Christmas is almost here, and if youre like me, your empty nester heart is overjoyed at the idea of having your chicks back in the nest, even if its for a short time. In fact, you may have expectations for the time together that you may not even have consciously realized! Caution!!! Potential Danger Zone Ahead! Parenting adult kids can be tricky. It takes thoughtfulness and intentionality. You cant let yourself default back into mom mode! Today Im sharing five dos and donts to keep in mind when your adult kids come home for a visit.
As always, you can click any image (including the collage above) or pink text link in this post for more information.
The collage above represents only a TINY portion of whats in the Empty Nest Blessed Gifts for Teens & Young Adults section of the Gift Guide!
Denim PJ Pants | The 5 Ingredient College Cookbook | Bubble Tea Kit | Microwave Smores Maker | Spikeball Game | Homesick Candle (all states available) | Customized Monogram Wireless Charging Pad | Gemstone Nightlight | OMG! Mom Was Right About Everything Mug | String Lights with Bluetooth Speakers | Tile Sport | Earwax Candle Kit (gag gift box!) | Cactus Throw Pillows | Headbanz Adulting Game| The Bullet Journal Method | My Brain is 80% Song Lyrics Sweatshirt | Charging Cord Bracelet | Clocky Rolling Alarm Clock
DO Remember the Generation Gap
Millennials and their younger siblings, the members ofGen Z, may appear choosy, and they want everything individualized. They question everything and tend to view systems and institutions as untrustworthy. (Dont take this personally!) They want to do meaningful work in an independent environment, so their careers may involve a lot of job-hopping (which may look bad to you). Be mindful of the fundamental differences between males and females when communicating with your adult children. Typically, when we talk to our sons, we get a factual run-down of whats happening in their lives. Our daughter tends to lead with heremotionsand usually just needs to vent (without needing our solutions to her problems). Also, bear in mind that the relationship you have with your single kids and the married ones will be very different. Respect the boundaries that marriage represents andwork on your relationship with your childs spouse.
DONT Give Unsolicited Advice
When your adult kids come home, its easy to slip back into parenting mode without even realizing it!Ive found that parenting adult children is mostly about learning to hold your tongue until they invite you into their lives and ask for your input. When you do speak, make your words count. Honor and bless them for who they are and for the praise-worthy things you see in their lives. This will involve lots of smiling, nodding, and use of phrases like, Thats so interesting! Huh!, and of course, the old standby, Well, okay then, there you go! If something questionable comes up, say something like, Tell me about that. or Help me understand that. in order to keep the conversation going.
DO Show Unconditional Love
Remember that children ofeveryage long for unconditional love and approval from their parents. We all tend to speak love to others out of our primary love language and then we wonder why the message wasnt received! Instead, consider your adult kids love language and speak to him/her in the way that it will be best received.
DONT Forget Your Goal
If your goal is to have a meaningful adult relationship/friendship with your adult kids, then take the time to consider the other significant relationships in your life. What are the characteristics of a good friend? Good friends are trustworthy, loyal, and dependable, encouraging, positive, kind, and thoughtful. Theyre good listeners, non-judgemental, and they express empathy. Theyre supportive in good times and bad. They respect your time and are fun to be around.Be that personwith your kids.
DO Let Them Be the Experts
As your kids leave the nest, theyll learn and grow. Most likely, theyll become experts in a field thats not familiar to you. When your adult kids come home, you can bless and encourage them by asking intelligent questions about their area, listening to their answers with interest, and asking follow-up questions. Everybody likes to share their knowledge and insight. Give your kids a chance to show off a little. And then encourage them by telling them how impressed you are with them. (You really will be!)
Gift Ideas for Teens & Young Adults
When I put together this category of the Empty Nest Blessed Holiday Gift Guide, I included gifts for teenagers, kids in college, soon to be graduates, those getting their first apartment, those just entering the workforce, and even those a little farther on in life. (Bob: Off the payroll is the goal! ) Your kids will always be your kids, no matter what their age, so youll also find some fun (and silly) gifts that only a mom and dad would give.
Books Admittedly, most of your adult kids probably read their phone screens instead of books, but there are a few excellent titles that I felt were worthy of giving to our older kids.
- Have you heard of a Bullet Journal? (AKA BuJo) Equal parts day planner, diary, and written meditation, bullet journaling is meant to turn the busyness of life into a streamlined system that helps individuals be more productive and reach their personal and professional goals. Typically, it has customized sections to log daily to-dos, monthly calendars, notes, long-term wants, and more. You tag entries with bullet points, dashes, and other graphics in order to see categories at a glance. (Hence, the name bullet journal. ) This trend is HUGE with Millennials and Gen Zers. The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll (the pioneer of the BuJo movement) would make a great gift for your young adult.
- I think everyone needs a basic cookbook, and How to Cook Everything byMark Bittman is full of over 1000 beautiful photos that illustrate every technique and recipe. Another great option explicitly written for college students is The 5-ingredient College Cookbook by Pamela Ellgen.
- To inspire your young adult kids, The Bucket List by Kath Stathers is a fun guide to adventure for your passionate travelers.
- For books only a mom would give: 101 Secrets for Your Twenties by Paul Angone is full of hilarious, honest wisdom. Specifically for your boys, 50 Things Every Young Gentleman Should Know, and the companion, As a Gentleman Would Say: Responses to Lifes Important (and Sometimes Awkward) Situationsare wonderful guides to real-life by John Bridges. For your girls, I love 50 Things Every Young Lady Should Know: What to Do, What to Say, and How to Behave by Kay West. Its an updated take on the ageless idea that every girl should know the appropriate and courteous responses in any situation. (Imagine that!) Finally, Dear Daughters is a sort of spiritual love letter to the next generation of girls. #lovethisbook
Tech Ive got a few unique tech gadgets on my gift guide that I think your kids will love.
- Keep their heads warm and their tunes on with this Bluetooth beanie for him(under $20), and one with a cute faux fur pom on top for her. (These even allow you to talk on the phone, which could be handy when Mom calls, just sayin. )
- Your kid will love this eco-friendly reusable whiteboard notebook. They take notes, instantly save their hand-written notes to cloud services like Dropbox, Evernote, or iCloud, then wipe the page clean and reuse. #brilliant
- A wireless charging pad is always a good idea, and this site has lots of customizable ones.
- When it comes to phone batteries, there are just times when everyone needs a boost. Two options I like are this solar-powered one and this one with built-in A/C plug for wall charging andcharger cords. For your girl on the go, check out this cute charging cord bracelet!
- When it comes to fun tech gifts, Im all about these 26 cord of 80 decorative string lights and 4 Bluetooth speakers for under $20! Another fun idea is this wearable Wi-Fi & Bluetooth camera(under $25).
- Tile Sport means nobody is losing keys, wallets, or phones. They would never buy this for themselves! I guarantee theyll thank you for it down the line.
- Now that theyre adults, they have to get up in the mornings for class or work without your help! The innovative Clocky Alarm Clock on Wheels will get them up in no uncertain terms. (Awwww, just like you used to do! )
- You really should get all of your adult kids a cell phone sanitizer/charger. (I mean, its the go-to gift that all thegood mothers are givingbut no pressure. )
Fun No matter what your relationship with your adult kids is like, sharing a laugh is always a good thing, amirite?
- I think this Earwax Candle Kit gag gift box is about the funniest thing going! My family loved it, and now its a family tradition to wrap a really good gift inside and give it to someone! The box is only $7.99!
- Remind them that mom is always right with this coffee mug.
- Help them remember their roots with these Homesick Candles that areformulated with input from locals in individual states. Agenius idea!
- This unisex tee will remind them of the good old days
- Add the ingredients, ice, and then play with this ice cream ball. Then, open it up and indulge! Yes, really! #geniusfun
- These faux denim PJ pants are hilarious! If hes late for class, he can just go as is
- This universal bike phone mount is under $15.
- Spikeball is the fun game sweeping college campuses! (It would also make a fun Christmas afternoon activity!) Click here to see how to play.
- Ever play the hilarious family game Hedbanz? This is the adulting version!
- This mug has a basketball hoop built right in, and its big enough for cereal!
- An emergency roadside assistance kit is a gift only mom would give, but hey, it could save a life one day.
- This hilarious graphic sweatshirt says, My Brain is 80% Song Lyrics. (Hey, we all know the feeling!)
- Im always trying to get my daughter to drink more water! This pretty insulated water bottle looks so much more expensive than it is, and it will let her fruit-infuse to her hearts content! (Free shipping/returns!)
Theres lots more in the Empty Nest Blessed Gifts for Teens & Young Adults Gift Guide! Check out the full section HERE.
Whats up for you this weekend? Bob and I are so excited because as youre reading this, were heading to Miami for his company Christmas party! (You helped me decide what to wear in THIS post, AND I perfected my makeup look in THIS post!) Be sure to watch my Instagram for BTS pics!
Next week, Im bringing you a SO in the KNOW post, and Ive got some good scoop to share! After that, were going to be talking all about the latest beauty craze: the quest for dewy skin!
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