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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The Cost of Perpetual Parenting of Adult Children

For many boomers, the empty nest seems more like the empty bank account. After college, kids boomerang home for a few months or years, driving up monthly household expenses. Even when they leave, they often return to the “Bank of Mom and Dad” for help with costs from new cars to camp for the grandkids. All those added outlays are impacting millions of boomers, causing many to delay or modify retirement plans, according to a new study by Hearts & …

Move Aside Millennials, Make Way for Gen Z

First the boomers were nudged from the media spotlight by millennials, the largest and most diverse generation. And who can argue that our adult children have made an indelible imprint on how we live, work and play. But now millennials are about to get some competition. Here comes Gen Z. Although the starting date can vary, Gen Z encompasses newborns to teens, beginning with those born in 2001. Demographers and marketers alike slice and dice the U.S. population in generational …

Sharing Accounts With Adult Children: A Good Idea?

 “I have an embarrassing secret. And if you’re a millennial, chances are you’ve got the same one.” The secret? Journalist Elizabeth Weingarten reveals in her Slate article,  “In Defense of the Digital Umbilical Cord,” that she is on her parents’ cellphone plan and “mooches off” their HBO Go and Netflix accounts. Apparently she was shamed by a Glamour magazine article that chastised that it’s not OK “if you’re 26 and your parents still pay your cellphone bill. Cut the cord on that …

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, …