How to Raise Your Adult Children—If You Want Them to Hate You
So, I got a review copy of this book, How to Raise Your Adult Children. Now, I have to tell you, I am really tickled when I get review copies of books through my blog. I once got one about Nazis and Jews and condoms, which is still sitting on my bookshelf unread (which probably says something about the appeal of the book). Anyhow, this book sounded pretty interesting and who better to review a book on raising adult children than an adult child?
Well, this adult child is glad the authors of this book are not her parents. Their advice is sort of confusing to me. They don't think it's OK for parents to always pay for dinner when they take their adult children out to dinner, don't think that parents have any obligation to pay for their kid's college even if they can (and specifically think grandparents shouldn't help pay for their grandkids' college just to teach their own children a lesson for not saving), think that parents always know how their kids' relationships are going to turn out, and think that parents should convert their kids' bedrooms into something else the second the kid walks out the door to college.
One of the authors is a comedy writer so the book is supposed to be funny. It's not. The other writer is a marriage and family therapist who suggests that pretty much everyone needs therapy. Now, don't get me wrong, I think mental health counseling is incredibly important, but I'm not sure the daughter in her first month of college who calls home multiple times a week needs therapy nor does the grandfather who doesn't mind babysitting his grand kids every weekend.
Now, I'm not saying I know everything about raising adult children—or even children children—and certainly the authors occasionally call parents out for being stupid or ridiculous or something, but they don't give adult children enough credit. Because you know what adult children are? Just people. People who sometimes make good decisions and sometimes make bad decisions and sometimes need a helping hand from the people who love them.
(And for the record, my parents did not pay my college tuition and I don't have a bedroom in my parents' house, but my parents pay when I eat out with them and they will owe me as much babysitting as I ask for considering how much babysitting I did for their children.)