How to Motivate Adult Children

by Brooke Williams
One way to motivate an adult child is to help her set financial goals to ultimately achieve self sufficiency.

One way to motivate an adult child is to help her set financial goals to ultimately achieve self sufficiency.

Whether your adult child is unemployed, living at home, dealing with financial stresses or tackling some other obstacle, he may still, despite the fact he's grown, need support and motivation from you. Offering motivation without upsetting your child or seeming too confrontational can be tricky. But with the right approach, you may offer just the right amount of motivation needed to help your adult child achieve goals and surpass any problems.

Be positive and remind your adult child constantly that she can achieve what she sets out to accomplish by setting goals and staying focused. People who perceive self-efficacy are more likely to out-perform individuals who don't have the confidence to achieve a task, according to Real Simple Magazine. Strive to encourage him, and keep in mind that your child's "drive is often based on what she believes about her abilities, not on how objectively talented she is," according to the magazine.

Offer to help your adult child create a plan of action. Ask her about her goals, if she has any, or what her one-year or five-year plan looks like, or would look like if one existed. Offer to help her create an outline of realistic and short-term goals that will eventually lead to the ultimate goal. For example, if she wants to earn a college degree, then help her create a plan of action, starting with accomplishing the application process. Also offer to be her accountability partner, without being a nag.

Support your adult child by suggesting tools of motivation outside of family guidance. For example, if your child needs motivation to advance professionally, suggest that she attend leadership seminars or conferences that could serve as helpful professional development. Or if she's going through money problems, and she's overwhelmed with debt, suggest she seek a financial advisor to offer tips. Encourage your child to "focus on enjoying the process of getting to the goal, rather than just eyeing the finish line," suggests Real Simple.

About the Author

Brooke Williams is a freelance writer living in Alabama. She is a former education and government reporter at a daily newspaper and has been writing since 2003. Williams received her journalism degree from Auburn University. She has written for "Health for Alabama" and "Health for Tennessee" magazines.

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