That perfect Norman Rockwell tableau doesn’t always match real life around the Thanksgiving table. Throughout the holiday season, family feuds can simmer, prompting outright refusal by adult children to join the festivities.
In what the Pew Research Center calls a “return to the past,” a new study found that a growing number of young women are now living at home. About 36 percent of millennial women reside with parents, a number almost equal to the peak in 1940 when statistics were first kept. Unlike the World War II generation, many are college educated and delaying marriage.
As a college professor, I made a radical decision about a year ago: I banned smartphones and laptops during class. Honestly, I can’t compete with Facebook or an Internet flash sale or texts from friends. My students now take their notes the old-fashioned way with pen on paper. And it turns out that students who take notes by hand learn better.
For years we’ve heard a Paul Revere-type warning: The millennials are coming! The millennials are coming! Indeed they are here, pushing aside boomers and Gen Xers this year as the largest generation in the labor force. Predictions are that in five years, they will comprise more than half the workforce.
The great college move-in begins this week. Getting the students there is the easy part. Getting the parents to leave — in both mind and spirit — is the challenge. Indeed, though some colleges have show-parents-the-exit programs, many parents still hover from home.
We heard through the grapevine about a boomer couple upset because their son, who graduated from a prestigious college and professional school without loans, was marrying a young lawyer with tens of thousands in educational debt. The parents feared that paying off this financial burden would delay the couple in buying a house and starting a family. Wisely, they chose to say nothing.
Weddings, as we observed last week, can ignite bad feelings among family members. Once past the nuptials, the young couple may expect “happily ever after,” yet other issues can bedevil both parents and adult children. One sticking point is what to call an in-law, particularly a mother-in-law. For some reason, male in-laws don’t seem to have this problem.
The economic value of the nation’s family caregivers’ unpaid work is an estimated $470 billion a year — an amount about equal to the annual sales of Wal-Mart, the world’s largest company.
Weddings bloom in summer, and sometimes those festivities blossom all at once for boomer parents and their adult children. The average age for a bride is 29 and for a groom, 31. When the adult children of friends and family hover in that age category, we can expect many invites, sometimes too many for our budget and schedules.
When it comes to travel, writer Janey Womeldorf knows her way around. She has worked as a tour guide in her native Bath, England, and as a travel agent in Germany. Now, as an Orlando, Fla., transplant, she's the in-house theme-park planner for her extended family. Over the last decade Womeldorf has coordinated family trips that include toddlers and adult children as well as grandparents.
Search AARP Blogs