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There are just certain things that parents should never say to their grown children.Ruth Nemzoff, resident scholar at Brandeis University and author of , makes the point that parents transgress the bounds of how we should be talking even before our children grow up.So every morning I repeat this mantra: “Today my kids may feel no need to talk to me.” When they do call, engage, don’t nag. Never speak too negatively about your adult child’s partner when they split up, especially if the couple has a habit of breaking up and getting back together.This is a hard one because if someone treats your child wrong — even your self-sufficient adult child — your mama/papa bear protection instinct goes on high alert.Maybe wait it out a month or too before lambasting the b_____. Whether they had to do chores when they were growing up or never lifted a finger to clean up after themselves, your adult kids may have ideas about hygiene that don’t match yours. This is your kid, and he or she expects you to fix it, whatever it is: a job rejection, a romantic rejection, a fight with a friend, a bee sting.There’s always hope that when they settle into a job and a relationship and have kids, they’ll start washing their sheets more often. Grownup problems are still boo-boos, and boo-boos are still within your bailiwick.But what happens if you badmouth the badly behaving ex?
But that’s a whole other blog post.) I’ve found that parents and their adult children define “hardly ever call” quite differently.But from the kids’ point of view, it's “There you go, ragging on my appearance again.” Say instead: Nothing.However, if your adult child shows up with an actual bruise or cut on his or her body, I feel it’s legitimate to ask about it.Yeah, it can be exasperating, especially if they reject your advice out of hand.But remember those papers you John Hancock’ed when you left the hospital with your bundle of joy?
Instead, I am referring to loss in regards to the type of relationship, such as the death of a parent, spouse, child, and so on.