Summer is around the corner. Some of us
welcome June with mixed emotions as we
celebrate graduations, weddings, and other
rites of passage with family and friends. It
is all about beginnings and endings; shifts
in expectations and, often, living
In When Your Child Comes Home For The Summer
(Or For Good) I focus on adapting to change
and revising expectations as you enter a
different kind of parent - adult
relationship. What are the ways you can
maintain your self respect and demonstrate
respect for your adult child (or your parent) as
you live together under one roof at a time
when you thought you would be living
separately? What can you learn about yourself
and your adult child during this time and
what contributes to making it a positive
experience for all involved?
In this month's tips, Tightening Your
discuss the importance of paying attention to
spending in ways that you may not have chosen
before. Being mindful and conscious of how
you spend your money will only help you to
become more aware.
Once again thank you for helping to get the
word out about Sanity Savers: Tips for
Women to Live a Balanced Life.
Check my website, www.drdaleatkins.com
updates on my appearances related to my
newest book, Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to
Live a Balanced Life. For those of you with
wedding related questions, please see my
column on WeddingChannel.com at:
And if you would like me to speak to your
group or organization, please contact me
directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact
the Speakers' Bureau at
I appreciate you sharing this newsletter with
your friends, loved ones and colleagues by
clicking Send to a Friend button
Wishing you health, peace and balance.
|Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
SANITY SAVERS: Tips for Women to
Balanced Life is in bookstores and
with suggestions to save
every day of the year.
A must for any woman
seeking to find her balance!
When Your Child Comes Home for the Summer (or for Good)
Graduation season is upon us and your child
is transitioning from college to the next
phase of his or her life. Many graduates are
moving to new
cities for new jobs. Your child, however, is
moving back home. While it may have have
been difficult to adjust to a child leaving
home, time has passed and now it may be a
challenge to have him or her return home.
You and your partner (as well as any other
siblings still at home) have gotten used to a
routine of life. How do you readjust with an
adult child's return, maintaining the sense
of freedom you and your partner have
developed? Consider establishing a plan and
ground rules early enough so that everyone is
clear on expectations and responsibilities.
What are key components of such a plan?
First, it is important to set some house
rules. Negotiate what is reasonable for all
members when it comes to laundry, cooking,
food shopping, house maintenance, gardening,
computer and auto use, as well as entertaining.
Bear in mind that your adult child has been
living on his/her own and you don't want to
turn back the clock and regress. At the same
time, things work best when there is mutual
consideration of your home and
your life. Putting a plan in place is the
foundation for a smoother transition.
It is also wise to discuss finances.
Start with what they need and what is
reasonable. Presumably, you are helping them
to become financially independent, and by
paying for everything you are not helping
that happen. Figure out what you and
they can handle. Hopefully, they have already
experienced living within a budget and have
worked and saved. If not, you can help
them understand the basics of budgeting and
paying for certain expenses. Some adult
children pay rent and contribute to food
expenses, phone and cable; others have
parents who help them save by putting some
money into an account which they will have
when they move into their own place.
Future plans are another topic for
discussion. How temporary is this new living
arrangement and what is the end game? Do
you set a deadline for moving out on their
own? This works for some adult children. You can
make a plan together and revisit that plan
every month or two or three to see how they
are doing in achieving their goals. Looking
for a job, saving for grad school, whatever
it is, have a time line. You can always
revisit this, but if you don't openly discuss
and agree upon goals, one or all of you may
develop a growing resentment.
Finally, the key to making this arrangement
is respect: for you and for them. Respect
each other's privacy, choices, and space.
Realize you are adults living under one roof
and you must resist the desire to "baby" or
"be babied." Avoid falling into roles of
doing everything for your adult child or
having them expect that you will do
everything for them. Remember, your home is
now the way station as they complete the rite
of passage of moving from their parents' home
to their own.
A Good Daily Habit
Dealing With Differences
When we're overwhelmed by current events and
all that we have to do, it is easy to become
stressed and impatient with the people we
live and deal with on a daily basis.
Sometimes we snap more easily with family
members and co-workers and are not as
accepting of differences of opinions and
different outlooks. So, why not practice
stepping into someone else's shoes and allow
yourself to see another perspective? This
does not mean that you have to agree. Even
if the subject matter is difficult and clear
answers are hard to come by, hang in there.
Today, look at a situation from a new
perspective. Just because you have always
looked at a situation one way, doesn't mean
it's the only way.
|Sanity SaversTM TIPS
Tightening the Belt:
Tips for Adjusting
This summer may find you with a different
plan than you had anticipated. Your house
which has been on the market may not be
selling. Your vacation, which you desperately
need, had you behind the wheel driving all
over the country and may now be canceled (or
certainly down shifted) because of the rising
gas costs. Your soon to be adult children are
moving in with you because living on their
own is just too costly (see Sanity Saver
article in this issue). Those same young
people, while living with you, are using part
of their pay check to help contribute to the
family household expenses. You may be working
past your retirement just to make ends meet.
None of this may be what you had planned or
expected. So how can you keep your sanity
when you are financially strapped or
concerned about your own or your family expenses?
Here are some tips:
- Be Aware of Who You Owe Money to and
How Much You Owe. -
Pay down your debt as best you can. Pay the
debts with the highest interest rates first,
or consolidate your debt. Seek the aid of a
financial counselor in your area if necessary
to help you come up with a reasonable budget.
- Cut Back on Auto Use -
Walk or bike or carpool with friends
to do errands. Avoid using your car as much
as you used to so you can save gas and get in
better shape yourself.
- Expand Your Dining Options -
Spend time cooking and then pack lunches to
bring to work for you and your co-workers.
Explore new places and ask friends (or
another family) to join you as you do
something a bit out of the ordinary for you,
like riding your bikes to a park for a sunset
picnic. Instead of going to a restaurant with
friends, have an old fashioned pot luck and
play great music. And if you do go out to a
restaurant, order sensibly by sharing entrees
and considering an appetizer as a main course.
- Be Creative with Your Kids - Swap
(instead of buying new) toys with other
families. When your kids tire of their toys,
clean them up and put them into the
"friendship toy exchange pool" and find
something your kids would like (or exchange
with one particular family). Organize local
outings and get-togethers with other families
to share activities. Offer older children
babysitting opportunities among you and your
friends so adults can share expenses.
- Stick to Your Budget - Avoid
compulsive purchases and stick to your
shopping list (prepared ahead of time, of
Although you may feel deprived with these
adjustments, be careful NOT to cut back on
all of your pleasures. Discover the simple
pleasures and indulge yourself and your family.
"Rejoice in what you have; sigh not for what
Abrahim ibn Chasdai
DALE V. ATKINS Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist,
lecturer and commentator in the media who
on the Today show.
She has more than twenty-
years of experience and focuses on living a
life, parenting, aging well, managing stress,
work transitions, family connections and healthy
Dr. Atkins is the author
and/or co-editor of several books including:
Their Private Thoughts about their Private
Families and their Hearing-Impaired
OK, You're My Parents
Let Go of Anger and Create a Relationship that
Wedding Sanity Savers
Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and
Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect
book . . .
Savers: Tips for Women to
Find out more....
As Seen on the TODAY SHOW!
Wedding Sanity Savers
How to Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect Day
You're My Parents
How to Overcome Guilt, Let Go of Anger, and Create a Relationship That Works
Now in Paperback!