Book Review and Giveaway – Doing Life with Your Adult Children

Adult Children - This post is about a book review and giveaway of Jim Burns latest book on relating to your adult children. #adultchildren #adultchild #JimBurns #bookreview #messymarriage #giveaway

My husband and I now have an empty-nest and are no longer expected to parent our adult children. Correction: we’re no longer “welcome” to parent them! 😉

So what’s an older mom to do? Sign up for senior aerobics? Spend her time at the mall, grieving away her sorrows with purchases-a-plenty?

Adult Children - This post is about a book review and giveaway of Jim Burns latest book on relating to your adult children. #adultchildren #adultchild #JimBurns #bookreview #messymarriage #giveaway

Being a mom is all I’ve known, done and been for twenty-four years of my life! My identity was wrapped tightly around raising my three sons, who now just happen to be young adults. The nerve of them to grow up!

I’ve struggled to come to a screeching halt ever since the day they walked out our door to start their own adult lives.

Thankfully, I came across a great resource from a friend of mine, Jim Burns. His latest book, “Doing Life with Your Adult Children: Keep Your Mouth Shut and the Welcome Mat Out” has really offered me a lot of wisdom and encouragement in this season of life.

Jim doesn’t waste time—jumping in with the title of his first chapter, “You’re Fired!” I think it takes slapping every older parent in the face with this harsh reality to get us moving in the right direction.

Here’s a quote I loved, even though it stings just a bit …

“However much a parent views giving advice as an act of love, most adult children resent it.”

My two younger sons told me one time that I needed to dial back the “counselor” rhetoric with them. And I said in reply, “I’m not talking to you like a counselor! I’m talking to you like a mom! If I were talking with you like a counselor, I’d keep my mouth shut!” 

I knew that the wise thing to do is always to listen and refrain from offering advice to my young adult sons. My mothering ways were hanging on too long to my detriment. I’m trying very hard to take their words to heart. There are many times that I now bite my lip and invite them to share, rather than sharing from my many years of wisdom!

The well is deep, my friends! The well is deep! Lol!

Another quote that caught my attention was …

“We also need to be clear about the difference between having a conversation and giving a lecture. A conversation conveys respect; a lecture doesn’t.”

I think this can be misunderstood not only by the parents, but also by the adult child. Our sons don’t know my husband and I very well as adults, nor do we know them very well as adults. The adult-to-adult relationship is in the early stages, with strong memories often flooding in from our parent-child days.

So when we talk to our sons and want to share our thoughts in a “conversation,” we had better make sure they feel respected!

I think this involves listening much more than speaking. It also means validating what they’re saying and feeling. But maybe, most important of all, is to watch our tone with them.

In time, I’m hoping they will come to view these conversations as just as encouraging as the conversations they welcome from other mentors and adults in their lives. If we do our part, I think we will pave the way for this positive outcome.

Jim also delved into the individuation that is vital to the maturation process for our adult children. This process is especially important and often hastened when our children marry. It’s the Bible’s “leave and cleave” principle at work.

But even if our kids never marry—our two youngest are still single—we need to encourage this healthy separation with them.

[bctt tweet=”It’s not really saying good-bye to our children, but rather hello to our adult sons and daughters! Find out more! #individuation #healthyseparation @drjimburns” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

When we recognize that individuation is a good thing for our adult children, we help everyone step over this healthy threshold.

Here are the chapter titles and topics covered in this book …

  1. You’re Fired!
  2. Keep Your Mouth Shut and the Welcome Mat Out
  3. Why Is It Taking My Kid So Long to Grow Up?
  4. How to Raise and Entitled Adult Child … or Not
  5. A Failure to Launch
  6. When Your Grown Child Violates Your Values
  7. The High Cost of Money
  8. In-Laws, Stepfamilies, and the Blend
  9. It’s Party Time with the Grandkids

I’m just getting into the “party time” years with my first and only grandbaby—Samson! (See pic below!)

It truly does feel like a party because it’s always a celebration when I get to see him. He makes me smile and laugh. And he keeps me entertained for hours—at least until his next feeding or naptime!

So if you’re …

  • A parent of teens, you just might want to get this book and prepare yourself for what’s to come. Before you know it, you’ll be waving good-bye to your burgeoning adult child. Unless, of course, they are like those Jim writes about in his “Failure to Launch” chapter! Lol! But all the more reason to snag this book!
  • In the beginning days of being an empty-nester, then this book is definitely one you’ll want in your hand! There aren’t many other books on this subject out there either. Jim has hit on a topic that’s greatly needed!
  • Further along in your adult-to-adult relationship with your children, then I hope you’ll check this out to at least give to a friend. It’s a great gift idea!
  • A young adult yourself. Then you might want to buy this for your parents! It could be just the roadmap they’ve been looking for!

[bctt tweet=”Come by MM to enter the giveaway of Jim Burns’ latest book: Doing Life with Your Adult Children: Keep Your Mouth Shut and the Welcome Mat Out. Deadline is March 31st! Don’t delay! @drjimburns” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

Jim’s publisher has graciously offered to provide this book to a randomly chosen winner of the giveaway here at MM. All you have to do to enter is comment* below by noon (CST) on Sunday, March 31, 2019 (ironically, my oldest son Jordan’s B-day!). UPDATE: Congratulations to Lisa! She was randomly chosen as the winner of this incredible book! I hope your relationships with your adult children are blessed by Jim’s wisdom and insight! 

* You must be a resident of the continental U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii to be eligible.

Be sure to join me next week when I’ll be sharing my final post in the series, The Spouse I Want to Be. I’ll be exploring how to be a more devoted spouse. Also, I’ll be kicking off my next series, “Spring Clean Your Marriage” on April 7th, 2019. And I’ve got some in.cred.i.ble bloggers joining me, so take a look at the graphic below to see just who they all are! Wowza!

Spring Clean Marriage - This blog series includes eight amazing Christian bloggers who know just how to spring clean your life and marriage! Click to find out more! #springclean #messymarriage #marriage #springcleaningmarriage #improvemarriage #lessonslearnedinmarriage


What is one challenge you’re facing with letting go of your teens or adult children? 


What’s one reason why you’d like to win this book?


Jim Burns - Homeword executive director and author on marriage and parenting.Jim Burns is the President of HomeWord and the Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University and is author of many books, with his newest being, Doing Life with Your Adult Children: Keep Your Mouth Shut and the Welcome Mat Out. Jim and his wife, Cathy, live in Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi; two sons-in-law, Steve and Matt; and two grandchildren, James and Charlotte.


This was one of many times that Jim came and spoke at our church, as well as having led marriage retreats for us on many occasions. He’s also been an amazing encourager and mentor to my husband and megiving us much more time than most well-known authors ever would. He’s the kind of guy you want to buy a book from! Ironically, when he visited our church on this day, his young adult daughter Becca joined him. He’s quite the family man, AND she’s quite the sweetheart of an adult daughter!

And here’s one taken this last Christmas of me with my three young adult sons and the most adorable grandson everSamson! 

Here are some other lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me MondayLiterary Musing MondaysTea and Word TuesdayPurposeful FaithTell His StoryRecharge WednesdayPorch Stories Linkup, Welcome Heart, Worth Beyond Rubies WednesdayEncouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementMoments of HopeGrace and Truth Faith and Friends Faith on Fire FridayFresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday


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However, this comes with no extra cost to you and will not increase the price you pay for any items you decide to buy on Amazon. It is simply a way for me to earn some support for the ministry expenses of this blog. Thank you in advance for being willing to use any Amazon links as searching tools!

20 responses to “Book Review and Giveaway – Doing Life with Your Adult Children”

  1. If I don’t win, I think I will go buy this book! It is so hard to let go. I was told I talk too much and don’t listen enough. I’m like you, Beth, I want to give all of my wisdom.


  2. I enjoyed your review. I have three adult children, two daughters and one son, and I agree that it is a transition to have the adult-to-adult relationship. There have been some rough spots but I now enjoy a wonderful relationship with the girls–still learning about dialing down the “mom talk” with my son.


  3. When our daughter was going through deep depression, I learned the importance of not using the word ‘should.’ It’s hard to learn to reframe things and say, “Have you considered____?” But it’s so important to learn to not lecture (and ‘should’ is a lecture word). I love having two BFFs who’ve know me my whole life and love me anyway and want to be my friend!


  4. Sounds very interesting! I’m still parenting in the diaper years, but I’m adding “parenting adult children” to my TBR list!


  5. This sounds like a great resource for me, too, Beth! I’ve found having a grandchild brings a whole new level of trying to tongue-tame. 🙂 There’s lots of advice that I feel competent to give, but I *try* to refrain until asked. I know you’re enjoying precious Samson so much! Thanks for sharing about this book.


  6. Wonderful post, Beth. Though I’m a few years away from this parenting stage, I always like reading ahead to know what to expect. Your family photos are wonderful too! Sharing on Pinterest and Twitter, friend.


  7. I could use some of that book’s wisdom!


  8. I was just thinking two days ago that I want to start looking for a book about having adult children. We’re in the beginning stages of that. This one sounds good, Beth. I am constantly reminding myself to keep my mouth shut and listen well! It’s so hard sometimes! Thanks for this review!


  9. carolyn clifton Avatar
    carolyn clifton

    I want to give my adult child my knowledge – all 69 years worth! But it’s hard to know what will trigger an outburst from her. I think this book would really help me learn to communicate better with her.


  10. Kids were never part of life
    and that’s likely a good thing
    ’cause with my history, war and strife
    what gifts could I yet bring?
    I’ve never been a sort of elder,
    I say, “Live fast, die young!”
    And now it seems this is my shelter
    as existence gets unstrung.
    Not for me the family hour,
    grandchildren held so near;
    instead it’s pizza I’ll devour,
    and pint on pint of beer.
    My shout of freedom, upraised fist,
    don’t quite hide all that I missed.


  11. Its crazy that all of a sudden I am an adult with children of my own now having conversations with my parents as an adult. Looks like an awesome book. I never really know what my parents are thinking of me as an adult now. 😂😂


  12. Whoa! This sounds like a book that meddles in all the right ways.
    I love my adult sons, and continually walk that tightrope between caring and meddling.


  13. You are right. This is the only book I’ve heard of on this subject. And how needed. My 4 children are long gone from home and it’s still hard to not say too much. I’d like to win this book so I can read it and give it to someone else.


  14. Oh, Beth, I loved this. My kids are still young (my oldest is 13) but I imagine the time will fly and I’d better be prepared. Since I’m outside of the US, I’m not eligible to win the book but I’ll be pinning this great find and passing it on to my sisters who can relate.
    Blessings to you as you keep the welcome mat out!


  15. With four adult children, I think I need this book! Thank you for the review. It’s hard parenting, no matter what age they are!


  16. Love the picture of you and all your boys (especially Samson). I can relate to what you say about our adult kids asking us to back off. I remember one particular conversation that had me stunned. But all in all, having adult sons is the best and having daughters because of marriage is a blessing. It’s important that we evolve as our kids evolve. I know this would be a great book to win! 🙂


  17. This book looks like a fantastic and one I need to hurry up and read. I already blew a conversation today by jumping in with a little unsolicited advice which was not well received. The response to my advice was, “Well Mom you know the good thing is, it won’t be your problem.” “It will be mine.”


  18. This made me smile because I realize how much we’re all students in learning how to relate well to our adult children.  Our girls have each been married more than 15 years and I am still learning when to speak and when to clam up.  Not always easy, is it.


  19. Beth,
    This book has my name on it. I loved and laughed at the quote about “I’d keep my mouth closed if I was a counselor…but I’m your mother.” It’s so hard, sometimes, to just bit my lip. I’ve seen, first hand, how divorce messes up relationships – especially with our adult children. I’m still struggling through a lot of issues with my two and those chapter titles look like they’d serve me well. Always good to pop by your place and enjoy lovin’ on Samson!!
    Bev xo


  20. It was very challenging to “let go” of parenting our children and learn to step back in their early adulthood. We quickly learned that listening was the best thing to do. Our children knew when they were doing right and wrong according to how we raised them, knew how we felt, and knew that we still lived them in spite of their mistakes. That being said, I know we could have done much better! Now with a teenage great granddaughter, I think I would find some helpful thoughts as she matures in the coming years. Jim Burns is a great person to learn from, and I look forward to seeing him when he comes to town.


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