The what-ifs can paralyze our souls and wreak havoc on our confidence as parents. One of the greatest heartbreaks for a parent is watching a child waste his or her life, potential, or opportunities with poor choices.
One woman said to me, “I’ve been through a lot of pain in my life, but I’ve never felt heartbreak like I have through the poor choices of my kids.” A friend of mine whose son struggled with drug and sex addictions put it this way: “It feels like a death. Or at least the death of a dream. No doubt about it, ‘big children bring on bigger problems.’”
When your young-adult kids have serious adult-sized problems, the kind that can derail a healthy and productive life, your heart may break, but your child’s choices don’t have to break you. Your child’s regrettable decisions do not make you a bad parent. Even good parents have children who make poor choices. It may be too late for prevention, but it’s never too late for redemption. Miracles do happen. Sometimes they take the form of a rapid change, but most times they are a slow climb toward a better life.
Author C.S. Lewis wrote, “Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.” Your child’s failures may well become the foundation for a whole new life. This is the power of redemption.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR ADULT CHILD MAKES REGRETTABLE CHOICES
No one said parenting a child who violates your values would be easy, but the best chance for success is when there is good communication and understanding between you. Here are some strategies that work.
Offer your adult child tough love.