How to Help Your Adult Child Break Out of a Rut

They say that living life to its fullest starts with doing what you love. The thing is, it’s not always easy to live that dream life. Work demands, especially if you’re not in love with your job, can make you feel trapped with no way out. Even if you do love your job, it’s not uncommon to feel like you’ve fallen into a rut; the same day over day. In turn, this often leads to feelings of unhappiness and in the worst-case scenario, despair. While you know how to turn things around for yourself, what if it is your adult child who is feeling this way?

As children get older, it’s normal to step back and let them find their way. But even when they do find success, they might start to feel stuck, probably just like you have at some point. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be this way. There are plenty of ways they can change their life for the better. Sometimes, they just need a little help to make it happen.

Increase Feelings Self-Worth

Before we say anything else, you already know your child is enough. However, life isn’t always easy, and it can make even the strongest of people feel insecure and not as valuable as they really are. Since increasing feelings of self-confidence and worth are personal, you need to encourage them to look within. What makes them tick? Have they always wanted to land their dream job but aren’t sure if they have the skills to do it?

They could stay where they are and continue to daydream, or they could take that first step and earn another degree. If the finances are what’s holding them back, you could consider helping them get a loan. Cosigning a loan could help them earn a degree they need to get a better job, one they really enjoy doing. Being a co-signer can help someone who might have less-than-perfect credit or not enough credit.

Help Your Adult Child Break Out of a Rut

Help Them Focus on Their Wins

We’re only human so when we make mistakes or don’t reach our goals, it’s easy to chastise ourselves. If you see this happening, talk to your son or daughter. Remind them of all the great things they’ve already accomplished in life. Let them know how proud you are and that you know they’ll reach any goal they set for themselves. We all need a little encouragement along the way, so even if it doesn’t appear to be the case now, they do appreciate it.

Encourage Them to Say Yes More Often

The key to breaking out of a rut is saying yes to new opportunities. When we say yes, we’re open to change. Encourage your son or daughter to say yes more often to challenges, even if they’re not used to doing so. Feeling vulnerable and allowing ourselves to fail is part of life. It shapes us as individuals and also helps us find ways to improve your life when we miss our mark. When we say no too often, it sheds a negative light on just about everything. It can also cause us to shut ourselves off from change, challenges, and possible wins.

Humility for the Win

No matter how old your child is, you can still teach them a thing or two. One of the most important life lessons to learn is humility. When we’re too big for our britches, we don’t take the time to look inward and challenge ourselves. Maybe they were given a raise and are now acting as if they have nothing else to strive for. While earning a well-deserved promotion is great, thinking that you have nothing else to strive for isn’t. Even when we win, we still need to stay humble. Being cocky or too proud is a turn-off, and can make others not want to know you.

How to Help Your Adult Child

Act Like a Mentor

Even though you’re their parent, you can still take on the role of a mentor. Help them to define their strengths and weaknesses, and then find ways to use both to their advantage. Say they are feeling like they’re not good conversationalists. They have to give a presentation at work and are terrified they’re going to flop. Ask them to make a list of all the times they gave presentations in the past.

How did they feel after they did it? Did they feel like they did a good job, or are they overly critical and think they could have done better? As a mentor, your role is to pinpoint areas where they shine and give tips on areas that need a little tweaking. It’s important to be mindful of how you go about this. If done incorrectly, you might step on their toes and make them feel bad about themselves. If you’re not really cut out to be a mentor, help them find someone who is.

Tell Them to Forget Perfection

No one is perfect, so this is one life lesson everyone needs to learn. When we strive only for perfection, we set ourselves up unintentionally for failure. Why? Because perfection is subjective and looks different for everyone. Instead, it’s important to encourage them to focus on what would make them feel good about themselves.

Don’t Forget Self-Care

In between trying to make a name for themselves and managing their own feelings of possible inadequacy, it’s not uncommon to stop practising self-care. You may notice that your child has stopped doing the things that they enjoyed or things that they consider acts of self-love. Insist that they take time to take care of themselves, and don’t take no for answer. As much as they want to keep pushing themselves, they also need time to decompress and just be. Even the hardest working, most successful people know you can’t burn a candle at both ends. When you combine that behaviour with feelings of being stuck, it can be a recipe for disaster. Invite them over, if they don’t live with you, for a day of doing nothing. You can cook together, watch their favourite shows or have an adult sleepover. No matter how old they get, most people will enjoy being able to spend time with their parents.

Help Adult Child Break Out of a Rut

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