A guide to building a strong family bond with your adult children, including a family strength-building workbook.
Do you want to improve your relationship with your adult children?
With the holidays and a new year and new decade approaching, this is a great time to begin working on some family relationship goals. Something that I hear quite often among my friends, is that now that their children are older – from older teens to those that are now adults and living on their own – their relationships with them have changed.
They long for the days when the kids were small and life was simpler. Since no one can go back in time, the best that can be done is to evolve and work on strengthening the family from the current point in time, with grown adult children.
To begin, gather a clear vision in your head of what your family should look like. Are you envisioning something out of a Norman Rockwell painting? The adult children return home for the holidays and everything is honky dory and happy?
Norman Rockwell’s Christmas Homecoming
This may not be a practical vision to hold on to, but that doesn’t mean you can’t strive for better and deeper family relationships.
Today’s family may not resemble the paintings of Norman Rockwell, but that is okay. Times have changed and we must change with them.
Family is about function and not structure
It is common to mistake focusing on the family structure instead of the internal family functioning. There are strong single-parent families, strong step-families, strong nuclear families, strong extended families, and strong families with LGBT members. For every family structure you can imagine, there are numerous strong families. Likewise, every type of family structure around the world also has many families that are not functioning well.
Benefits of Building Stronger Family Bonds
Your family can benefit by developing stronger relationships. Each family is unique and will benefit in different ways.
People in strong families deeply care for one another and regularly express their affection.
Strong families spend time talking and listening to each other.
Successful Stress Management
Strong families possess the ability to cope with daily stress factors and deal effectively with crisis. They work together to meet inevitable challenges when they occur.
What Keeps You From Being a Closer Family?
What obstacles stand in the way of you and your family sharing a closer bond? As our children grow up, move out, start careers and families of their own, it may be much more difficult to maintain the closeness you once had. This, however, does not mean you can’t still be close. With today’s technology (texting and Facetime, for example), it is easier than ever to stay connected.
Some of the most common areas that need strengthening in an adult family are:
It is important to look at your current strengths and identify a plan to strengthen areas of weakness. There are certain to be successes and missteps along the way to building your family’s strength. Keep working at it. With a positive mindset, you can grow a great deal and get your family to the realistic place you envision.
I have created a workbook to assist you with developing family strength with your grown children.
You can download it for free here.
You may be interested in my other self-help worksheets: