Parents Dedicate Lives to Caring for a Wounded Warrior

On a cold March night in 2007, Jeff Brodeur got the phone call that changed his life. His son, Army Pvt. Vincent Mannion-Brodeur, 19, had been searching a structure near Tikrit, Iraq, when a mortar-shell booby trap exploded. His sergeant was killed instantly and Mannion-Brodeur suffered a devastating head injury as well as deep shrapnel wounds to his arm and torso. Jeff and his wife, Maura, sitting stunned in their Cape Cod, Mass., home, were told that their son might …

Some Advice to Help Put Your Kids on a Career Path Now

In the famous scene from The Graduate, Ben is cornered by guests at his college graduation party who ask, “What are you going to do now?” One man offers a single word of advice: “Plastics.” By the movie’s end, Ben is still clueless about his future. And there most likely will be thousands of versions of Ben among the 4 million students receiving degrees this month. Added to the usual post-college confusion is not only a working world radically changed. …

Teaching Our Adult Children About Gratitude

Many moms got exactly the gift they wanted on Mother’s Day last weekend: time with the kids. For empty nesters, there’s much joy when the house fills up again even for just a few hours. Many of our adult children don’t realize how much we value spending time together. The notion that time together is a perfect gift can seem strange to our millennial children. They have been branded with a reputation as the self-centered and materialistic Generation Me. Indeed …

Mother’s Day: What Women Really Want From Their Adult Kids

Mother’s Day brings a spending spree as Americans dole out a record $21 billion this year for cards, flowers, jewelry, gift certificates, electronics and gardening tools, as well as creating a crush at restaurants for brunch and dinner on Sunday. While the typical expenditure is $175, our 25- to 34-year-old children will spend the most of any age group, averaging almost $250. Of course, that doesn’t mean they are splurging only on moms; many will buy gifts for their wives …

Millennials Need to Work on Bridging Skills Gap

Last week, the editor of a newspaper in the Pacific Northwest emailed to check a reference for one of my former students. A position had opened up because the editor had let go a staffer who kept misspelling the names of people in photo captions. In another conversation earlier in the week, the owner of a Maryland consulting company mentioned that she routinely eliminates millennial job candidates when they can’t follow basic directions on a writing test. Sound familiar? Supervisors …

What Will Retirement Look Like for Our Adult Children?

For decades, the three-legged stool was the metaphor for funding retirement: Social Security, pensions and savings/investments. Because of the recession and drop in pensions, the stool started to shake. That hasn’t escaped the notice of our adult children as they watch parents head into retirement. The upside of those watchful eyes is that many millennials have begun saving for their own retirement. At an unprecedented age of  22, some 70 percent of working millennials are socking money away, according to …