Attention, parents of adult children! Experts say you could be saying things to them every day that are secretly crushing their self-esteem. So, here are the top things to put on your “don’t-say-to-your-adult-child ever” list:
- When am I getting grandkids? That’ll make your child feel inadequate because they haven’t had children yet. And it’s especially hurtful for single adults, who may want children, but haven’t met a partner yet – or don’t want to go it alone. Instead, focus on being a supportive parent – and not a wannabe grandparent.
- Beware of coming across as even 1% unreceptive to their partner. Experts say unless it’s an abusive relationship, butt out. And even saying something like “I just don’t see you with them” can backfire. If they end up married to that person, they’ll forever have it in the back of their mind that you don’t like their spouse! It also sends the message that you don’t trust their judgment. So, if they ask your opinion of their new partner, stick with something like “I’m happy that you’re happy.”
- All you do is stay at home! If they’ve suddenly changed their lifestyle - like turned into a homebody or a raving nightclub freak - that’s a sign they’re coping with a bigger issue. So, say something like “You haven’t been yourself lately. What’s going on?” That’ll get a conversation going.
- “You’d look great if you lost 10 pounds.” Unless they’ve recently put on a ton of weight, experts say appearance comments should be off limits. If you’re concerned about their health, a better approach is: “Want to go on a walk with me this afternoon?” Or “The new Zumba class at the gym sounds fun. We should try it.”