of you laugh!

With that being said, if you want to check out something else from Psychology Diary, here’s an amazing article for you: Subtle Signs of Dementia: 6 Important Things You Need to Know




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