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Postparenthood is the time between launching your kids and accepting not only the adults they've become but that they're adults, for better or worse, whether you like it and them or not – "the Lost Years," I call them, between when they should have grown up and when they actually do. When you still worry about them, maybe even with good reasons, but a) don't think, anymore,that you can do anything that will make a difference,or b) allow it to keep you awake all night. Whatever talk-show hosts, experts and others are calling your should-be- but-aren't-adult offspring, Postparenthood  is your new life stage, conveniently  tucked in between perimenopause, a midlife crisis and what were supposed to be your carefree, if not golden years.

Like all life stages Postparenthood  has its own crises or passages, which are closer to Elizabeth Kubler Ross's denial to acceptance than to Erik Erikson's despair to integrity. In the course of writing three books about parents and their adult children "":[Link Removed]  and coaching many baby boomers through the unexpected challenges of this period in their lives and muddling through it myself, I've learned that even the most frustrated parent  can help an almost-adult by exercising the power and control over herself that she no longer has over her 20-something.

Even if you can pass up a bon-bon or a bargain without blinking or stick to a New Year's resolution past January, it's extremely difficult to control your thoughts, feelings, judgments, behavior and communication with grown kids, even when they're not in the immediate vicinity. It's even harder to change those things. But if you want to stay in your kids' lives in healthy, nurturing, positive ways, thus improving the odds they'll make the kind of choices that will bring them happiness,you have to.

I coach my clients through the Six R’s of Postparenting - Reframing, Reflecting, Releasing, Reality Checking, Reinforcing and Reimagining. They‘re cognitive strategies that anyone can learn and practice, and what they change isn’t just your behavior but your perspective. Because at this point in their and your lives, that’s all you can change. And it can help you survive  the most worrisome, aggravating, frustrating, unexpected, disappointing or difficult times with an almost, not quite or even fully adult child without losing your mind, security, or  sense of humor.

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