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Help! My Adult Child Is Too Independent

Kim Muench March 2023

Kim Muench, Becoming Me Thought Leader

“Help! My adult child is too independent and doesn’t really call or communicate much.

Is there something I can do to encourage more involvement, or do I just need to move on… And, if so… how…”

In my private coaching practice and through my social media on TikTok, I have seen an increasing number of parents complaining their young adult or adult children are going LC (low contact) or NC (no contact).

The goal of parenting is to raise kids so they will become self-sufficient, independent, productive members of society. But they will always be our kids whom we heavily invested our time, energy, and resources into while they were growing up. We care about how things are going and want to remain in touch. In contrast, they get busy with their lives. And for the most part, we should be grateful they are doing so. 

“Given the opportunity of their share, listening to understand is key.”

How To Find Balance:

If I were in a situation where my adult child was responding less or not responding at all, I would not avoid the situation any longer wondering what might be going on. The stories we tell ourselves can be untrue and further harm the relationship if there is something amiss.

The first step: Reach out with a phone call (not email or text.) Leave a message if need be. Share your concern and express you’d like to connect and talk through anything that is hurting the relationship.

Hopefully your son or daughter is willing to talk with you if they are unhappy about some experience or aspect of your parenting. Given the opportunity of their share, listening to understand is key. 

Listen To Understand:

If you listen to defend yourself. Or, say something like, “I did the best I could at the time” this will not be well received. Set aside your feelings and put on the shoes of your son/daughter. See the situation from their perspective – even if you believe your adult child is too independent.

The next step is to acknowledge what you’ve heard by reflecting back the main points and ask, “Did I understand correctly?”

Mental health and well-being have become much less stigmatized over the past few years. Young people are learning they can (and should) allow themselves the range of feelings. Something else to consider would be to work with a therapist on your own emotional wellness.

Expressing an interest in repairing the relationship, understanding what behaviors are troubling your son or daughter, making a sincere apology when needed, and following up with a shift in behavior is the path to improving the connection.

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Kim Muench Becoming Me

About the Author:

Kim Muench (pronounced minch, like pinch with an “m”) is a Jai (rhymes with buy) Institute for Parenting Certified Conscious Parenting Coach who specializes in working with mothers of adolescents (ages 10+). Knowing moms are the emotional barometer in their families, Kim is passionate about educating, supporting and encouraging her clients to raise their children with intention and guidance rather than fear and control. Kim’s three plus decades parenting five children and years of coaching other parents empowers her to lead her clients into healthier, happier, more functional relationships with compassion and without judgment. 

You can find out more about her mission and services at www.reallifeparentguide.com. She is on Facebook at Real Life Parent Guide, Instagram, and on LinkedIn as well.