Raising children is rigorous and can be physically, emotionally, and financially draining. Someone once said, “The choice to be a parent is the choice to have your heart walking around outside your body as long as you live”. My oldest child has entered the world of adulthood. Where she once stepped all over my feet, she now steps all over my heart. And I love her beyond what any words can express. The nature of our relationship is changing. It is beautiful, and I’m loving every minute of it. But I am not without questions.
Today’s adult children that are just graduating and seeking employment are feeling the repercussions of the Great Recession of 2007-2009, and their struggles are unique compared to any other generation in history as they try to find their way of independence in the world. Today, the nest does not empty as quickly, and sometimes after the nest has been empty for a while, they come back. This can present conflicts that we must work through, such as differences in lifestyle issues and rules of the house. Hurdles to independence may need parental intervention. Or not.
Ross Campbell and Gary Chapman help us understand the nature of adult children today and show us how to build a healthy relationship in their book How to Really Love Your Adult Child. Along with insight to understanding, they also address grand-parenting, becoming an in-law (not necessarily in that order), as well as how to continue to take care of yourself. They address forgiveness for hurts on both sides and how to handle conflicts and draw boundaries, whether or not your adult child is back in your nest.
Dr. Campbell and Dr. Chapman are qualified to give such advice on many levels – occupationally, educationally, and experientially, especially in a personal sense. One complaint I have is that this book is dated. I’m a Gen-X parent, and the book is aimed at the baby boomer generation, as if the baby boomer authors do not realize that Gen-X parents are now entering this realm of adult children. But they have experience with much of what they talk about and advise. Some of their illustrations seem overly optimistic and fake, but they also sprinkle in illustrations with not-so-idyllic endings. So overall, they do a great job of being helpful while positive and inspirational. I would recommend this book to any parent of adult children ages 17-40 who is seeking some uplifting advice and understanding of their adult children.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review.