5 foolproof talking tips for moms of 20-and-30-something “kids”




1.”Do you have enough warm clothing?”

SHOULD BE:“I am going to [store name] this weekend to get some sweaters for dad. Would you like me to get you anything there?”


2. “How is [girlfriend or boyfriend’s name]?”

SHOULD BE: “I am going to [store name] this weekend to get some sweaters for dad. Would you like me to get you anything there?”

(Don’t ask how the relationship is going, period. And asking how the significant other is doing is a thinly veiled way of doing this. If your kid wants to open up about this, he or she will come to you.)


3. “Do you have enough money?”

SHOULD BE: “I read an article in [publication you might feasibly read] saying that your generation is making so much less money today than when dad and I were your age. I want you to know if you’re ever in a pinch, you can count on us.”


4. “Do you think I look fat?”

SHOULD BE: “I am going to [store name] this weekend to get some sweaters for dad. Would you like me to get you anything there?”

(Just don’t ask that question. To anyone. Ever.)


5. “Why don’t you ever call me to say hi?”/”Didn’t you think my text was funny?”

SHOULD BE: “I really love talking to you on the phone. It always makes my day to hear from you.”

0 Responses to “5 foolproof talking tips for moms of 20-and-30-something “kids””

  1. maxie says:

    I can really relate to this. I have 2 daughters in their 30’s. (One married, one single). I also have a 27 yr. old son. My single daughter tells me that if there’s anything I need to know she’ll tell me otherwise it’s none of my business. My married daughter shares her life experiences with me and my son gives me too much information at times. 3 children, 3 different personalities.

  2. Nomi says:

    Wait. Dad can’t buy his own clothing?

    • Geri says:

      Hi Nomi



  3. Carlita says:

    Loved the tips. My son did ask my opinion regarding a relationship he was in & I gave my honest opinion. He seemed appreciative & relieved. I was honored!

    I agree with Ter. It’s how you react (& what your response will be). I also agree with Cecile about getting phone calls and talking on the phone. It’s somewhat of a Rare Treat especially if you’re a parent of a 20something! Best to learn how to text!

    In summation, I totally agree with Bert, “there is no one formula for talking to anyone, it depends upon what you have built with them,” and above all, what you have maintained and maintain with them! 😀 Keep the communication lines open Moms!

  4. Leslie Petersen says:

    WOW……parents really offer to help out financially if you get in a pinch? Really? Mine never did anything but lavish themselves.

    • Anne says:

      Exactly what is your required/deserved/expected percentage of your parent’s income? This type of comment always concerns me. I’ve been very generous with my own children…way beyond the legal requirements to provide them with decent food, average clothing and safe lodging- but having children doesn’t mean that they are life long recipients of my income. There comes a time when they are required to be self-supporting. It’s called growing up and if children assume by virture of their existence someone else is required to provide for them or keep them in the lifestyle they desire, there is something wrong there…

  5. Ter says:

    Okay…Yet, my son is somewhat interested to know that I care about him, and if I do ask him a question or two his eyes light up and he responds. I don’t drill him. I don’t get ultra personal. He came to me when a relationship faltered and I responded, “Oh, how do you feel about that honey?” Then, I listened. Now, all is fine. Perhaps it is not what you ask but how you react.

    • Geri says:

      wonderful response after your son’s relationship faltered.

  6. Paulette says:

    LOL!!! i loved this entire article. sounds to me like “dad” is going to be getting ALOT of clothing from some unnamed store! thank you for these tips, even just for the smile they brought me today.

    • Geri says:

      Love that you loved it, Paulette! Geri Brin

  7. MarDo says:

    One can lead a horse to water…..but cannot make it drink……. = the converstions with adult offspring……JUST ASK ME!

  8. Cecile Wheatley says:

    Well….. if you think your over-20 kid will talk to you on the phone, keep thinking that until you go to assisted living… kids don’t talk on the phone. They text. So get good at it, learn to abbreviate and ask whatever you want. The worst? They will pretend they didn’t get the text. Texting is the new “choose what you want to answer” techinque. Personally I never asked about ANY girlfriend. Boyfriends I was told about whether I wanted to hear about it or not. Never asked if they needed anything. I bought it; enclosed gift receipts and shipped it… I never asked if they needed money. I sent the check. Never gave excuses… always said, for whatever you want…
    Why are we forever tip-toeing around our kids? Ask what you want to ask. And if a kid of mine ever says to me “Mind your own business…” I will mind it so much they will have to come in person to talk to me.
    I spent too many sleepless nights, money and energy to hear: Mind your own business… But then I am old school…


  9. Berti says:

    I think that how you talk with your older offspring and the results thereof depend upon the years of love and communication that preceded their reaching their present ages. I have two sons, 26 and 23, they couldn’t be more different from the other and I know them well. They also know that my husband and I are completely devoted to them and love them unconditionally.

    We can ask them if they need money and they will answer my husband and me honestly and be grateful for the offer every time; they will take us up on the offer when necessary. My older son will always take me up on offers to buy him clothes, my younger son won’t and I don’t offer him. My younger son has been in a committed relationship for close to 5 years and his girlfriend is like a member of the family, I always ask how she is and he appreciates it and talks to me about what’s going on with her.

    Both boys are caring and loving towards my husband and me as well and ask us how we are. They call to see how we are and are very sensitive to what’s going on with us. We have mutually loving and caring adult relationship that is the result of years of loving parenting and open communication.

    IF someone asks about something that is private, the other simply says, “I’d rather not talk about that now.” And eventually the person does talk about it. There is no one formula for talking to anyone, it depends upon what you have built with them.


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