Posted by admin on October 18, 2014

May I Talk to You About Your Adult Children?

I’m a writer, speaker and coach who’s been dealing with boundary issues and relationships between parents and their grown kids since 1994 –  in books, essays and interviews, on TV shows from Oprah to PBS, and in  speeches to audiences who want to know what they can do to heal, improve and transform the most enduring and important connection in their lives. For more information, look around this website and get back to me with your stories, feedback, questions  and ideas.

Parenting When 30 is the New 21


It’s not just the economy that’s bringing grown kids home again or keeping them from leaving in the first place.  It’s also the shift in parents’ roles and responsibilities in the lives of their adult children in the 21st century.  Guiding them through the critical Third Decade of their lives is a much more hands-on process for baby boomers than it was when we did our final stretch of growing up – out of sight, if not of mind, of our parents.

Our ambition for independence was less complicated than it is today for young adults. But whether or not we all live under the same roof,we’re much more intimately involved with each other than previous generations. Current research as well as contemporary lifestyles mean that even 20-somethings who don’t live at home want, need, welcome and expect parental support, not just of their hopes and dreams – their Third Decade will cost parents a third of the total amount they spent on the first two!

Today it’s tough to know when the parenting years are over, because the meaning of both parenthood and adulthood has changed, and so has the timing. Even if we can’t afford to subsidize our emerging adults’ meandering path to selfhood as well as self sufficiency, we’re wondering how to renegotiate pur relationship with them as they make their complicated way to maturity in a competitive, high stakes world.

This is just as true of hands-off parents who let their kids make their own mistakes – and, hopefully, learn from them – as it is of helicopter parents and tiger mothers who parented (or over-parented) for success from the very beginning. As the cost of mistakes and the competition for the best of everything continues to rise, there’s less laissez-faire parenting going on than there used to be, for fear that by the time the kids find their place in thr world, it wil already be taken

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