Title: 1. Parental Authority Over Grown Children
2. A Grown Child’s Attitude Toward Parental Authority (articles)
Source: Focus On The Family website
What is parenting
What is parent adult child relationships?
Importance of parent adult child relationships.
What is parenting? Parenting according to Wikipedia is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. It also refers to the intricacies of raising a child aside from the biological relationship.
Research has supported that parental history both in terms of attachments of varying quality as well as parental psychopathology, particularly in the wake of adverse experiences, can strongly influence parental sensitivity and child outcomes.
Good parenting is prerequisite for healthy child development. Oftentimes I hear people say “parenting is simply biology “, this is not entirely true. Parenting is much more than biology. When a child is born, the parent within the capacity they can operate from, give the child the best support system even when they are old enough to cater or fend for themselves. This is not so in the animal world, the moment they reproduce, they spend little time with their offsprings and allow them to go cater and hunt for themselves. Parenting on the human side is eternal, no matter how old we are, we are still our parents children. In the animal world, it’s for a short span.
When it comes to parenting so many factors are considered important and relevant. Factors like; societal norms, religious beliefs and expectations, spiritual, emotional, mental, personal and physical interpretations.
History of Parenting
In our today hyper-anxious world, we tend to look for the meaning of everything to be able to decipher where we ought to be and what we ought to do. The history of parenting can be traced to as far back before time begun. As cultural values change from one generation to another so does parenting styles. The way our forefathers raised their children is quite different from the way our 21st parents are doing theirs but it doesn’t mean either of them is doing something wrong. It simply indicates that the world evolves and so does the way we do things. Despite the changes in cultural values, some things still remains. Factors like objective of parenting, morals and traditions, beliefs and practices etc. – http://www.mombutnotamom.com/2016/09/08/parenting-throughout-history-peek-past/
Parent adult child relationships is the relationship that exist between the parents and their adult children. No matter how old we are or become in life, we will always remain someone’s child. There is no straight jacket relationship or patter of relationship that is expected to exist between parents and their adult children. Parental relationships is expected to exist between children from the moment they are born. Due to health issues, global warming, work preoccupation, time constraints, a lot of parents find it difficult to built meaningful relationships with their children. In Nigeria, it is very rare to see a parent adult child relationships that’s strong because it wasn’t so from the beginning. A typical African home is pedagogical in nature. The father is seen as the Almighty. He has the final say in both political, economical, and social affairs of every member of the family. Not very often do they listen to the cries of their children or their complaints. They forget that as a child grows and goes through the biological stages of development from childhood into adulthood, they begin to display irrational juvenile tendencies that requires attention and care.
Parent adult child relationships is very important for building and developing strong future generation leaders.
Importance of parent adult child relationships
How well do you know your children? Do you know what they feel and how they feel? Do you know what they are thinking of? Do you know what troubles them or makes them happy? Do you know who their friends are? The importance or relevance of parent adult child relationships highlighted below explains further.
- It reduces tension between the parents and the children
- It facilitates all round development in children; emotionally, psychologically, socially, mentally, etc.
- It brings warmth and love that promotes healthy development
- It reduces stress and any form of hostility
- It creates stability and positive energy for the children.
A time comes when a child evolves into an adult and is able to leave his parents’ home and make his own way out into the world, or at least make plans for his first adventure into the real world. It was just yesterday his primary responsibilities merely consisted of earning good grades in school and completing his chores on time without having to be reminded. Being old enough to make the life altering decisions that accompany adulthood for himself; the child is now living a life of his own and expects his relationship with his parents to change. He expects his parents to recognize him as an individual under his own authority rather than a child who must always do as he is told. Is this an unreasonable expectation?
Answers to these questions may be found reading each of the two articles published by Focus on the Family down below:
This article covers a very common conflict between parents and their adult children. Does parental authority still reign over children past the age of eighteen although the Bible commands children to obey their parent? A question this Christian mother asks, although her son declares that he is no longer subject to his parents’ authority now that he is past eighteen. Upon reading this article, I have been very blessed with biblical insight, and would be more than happy to present my perspective. A child growing up and moving into adulthood is a part of God’s plan for each and every individual; 1 Corinthians 13:11(KJV), “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things,” no matter how unique each path for that specific individual may be. As a result it is only natural and healthy for the child to strive for independence and choose how he wishes to live his own life. He is no longer a dependent child, rather he is becoming his parents’ peer or equal. As a result, he is in a position of self-responsibility and is under God’s authority now that he is old enough to leave home and navigate the real world on his own. His right to personal autonomy accompanies a thorough understanding of the consequences that are apart of making personal decisions. Furthermore, personal decisions are not merely based on his parents’ orders rather on his understanding of morality and God’s design for life. Needless to say, a child is not to discount God’s command to honor his parents, instead his parents are to recognize his newfound maturity and autonomy. There is no biblical age limit for honoring one’s parents. Honor and respect only fall under a different set of dynamics in alignment with the child’s personal growth and level of maturity. For instance, honor involves respect and respect entails- a polite attitude, civility when communicating with one’s parents, and taking care of one’s aging parents. Honor doesn’t mean that a child must do everything a parent tells him or her to do and accept every piece of advice. Yet, let’s not ignore the problem of dismissing sound advice or denigration of the opinions and concerns of the parents. Let us now answer this difficult question: Am I still commanded to submit to my parents as an adult? Now, the answer is yes, but…. I personally find this question to be very difficult for me to answer being an adult myself. I find it very frustrating to maintain my autonomy as an adult without editing God’s seemingly inconvenient principle. All the same, I know that submission holds its place with parents and children of all ages. However, I think submission varies with each individual situation and set of circumstances. For instance, for those who still reside with their parents, they are subject to the rules of their parents’ home plain and simple. On the other hand, suppose visiting arrangements are made, children must treat their homes as though it were their parents’ homes- by meeting their needs, coordinating schedules, and providing comfort. In no way, should submission to one’s parents ever involve a child having to obey his earthly parents above his Heavenly Father.
It is oftentimes exceedingly frustrating for many young adults to reconcile their right to personal autonomy with the need to obey their earthly parents. As mentioned in the first article above, adulthood is a biblical principle, and autonomy comes with adulthood. At this point, he or she is on the way to becoming his parents’ peer or equal. The question that most baffles young adults, including myself is: Now, how are young adults and their parents supposed to adapt to the changing dynamics of the relationship while adhering to the biblical pattern of obedience? Autonomy- be it mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, or even spiritually- is a part of adulthood, plain and simple. Remember, that is a responsibility rather than a privilege. In this position of self-responsibility, an individual makes decisions that are not merely based on his parents’ orders. For instance, a twenty or twenty-five year old individual doesn’t intoxicate himself with drugs and alcohol, refrains from premarital sexual activity, or decides to keep good company for the reason that he understands the importance of a healthy lifestyle and his desire to honor his Heavenly Father with his body and soul. Parental approval should have no initial influence on the decision making of an adult child. In other words, adults will make decisions based on what they believe is best for their personal well-being, regardless of their parents thoughts, concerns, opinions, or even beliefs. Also, as an adult, an individual has a right to decide whether or not to take his parents’ advice and if their belief system jibes with his. It would behoove his parents to accept his difference in values and opinions, rather than denigrating him for it. That is not to say, he must dismiss any piece of advice his parents give him. His role of respect comes in when he courteously listens to his parents and allows them to have their own set of values without any form of denigration. It is also a parent’s place to give their grown child advice rather than orders. It is also a sign of maturity for an adult to understand the good place her parents come from when they give her sound advice, rather rejecting it without giving any second thought. Overall, no matter the age or stage in life of an individual, God has placed no age limit on respect. That it is not to say that he is still subject to his parents’ orders. Rather, he is obligated to love, cherish, and care for his parents. Also, the degree of autonomy varies on each and every individual’s stage in life. A few basic questions involve: How far over eighteen is the individual? Is he or she single or married? Is he or she working or attending school?
The answer to the question in the first paragraph is no. An adult individual’s capability to understand morality, the ramifications of immorality, and his awareness of self- responsibility demonstrate his readiness for autonomy. Personal autonomy is also a healthy aspect of maturity. Emotionally, an individual is able to face the trails and challenges of life without feeling the need to cling to others, especially his or her own parents. Mental autonomy provides a strong sense of self and a personal life agenda.
Another common issue that many parents and adult children struggle with is the rules of the family house. Speaking from personal experience, it is a very difficult situation to navigate. Seeing that each situation is different, it is impossible to make one general assessment. However, I strongly recommend calling the Focus on the Family counseling department if frustrated and in great need of biblical insight.
This topic is open for further discussion, so please feel free to request further commentary.