Monthly Archives: September 2017

How to Draw Them In: Maintaining a Close Relationship with Grown Children

Group

Photo credit: Luke Stearns via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

We all know how important it is to spend quality time as a family.  Time spent bonding with children is vital to helping foster a close relationship between parents, children, and siblings. No one can deny there are emotional benefits to all members involved, but how do we keep those bonds in place as children grow up and start their own independent lives?

As much as parents might dread it, kids do have to grow up; they will go to college, move out of the house, and begin lives of their own that are separate from those of the family unit.  Thought they hopefully will continue to visit or call, eventually they will have another home and that will be the center of their focus.  This is where the original family unit either must evolve, or wither.  Parents must be willing to embark on a new type of relationship with their adult children.

Accept their independence.

Parents cannot stop their children from growing up; they must choose to accept their independence or risk permanent damage to their relationships.  The rules must change; for one the parents will no longer be in charge of all the decisions.  Adult children need to feel respected as that-adults.  Adult children will want and need to be able to make their own choices.

Parents must learn to allow adult children to make those choices, as well as some inevitable mistakes.  The time for protecting them from the whole world is over, and though it is hard to let go, the “kids” will appreciate that the decisions they make are truly their own. That doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t accept advice, as long as the parents offer it without trying to control every situation.    If the parents are lucky, the kids may even realize the adults are wiser than they believed during their teenage years.

Give major decisions a voice.

Whenever a decision must be made for the family as a whole, involve adult children in the decision making process.  Whether the issue is a shared family vacation or choosing healthcare options for an elderly member who is incapacitated, the younger adults will appreciate having their opinions heard.  Perhaps they will contribute an idea or argument that older members of the family haven’t considered.  Sharing concerns, and decisions, as a family of adults, will allow those relationships to continue and be strengthened.

Cultivate shared interests.

One of the easiest ways to stay close to adult children is to spend time pleasurable time together.  The activities the family used for “quality time” when children were young may or may not still be appropriate once everyone is considered an adult, so find activities and passions that can be shared now.  Do parents and adult children share a mutual love for certain activities like hiking, working puzzles, cooking or reading?  Find things that everyone can enjoy, either for the entire group or smaller sub-groups, and make time to do those things together.

If regular meetings are difficult to schedule, at least find time to talk about hobbies or joint interests, be it over dinner once a week or a skype call.   If adult children live too far away to visit regularly make the most of the time you have.  Also, consider rotating who hosts the group for family dinners, get-togethers, and weekend trips.

Remember, maintaining a deep family relationship requires work, but is always worthwhile.

Amy

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Amy Caudill’s Reviews > Real Murders

Real Murders by Charlaine Harris
Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden #1) 
by Charlaine Harris (Goodreads Author)

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Amy Caudill‘s review

Aurora “Roe” Teagarden lives a seemingly ordinary small-town life. Beneath her pleasant appearance and demeanor, though, she harbors Nancy Drew-like instincts and a nose for trouble.
Roe possesses a passion for real-crime stories, which she shares with a small local club called Real Murders. The group meets regularly to discuss historical murders- the weapons, the suspects, the victims, the motives- and dissect every detail, sometimes sharing an original theory or two. So naturally, when one of their own is found dead at the meeting hall, it doesn’t take long to recognize the act as an imitation of another crime, or wonder which of them could have something to hide.
This was the first of Charlaine Harris’ books that I’ve read, and I enjoyed it very much. The plot proceeded in a organic fashion, and seemed to grow so that the smallest seemingly insignificant detail was shown to hold meaning by the end of the book.
I decided to also watch the Hallmark movie channel movie based on this book, and thought the contrast between book and cable-ready movie was fascinating. Naturally there were changes, most of which seemed to be “taming down” the book’s action to a more family friendly episode, as the villains in the novel were far more insidious than those presented on the small screen.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery, or simply anyone enamored by a strong, independent heroine.

Be Actively Positive

 

There is still much that is good in this world; it may not be readily apparent at times, in fact it may be downright obscure or completely hidden.  Truthfully there is much to be pessimistic about today-one simply needs to check out the news to see stories about recent natural disasters, not to mention ongoing terrorism, war, politics and the economy.

Most of us have probably met someone who seems to radiate negativity with every breath they take; who drains all the joy from a room just by entering. Being forced to spend much time around such an unhappy person can have adverse effects on the emotional and even physical health of their audience.

What we desperately need to retain our outlook, our optimism, and our sanity, is to seek out that which is positive around us.  By looking around for this hidden gold we can find reasons to be happy even through the most depressing or worrisome events:

  • While life will never be perfect or free from stress or strife, we can be thankful for all the simple things in our life; if we wake up in the morning in a secure home, with a comfortable bed, and have food available to eat, we have found something positive in our day.
  • Each day we get to spend with loved ones, be they family by blood or choice, or close friends, we are experiencing a positive event.
  • Whenever we are privileged to see the power of nature, such as the amazing eclipse many of us recently witnessed, that is another positive.
  • Whenever we get the chance to witness or participate in kindness shared with others, such as volunteering or charity for those in need, it is a positive thing.
  • Whenever we or someone we care for is found to be healthy or recovering from a devastating injury or illness, it is a very big positive in our day.
  • Every day that we can in some way enhance, enrich, or create joy in the lives of those around us, is definitely a positive accomplishment.

All of these positive things together may not always balance out the negative that we face, but they do make a difference; they give us reason to hold on and hope for the future.  Sometimes all we can do is hold on to the positives, so that all the negativity and pain and hatred do not overwhelm us.  By actively seeking out the positives in our day, we can refresh the spirit of optimism, both in ourselves and in those around us.

Here’s to filling our lives with positive thoughts, and turning those into positive actions.

Amy

Hurricane Harvey – How You Can Help

My heart goes out to all those still in need after the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey. Fellow blogger Nicholas Rossis shared this post about those willing to help and links to groups taking legitimate donations of aid.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Hurricane | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Image: http://www.alexstemmer.com via GraphicStock

Deborah Carney of BookGoodies often shares on their newsletters some of the best news and tidbits you’ve read on this blog. Back in 2012, she lost everything in Hurricane Sandy. This taught her a lot about how organizations and the government don’t help the way you think they will. So, Hurricane Harvey now prompted her to compile and share a list of organizations that are dedicated to helping people directly affected. They are “boots on the ground” and not tying your donations up in administrative costs and funding things that don’t really help.

For her, a group of people created a campaign similar to what GoFundMe is now and people all over the world sent money directly through PayPal. She used that money to rent a car and go out once the roads were open, to get supplies and even simply to get a fast food…

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