Students Turning to Grandparents to Help Pay for College

How are families paying for college? Grandparents. Or, at least, grandparents and other relatives are kicking in more for a student’s education. The amount of money from relatives — often grandparents — and friends rose to an average of $1,247 this year, a 40 percent increase over last year. That’s according to Sallie Mae’s annual report, “How America Pays for College,” which is based on a survey of 1,600 parents and students. Enter the $50K Picture Your Retirement Sweepstakes. See …

How to Rid Your Home of Your Adult Children’s Stuff

I blame Star Wars for halting my annual cleaning spree. Confronted in the attic with boxes of 1980s-era toys, from Darth Vader figures to a Millennium Falcon spacecraft, I called my son to tell him I was going to throw them out. Stunned silence. He lives in a small New York City apartment, so he’s not able to store the toys — but he couldn’t imagine tossing them either. Those Star Wars figures are just one roadblock to my efforts …

4 Pointers for Dads on How to Embrace Their Adult Kids

Too often dads take a back seat to moms, especially when it comes to holidays. A recent survey found that if Father’s Day and Mother’s Day fell on the same Sunday and adult children could celebrate only one, more than three-quarters would opt for mom! Apparently, mom is more deserving of the attention, and children claim to have more in common with her, the survey found. Even when it comes to spending, Father’s Day (this Sunday if you need a …

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 …

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 …

Losing Myself in Caregiving

After I moved across the country to care for my parents, more than five years ago, I put my heart and soul — to say nothing of my energy and time — into my role as a caregiver. As many of you know, it’s an all-consuming responsibility, one that can soon overwhelm your sense of self. For me, I felt my identity slipping away. I feared I’d lost myself in caregiving. So I thought about who I really am and why …