Have Serious Fun

Have Serious Fun

Transitioning to a new role as a parent isn’t all loss and tears—there is also some serious fun to be had! You can’t determine the outcome of your children’s lives, so shift your focus to creating fun and enjoyable experiences you can share together. “A cheerful heart is good medicine,” wrote wise King Solomon, “but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength” (Proverbs 17:22 NLT). Your attitude toward your adult children will go a long way to determining your relationship with them. Families that laugh and develop happy traditions draw closer to each other over time. One of the principles Cathy and I have relied on is this: “Words don’t always lead to connection, but enjoyable connections lead to words.” What are the activities and experiences your adult children enjoy? Chances are good that engaging in those activities with them will enhance your relationship. In fact, for many adult children, the fun factor is what determines their desire to relate to their parents on a deeper level.

When I was in grad school, I studied traits of healthy families and later wrote a book on the subject (1). One of the top ten traits was “play.” Come to find out, families who play together really do stay together. Play, having fun, laughter, and creating lifelong memories are essential for keeping the relationship strong with your adult kids. Play is a “love currency” that makes a deposit into the life of your children no matter what their age. Having fun together also has the potential to open a closed heart, to reduce stress, and even to help heal broken relationships.

How is the fun factor in your family? One of the great benefits of moving from a parent/child relationship to an adult/adult relationship is that you can begin a deeper friendship with your adult child. One of the strongest elements of friendship is having fun together. If you want to transition well, make initiating fun part of your new job description. And keep in mind that fun doesn’t have to be expensive. It might be sharing enjoyable meals together, playing golf, window shopping, or anything your family enjoys doing together. What are the fun experiences that will draw your relationship closer?


(1) Jim Burns, 10 Building Blocks for a Solid Family (Ventura, CA: Regal Publishing, 2010).

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Jim Burns

Jim Burns is the president of HomeWord. He speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 20 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord, which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books are: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage, Closer, and Doing Life with Your Adult Children. Jim and his wife, Cathy, live in Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi; three sons-in-law, Steve and Matt, and Andy; and three grandchildren, James, Charlotte and Huxley.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns, HomeWord seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches. Learn More »

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