There are some topics that parents of young adult kids are better off avoiding unless the young adult kids bring them up first. Respecting privacy and reserving judgement are two skills needed as kids grow into adulthood.
Lack of family together
This is a difficult topic, since every family is unique. Some families spend lots and lots of time together, while others only gather together for holidays and special occasions. Your expectations of time with your young adults may be very different from theirs, and as hard as it may b, it’s important to respect their choices. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t rea hot to your young adults with an invitation to dinner or a request to visit if they live far away. Your needs are important, too. Just try to avoid being angry at them for living their life lives the way they want to.
“I told you so”
No matter how intuitively you knew something – a job, an apartment, a roommate, a marriage – was a bad idea, never, ever say I told you so to your young adult child. If he comes to you for support, advice, help or even rescuing, do it without a lecture or a scolding, especially when the bottom first drops out of whatever situation is causing him upheaval in his life. You do not need to remind him of his mistake, even the tiniest bit. All he needs from you is support, help and some wise words – when he’s ready.
Raising their children
If your young adult is a parent, you should enjoy being a grandparent and do your best to hold your tongue when you have doubts about techniques or attitudes she has about raising her child. Parenthood, as you well know, can be confusing, scary and intimidating. Especially in the age of the internet, new parents are bombarded with information about everything from organic baby food to how much a baby should sleep. Your young adult will ask for your advice – you can count on it. Just don’t offer it before then.
“When I was your age…”
The world changes, and as we get older it can be harder and harder to keep up with those changes, some of which may seem impossible to comprehend. Comparing your experience as a 20 something to your young adult’s experience is only going to make the gap wider. Instead of being skeptical of the new ways things are done, listen to what your young adults are telling you and try to understand instead of shaking your head in disbelief or scoffing at their ways of living their lives.
Young adults may spend money in ways their parents don’t understand – or approve of. Many millennials are more interested in experiences than things – a weekend concert is a priority, a new mattress is not. Their spending habits are not something parents should comment about, as long as they are self-supporting and not asking for extra cash from you.