12 Things You Must Do For Your Adult Kids Before You Die

1. Go on an unforgettable vacation
with them (and their spouses,
if they’re married)

From a fishing trip to European cruise, depending on your tastes and budget.

2. Make them laugh

Brilliantly pretend you’re tipsy after one glass of Sangria, or
purposely call Keanu Reeves “Keith Ragu.”

3. Plan at least one blowout surprise birthday party they’ll never forget

It doesn’t matter where, as long as he’s surrounded by the people he loves.

4. Give them something handmade that makes them think of you
when they look at it

A photo collage of you and them over the years. A hand-knitted sweater. A quilt.

5. Take your grandchildren away for the summer to give your
“kids” a long rest

From the obvious (your house) to the ridiculous (a Malibu beach house).

6. Do whatever it takes to help them out during a time of hardship

Give them money, do chores, take them to doctors’ appointments if they need assistance.

7. Go wild with them

Ask if you can take a hit off her bong, or a shot of his Patrón.

8. Continually tell them endearing stories about their childhood

Like when your son peed on the doctor who delivered him, or when your daughter
ran away because you asked if she wanted to go bra shopping.

9. Go with them on excursions that don’t interest you one bit

To his alma mater’s football games in frigid weather, or
to help her pick out new dinnerware.

10. Respect the major decisions they make, even if you think they’ve
lost their minds

Gift her a beautiful set of brushes when she leaves a six-figure job
to pursue her passion for painting.

11. Do things that show them how smart you think they are

Ask your investment banker son for advice about your finances, or your
journalist daughter to comment on something you’ve written.

12. Make a video for them and have it delivered after you’re gone

Tell them how they’ve enriched your life, what you wish for them,
and how you’d like them to remember you.

What did we miss?

21 Responses to “12 Things You Must Do For Your Adult Kids Before You Die”

  1. Lyn Thomerson Gardner says:

    Ashley Lyn Gardner – I believe you made me a cd of “Mom’s Girly Music,” or some such thing and many, many beautiful handmade things! Maybe you and Adam are the mommies and I’m the kid?????

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  2. Lyn Thomerson Gardner says:

    Adam T. Gardner – #7! <3 WE LOVE TEQUILA!!!!!!

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  3. rebecca huff says:

    As a mom with 6 kids, I LOVE every bit of this advice! Thank you

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  4. Vicki says:

    My Mom had us come along with her to plan my grandmother’s funeral. She said we needed to experience this before it was someone much closer to us. Huge thanks Mom. Made planning hers easier.

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  5. Pamm Peterson says:

    We have all the kids over for Sunday night dinners. Nothing fancy pizza and subs. BBQ on the deck when the weather allows. Baltimore Ravens Sunday purple attire game day/ night dinners all are welcome my kids their boyfriends girlfriends spouses etc.
    It’s such a warm feeling to know they enjoy coming back home to be with us. Tradition Sunday dinners.

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    • Geri Brin says:

      Love this, Pamm

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  6. cathi nelson says:

    Have their childhood photos scanned and organized. NOT all of the PHOTOS, pick 25 – 50 favorite photos that represent your family traditions and tell them a story. Here are some ideas: We Loved to Travel, We Loved To Celebrate, We Loved One Another. Don’t worry about chronological order, it is the themes and stories that matter most. PS: there are personal photo organizers who can help you.

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    • Geri Brin says:

      Hi Cathi,

      i think your idea is wonderful because most of us hate wading through thousands of photos, when 25 to 50 can tell everything beautifully!

      thanks for the idea.

      Geri

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  7. Barbara Grapstein says:

    Such a great list!
    I especially like the idea of making them laugh and start discussing old stories.
    Thanks for sending.

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    • Geri Brin says:

      You’re welcome, Barbara. If we can make them laugh, there’s still hope that we’re good guys.

      Geri

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  8. Diane Souza says:

    What a wonderful idea and I really like the video idea.I want my sons to always remember how much I love them and how proud they have always made me feel.Loved all the suggestions and plan on doing a few of them asap!

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    • Geri Brin says:

      So pleased you liked them, Diane.

      Geri

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  9. Carolyn Glardon says:

    3 HUGE gifts:
    1)-PLANS & PREPAYMENT for your body-organs-funeral-celebration service-cremation-cemetery plot, etc. If you can afford “Long Term Care” insurance, do that too. Things went much smoother with my siblings & me when my parents died & we had no disagreements or worries. Also, WILLS, TRUSTS,& ESTATE PLANNING are a MUST!
    2)-Divide SOME of the “family treasures” for your children & give them NOW! I divided the china, sterling silver, collectibles, & their grandparents’ heirlooms recently. My husband is sorting fishing equipment & his Coca-Cola collection to divide. We’ve GIVEN with no strings attached, so they are free to keep, sell or give away. It’s been SO rewarding to see smiles from the treasures & keepsakes & for them to be able to enjoy while we are living. We also took old suitcases & filled them with some items for our four grandchildren. WHAT FUN!
    3)-DECLUTTER NOW, as someone advised. My husband has trouble
    w/stairs so I decided to purge our attic–a present to him, as well as our children. They will have plenty to do when I die, so this is one less worry…AND we can FINALLY park cars in our garage!

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    • Geri Brin says:

      Hi Carolyn,

      Wonderful suggestions! Love #2

      Geri

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    • Geri Brin says:

      Wonderful suggestions, Carolyn. Loved #2

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    • Geri Brin says:

      Hi Carolyn,

      Wonderful suggestions. Love #2

      Geri

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  10. Dolores says:

    Make a cookbook for each of them, hand written with your favorite recipes and/or family recipes handed down through the generations. Include short devotions or prayers for your children.

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    • Diane Souza says:

      Great Idea!I’ve started giving them recipes as they ask for them but a cookbook is a wonderful idea.

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    • Naiad says:

      These days you can fairly easily make that a hardbound book through a site like Blurb.

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  11. Angela Stout says:

    Write down stories that you’re parents told you about their family traditions and take them to the cemetery where relatives are buried. The majority of my family is buried in 1 cemetery in a little Mississippi town. Lots of family heritage.

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  12. Lisa Foster says:

    I would add – declutter your house and have your estate planning affairs in order. My husband and I are in the process of settling his mother’s estate and it has been much more difficult because of the cluttered house and financial disorganization.

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