A Letter to my Adult Children

Dear Sons/Daughters,

It occurred to me last night that you just don’t get me….  So I think i need to try to explain myself – for the sake of all parents out there – because honestly,……we, parents of adult children, are highly misunderstood!

Ok, here it is in a nutshell.  I love you.

That’s it.  That is IT!   ………….     I love you.

Got it? No, I didn’t think it would be quite that easy to explain.

So let me try….

Ok, when you became an adult (basically, this is the time when you were deemed to have enough knowledge and ability to live life without your parent’s assistance. 🙂 – you know, you can hold down a decent job, pay bills, you know right from wrong, you have a good head on your shoulders… )

Uh hum,   When you became an adult….. your father and I switched gears.  Kind of like switching from first gear to second gear when driving a stick shift car…. BUT – I don’t think you noticed.

We no longer tell you what you “can” and “cannot” do. It’s your life!  But we love you.  So we “advise” you about what we see is best.

Because we love you. That’s it!

Did you notice us getting worked up? Getting emotional?  I did.  It kinda annoyed me just listening to myself.  And I know it more than kinda annoyed you.  But when you were two and ran for the road I got worked up too.  Get it?  We love you.  That’s it!

So, I ask you… if you have someone who loves you more than they love themselves (a rare quality that you may not be so blessed to find in the future-I might add….) then why are you so annoyed?  Why do you not put more stock in our “advice”?

When you look backwards and consider if you had taken our advice….what would today look like for you? Better? …. Or not?

just askin……

Nonetheless.  My sweet adult child…. Your father and I do understand.  We do.  Truly.  I know it’s hard to believe but we were young and on our own once.  We wanted to “make our own way”. We wanted to prove ourselves to our parents.  We wanted to succeed by our own abilities without anyone’s assistance.  We do know what it’s like.  Too well.

But, there is one thing….  You don’t know what this is like….

To love someone so wholly.  So completely.  So deeply – a love that you never knew you could feel – so unselfish…. and um, you know, have them misunderstand you.

My advice…. I give it because I’m cheering for you.

I already see you at the finish line.  Successful and victorious.

I know that’s hard for you to believe because you don’t seem to see that for yourself – but truly, that’s how I see you!  I am trying to cheer for you.  Encourage you.

I already see you at the finish line.  Successful and victorious.

That is my problem.  I think all the peripheral is avoidable.  Maybe it just isn’t.  Like the tortoise and the hare.  You remember… the hare ran arrogantly expecting to win the race, as fast as he could.  Meanwhile the tortoise took his time, made a few pit stops and paced himself.  I’m sure you remember that the tortoise surprisingly won.

So, I guess the problem is me.  I guess, when everyone advises me to stop advising you – they are right.  I suppose you do have enough knowledge, wisdom and discernment to do this on your own.  And if you want to do it your way, why not? (cringe)

Well, what was the purpose of my letter anyway? I’m not sure I remember…. oh, yes I do.  Just an attempt to remind you ….. I am simply cheering you on. Not trying to meddle.  There is nothing in it for me.  This is your life.

I love you dearly.  I am surprised how much.  It kinda stinks sometimes.  But I would not trade it for all the money, maids, personal chefs or pearls in the world!!!!!

You are amazing.  You do not have to prove yourself to us.  You will understand one day when your children are grown too.  When they are trying to prove themselves to you – the one who loves them unconditionally without any good reason.  You will see how silly it is that they try to earn your approval when it is ingrained in you.

Then, you will “get it”. 

But for now, I hope part of you will try to believe that we don’t judge you.  You do not need to earn approval that you already have.  We admire you.  We love you.  We are excited about your future and the wonderful choices you have before you.

You, are our favorite people –

and, I, am….

Your biggest fan,



2 thoughts on “A Letter to my Adult Children

  1. Thank you, thank you! For saying what I could not figure out how to say!! I have 5 adult children and it seems that they are all reaching this milestone at the same time! Guess what?? I don’t know how to parent adult children! I homeschooled them and was a part of their every day, all day. This is hard, this is not always fun, this is not what I thought it would be! But, you are right. I have NO motives…I just love them and want the best for them. But, I do want their respect. We will never, ever be on the same level. Ever. I hope they get that, I really do. I’ll always be their Mom, I’ll always have loved them first, I’ll always love them more. One day, they will get it. Let’s just hope it’s not too late.

    • Joy, Thanks for sharing your heart. It is a challenging time as we watch and cheerlead and try not to manipulate – which come soooooo naturally. I haven’t mastered it but it’s a process of turning them over to God – who reminds me often, “I’ve got it,” Meaning.. He will make all things work for their good and will not turn away. You’ve given them a solid foundation…. it will bear fruit! Did you read my softer version of this letter?? It may help you pen a letter to them in due time. May the Lord bless you with His grace – I think it’s the hardest “Phase” of parenting yet!

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