As my children get older, I sometimes contemplate, with some trepidation,
what our relationship will look like when they are adults. Wanting
the best for them, and wanting a healthy relationship but realizing
there may be some challenges, I was interested in what this book
had to say. Nancy Williams, professional counselor and life coach,
has written Secrets to Parenting Your Adult Child from
a Christian perspective to help parents who are struggling with
this life stage.
In 12 chapters, Nancy Williams covers the gamut. The book begins
with snippets of stories from both parents and adult children,
defines the framework of a healthy relationship, and includes communication
tips. The author then moves on to mending poor relationships, establishing
necessary boundaries for both parties, and handling disappointing
choices your children make. Marriage, in-laws, and grandchildren
are covered in depth. Nancy Williams touches on some very tough
issues such as living together, marriage partners of a different
culture or faith, same-sex partners, and divorce. There is an entire
chapter devoted to prayer: how to pray for your children, specific
things to pray, waiting on the Lord, and a list of Bible verses.
Other difficult situations are also addressed: military families,
illness, and disabilities.
The last few chapters of the book focus on self-care and viewing
this sometimes difficult stage with fresh eyes as an opportunity
for you and your spouse to grow individually and as a couple. "Leaving
a Positive Footprint" is a special chapter focusing on memories
to make with your adult children and new family members, the example
you show your family with the way you live, and finances and possessions.
The book ends with a chapter on ways to help your adult children
when the time is right and one final chapter on maintaining a good
relationship with your grown-up kids.
Each chapter in the book contains plenty of personal experiences,
questions for self-examination or discussion, and practical action
steps and suggestions. One thing I would like to see added is a
bibliography of additional recommended books should one want to
explore a chapter topic further.
This is a great book for Christian parents who are embarking on
or in the midst of working on their relationship with birds leaving
or in the process of leaving the nest. It would be excellent resource
for a small group or for you to read with your spouse.