Parenting 2.0

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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When Your Kid’s Romance Ends and You Hurt, Too

“They say that breaking up is hard to do. Now I know, I know that it’s true.”  That Neil Sedaka song was recorded twice — in 1962 and in 1975 — a testament to the truth of the lyrics. Break ups are painful, even when it’s not you but your adult child. At a recent wedding, a guest looked wistfully at the joyous couple and mentioned that his 20-something son had ended a long-term relationship with a woman who the …

How to Handle Your Kid’s Depression or Anxiety

We’ve all received that phone call, email or text from our young adult child who’s lamenting some crisis or another. Often our response is, “This too shall pass.” But what happens when one bad day slips into another and another? Americans are reporting more symptoms of depression, such as trouble sleeping and concentrating, than people typically did in the 1980s, according to a new study. The results were especially striking among young people. Compared to three decades ago, college students are …

Why Millennials Are So Self-Centered

Time magazine put our adult children on its cover last year and dubbed them “Generation Me, Me, Me.” In response, some critics noted that several generations — notably baby boomers — could also wear the “all about me” tag. Not so, argues Jean Twenge, a San Diego State University psychology professor. She cites dozens of research studies to make her point that millennials do indeed deserve the “Generation Me” label. That just happens to be the title of her book. …

Why You Might Wait (and Wait) for Your Kids to Marry

The college class I teach on millennial issues enrolls 15 women — no men — so sometimes discussions are more revealing than in a co-ed class. When the topic of marriage comes up, some young women wonder if they will ever get married. Long gone are the days of going to college for a MRS (Mrs.) degree. Now, confronted with almost too many choices for careers and entrepreneurial ventures, my students question where marriage fits — if at all — …

Mom’s Favorite, Once and Forever

“You were always Mom’s favorite!” The taunt that siblings hurl at one another apparently turns out to be true. Even with adult children, moms tend to favor one child over the others, and the golden child often remains the same over the years, according to J. Jill Suitor, a sociology professor at Purdue University. That favoritism impacts both mother and adult children in negative ways, especially as moms age. When ailing mothers are not cared for by their favorite child, …

The Slow March to Adulthood for Millennials

What defines adulthood? For boomers, the markers were education, marriage and starting a family, usually by our early to mid-20s. For our adult children, those markers often come five to 10 years later, as they take their time finishing a degree (or two) and delay starting a career, finding a life partner and having children. Even then, many don’t consider themselves full-fledged adults. That’s among the findings from a new survey of “established adults, aged 25-39” by Clark University professor …