If your grown daughter still winces at your tone of voice — even though she is thirty years old, or if you can’t get your 20-something son to return your phone calls; if you love your parents but find it impossible to visit them for more than three days without blowing up, or if you don’t like the way they discipline your children, you may need this book.
Walking on Eggshells began as my effort to find out what made parents and their grown kids close or distant. The stories I heard were compelling and reassuring. What I found should come as a relief and as a challenge to both generations: a relief because there is so much love, a challenge because there is much to be done. Here are some of the things I discovered:
Adult children, no matter how they behave, love and appreciate their parents.
Parents, even those who are annoyed at their kids, yearn be part of their lives.
Both generations want it to work; they sometimes just don’t know where to begin.
Offering grown children unsolicited advice is a recipe for discord.
Stories are at the heart of this book. Reading about people in different situations and seeing how they cope, helps us understand our own lives, because we see a bit of ourselves in the stories. I spoke with an equal number of parents and grown children; here each generation can find out what they other may be thinking. The overwhelming response to Walking on Eggshells is relief: you are not alone in facing difficulties at this new stage of life.
I began this book because I felt I was losing my grown sons. Now, years later, we are very close. The kind people who told me their stories taught me a lot about parenting adult children. I hope my book does the same for you and your grown kids.