How to Talk WITH -- Not AT -- Your Adult Children

Crisis Situations

Some things just aren't easy to talk about -- like when a child asks for a loan (or hasn't paid you back) or when you feel that your kid has made a huge mistake or bad decision. But don't let your groundwork go out the window when times get tough. If you've been laying a good foundation with your everyday conversations, you should be able to weather any situation, no matter how dire it may seem. Chances are you'll be able to see problems brewing, and you'll know when to jump in and when to back off.

Remember, this article is about talking WITH your adult kids, not AT them. It might take every ounce of your inner strength, but wait to dispense advice until you're asked. And please, whatever you do, avoid uttering phrases like "I told you so" and "Someday, you'll see things my way." You'll just put your child on the defensive, and the conversation will quickly turn south. And while you do need to say what's on your mind, even if it's difficult, be careful how you say it. Be firm but supportive; it's better to get things out in the open than to let them fester.

For more advice on parenting adult children, check out the links below.

Related Articles

More Great Links


  • Abrahms, Sally. "Oh Brother! With Parents Aging, Squabbling Siblings Turn to Elder Mediation." AARP. Sept. 20, 2010. (May 19, 2011)
  • Chatzky, Jean. "Adapting to Your Adult Children." MSNBC. April 24, 2007. (May 16, 2011)
  • Hill, Judy. "'Don't Bite Your Tongue' Teaches Healthy Communication with Adult Children." Tampa Bay Tribune. Oct. 28, 2008. (May 16, 2011)
  • Schwartz, Becky Perez. "How to Strengthen Communication Between Adult Children & Parents." Examiner. Nov. 3, 2010. (May 16, 2011)