A parent-child relationship is special- it changes with every new phase of life, as well as during retirement. However, William Schantz has found that strengthening a relationship with your adult child can be one of the hardest things in the world.
Children respond to open communication as it adds richness to their lives. Strengthening a parent-child bond after retirement is a milestone that should not be taken lightly.
William Schantz Explains How to Strengthen Parent-Child Bond After Retirement
1. Acknowledge this New Phase of Life
Your transition to retirement can stir up some concerns and emotions, especially if you have adult children. This makes perfect sense since you are no longer part of the workforce, while your children may have always seen you working.
William Schantz realizes that retiring alters your identity, which means that you must take the time out to restructure yourself and your life. Understand that you have entered a new phase of your life, and share your feelings with your children so that they know how you are being affected during this time.
2. Establish boundaries
You may always see your children as kids, but you must recognize that they are adults now. Both of you will benefit from having clear boundaries, as this will ensure that both of you have the freedom to interact with each other without stepping on one another’s toes.
If you are struggling to establish boundaries, William Schantz encourages you not to give unsolicited advice, visit your children unannounced, or generally undermine the independence that they are used to. While you can continue to have interpersonal interactions with them, make sure that you do not end up stepping on any toes.
3. Find Time to Reconnect
When you were actively working, you may have struggled to find the time to interact with your children. This means that you may not know what kind of people they are today and what their interests are. Retirement is a great time to rekindle your relationship with them as now you have free time.
Finding ways to bond with your children emotionally and socially is important. You must recognize that your children will have busy schedules that you will have to adapt to, so do not let your pride in the way.
4. Express Your Love
You may think that your children know how much you love them, but saying it out loud never hurts. We can get so busy with life that expressing gratitude and care for the people we love may become a thing of the past.
William Schantz understands that adults often struggle with feeling that they were not loved as children because their parents never openly told them.
William Schantz’s Concluding Thoughts
A parent-child relationship can be strained because of everyday responsibilities, worries, and commitments. When you retire, it is time to learn and relearn everything that you know about your child.
While you are older and wiser, you may have to leave your pride aside so that your child can learn to trust you again and appreciate the person you now are.