Parenting Part 2

Mary W. Quigley, a journalist and author, has written two books about motherhood and work. An NYU journalism professor, she is the mother of three adult children, and blogs at www.mothering21.com

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Talk More, Text Less With Adult Children

In accepting the Oscar for best supporting actor last week, J.K. Simmons didn’t dwell on thanking the Academy and the Whiplash crew. Instead, he exhorted, “Call your mom, dad everybody. If you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive, call them! Don’t text, don’t email. Call them. Listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you.” The 60-year-old actor later told reporters that message was prompted by his realization that he had missed too many opportunities …

The New Dating Game — Millennial Style

When my friend was in her 20s, single and living in New York City, she called her suburban mother a few times a week. Often the conversation started with her mom asking, “So?” That was shorthand for “Did you meet any eligible young men?” My friend eventually did meet a guy, and 33 years later they are still happily married. These days we might be reluctant to ask the same question of our millennial children because we might not want …

Millennials Make Marriage Proposals Public Affairs

Valentine’s Day this past weekend brought sweets and other treats for loved ones, and for some couples, an engagement. A hard-to-believe 6 million people told American Express that they were either expecting or planning a marriage proposal on the national love holiday. How many actually materialized is unknown, but chances are that most were not low-key, drop-on-a-knee affairs. Proposals now require a fancy restaurant, flowers, a party with friends — and that’s the small-scale version. In yet another generational difference, …

Are Millennials Becoming a Generation of Renters?

In the aftermath of the 2008 recession, boomer parents were besieged by millennial children boomeranging home to reclaim an old bedroom. Now our adult children are leaving the nest once again as they find work and perhaps a significant other. But where are they moving? And are the making the leap to homeowner? For decades, after a sojourn in the city, young adults typically headed to suburbia with their growing families for a better lifestyle. However, while millennials flocked to …

Why Millennials Are Waiting to Have Children

Remember this jump rope ditty? “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Sally with the baby carriage. How many babies will she have?” Then we’d madly jump, getting to 20 or 30 babies before pooping out. While our adult children likely never sang that song (or jumped rope for that matter), they have given the rhyme their own real-life twist: Either babies come before marriage or they come years after marriage, usually depending on the education level of the …

When Will Wedding Bells Ring for Adult Children?

A recent TV commercial shows a young man lounging at a pool party and vowing, “I am never getting married.” Next scene: an engagement ring. Then he and his wife are on a plane seated near a bawling baby. “We are never having children,” he says. Next scene: the delivery room. The commercial proceeds through his protests against — and then acceptance — of a suburban home, a minivan and baby number two. The commercial echoes the thoughts of many …