All families are the same
All families are different
Over the last few months, I’ve interacted with several people who’ve told me details about their families. This is how we argue. This is how we celebrate. This is how we communicate. This is how we hide our real feelings. This is how we hold our breath.
I ask this question. Is it healthy for parents and adult children to communicate everyday? The answer may surprise you.
The answer is, it depends. The amount you communicate is less important than what you talk about. The tipping point is being enmeshed. This is not a good thing. If an adult child believes she must conform to her parents’ attitudes, values, and beliefs in order to be accepted and or loved, the adult child is not an individual and is not independent. This is the definition of an enmeshed family relationship. It doesn’t matter if she and her parents talk once a year or once a day, this is an unhealthy family relationship. It does not allow for differences or individuality. It says, “I will love you if…” A healthy family relationship says, “I will love you.”
Some of us talk, digitally or actually, to our adult children every day. We miss the connection when it is absent. That connection may be as simple as sharing our anticipated schedules, or as complicated as a spiritual discussion. Some of us exchange info once a month and it sounds like people are doing nothing more than ticking off boxes of info. What matters is intent. Are you judging? Are you “shoulding?” If the answer to either is yes, then you are in an enmeshed relationship. Do not offer advice unless it is requested. Allow the other to be him or herself without direction. Parents, you had your opportunity to rear the child, now it is time to accept and enjoy the adult.