How it feels to be on the brink of a life passage, from youth to middle age to death.

The Three C's of Parenting Adult Children

We should move from Choreographer to Coach to Consultant as the kids grow up

Linda Herman, the author of a new book about parenting young adults, Parents to the End, was interviewed in the charming group blog, Mothering21 a few days ago. In her book, Herman says that parents of twenty- and thirty-somethings deserve a Parents' Bill of Rights, which includes:

The right to peace of mind

The right to be imperfect

The right to be free from guilt

The right to say "no"

You can read the whole interview here, and find out more about Parents to the End here. My favorite bit in the Q&A on Mothering21 comes from the interviewer, Mary Quigley, a professor of journalism at NYU (who is, I'm delighted to report, using Samantha's and my book Twentysomething as a textbook in her course for undergraduates called "Covering GenY").

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Quigley poses this in her question: "Over the course our children’s lives, you write, we need to make the transition through the “three Cs of parenting," from choreographers to coaches on sidelines to consultants referred to for expert advice. Instead it seems like many Baby Boomers have adopted the role of concierge, and at a luxury hotel!"

I try to think of myself as a consultant to my two daughters, but who knows—every now and then the concierge (aka Jewish mother) in me inevitable peeks out.


Robin Marantz Henig is a science journalist and co-author, with her daughter Samantha Henig, of Twentysomething: Why Do Young Adults Seem Stuck?


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