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May 2011
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Transformational Talk

Adult Children Refusing Advice

What can you do when your adult children refuse advice on serious issues of health and welfare? For parents accustomed to shouldering responsibility for dependent children, having input refused is often a painful experience. This is especially true when those adult children are going through hard times. The problem is that no matter how “right” your advice, young adults (unless mentally incapacitated) need to find their own way — even when that brings more suffering for them.

Here’s the tip: First, look tenderly inside to find the part that’s scared. Tell yourself, “of course I’m scared, I would do anything to prevent harm to my children, and now my hands are tied.” If possible ask a loved one to be with you for support. If alone, put your own arms around you. Stay in your body. Shake, tremble – feel the warmth of sheltering arms as you as you allow fear to move through. Next, tell yourself, “I no longer have control here.” Notice what arises when you acknowledge your helplessness. It’s okay to let go. You’ve done what you could. Allow the peace of sweet surrender to fill your heart.

Finally, see if you’re ready to take responsibility for something new – trusting that your children will learn what they need to learn. Now is the time to increase your connection to God, Spirit, the Universe, so you can let your children know you have faith in them. This is what they need from you now. ©

Penelope Young Andrade, LCSW Call: 858-481-5752 fax: 858-484-8374 email: