When young adults leave the home for college, work or travel it’s helpful for parents to remember to treat those children like the young adults they are says Dr. Teresa Simonelli, who focuses her practice on people moving through transitions.  This week at the Embrace Change Fall Series Program I, “How to Promote Productive Communication with Adult Children”, we came away with important, yet simple tips to use while speaking, texting or e-mailing young adult children.

  1. Remember to ask, “Is this a good time to text or chat?”  If not, work out a time that is convenient for both of you.
  2. Together decide on a time for you to call your adult child if you have not heard from them at the agreed upon time. This can be reassuring to both parent and child.
  3. Be aware of how many questions you ask your young adult and try not to pry.  Ask general versus specific questions to get the conversation going.
  4. Remember to listen carefully to them and let them finish their thoughts while they are speaking.
  5. Mirror the conversation and reflect back to them what they are saying so they know they are being heard.  Be sure to validate their feelings. 
  6. Empower them by turning a question back to them, for ex:  What would you like to do about _______?  What are your thoughts about ________?  What might your options be _______?