Parent Coaching grows to include families with adult children

By Leah Persky, PhD & Certified Family Life Educator • Family Life Education Manager

It is hard to believe we are almost entering the third year of the pandemic. What a mixture of emotions we experience as we navigate daily life. There is so much hope that the year ahead will offer more normalcy and a lessening of the grip of COVID on our lives. One thing is certain: our daily lives have changed significantly. Returning to the old normal is simply not possible. Adapting to the new normal and what that will hold is where we must focus our attentions. This includes working to support important relationships in our lives and empowering ourselves to take control of our everyday lives.

Parent Coaching continues to serve parents of school-aged children who are challenged by topics that include sibling rivalry, managing caregiving responsibilities, managing tantrums, supporting children who are learning at home, supporting gender identity of pre-teens and teens, and offering strategies to bolster the well-being of new parents. Parents of young children have been hit especially hard, with daycare and school closures and slow vaccine roll-outs. However, I want to focus on another group of parents and children – parents with adult children. One theme emerging is that parents of older children, including adult children, are also being challenged in new ways.  

The pandemic and its’ associated economic downturn has shifted housing patterns. More adults are living with their parents or in multi-generational homes than in the past. As of mid-2020, 52 percent of all adults aged 18-29, lived with their parents. This is the highest proportion of young adults living at home since the Great Depression (Pew Research Center, 2020).

Financial challenges, job losses, lack of affordable housing, and campus closures are in part behind this increase. College-aged students may have returned home to live for a few months, and in some cases, that has turned into years. Parents with young children have also been challenged by finding affordable and high-quality childcare; some have found the best option to be living with family members. Changes in housing patterns and practices directly impacts family relationships, especially between young(er)-adults and their parents, who may now find themselves navigating co-habitating for the first time in many years.

Parents with adult children face different types of challenges, which parent coaching is well-equipped to support. Challenges around boundaries, financial disagreements, the division of caregiving responsibilities, media usage and respect of shared space are commonly cited as issues by parents living with their adult children. Even strong and loving relationships may be challenged by new dynamics that are a byproduct of the pandemic and living under the same roof.

Many people also feel that their world has shrunk over the past few years, and this can lead to challenges in staying healthy physically and mentally. It may be hard not to revert to past habits and arguments, but parent coaching is really family coaching and can help support families navigate challenging times by supporting the development of clear communication skills to support goals and to identify and address specific challenges.

There are multiple benefits of living in a multi-generational home. These include decreased isolation and depression for older adults, financial savings, built-in child and elder care support, increased opportunities for family connection, and the passing down of shared cultural, religious and linguistic traditions to the younger generation (Suleman, 2021) . When successful, multi-generational housing boosts the well-being of all family members. Let a parent coach help you on your path to reaching these goals today. Parent coaching provides focused, forward-looking, and individualized support to empower you and your family. We are offering complimentary 30-minute parent coaching consultation. To get started, fill out this form and we will be in touch with you soon.