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Later that day, the same child or a different child may call and share a joke at work or a funny story about how his or her toddler sings the ABCs to fall asleep.The amusing story may alleviate the distress over the problem.” How do you communicate with your adult children? Do they ignore your phone calls, texts, and emails?Parents who had more positive relationships with their adult children were more likely to report daily contact using all three modes of communication (phone, text, in-person).Those who rated their overall relationship as positive were almost one and a half times likelier to see their children in person.In the study, “The Ties That Bind: Midlife Parents’ Daily Experiences With Grown Children,” lead author Karen Fingerman at the University of Texas, Austin, found that 96 percent of the sampled 247 parents with children over the age of 18 spoke with, texted, or saw them in person during a one-week period. But researchers wanted to know whether the mode of communication was influenced by the quality of the parent-child relationship and if the encounters had a significant impact on the mood and well-being of the parent.A Mixed Bag of Reactions “Pleasant and stressful experiences with grown children were associated with parents’ positive and negative daily moods,” the study found.I see their pictures at all of their other family gatherings but I go without a call, text or message.
How Contact with Grown Children Affects Parents’ Mood Calling and texting grown children, versus face-to-face interaction, may not be the emotionally best choice for parents.
Current forms of communication can be frustrating for parents.
Many adult children don’t answer their cellphones; they keep the voicemail boxes full; and if you can leave a message, it’s doubtful they will listen to it.
Since sending our children off to college, to jobs, or marriage, some of my friends talk to and text their children endlessly. I notice disbelief on their faces when I report not speaking to my married son for two-week stretches at a time.
Adult children—particularly daughters as I learned from the research for Nobody’s Baby Now: Reinventing Your Adult Relationship with Your Mother and Father—report speaking with a parent two, three, or more times a day in conversations that range from important to trivial.