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 …

4 Tips for Getting Along With New In-Laws

Engagements peak around the holidays, so for some parents — maybe you — 2015 will bring a daughter- or son-in-law. That means other new family members as well; maybe you’ll be meeting them for the first time. These extended family relationships are often complicated even before they start. Yet other parents — for better or worse — will now share the peaks and valleys of your child’s life. And given divorce and remarriage, three or four parents may be involved, …

Why Phoning Your Children Just Isn’t Enough

The medium is the message, Marshall McLuhan famously noted. And in a touch screen world, our relationships with our adult children improve with the more communications media we use. While millennials enjoy chatting on the phone or Skype, they also want parents to “lurk” on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media so we can follow (not intrusively, though) their lives. That’s the finding of a study by University of Kansas doctoral student Jennifer Schon. “We found that young adults …

Some Tips on Career Coaching Your Millennial

Many of our adult children face a daunting job outlook. The post-recession recovery has been particularly difficult for young adults who have experienced double-digit unemployment rates for more than 70 consecutive months, according to The Young Invincibles, a think tank in Washington, D.C. Many adult children, unemployed or stalled in go-nowhere jobs, call on us for advice. In search of some constructive ideas (and a cheat sheet for our career coaching), we found The Bigs, a book that reveals “The …

What’s Different About Family Caregiving Today?

This is a pivotal time. Converging sociodemographic trends and more complex care needs are contributing to historically unprecedented challenges in family care of older people in the U.S. For most of human history, requiring help in old age was uncommon. As Atul Gawande writes in Being Mortal, “The natural course was to die before old age.” Only 41 percent of people born in 1900 survived to age 65. In sharp contrast, an estimated 84 percent of people born in 2010 …