Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed, authors of books and books that have been turned into movies, are co-advisers on a love and life podcast/column, Dear Sugars.
A recent call for their help came from a mom who worried that her daughter wanted marriage and children while the boyfriend of five years was making decisions that moved the young couple away from that goal. Was the relationship one-sided? Were her daughter's wishes being subsumed by the boyfriend? The mom's question: "Should I share my concerns with my daughter or stay out of it. What are the boundaries with adult children?"
Here are two nuggets from their fuller discussion that hold for any parent of grown children.
Cheryl: The best thing you can do is to stop seeing yourself as someone who should intervene in your daughter’s romantic life, but rather as the person who will support her and be there for her when she needs a sounding board as she navigates this relationship.
Steve: It’s important to remember that your daughter is an adult. You have to trust her capacity to make wise decisions, and to survive her less wise ones. Just as crucially, you have to trust yourself and the work you’ve already done as a mom in helping your daughter develop the wherewithal to stand up for herself.