Successful Postparenting: The Workshop

Parenthood starts when your kids are old enough to vote and lasts as long as you do. It’s the final evolution of your role as a parent, and it requires what may be the most difficult task of all: acknowledging that they are adults, with the right to lead their own lives, make their own choices, and pursue their own dreams, regardless of whether or not you approve. That sounds easy, but it isn’t.You raised them to be strong, independent, and think for themselves, so why are you worried while they’re doing it?

You want to have an authentic, intimate, and loving relationship with them, but why are they always too busy, distant, or disinterested? Does it seem like they’re taking so much longer to grow up than you did that you wonder if they ever will? Are you trying to cope with fallout from their troubled past? Reeling from current difficulties in their lives? Still trying to solve those problems for them or taking responsibility for their actions? Concern over grown kids who are failing to thrive is a major cause stress in midlife parents!

There are three parts to this workshop, each one focusing on a different aspect of Post-Parenthood:

  1. Emerging Adulthood or Extended Adolescence? Putting Their Generation in Context.
  2. Creating a Relationship With Them for a Lifetime
  3. Letting Go Of Their Problems Without Letting Go Of Them

Each participant receives a workbook for interactive use during and after the workshop, which is geared to community groups, hospital outreach programs, church and synagogue organizations, health forums, and others focusing on family issues.

Using Boundary Intelligence to Improve Life, Work and Relationships

Boundary Intelligence is a basic human capacity that exists in everyone. This innovative presentation explains how cultivating this ability improves relationships by resolving the paradox of two essential emotional needs – the desire for intimacy and the desire for personal autonomy and independence. Boundary issues are inevitable in every relationship; learning how to negotiate them without sacrificing the self on the altar of togetherness is the focus of Jane Adams’ most recent work, and in this program she offers techniques and tools that enable audiences to regulate their personal and professional relationships to get more of what they want and less of what they don’t in all their dealings with other people – families, partners, friends and colleagues.

Program Highlights Include:

  • Boundary Basics: What they are and why you need them
  • Boundary Intelligence and how to use it in your relationships
  • Who’s In and who’s out and how to tell the difference
  • All in the family – Where faulty boundaries come from and how to fix them
  • What’s your Boundary Style and why does it matter?
  • In and out of bounds at the office
  • Do your boundaries fit your job?
  • Boundary crossings in balancing work and life

Transforming Yourself/Transforming Your Organization

This presentation offers a new and different model of perception that encourages self-knowledge as a tool for organizational improvement. By bringing all of who we are to what we do, we discover untapped competencies that can truly change our organization, clarify how and where we can be of greatest use, empower others, and meet our needs for relationship and mastery. Ideal for volunteer and donor meetings!

Program Highlights Include:

  • Opening the doors to perception
  • Changing the focus from self to other
  • Living the mission by moving from feeling to action
  • Creating a “third space” where change can happen
  • Understanding risk, resilience, and renewal
  • Enjoying the rewards of diversity

Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty! Taking Charge of Your Life Right Now

An empowering, liberating wake-up call for creating rich, satisfying, exciting personal and professional lives on your own terms. Instead of waiting for someone or something to give your life meaning, try Jane Adams’ proven techniques and common-sense strategies that will inspire you to get what you want from it now.

Program highlights include:

  • Taking yourself off hold
  • Too smart for your own good
  • If money could buy happiness, could you afford it?
  • Friends are family you choose yourself
  • Autonomy as a life context – Getting better, not bitter
  • The right place at the right time plus: “Wake Up Workbook” for empowering your life

When Change Equals Choice

Here’s an intriguing possibility–embracing change and welcoming it as a tool to unlock your personal potential! A presentation that inspires improvement and enrichment in every area of women’s lives–work, relationships, moral and spiritual values, and physical and emotional health.

Program highlights include:

  • The difference between luck and creativity
  •  Thinking about the beliefs you use to think with
  • Taking advantage of chance
  •  Why someplace else is a better place than where you thought you were going
  • Leaping into the unknown
  • Putting on different glasses
  • Re-framing the window of opportunity

Grown Kids, Disappointed Parents

Why are so many 20 and 30- somethings unable to grow up, leave home, get a life, a job, a goal? Why can’t they get free of drugs or alcohol, depend on themselves instead of their parents, solve their own problems and make themselves happy? And why can’t their parents cut the purse strings, turn responsibility for their kids’ lives over to them, and get on with their own?

This eye-opening presentation is aimed solidly at the baby boom generation. It challenges parents to look directly at their adult children’s problems, determine who’s responsible for solving them, lay down their burden of guilt and disappointment, and reinvest in their own lives so their kids can get on with theirs.

Program highlights include:

  • – Is this a dead end or a detour
  •  – Is must have been something we did
  •  – The ADD of grown kids – addiction, dependence & depression
  •  – Denial or distraction?
  •  – When their problems ruin your life
  •  – A safety net or a lifeline?
  •  – Getting on with your own life while they get on with theirs

Letting Go: How to Send Your Freshman To College

A wise, practical and lively program about getting your child off to a good start in college. This presentation challenges parents to focus on their own psychological growth and midlife challenges while understanding the developmental implications of the college transition for young adults. An interactive session that blends current psychosocial research with practical strategies and proven techniques for weathering this critical moment in family life with wit, wisdom and insight. Just right for your college orientation or senior year program.

Program highlights include:

  • – When you leave, I’m coming with you
  •  – He never writes, she never calls
  •  – In loco parentis no longer
  •  – A few snags in the safety net
  •  – What they need from you and what they don’t
  •  – Same spouse, different marriage
  •  – All those things you said you’d do when they were grown
  •  – The best years of whose lives?

I’m Still Your Mother: Post-Parenting Your Grown Children

A source of delight or a lifetime’s worth of work? This unique program offers practical information, tools, and techniques to enrich and energize relationships with grown kids, whether they’ve boomeranged back home or are out of your house but never your heart.

Program highlights include:

  • – Getting them out of the house and on their own
  •  – Handling family changes when they’re grown-ups too
  •  – Redrawing family boundaries when they have new ones
  •  – Becoming a grand (non-interfering) grandparent
  •  – Creating peer relationships with adult kids
  •  – Cutting the financial apron strings–finally!
  •  – Will sibling rivalry ever end?
  •  – Dealing with role reversal

Family Business Programs

Creating a Boundary Between the Family and the Business

It’s not unusual for the needs of the family to conflict with those of the family business. But in challenging times like these, a strong, flexible, and well-defined Family Business Boundary can help them both flourish without fraying the ties that bind!

Dr. Adams’ innovative theory of Boundary Intelligence is particularly relevant to family businesses. She’s helped founders, siblings and other family members create Family Business Boundaries that help them put family baggage outside the office door where it belongs, resolve conflict without damaging personal or professional relationships, and strengthen family bonds as well as the bottom line. She’s also the Family Business Institute expert on divorce and parenting adult children.

Here’s what one satisfied client has to say about her program.

Jane Adams enlightened the membership of the UMass Family Business Center, transmitting her understanding of the subtle but powerful topic of boundaries. This is a theory that needs to be explained well for it to make real live sense, instead of a vague notion. Jane is able to describe the everyday way in which people get entangled with their families, friends and colleagues; or become detached and lose the benefits of the ties that should bind. Her strength as a presenter is to face the audience and talk to them about how they are affected, and what they can do. She is warm, yet gutsy; so the audience will soon trust her to speak frankly, the only way to really grasp the power of the invisible attractions and repulsions that affect us all continuously. The audience engaged in Jane’s presentation, and gave her high marks, so I do, too.

Ira Bryck, UMass Family Business Center “Treat Your Business Like a Business and Your Family Like a Family”