Trust is crucial in any relationship but is especially important in a parent/child relationship. Unfortunately, trust can easily be broken but it is very difficult to be repaired. Many young adults believe their parents and other older adults are “clueless”. It can be tricky moving from the parent/minor child relationship to being a parent of a young adult. Suddenly, it feels as if everything is changing and parents can sometimes find it impossible to relate to their child, much less develop a relationship built on mutual trust. These tips, offered by At the Crossroads, can help.

Understanding the Young Adults Mind

Understanding a young adult’s mind can be extremely difficult for many parents. It is important parents take time in talking with their child and learning what type of adult they have become. Learn about their beliefs, life goals, and struggles. This can be discovered through developing an ongoing dialogue.

Change from Adolescence

It is paramount parents realize their young adult child is not the same person they were as an adolescent. Developmental changes continue well into early adulthood so a parent may suddenly feel as if they no longer know their child, which can be disheartening.

Don’t Be Too Serious

One of the biggest mistakes parents can make in their relationship with their young adult child is to be too serious. While there is a time for being serious, there is also a time for having fun. Parents are often surprised at their child’s reaction when they get outside of the box and begin to experience fun and excitement with their child. This can lead to a stronger bond and trust development.

Finding Common Ground

Finding common ground is an easy way for parents to gain the trust of their child. Although young adults often find their parents to be “uncool”, they are frequently surprised they have more in common with them than they realize. Finding a hobby, social cause, or even a sport you both like can bring stronger trust levels to the relationship.

Trust Don’t Pry

Parents often feel they are entitled to information about their child’s life simply because they are the parent. This can be a problematic approach when it comes to trying to build a better relationship built on trust. All young adults are different in the way they keep their lives private. It is important parents do not push for information but show interest when their child does share a portion of their private life.

Share Your Stories

When a parent begins to share their life with their young adult child, they may be surprised to learn how this can open up the lines of communication and instill a greater level of trust in the relationship. Believe it or not, a parent’s stories about the mistakes they have made growing up can actually free a young adult’s mind so they are not so worried about making mistakes on their own. Once they realize their parents are actually “human”, they can relate to them on a much deeper level.

Allow Room for Mistakes

It is important parents give their young adult children room to make mistakes. If a parent is there to pick up the pieces every time their child makes a mistake, the level of trust can become too much, to the point a child relies on their parent more than they should. A natural balance needs to occur so a child can become independent, yet not feel alone as they spring forward into self-sufficiency.

At the Crossroads understands the importance of parent/child relationships. We help struggling young adults who are finding it difficult to transition from adolescence to adulthood. Our residential independent living program works with troubled young adults who may have mental health concerns that may have caused them to turn to substance abuse for relief.

Our unique program focuses on every aspect of healing so a holistic approach is taken. When young adults graduate from our program, they are ready to be self-sufficient adults who are free to live their lives independently while feeling confident in their ability to do so.

Related Article: Enabling is Disabling: Parents Let Young Adults Find Their Own Way

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