Encouraging Your Adult Children’s Careers

Parenting adult children is a suddenly a whole different beast to caring for them when they were young. As your children grew up, you had to adjust to being their parent as they grew into a child with their own opinions and will, and then a teenager with even more of both.

Your parenting boundaries change over time, but when your kids are actually adults, it can be difficult to see where they should be. How involved should you be in their lives? Careers are a new area of their life you might find yourself discussing with them. To what extent should you offer help, and how should you do it?

Talk About Their Careers

You’ve probably talked to your child about careers in fairly vague terms as they’ve grown up. It starts with asking them what they want to be when they’re older and morphs into helping them decide what to do after high school. When they start working, their career becomes a more concrete thing.

They might discuss higher education with you or their goals for developing their career. Just talking about careers is a good way to help your adult child work out what they want and achieve their goals. You can keep up with what’s happening in their life and perhaps offer advice.

Know When to Listen and When to Advise

When you’re discussing your child’s career with them, it’s often important to know when to listen and when to talk. Sometimes, when adult children talk to their parents about their problems, they’re asking for advice. They want suggestions about how they might change things or make a change for the better.

Many adults still value their parents’ advice well into adulthood. However, sometimes they only want you to be a listening ear. They need someone to vent to, and parents are often still the best person for that, even when they’ve become a parent themselves.

Help Them Explore Options

Some adult children can feel a bit lost when it comes to their careers. This might happen for some after college, especially if they struggle to find a job related to their careers. Many graduates today find themselves temporarily living back at home with their parents, and the situation has the potential to become a little less temporary than you would like.

Helping them to find their next step can be one of the best ways to help them. You might suggest some ideas like online courses to continue their education. You could also help them think of directions to take their career in or use your experience to give career advice.

Offer Support

You never really stop helping out your kids. Even once they’ve left home, you might still help them if they need money, a place to stay, or a dining table for their new home. Offering support in various ways can help your adult children work on their education and career. You might help out with paying for postgraduate education, if you’re able, or give them somewhere to stay while they’re studying.

You can encourage your adult children in their careers in several ways. However, you should make sure your help is welcome, and make sure you’re not going too far to prop them up.


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