Honesty with Adult Children

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Anonymous asks, “I struggle with whether or not to be honest with adult children.

I’m curious what other moms think or if they have had honesty backfire.”

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17 thoughts on “Honesty with Adult Children”

  1. Definitely a layer of honesty. If they hurt me, I will let them know but am trying to change that as they try very hard to be kind to me all the time.
    Communication with adult children can be a challenge for sure.

  2. Must admit I censor my honesty. Don’t tell them when I’m down or not feeling great. If their partner upsets me innocently don’t say a word. But if they upset me will give the look and the eyebrow raised usually get sorry mum if they want to tell me something sympathise but never criticise their partner. Perhaps as I get older will stop trying to be tactful. The reason I try to be nice is because I had constant criticism and made me very resentful

  3. Everyone has things they don’t want to share with anyone else. And that’s fine. When it comes to your adult children there are still stages that your relationship has to go through. Layers of honesty. Eventually there comes a time when you can both be honest without having an argument. Don’t drop any guilt bombs. They want to feel like an adult, not a child. Respect on both sides is key.

  4. Treat your adult children with the same respect you would a dear, trusted friend. Be truthful, be kind. If it’s not kind or necessary or is hurtful just don’t say it.

    1. I’ve always been honest with my children from the time they were old enough to understand they all are grown now. Just explain things to them at their level of understanding.

    2. Hard to be honest when relationship is fragile…..when adult doesn’t get past the past,yet does love you….sometimes the relationship is a double edged sword.

  5. Depends. If it is just occurring to you now it is probably too late to build a respectful adult relationship. Part of the trouble with families is bad communication because the parents haven’t adapted to the child’s ages and stages as they have grown but continue to treat them like a child. Maybe the child hasn’t grown up much either. If you are all mature rational adults honesty should be part & parcel of conversing.

    1. What young person is mature & respectful ? Its gone by the wayside in our cases
      mum of 2 adult men
      Gfs are high & mighty& emotional bullies,
      & these 2 have become besties
      Just had a baby
      & both granparents are shut off from info & such.
      Horrible!

  6. Depends on what you’re thinking. I would never be dishonest and lie to them, but neither would I feel compelled to tell them everything. I try to treat them like I would any other adult; some things I talk about, somethings I don’t. It depends on the situation.

  7. Depends on what you’re talking about when you say honest. I am honest but I don’t honestly come out and tell them how much they have hurt me. Part of me feels I should but part of me says just leave it alone, things are better now. Part of me wants to but at the same time, scared it will just dredge up old issues and makes things worse again. Its definitely something to think about or leave it in the past and move on. It all depends, normally I’d say honesty is best.

    1. Boy do I feel you! We forgive our kids when they hurt us without intention. We are, after all, the parents. I feel like time will teach them and if it doesn’t…well, they may have been unteachable, as happens sometimes despite good parenting.

    1. I learned from my own Mom children are wanting to help but maybe neither know how much, parent or child. It is very hard to reserve roles and ask or give advice

  8. I try not to tell my daughter my pain and worries but in reverse order when my mum was elderly I tried always to be upbeat. Sometimes all you want to do is have a good cry and cuddle with family. I would never lie about illness pain yes. Good luck

    1. Sometimes I withdraw honesty I always say to what benefit would it be to all If I ponder that thought most times I let it go Do you want to be right or have a relationship is another I say to myself
      Egos are fragile Your the parent and wiser ones can sometimes just be quiet 🤐

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