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April 18, 2023

Ask Lisa Podcast - Episode 115

How Do I Parent a Young Adult (and Deal with my Own Parents)? Guest: Laurence Steinberg, PhD

Episode 115

Dr. Lisa and Reena welcome special guest Dr. Laurence Steinberg, Professor of Psychology at Temple University, to celebrate the publication of his latest book You And Your Adult Child: How To Grow Together In Challenging Times. Dr. Steinberg unpacks key research and decades of experience to answer questions from Ask Lisa listeners: How long should you financially support your kids? What if your parents aren’t the grandparents you hoped they’d be? When should you speak out about worrisome choices an adult child is making? Dr. Steinberg addresses how to navigate shifting family dynamics and the importance of supporting autonomy in young adults – even as they continue to need parental love and guidance.

April 18, 2023 | 39 min

Transcript | How Do I Parent a Young Adult (and Deal with my Own Parents)? Guest: Laurence Steinberg, PhD

Ask Lisa Podcast, Ep. 115: How Do I Parent a Young Adult (and Deal with my Own Parents)? Guest: Laurence Steinberg, PhD

The Ask Lisa Podcast does not constitute medical advice and is not a substitute for professional mental health advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have concerns about your child’s well-being, consult a physician or mental health professional.

The following transcript has been automatically generated by an AI system and should be used for informational purposes only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of the information provided.

——

Reena Ninan
One thing I love about this podcast, Lisa is we talk about things that don’t normally come up just casually in parenting. And one of these topics. Crucially, hugely important is when you become an a parent of an adult. What is acceptable and what is not? The relationship changes, doesn’t it?

Lisa Damour
It does. It absolutely does. And it’s a huge part of being a member of a family is working across the generations both raising adult children and then being an adult, interacting with the parents that you have as they get to know your own kids. It’s complicated, as they say.

Reena Ninan
And we’ve got the perfect guest. As always, Dr. Laurence Steinberg is a leading psychologist who has devoted his 45-year career to researching parent-child relationships. He’s a professor of psychology at Temple University. He’s authored many books, and his work has appeared in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. We’re thrilled to have him and to celebrate the publication of his new book, You and Your Adult Child: How to Grow Together in Challenging Times. Welcome.

Laurence Steinberg
Thank you. I’m glad to be here.

Lisa Damour
Larry, we are so glad to have you here. And I have had the opportunity to read this book before publication. And Reena knows how picky I am. I door I don’t often praise books in a full throated way. But this book is perfect. And I don’t say that lightly. I mean, it’s really, it was incredibly informative for me to read, the tone is spot on. And you take up so many questions that adults struggle with, with right either raising their own adult children, or dealing with their own parents.

Laurence Steinberg
Right, thank you, I’m really glad to hear that at least. It was was really interesting to write partly because there aren’t resources out there for parents with adult children. And because as I worked on the book, and especially I’ll just tell a little anecdote here. When I was recording the audio book for several weeks ago, I was working with two wonderful young people in their 20s. One, the producer of the audio working from New York was in her late 20s. And the sound engineer in California where I was recording the book was in his mid 20s. And this was their first exposure to the material hearing me narrated. And after the first day, the young producer came up to me and she said, I’ve got to get a copy of this book for my parents, because they don’t understand me. And separately, of that. Two days later, during a break, the sound engineer came up to me and he said, My parents have to read this book. Because this is what life is like and they don’t get it. And so I’m I’m happy to hear that this book will be useful both to parents and to their kids, because I think that they’re all in this new situation. There are no rules. There are very few guideposts no one really knows what to do because, as I explained, there are so many things that are new now about the lives of adult children and you We’ve talked a lot in popular media about young people and the problems they have making the transition into adulthood. And you say you have talked a lot about that in your writing. But it seems to me that there are lots of reverberations for their parents. And that’s something that has been ignored.

Lisa Damour
I think that’s right. And we, we put a call out to our listeners got phenomenal questions. And what was really fun, as we just mentioned, the title of your book and the questions we got go right down the center of exactly what you’re talking and thinking about. And what I’ll say before we get to these questions, which we’ll do here, just in a moment, as I was reading your book, what it reminded me of was a moment I had in my own training, where I had a really good supervisor who said, when you are doing your job, right, you are equidistant between parents and teenagers, you’re standing in the middle, seeing it from both sides and trying to help them come together. And I will say that what I felt was so beautiful about your book, you know, there’s no good guys or bad guys, you’re not on anyone’s team. You are equidistant between adults, and their adult children, trying to help them come together.

Laurence Steinberg
Right. And rather than give a lot of specific advice that said, this is the way you have to handle this, what I’ve tried to do is to raise issues, and say here’s how to think about Yep. And and I tried to say here’s how to think about it in a way that’s going to be compassionate to both the young person and to their parents. Because I think that, that both sides, I don’t mean to use the word sides, but both generations feel misunderstood, and can use some help and how to navigate this new situation that they weren’t expecting. I mean, that’s a big part of what’s going on, I think now that Neither parents nor their young adult children were expected to find themselves in this situation.

Lisa Damour
Thank goodness for you. I mean, I really mean that in terms of giving them some guidance. Alright, so let’s get to our questions. They’re amazing. So this is a wonderful, sort of big broad one. How do I stay close to my children as they move towards independence?

Laurence Steinberg
Well, that’s what the book is about. We called it how to grow together. You know, I think that there are a couple things that parents need to understand. The first is that there’s another drive toward autonomy. That starts to come out, I think, in the late 20s, and maybe around age 30. You know, there’s one famous one during the toddler years. And there’s a second famous one that, Lisa, you and I know well, which is during that early adolescent years. But I think there’s another one that happens during the late 20s. And I think that this inclination towards wanting to be more independent stems from the young adults desire to show their parents, the world and themselves, that they can handle the demands and challenges of adulthood without relying on your parents all the time. And so I think that the way that parents stay close during this time period is to understand and respect that. And that when you feel your young adult, challenging you in ways that may be reminiscent of what they did, as teenagers, you know, just disregarding your opinion or pushing back against your opinion, you just have to tell yourself, this isn’t about me. This is about the stage of development that my grown child is going through right now. And I think that the more you do that, the less the autonomy will be a challenge for your child. And that will allow you to stay close and to grow closer. The same way I just did. One thought is that, you know, parents struggle with this kind of issue when their kids are young teenagers. But I’ve had an issue, Lisa, with this is your experience, too. I’ve had many parents come to me when their kids were in the later high school years and said it was like a switch flip when they became juniors in high school. I mean, we stopped fighting about things. And I think that that’s because the autonomy issues were kind of worked out by them.

Lisa Damour
I agree. I mean, when I think about separation individuation like I really located around age 13 is when it hits its height and it does soften and it does is and parents become more bearable and even likeable to your older teenagers. Only after the teen has been able to establish themselves as a freestanding actor. And I think often early high school is when kids get to do that they get into clubs, they get into sports, they sort of articulate an identity that feels their own, and then they can be close with their folks again. So I think it’s so fun to watch the ebb and flow and I I will say, the piece you said about it not being personal, I feel like that’s how we as psychologists can be most useful to families is to say, Listen, you’re operating in patterns we see all the time, this is not something that’s just going down between you and your kid, we can articulate the patterns. And the heat that takes out of the relationship really does let things grow.

Laurence Steinberg
Right. And she to help them understand that this process of negotiating new understandings of independence and autonomy in the family, it’s a bi directional process. It’s not just the younger generation striving to pull away we just need from the older one. It’s the older generation trying to figure out how to establish a new equilibrium with a new understanding of what the ground rules are gonna be.

Reena Ninan
I’ve never heard it put that way. That is beautiful. And it gives me a little hope here in junior year, because when you’re in the thick of it, and they’re going bonkers between like 11 and 16, or 15, or what is it, Lisa, it’s between there some time. It’s hard. It’s hard for us parents. But I want to fast forward a little bit, because I’m curious, we’ve done a lot on this podcast, Larry, about the transition, of having your child ready for college? What’s your advice for creating that appropriate transition from home to college? What should parents keep in mind?

Laurence Steinberg
Well, they have to keep in mind that this is it can it can be bumpy. For everybody. It can be bumpy. For the teenager who’s about to go off to college, it can be bumpy for the parents. And I think in my experience, not just as a parent, but talking to parents, which is what I do a lot of is that a lot of families find that they that they start arguing more just before the child is ready to leave to college. And I think that this is partly a way of preparing for the separation, it makes it easier, makes it easier to wave goodbye to your kid when this is coming after your period of not getting along. And it makes it easier to say goodbye to your parents when you feel like I can’t wait to be in some new place. But then I think, right after there’s the homesickness, there’s the feelings of the empty nest, even if it’s not totally empty if you have more than one child. And so I think there may be some bumpiness there going on. And I think you need to understand and this is true, always. But I think during transitional times, it’s especially true that your child continues to need you, child continues to need your love and support, even if the situation has changed. Now, one thing that I’ve suggested to parents when their kids are ethical of college, is that when problems arise, what you want to do, rather than try to solve them, for your young adult child, is to help them figure out how to use the resources on their campus to solve those problems. Because those of us who teach on college campuses, no, those resources are there. I mean, they’re free, they may be hard to find within the bureaucracy. But I know my university, Temple University does what it can to make these services known to students, and to make it easier for students to find them on their own. So I think you know, that when, you know, when, when your child is having a difficult transitional time, I think the kind of questioning you should engage in is. Have you talked to your resident advisor, you know about this? Have you gone to student services about this? Have you talked to your professor advisor about this too, because, rather than me, as your dad solving this for you, I think there are people there that can be better helps them, then I can be.

Lisa Damour
I love both the approach, which I agree with completely, and also the language. I think that so often, we can know, as psychologists what we think people should do, but giving them the words like you just did, to put it into practice, I think can help them actually make it happen.

Laurence Steinberg
Yeah, I found myself doing that a lot in the new book. Yeah. Where I would say, say something like this. And so trying to give parents a template that they can work from, they don’t have to use those exact words. But I want to give them the sentiment that I did that I hope they conveyed.

Lisa Damour
No, it comes across beautifully.

Reena Ninan
Larry, I would imagine it’s so hard as a parent when you have adult children, and they’re dating someone or they’re doing something that you can see this is a horrible, horrible choice. When should you bite your tongue? And when is it time to intervene? Because I think I would be that parent that’s just picking up the phone saying, Oh, no, no, no, this is going to be so bad. And seeing what they do go the opposite way. Right?

Laurence Steinberg
Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, in our field, we sometimes refer to that as the Romeo Juliet, then we can have more than appearance per test, the more the lovers want to be together, I don’t think there’s a lot of evidence for that. In the real world, I have a couple of thoughts on this. The first is to ask yourself as a parent, what is it about this person that bugs you, because sometimes, it’s a matter of taste. And there’s no reason your child has to have the same taste in people that you do, I would guess that since you’ve done a good job as a parent, all along, your child does share some of your tastes. And if your child is now choosing somebody that you don’t particularly care for, that’s probably because you haven’t seen the good things in this person that your child sees. So I think you need to step back, maybe even have a discussion with your partner, or with your friends about this person, I wouldn’t go to your child first and say, I don’t like this person, you gotta get out of this relationship. So that’s one thing, just sort of check your own emotional baggage here and figure out what is it about this person that when always you brought your worries, you know, if there are things that are genuinely dangerous, let’s say, you know that their relationship is characterized by interpersonal violence, for example, or that the, the potential mate has untreated substance abuse or mental health problems that really need to be treated before they can be a suitable spouse. You know, I think there are sometimes legitimate reasons to be concerned, but often, it is really a matter of taste. The other thing that I want to say is that I think the age of your young adult child depends a lot, what we now know from looking at research on how old people are when they meet their future spouse, they’re not meeting them, but certainly not meeting them in high school. They’re not even meeting them in college anymore. I mean, the average age when surveys and they’re These are data from Facebook, in in these data, it shows that most people say that they meet the person, or they met the person, they eventually married, when they were in their late 20s, were around the age of 30. So if your child is dating somebody, and they’re 2425 years old, I think you probably shouldn’t say anything, because I think the chances that they’re going to end up together are probably pretty small. At least that’s what the statistics say. Now, on the other hand, if your child is in their early 30s, there’s a good chance that this could be the person, in which case, you need to be a little more worried because your child may be looking at the clock, and feel like this is my last chance to find the perfect mate, and may make some bad choices, because they’re kind of getting a little bit desperate. And so they’re then I think it’s time to ask yourself, what is it about this person that I did I object to and see whether it’s somebody that’s dangerous, or somebody that’s just a matter of taste? You can you can learn to love them? You know, and you might not love them, you know, from day one.

Lisa Damour
If it is dangerous, like if you really do have some pretty serious concerns, what do you think parents should do?

Laurence Steinberg
I think they should talk to their child about I think they should say, you know, I know that you love this person, a lot. And I’m happy for that. But I have some concerns that I want to talk to you about. And here’s what they are. And let’s talk about how you might address these with your partner before the two of you move ahead in this relationship. I mean, some of them can be remedied, right? I mean, the first one has a drinking problem. Well, that can be treated. So I think you want to look at what to say. And I think the more specific you can be, the better the conversation is going to be. Rather than just saying, I just don’t want this person.

Lisa Damour
Yeah, I love that.

Reena Ninan
Larry, I want to ask you about financially supporting your adult child. Let’s say they want to start a company, get a house, when is it appropriate and okay and healthy to help them out? And when is it sort of questionable?

Laurence Steinberg
Well, let’s start by doing a reality check here. And that’s that it is very expensive to be a young adult these days, much more than it was for their parents generation. That’s largely because of the widening gap between housing costs and salary. So housing costs have gone up about five times faster than salaries have gone up. And so I just want to make sure that parents understand that if they’re a grown child comes to them asking for financial help. It’s very common doesn’t mean that your child is unsuccessful, or some sort of an anomaly. So the first is, it’s not a cause for concern in and of itself. The second point is that you have to make sure as the parent that your finances can, can manage helping your child, right. I mean, I think that the advice that I’ve gotten from people that work with adults in this age range use, don’t do something that’s going to threaten your retirement savings, or threaten your life, or threaten your health in some way. So let’s assume, though, that you can help. And now the question is, how do you how do you have a conversation about how much help and what the understanding is and what the help is for? Well, I think there are a couple of ground rules that you need to follow. The first is that when you help your child to do something, like started business, or when you’re subsidizing rent an apartment, or you’re helping them with a down payment on a home, you have to trust that your child is going to use the money for what they’ve said the money is going to be used for. I mean, if you can’t, if you don’t have the sense of trust in your child, you got bigger problems than worrying about how to handle this financial transaction. The second, so you want to understand, have an understanding if your child explicit about what the money was for it, you want to have an understanding about how long the financial assistance is going to last. And now the answers to these questions are going to vary from family to family, depending upon what the money is for and how much money is on the table. The third thing is to is you have to say to your child, something like I’m trusting that you will tell me when you no longer need this much assistance, or any assistance at all. The only you know that. And then I think there’s the big question, which I spend a fair amount of time on, because it is something that parents ask me a lot, which is, what is your right to monitor, and make sure that your child is spending the money wisely and in a way that is consistent with what it’s intended to be spent on? I tell the story in the book about parents that discover that a couple who they’re assisting financially, he’s going on a big vacation. You know, and the parents look at each other and say, I thought they were broke. I mean, that’s why they came to us ask for help. Now, you know, I think you I think at those moments, you can say something like, I just want to check in and make sure that you still need to help we’ve been giving you because sometimes it looks like you don’t really need it. But let’s talk about it.

Lisa Damour
I love that. Let’s turn the lens the other way. And think about what it means to be someone who’s raising kids dealing with your own parents and their grandparenting role. So we got some fantastic questions and I’m going there’s two I’m gonna say together. One is what do you do with grandparents who don’t have good boundaries or respect? or grandparents who disagree with the way you’re raising your child?

Laurence Steinberg
Well, boy, we could talk for a few hours about this. I think that you know, you you certainly want your parents that your child’s grandparents to have a good relationship with their grandchild. And I think We have a lot of good research showing that that’s beneficial to the grandchild. And it’s beneficial to the parents. And it’s beneficial for the grandparents. So you don’t want to push them away or shut them out. So I think you have to keep that in mind and then say, how can we have an honest conversation about the boundaries and about a way that we can keep you in our life and in our child’s lives, without feeling that you’re in it too much. And I think a lot of grandparents will understand that. I think, as in most of these kinds of conversations, the more specific you can be, the better. Like, we just don’t have time to have a phone call every single day, can we sort of limit it to every other day, or, you know, twice a week, or whatever we don’t want you to be sending our grandchild presents all the time is not good for our grandchild. And some of the things you send are not things we especially want our grandchild to have. So some examples like given the book or, you know, a lot of parents don’t want their children to have toy guns, that grandparents may not realize that a lot of parents don’t want their children to be on screens. A lot. Grandparents may not realize that. And so you can say, just check with us before you send something we don’t want to have to have your grandchild open up your gift. And then I say you can’t have that. Let’s get to the tricky question of what do you do if they complained about the way that you’re parenting? Let me talk first to the grandparents here if that’s okay, you know, I think that this is one of those situations where if you’re, if your kids are not doing something that’s dangerous, or that’s going to really cause some irreparable harm, just keep it to yourself. I mean, if you can’t stand to watch it, just get out of the ultra nose, avert your eyes, whatever. The one thing that we know is that parenting advice is fetish. Just like, you know, stylists and shoes, or furnishings or whatever. Today’s young people tend to parent their children along with a very rigid, schedule, rigid sleep schedule, rigid feeding schedule. Dear parents, my generation of parents were just the opposite. You know, we fed our kids when they were hungry, and we didn’t try to get them to eat when they didn’t seem hungry. We put them down when they looked tired. And we didn’t wake them up until they wanted to get up. It’s the complete opposite today. And the Guru’s the parenting gurus out there now, advise that kind of strict, regulated scheduled parenting. And they say it’s sort of a breakthrough. Well, if you go back and you look at the history of parenting, it’s not a breakthrough. That’s what parenting advisors were seeing in the 1930s, and 1940s. And until Dr. Smith wrote, baby and child care, that was the way that parents were told to parent, it was called Scientific parenting. And I would call it in today’s jargon, data driven parenting, you may know you may, some of your listeners may do this. You have your iPhone, you record every ounce of food, your child takes in the morning, you record every nap down to the actual minute, you look and say, Oh, they’re only supposed to have this many minutes of sleep per day. So I better wake them up from the net right now.

Reena Ninan
This is a little too close to home. I was I was the mom who could measure what, how much breast milk I was putting out, you know, on an app. This is a little close to home, Larry.

Laurence Steinberg
Yes, exactly, exactly. But I joke in the book that you know, the first, the opening of Spock’s book is trust yourself. If you were running that book today, the opening would be trust the data, and everything is data driven. And parenting has become data driven, as well. So I think from the child’s point of view, try to understand that your parents were parents were were parenting you, at a time when parenting advice was very different than the advice that you’re getting out. The truth of the matter is, is that it probably doesn’t really matter all that much. Whether you are parenting on a data driven schedule, or whether you’re being more chilled about it, you can it’s going to turn out fine, probably. So I think you can find ways of saying to your parents, that’s a helpful suggestion. Thanks for suggesting that. And then either do it or don’t do it depending upon how you really think it is. But I would try to avoid getting into tussles about it.

Reena Ninan
Yeah, that’s interesting. You know, one of the big game changers for me when I had my kids was my parents in My in law This, were hugely helpful. I was covering Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State I was on a different plane every other day. And having them come and help with the childcare was massively important and helpful because I was able to focus on my job. But this led this question we got from a listener was, what do I do if my parents aren’t showing up the way I had hoped for them to be the kind of grandparents that I wanted.

Laurence Steinberg
I think you can invite them to show up more. Maybe they don’t realize, I mean, they may be feeling like, they’re worried about being intrusive. And I think if you say to them, you know, it is so helpful. When you’re here, when you’re babysitting, when you’re helping out in an emergency. I love it when you do that. So don’t be shy about offering to do that. And don’t don’t be put off if I asked you to help because it is so hard being a new parent. And I’m really hoping that you can lend a hand now.

Reena Ninan
Communication is what you’re saying is so important.

Laurence Steinberg
Yeah. But also, you know, again, understanding, there may be reasons, right, you may your parents may be elderly, and let me tell you having been a, I am a grandfather, but my grandson is now not an infant anymore. It’s hard work. And it’s hard work, when you’re in your 60s to be bending over and just be up, you know, these 12 pounds of joy over and over again, your back isn’t the back that you had when you were 30 years old. And maybe you’re you need to appreciate that. Chasing a baby who’s now starting to crawl around the room is a taxing thing for somebody who is not in the shape that you’re in today.

Reena Ninan
But Larry, how do you as a parent deal with the disappointment, because, you know, they were so excited, you got pregnant, they couldn’t wait. And then they’re just not. And you know what some, some parents know, okay, they’re not going to be the parent that’s going to help me out?

Laurence Steinberg
Well, you know, we all have to live through life being sometimes disappointed in the people that we love, because they’re not behaving exactly as we had expected or hoped. I don’t think that there’s a solution to it other than a conversation, to see if there are impediments, that are interfering with their being able to help that you can, that you can do something about. And it may be just that they’re worried about being intrusive, and are trying to give you some space. And maybe you can find that out. You can, you know, you can disabuse them of that, of that assumption.

Lisa Damour
Okay Larry, we got a very interesting one on grandparents that, I think seems like a really challenging question. So I’m very eager to hear what you have to say. What do I do with grandparents of teens who have out their beliefs like QAnon?

Laurence Steinberg
That is hard. I think that you have to have a conversation with your teenager, about the fact that there are people who have different beliefs about things in the world, some of them might strike you as being wacky. Some of them might strike you as being offensive. I think if your teenager is the kind of person that can do what I’m about to suggest that you can have your teenager say, you know, grandma, grandpa, when I hear you say things like that, it really upsets me. And I just, you know, you I respect your right to have those opinions and to have those beliefs. But I really wish you wouldn’t express them in front of me, because it really just hurts me, and, and offends me. And if they say it in a polite way, I think a lot of grandparents would probably respect that. I don’t think the thing to do when your grandparents hold extreme, rigid beliefs is to try to argue with them about it, because I don’t think that’s going to be productive. What you can do, if you want to further the conversation about it, is to say, hmm, I don’t think of it that way. Can we talk? Tell me more about why you believe what you believe. But I don’t think you want it to escalate into an argument. You know, people say very often, that two things that you maybe shouldn’t talk about in families all the time, where politics and religion, and that’s what I think a lot of these views are probably about and you know, I think as a parent, you have to have a separate conversation with your teenager, about how they’re feeling about what their grandparents are saying and how best to handle that situation.

Lisa Damour
I think that makes so much sense and it really feels like it takes us back to the advice you gave before which is such found advice, which is sometimes we feel disappointed in people we love, right? And that we can have. In fact, we invariably have ambivalence in relationships, there’s stuff we really like about people and side by side with that there can be things that we have a really hard time with. And that’s the nature of family life.

Laurence Steinberg
And Lisa, as you’ve said so eloquently in your new book, you know, we have unpleasant feelings, that’s part of human nature. And you need to just accept the fact that that’s going to be a part of your experience as a full human being, it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person for having feelings of anger, or annoyance, or disappointment, or whatever. But you need to understand those feelings and accept them. That’s okay. You know, that’s part of being alive.

Reena Ninan
Larry, before we wrap up, I want to ask you, you’ve got 45 years of experience on adult child relationships. What do you hope people walk away with from this book?

Laurence Steinberg
Well, I hope they walk away with, first of all, a better understanding of how the experience of their adult child today differs from their experience when they were that age, because I think that a lot of parents understandably, judge their own child’s trajectory, into and through adulthood, against the timetable that they followed, not realizing that the circumstances of growing up today are very, very different. And so I think that if I can help parents develop more realistic and reasonable expectations, that will help their child and that will help themselves, because they won’t be as anxious or as annoyed or as worried, as they, you know, as they might be. So, you know, I’ve tried to provide some guideposts and some general advice for a new situation that neither the parents nor their adult children ever expected to find themselves in. I don’t believe that anybody’s book, including mine is the final word on a subject. But I hope that it gets the conversation going and and helps parents think about this phase in their family’s life in a new way, and in a way that’s going to be beneficial to both generations.

Lisa Damour
Wonderful. Well, congratulations on your publication day, I am so delighted that this book now exists in the world, it is a desperately needed contribution and a beautiful one.

Laurence Steinberg
Thank you. Thank you so much.

Reena Ninan
And the book is called You and Your Adult Child: How to Grow Together in Challenging Times by Dr. Laurence Steinberg. Thank you so much for joining us.

Laurence Steinberg
Thank you.

Reena Ninan
And Lisa, what do you have for us for parenting to go?

Lisa Damour
Well, what I love so much about Larry’s new book is that it gives so much guidance, that starts with the assumption that you first want to try to see it from the other person’s perspective. And you know, what he was saying in that wrap up just that, you know, things have really changed, and it’s different for adult children than it was when we were coming into adulthood ourselves. And even in his thinking about grandparents, you know, the way he was thinking about those questions was, well, I wonder what’s going on for the grandparent in that, you know, interaction. And I think it’s just such sound advice, whenever we come up against a conflict, to first think, can I imagine where that other person is coming from kind of walk around in their shoes a little bit. And that almost always opens a path for finding a way through a conflict.

Reena Ninan
Empathy can be an amazing opportunity and toolbox for an adult child relationship like this. Absolutely. And next week, we’re going to talk about whether you should kick your child off of TiC tock. We’ll have more on that next week. I’ll see you next week, Lisa.

Lisa Damour
I’ll see you next week.

The advice provided by Dr. Damour here will not and does not constitute - or serve as a substitute for - professional psychological treatment, therapy, or other types of professional advice or intervention. If you have concerns about your child’s well-being, consult a physician or mental health professional.

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The Emotional Lives of Teenagers Raising Connected, Capable, and Compassionate Adolescents