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 …

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 …

Millennials Are Spending Less and Saving for a Rainy Day

While waiting in line last week at Starbucks, I realized that I was the only “guest” ordering black coffee — not a grande, no-foam macchiato concoction — and the only person using cash. The mostly millennial customers were flashing a smartphone app or swiping credit or debit cards. The way our adult children spend and save money is very different from their boomer parents. “I want it fast, and I want it now” is the millennial mantra when it comes …

Millennials Create Their Own Expressions of Religion

At Passover seders and in Christian churches this week, families will gather to observe the religious holidays. While some adult children will join in, many will do so out of a sense of obligation rather than practice. More than one-third of all millennials say they are “religiously unaffiliated” today, the highest percentage ever in Pew Research Center polling. It’s not just a rite of passage. Both Gen X and boomers were significantly more religiously affiliated as young adults. So why …