This applies to your young adult children as well. To build your relationship, show an interest in their lives. Not by being nosy or probing, as if trying to get them to reveal their hidden secrets, but in an authentic caring way.
Here are some examples to get you started:
"I miss talking with you. What's new and exciting in your life?"
"You've been my heart lately. Are you okay?"
"I've noticed that you're spending more time ____________. What do you enjoy about ____________?"While your young adult may say "nothing" is new and exciting, or she is simply "fine," don't be discouraged or retreat back into your old way of communicating. Keep your tone non-threatening and light and continue to show that you are truly just wanting to connect and have a conversation. That you love her and want to know her better, to be involved in her life adult-to-adult. You will always be her parent, but you want to also transition into being her friend. I know some young people already consider their mother or father their best friend, but I'm not sure this is the general rule.
If you insist on continuing to parent your young adult rather than developing a bond between two adults, your young person is less likely to come to you with his questions, problems and concerns.
Don't use your advanced years (LOL) and wealth of experience to lord it over your children, but inquire about their lives from the position that you really want to know who they are. No matter how well you think you know them, I can assure you that there are layers of complexity just waiting to be explored. Strive to find the right questions to reveal them.
Do you agree? What questions do you find effective as conversation-starters?
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