Parenting Teenagers and Adult Children

  • Problems communicating with your teenager or adult child
  • Sleepless nights spent worrying about where your kids are and what they are doing
  • Spinning on what went wrong or what you could have done differently
  • Wondering if it’s just you or if other parents are in the same boat
  • Looking at your kids’ pictures of a few years ago and wondering what happened
  • Trying to figure out what you should still pay for and what you should refuse
  • Uncertain about how to deal with their significant others
  • Limits or boundaries set earlier are no longer working
  • Nobody to share your worries with due to embarrassment or shame
parenting - father and son sitting on a bench and looking at the water

Parenting Challenges

Raising teenagers and parenting adults can be much harder than it appears or than you expected. As the saying goes – little kids, little problems; big kids, big problems. Teenagers and young adults still need you, but in very different ways than when they were younger. There is no roadmap for this longest stage of parenting. Finding that balance, between being present for them when they are ready to connect, while still letting them independently try new things and fail periodically, is one of hardest things for most parents. Counseling can help with your parenting challenges.

When Your Advice Is No Longer Welcome

When you get that late evening call from your teenager or adult child, they may still share their problems with you, but they usually do not want to hear your advice. While it’s really tempting to tell them what to do – you’ve done for so many years, after all – holding back to hear what their plans are will give you confidence that they have absorbed your life lessons and are able to make good decisions. Sometimes they will make mistakes, it is inevitable. As the saying goes: “How do  you get good judgment? From experience. How do you get experience? From bad judgment.” Hopefully, for everyone’s sake, their mistakes are not enormous.

Shaming and Guilt-Tripping Conversations

Accepting the choices your teenagers or adult children make could be extremely difficult. You might not be thrilled with their friends, their partners, or with how they choose to spend their time. Being able to express your concerns constructively, without losing your connection or contact with them could feel like walking a tightrope. Noticing your own gut reaction and observing when you are being triggered is the first step towards making a positive change.

How Elaine Can Help

I work with parents of teenagers and adult children to help them figure out when to let go and when to hang on. We examine options and develop strategies to tackle perennial problems or new situations that come up. I utilize exercises from Gottman Method Couples Therapy to cover effective speaking and listening skills that are applicable to any healthy communication or interaction.

Elaine’s Blog Posts on Parenting

Here is the link to interesting articles for my Parenting clients –

Elaine’s Parenting Resources

Here is the link to various resources I have collected for my Parenting clients –