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Parents kidnap daughter to prevent wedding – and other good parenting ideas

On August 4th Julia and Lemuel Redd kidnapped their daughter, Julianna, in an attempt to prevent her from marrying Perry Myers.  Either Perry Myers is one messed up guy or Julianna’s parents don’t have a clue on how to be parents to an adult child.  Either way, it seems that Julianna gets the raw end of the deal.

Utah prosecutors have charged Julia and Lemuel Redd with kidnapping their daughter Julianna, 21, the day before her Aug. 5 wedding and driving her from Provo, Utah, to Grand Junction, Colo., to prevent her marriage. (USA Today article by Emily Bazar)

What a tragic example of poor parenting.  If you have a child who is now an adult, your relationship has to change or you will lose him/her entirely.  I am a parent of young children and am beginning to understand why parents have such difficulty letting go of their adult kids.  I can see how it must be difficult to get the images of changing diapers and breast feeding out of your mind (not that I ever breast fed any of my children).

But the reality is that if you want to have a relationship with your adult children, then you need to redefine what that relationship looks like.  The first step is learning that you need to treat your child as an adult.  Which means that he gets to make his own decision and your only job in life is to do one of two things:  1) support him if he fails, and 2) support him if he succeeds.  You can no longer try to protect your child from hurting himself.  He is on his own and you need to be his biggest fan.

If you are lucky enough to have an adult child who asks for your opinion on a matter, than that is your only chance to give advice.  The advice needs to be given in an open posture and not in a way that demands your child to take action on your opinion.

Adult children allow the opportunity to grow the closest friendships you can imagine. Don’t mess it up because you think he (or she) is making a poor decision and thus you decide to kidnap her away from your fears.

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