Disagreeing with your parents is just fine. Do it in a way that doesn’t make them see you as a perpetual child.

When you’re raising a child, arguments seem pointless.

Why should anyone have to suffer through a squabble about why their 14-year-old can’t stay out until 2 a.m.?

When you spend a good decade or so having the kinds of disagreements that make you want to scream, it’s easy to develop a dismissive attitude toward your child’s opinions.

But as parents age and children become adults, the lines start to blur.

All of a sudden, the child starts to make sense – maybe even a little more sense than the parent is comfortable with. How should that transition be handled?

Most of these conversations revolve around how the parent in question can accept their child as a bona fide adult.

But what about from the other perspective? The adult child’s role in a disagreement is just as important – and just as tricky to navigate.

If you’re ready to start parsing parental conflicts in a more effective way, read ahead for some tips on how to make it happen.

Stay calm.

There’s a reason why “Keep calm and carry on” has become a viral phrase in the last few years. Staying calm is a vital tool – one that precious few people use correctly.

It won’t help your case to yell or get emotional, even if you’re in the right. Staying calm will help you to present clear, focused arguments and avoid getting sidetracked.

Try to be the bigger person. Even if your parents are calling you names, trying to avoid the conversation or refusing to acknowledge your point of view. It doesn’t help to get worked up. If anything, it will just feed into the idea that you’re not mature enough.

When disagreeing with your parents, you need to stay on the higher ground.

Avoid all or nothing statements.

Avoid all or nothing phrases like “you always” or “you never” when arguing. Accusing your mom or dad of doing something 100% of the time is a sure-fire way to put them on the defensive.

Instead, bring up specific examples and use words like “sometimes” or “occasionally.”

When you use “all or nothing” thinking, you cut yourself off from seeing their point of view. You turn your parents into caricatures of themselves instead of well-rounded people who make mistakes.

This approach is important in any argument, but especially during a time where both parties are trying to develop a more nuanced view of the other.

Take a step back if you find yourself doing this when disagreeing with your parents. An argument can quickly turn from a productive disagreement to a petty squabble when one side or the other goes down the rabbit hole of dramatic statements and accusatory language.

Stay focused.

Family matters come with decades of baggage that hasn’t been fully unpacked. It’s easy to get sidetracked during a heated argument and think about every perceived injustice you’ve ever suffered.

Stay focused on what you’re talking about. If you’re complaining about how they forgot to ask about your recent work promotion, don’t bring up the time in seventh grade when they missed your school play.

Part of the difficulty of disagreeing with your parents is convincing them to see you as a fellow adult instead of a kid. If you bring up something from your childhood, accomplishing that is going to be very difficult.

It’s frustrating to stay on track when you feel like you have more ammo in your bag, but piling on doesn’t validate an argument. It’s only makes the other person more defensive and less sympathetic to what you’re saying.

Pick your battles.

You can’t disagree on everything if you want a happy relationship with your parents. Even though it might hurt your jaw to grit those teeth, you’ll be happier in the long run if you let some things go.

For example, if your parents eat red meat every day and you’re a staunch vegetarian, don’t bring up the horrors of factory farming when you’re visiting for Christmas. No one wants to be insulted in their own house, and it’s probably not a stand worth taking.

If they criticize or make fun of your vegetarianism, then it’s time to speak up. In general, try to notice the difference between defending your sovereignty as an adult and looking for an excuse to pick a fight.

Create and enforce boundaries.

Remember when you were a teenager and how fiercely you protected your bedroom? No one could go in without your consent. Doing so was a violation of privacy.

That’s how your mind should be. No one can make you upset or force you into a discussion without you agreeing to it. For example, if you don’t want your parents to criticize your parenting skills, shut that topic down as soon as it comes up.

Setting those mental and emotional boundaries will make it easier to stop questions from turning into arguments.

If your mom disagrees with your decision not to breastfeed your child, simply say, “This is my decision, and I’m not going to discuss it with you further.”

If she tries to keep poking you, repeat that sentence. Eventually, she’ll get the message. Parents generally mean well, but they won’t know they’ve stepped over a line unless that line is clearly and consistently drawn.

This strategy is a larger representation of how to disagree with your parents in general. Make it a habit to be respectful of yourself and your parent’s opinions, and things will get easier.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

It’s hard to need to take care of your parents. But sometimes it’s necessary.

There comes a time in our lives when suddenly we must adult for our adults. Our roles switch. The caregivers need the caregiving.

Adulting for your parents isn’t easy. It’s an uncomfortable conversation to broach with Mom and Dad. However, the consequences of avoiding it are even more uncomfortable. While it might be difficult to talk about your parents’ future with them, it’s better to make sure they and their assets get the care they need.

Below are five topics to cover with Mom and Dad to make sure that conversation is as effective as it is difficult.

Health and assistance.

With the ongoing rise of healthcare costs and the unsure future of the Affordable Care Act, families must start planning for healthcare and healthcare expenses as soon as possible. Talk with your parents about their current health and the history of health and disease in your family.

What are they dealing with now? What might they deal with in the future? This information will help the family make educated decisions on how to manage their money and investments to provide the healthcare they need.

Precautionary measures that include a healthy diet, regular doctor checkups, and regular exercise may help minimize long-term costs and the risks of some diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Despite all the precautionary measures families can take, parents may need long-term care.

Mom and Dad may need someone to care for them on a regular basis. Children may want to provide that care, but it can be challenging and stressful. Children often aren’t equipped with the knowledge and physical stamina required to properly care for our older adults. Adulting for your parents can be very hard and require specialized training.

Long-term care is expensive, though. Consider long-term care insurance. Long-term care insurance covers items not covered by standard health insurance. Health insurance provides coverage for illnesses and diseases. Long-term care insurance covers services that provide mom and dad with daily living assistance. This could include help with eating, bathing, help in the bathroom, and help getting in and out of bed.

Housing.

Mom and Dad may get to a point when living in their current home is challenging or even dangerous for them. Walking up long and steep flights of steps may hard. Reaching high cabinets and shelves may be impossible.

If this happens, it may be appropriate for them to move into their children’s house. You can be involved with adulting for your parents more easily in this situation.

This isn’t always the best solution for either party, though. The children and grandchildren may be too busy or unable to help care for mom and dad. Mom and dad may rather be around their own friends or, believe it or not, people their own age.

Retirement villages for those 55 and up are very popular. These are ideal neighborhoods to keep Mom and Dad active and around a community of people with whom they can spend time and relate.

Social interaction is especially crucial as we age. It helps fight problems such as dementia and depression. Staying active in local and broader communities helps maintain a sense of purpose. Encourage parents to join clubs and organizations and volunteer for causes about which they’re passionate.

As Mom and Dad need more attention, nursing facilities may become necessary. Families must plan for such expenses; the average nursing home costs about $80,000 annually for a semi-private room.

Have the conversation when mom and dad can still engage so you understand their wishes and concerns. Assess what the whole family can handle and manage mom and dad’s investments and assets accordingly.

Wills, trusts, and estate planning.

Life for children is stressful enough when parents are incapacitated or pass away. Some of that stress can be alleviated with proper planning.

If Mom and Dad haven’t already done so, they should get their will in order. This is an appropriate time to draft living wills and burial requests.

Include trust and estate planning to make sure what they leave behind is used in the manner they wish. These options give mom and dad peace of mind and takes weight off children’s shoulders. It also helps avoid family conflict that can happen when someone passes away.

Once all their legal documents are organized, a great tool is Docubank. DocuBank electronically stores all official and legal documents, including healthcare directives and emergency medical information, on a credit card-like card to keep these documents accessible from anywhere in the world at any time of day.

Managing investments.

It’s unfortunate, but true: getting older is expensive. Because savings rates are low due to low interest rates, it’s important that mom and dad be appropriately invested. Not only must they keep up with the rate of inflation and fight small Social Security increases, they must keep up with the increasing costs of aging.

The challenge is to not assume too much risk or wipe out savings and retirement investments for when they need it.

Most children aren’t equipped for such a conversation or responsibility. Therefore, it’s advisable to use a professional. Just any professional won’t do. Seek the help of a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) who is also Investment Advisory Registered (IAR).

An investment professional with a CFP designation has completed significant education and testing to use the CFP designation. An IAR designation means investment professional has taken additional testing and has a fiduciary responsibility to their clients.

Fiduciary responsibility means an investment professional must, and is held accountable to, make investment decisions based on their client’s best interests. This means under no circumstances is the investment professional allowed to sell mom and dad investments that are in the investment professional’s best interest and not mom and dad’s.

Adulting for adult children.

Lastly, it’s important for Mom and Dad to stop financially supporting adult children when it becomes prohibitive to Mom and Dad’s interests.

Everyone has that one cousin, some of us have that one sibling, who’s just never got their life in order. They hop from job to job and place to place. Their only constant is Mom and Dad and Mom and Dad’s money.

Mom and Dad have done enough. It’s time for them and you to focus on them. That means it’s time for some adult children, whether they’re ready or not, to start adulting. You’ll be adulting for your parents soon enough. Time to start adulting for yourself.

While these may be difficult topics to discuss with aging parents, they’re much easier conversations to have when mom and dad can be a part of them. The purpose is to give mom and dad the dignity they deserve. Doing so is a lot easier when you know what they want.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

How well do you resolve differences in your relationship? Talaat and Tai McNeely share their story of conflict and resolution and offer great relationship advice about communication.

Once in a while, we present Adulting.tv LIVE! Subscribe on YouTube to hear about future events, and share your questions about or suggestions for our next discussions!

Harlan L. Landes and Miranda Marquit welcome Tai and Talaat McNeely. The guests open up about their struggle with communication about finances early in their relationship, and how they overcame obstacles as a couple. Their story is inspiring, and the guests are candid in their sharing of their mistakes as well as the lessons they’ve learned.

Communication is the most important piece of any relationship, and in this episode, our guests share the tools that have helped them — and others they’ve coached — survive and thrive within a relationship.

This episode is essential watching for anyone in a relationship, and the tools and tips are effective for resolving more than differences about just money.

Talaat and Tai McNeely, “America’s #1 Money Couple,” are financial educators that are on a mission to get individuals and couples on the same page financially, and to experience the joys of financial freedom. They are co-authors of Money Talks: The Ultimate Couple’s Guide To Communicating About Money. They are also the hosts of the top rated podcast, The His and Her Money Show. Talaat and Tai McNeely (His and Her Money) have been featured in numerous publications such as T.D. Jakes Show, FoxNews.com, MSN.com, Essence, and Business Insider.

Watch the video above or listen to just the audio by using the player below.

Hosted byHarlan Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteven Flato
Music bybensound.com

Like what you’ve heard?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Can’t we all just get along? Unfortunately, with family, this isn’t always what happens. Here’s what you need to know about managing conflicts with family.

The best way to support Adulting.tv is to subscribe and leave us an honest review. Thank you!

The holiday season just ended. How did you survive?

Many families dread the holidays because of family disagreements. These past holidays might have been especially trying, thanks to the election.

And, even though you’ve navigated the holidays, there’s a good chance you still need to see family members at a major gathering. Sunday dinner? Grandma’s 80th birthday party? A family reunion in the summer?

At some point you’re going to have more conflicts with family. This episode will help you get through it.

Concepts

  • How emotion and identity impact the way we talk about difficult subjects.
  • The difficulty of seeing family when you spend more time with friends who might agree with you more.
  • Concerns about how “being right” and a “team” mentality can make it hard to talk about thorny issues.
  • Tips for setting the stage for civil and polite conversation rather than conflicts with family.
  • Ideas for defusing a difficult “conflicts with family” situation when it arises.
  • The importance of avoiding big discussions on social media.
  • The reality of our interconnected world and how it contributes to conflicts with family.

Listen to our “do nows” for ideas on what you can do to take action to avoid or help defuse conflicts with family. We also answer a listener question about religious tensions in family settings.

Become a Friend of Adulting

To get Adulting delivered directly to your device, subscribe using iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or your app of choice.

Join the Friends of Adulting! Please leave an honest review on iTunes. We would really appreciate the feedback!

Resources

Don’t let politics spoil your family holiday
Families dread holidays after election
Hosted byHarlan Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteve Stewart
Music bybensound.com

Like what you’ve heard?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

We all have arguments with the people we love. But that doesn’t mean it’s ok to fight dirty. It’s much better if you fight fair.

There’s nothing quite so disorienting as fighting with someone you love.

It’s easy to imagine a civil disagreement in the abstract, but actually remaining calm and collected in the heat of the moment is a tall order.

Even the best relationships break down under the weight of petty disagreements. No matter if everything else about a partnership is in good shape, communicating poorly during a fight is a recipe for disaster. Navigating conflict is just part of the deal when you decide to link your life with someone else.

As obvious as that might sound, it’s an issue that multitudes of people struggle with.

How can you fight fair while still asserting yourself?

Stay on message.

Getting off track is easy during an argument. Emotions are running high, and it’s easy to start bringing up every single thing your partner has done wrong. Don’t.

You shouldn’t pile on during a disagreement. Stick to the discussion at hand no matter how mad you feel, and try to encourage your partner to do the same.

Bringing up past issues only derails the conversation and makes it harder to move forward. It also creates an element of distrust, a seed that can destroy even the strongest relationship. If your partner feels you can’t truly forgive them for something they’ve done, how can they trust you going forward?

Keep your emotions in check.

The more you restrain yourself during an argument the less work it will take to mend hurt feelings. It’s never ok to name-call, yell, or throw things at your partner.

Part of loving someone is being respectful at all times – especially when you’re fighting.

Keep your guilt and shame in check. If the argument is about something you did, don’t let self-pity take over. Negative thoughts only make you feel worse about yourself, which isn’t a productive attitude to have during a fight.

The argument or discussion you’re having is a separate incident. It shouldn’t represent you or your partner as a whole. Learn to understand the difference and you’ll feel better when disagreements crop up and be better equipped to fight fair.

If you feel emotional, it’s ok to ask for a few minutes to cool down. Write down your thoughts in a journal or take deep breaths can help you decompress, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Taking time to settle down can be the difference between a fight that’s resolved quickly and one that drags on for days.

Assume the best.

Often, disagreements start because one person makes an unfair assumption about their partner. For example, an old boss of mine told me how every morning his partner left his dresser drawers open. It drove him crazy that his partner couldn’t bother to do something so simple.

He mentioned it once in passing, and his partner said he didn’t close them because he was worried the noise from the squeaky drawers would wake him up. It turns out that when he thought his partner was being lazy, he was actually being considerate.

Even if you’re sure your partner did something wrong, start the conversation with a non-accusatory tone. You might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome. Plus, your partner will appreciate you giving them the benefit of the doubt instead of assuming the worst.

Put yourself in your partner’s shoes.

Feeling defensive and ego-driven is normal during an argument, but it can hinder real resolution. Instead of trying to defend your actions, try to understand your partner’s perspective. This is essential if you want to fight fair.

For example, if you promised to register the car, forgot, and your partner ended up getting a ticket, imagine what he or she is thinking. They might be wondering if you’re truly dependable, and whether or not they can count on you when it matters.

Now imagine you’re on the other end of that argument. Maybe your partner was swamped with work, and registering the car got lost in the shuffle of appointments and assignments. Maybe they misunderstood who was responsible for getting it done.

Being more considerate of your partner during a conflict will only lead to a stronger connection and clearer communication. Plus, embracing someone else’s perspective will make you more humble.

Own your actions.

One of the best ways to resolve an argument quickly is to recognize when you’ve done something wrong – instead of trying to deflect blame and criticism.

The quicker you own up to what you did, whether it’s burning the cookies or forgetting to walk the dogs, the better off you’ll be. Fighting fair involves being humble in the face of your mistakes.

Consider going to a couple’s therapist if you or your spouse are having trouble understanding or following these guidelines. An objective third party might help you see your communication problems and figure out how to argue more productively.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Don’t get in a serious relationship just because everyone tells you that you “should.” Do a little self-exploration first.

We’re encouraged to look for soulmates and at least try to get serious with others.

“Single” is still kind of a dirty word in our society.

The fact that everyone around you might be getting together, or your parents wish you would find someone, are not good reasons to enmesh yourself in a serious relationship.

Not everyone is ready for a serious relationship. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s better to be single than stuck in a bad relationship.

Before you decide that you need a serious S.O., here are some things to consider:

1. Do you even want a serious relationship?

We all desire to connect to other people. Humans are social animals, after all.

However, wanting connections doesn’t necessarily mean that you are ready for a serious relationship.

I love my connections with family and friends. I also enjoy dating. There are people I like spending time with more than others. But none of this means I want a serious relationship.

Because I don’t.

like being single.

If you find yourself happy being single, there’s no reason to end that because those around you say you need to “grow up” and find a serious relationship.

2. You feel incomplete without someone.

This one is tricky. Perhaps you want a serious relationship. But before you dive in, you need to figure out the why behind this desire.

Do you feel incomplete without someone? Do you feel like you need another half to be whole?

This might be an indication that you aren’t actually ready for a serious relationship. Before you can be a good partner, you need to be comfortable with yourself.

Part of being ready for a serious relationship is knowing that you can hold up your end of the bargain as a whole person. If you require another person, you probably need to get a handle on yourself before you take things to the next level.

3. You feel like your potential S.O. just needs someone.

I’m not in the business of “saving” others. And you shouldn’t be, either.

In many cases, you might look at a potential S.O. and decide that s/he is perfect — except for one little thing.

Or maybe you see great potential, as long as the other person chooses the right partner (you) to mold and shape him/her.

Whenever you go into a serious relationship with the idea that you are going to help the other person become different or better or whatever, that’s a serious red flag.

If you go around seeing others as people to save, you aren’t ready for a serious relationship. Yes, you should want to help other people and be there for them. But at the same time, you shouldn’t view your relationship as a way to change someone or “save” them.

Any serious relationship should be a partnership of equals. You and your S.O. should be at the same point in life, and ready to progress toward the same goals together.

4. You try to fit yourself to what someone else wants.

Back when I was younger, I tried to project a certain image. Even though I didn’t fit what I was told a woman should be, I tried to be that thing. Well, sort of.

I wanted to “prove” that I could be a good housekeeper, and that having a couple of kids would be just fine, even though I was a little unorthodox. I tried to force myself into a gender role that wasn’t really me.

This resulted in a couple of relationships that didn’t really work out. After all, I was trying to be someone I wasn’t. I wanted to project an image of someone my S.O. liked, rather than looking for someone who liked me for me.

Yes, we all grow and change as people. It’s a good thing. But you should be changing for you, and making progress with your own life.

If you are changing because you want to be more attractive to someone, that’s a problem.

There’s a difference between compromising (which we all have to do in all of our relationships, romantic or not), and changing to fit someone else’s ideal.

Really think about how you behave in a relationship. If your relationship becomes about how you can adopt your S.O.’s opinions and hobbies wholesale, that’s a pretty good sign you aren’t ready for a serious relationship.

Instead, work on figuring out who you are, and what you like about yourself. Once you are comfortable enough with who you are that you don’t feel like you need to subordinate that to make someone else happy, you’re on the right track.

5. You don’t know what you really want.

This isn’t just about what you want in a relationship. It’s also about what you want out of life.

Do you have an idea of who you are and what you want?

One of the reasons my marriage finally died after a little more than a decade was because my ex and I got married before we really knew what we wanted from life.

By the time we realized that some of the things we wanted didn’t really mesh, we were a few years in. Looking back, I know that I, at age 21, was not ready for a serious relationship — especially not one as serious as marriage.

There are people who do just fine at serious relationships at that age. It’s not really about age (although a few more years and perspective can help). It’s more about where you are in life, and whether or not you actually know what you want.

A little time for exploration doesn’t hurt. It would have helped me out. By the time I got married at 21, I had already had two relationships that had lasted more than a year. (The time from meeting my ex to our marriage was slightly less than three months.)

I had no idea what it meant to be in a serious relationship. I had no idea what I wanted. In fact, at age 36, I spent an entire year exploring my life and what I wanted.

Everyone should take a little time to explore themselves periodically. But it really helps to do it before you get into a serious relationship. If you know what you want out of life, it makes it easier to find someone to take that journey with you.

Bottom line: know thyself.

How do you know if you’re ready for a serious relationship?

The bottom line is you should know yourself. Intimately.

Once you really know yourself and are happy with that person, it makes sense to decide if you’re ready for a serious relationship.

However, even if you know yourself, you might still find you’re not ready to get serious. In fact, I know that I don’t want a serious relationship right now.

I am happy with myself. I am mostly happy with my life. I like the dynamic I have with my son. A serious relationship changes all of that. I like dating, but I’m not interested in taking it the next level with anyone.

Don’t start a serious relationship just because you feel like you “should” or because it’s “the next step.”

Only do it when you know yourself, and you actually want it.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Can’t find a date? You’re probably not looking hard enough. Stop being so picky, say yes a little more, and see what’s out there. It’s just a date.

The best way to support Adulting.tv is to subscribe and leave us an honest review. Thank you!

As you get older, looking for a date becomes more and more challenging.

Once you get done with school, you’re left with your co-workers (usually a bad idea) or hitting up the bar (those beer goggles could lead you astray).

People are actually meeting their S.O.s with the help of friends and family, though. And, really, there are a surprising number of places to find someone to date — even if you think there’s a serious drought in your hometown.

unspecified

We’ll get to the bottom of what it takes to get a date, no matter where you are. Let’s start scouting out those options.

Concepts

  • Are setups really that bad?
  • Some of the places to try when looking for a date.
  • Pros and cons of different places to find dates.
  • Could online dating be the solution to your dating problems?
  • Why you consider saying yes more.
  • Do you know why you’re looking for a date?
  • How to figure out whether or not someone would make a good date.
  • Does it matter if you really hit it off, as long as you are at least trying?
  • Ideas for dating when you want to stay single.
  • Why you can’t be TOO picky when looking for a date.
  • How to let your friends know you’re looking.

Use our “Do Nows” to shake things up in your dating life. Figure out how to try something different in your approach and maybe even take a second look at someone you rejected. We’ll even talk about what to do AFTER the date. Is that date worth a second try?

Become a Friend of Adulting

To get Adulting delivered directly to your device, subscribe using iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or your app of choice.

Join the Friends of Adulting! Please leave an honest review on iTunes. We would really appreciate the feedback!

Resources

How most people meet their S.O.s
Hosted byHarlan Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteve Stewart
Music bybensound.com

Like what you’ve heard?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!