Parents of Grown Children

Featured Books in this Category / Main Booklist

Featured Books

Beautiful Boy: a Father’s Journey through His Son’s Addiction. David Sheff, $22.99

At its heart Beautiful Boy is an amazingly honest and exquisitely written account of a family’s torturous journey through addiction. It raises questions that reflect the fears of every parent: Where does one’s responsibility to a loved one end? How — and when — should a parent know whether his or her child is substance abusing? And how does a family recover from the wounds afflicted by addiction and get on with their lives? David Sheff has written a powerful and moving family portrait that will resonate soundly with all readers and is sure to become a classic.


Beyond the Mommy Years: How to Live Happily Ever After...After the Kids Leave Home. Carin Rubenstein, $39.00

Beyond the Mommy Years offers fascinating research, helpful advice, and amusing anecdotes to the millions facing this uncertain but potentially enriching stage of life.


The Empty Nest: 31 Parents Tell the Truth about Relationships, Love and Freedom After the Kids Fly the Coop. Karen Stabiner, editor, $25.99

Reassuring, warm, compassionate, funny and poignant, The Empty Nest is written by parents who have made the adjustment to an empty house. It’s the perfect book for any parent who is wondering what comes next.

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Emptying the Nest: Launching Your Young Adult Toward Success and Self-Reliance. Brad Sachs, $27.25

In today’s rapidly changing world and challenging economy, young adults increasingly find themselves at a crossroads between financial and emotional dependence and autonomy. Drawing on Dr. Sachs' extensive clinical experience and his illuminating discussion of the latest psychological research, EMPTYING THE NEST will support parents in their efforts to cultivate their young adult’s success and self-reliance while simultaneously maintaining healthy family relationships. Parents will:

  • Understand the family dynamics that either impede or nurture self-sufficiency
  • Foster a higher degree of academic, professional, and fiscal responsibility
  • Effectively encourage young adults to establish realistic goals and create a meaningful vision for their future
  • Learn how to gradually let go, so that young adults discover how to resolve their own problems.

Getting to 30: a Parent's Guide to the 20-Something Years. Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, $22.95

The book that addresses the new reality for parents of kids in their 20s and the issues that everyone in the media is talking about: When will this new generation of 20-somethings leave home, find love, start a career, settle down — grow up? And it's the book that will soothe your nerves. It’s loaded with information about what to expect and guidance on what to do when problems arise (as they probably will). In other words, this is the book parents need. Getting to 30 shows readers:

  • Why the road to adulthood is longer than we think — and, for parents, bumpier
  • The phenomenon of the boomerang child — and why it’s actually a good thing, for parents and their children
  • The new landscape of 20-something romance

And it gives all the tools parents need to deal with the challenges, from six ways to listen more than you talk, to knowing when to open (and close) the Bank of Mom and Dad while saving for retirement, to figuring out the protocol for social media. Getting to 30 includes the latest research on the optimistic and supportive attitude most parents have regarding their 20-something children.


Home Free: the Myth of the Empty Nest. Marni Jackson, $22.95

From the author of the best-selling The Mother Zone, comes a comic narrative about the last secret lap of parenting. Home Free is an intimate, candid, reflective and funny memoir that focuses on this new and undefined stage of family life: the challenges of helping our kids navigate their twenties — while learning how to let go of them at the same time.

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How Not to Move Back in With Your Parents: the Young Person's Guide to Financial Empowerment.  Rob Carrick, $22.95

Rob Carrick of The Globe and Mail is one of Canada's most trusted and widely read financial experts. His latest book targets financial advice specifically at young adults graduating from university or college and moving into the workforce, into the housing market and into family life. Financial beginners, in other words.  

Carrick offers what can only be described as a wealth of information, on the full life cycle of financial challenges and opportunities young people face, including saving for a post-secondary education and paying off student debts, establishing a credit rating, basic banking and budgeting, car and home buying, marriage and raising children of their own, and insurance.  

The book is mindful throughout that parents have a big role to play in all this. It addresses young readers throughout but regularly asks them to see things from their parents' perspective. In that way, Rob Carrick is able to offer advice to both generations. He even recognizes that in these difficult times, moving back in with the folks is sometimes a short-term necessity. This is a book that every parent needs to buy for each of their kids, plus one for themselves.


How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success. Julie Lythcott-Haims, $23.50

A provocative manifesto that exposes the harms of helicopter parenting and sets forth an alternate philosophy for raising preteens and teens to self-sufficient young adulthood. 

In How to Raise an Adult, Julie Lythcott-Haims draws on research, on conversations with admissions officers, educators, and employers, and on her own insights as a mother and as a student dean to highlight the ways in which overparenting harms children, their stressed-out parents, and society at large. While empathizing with the parental hopes and, especially, fears that lead to overhelping, Lythcott-Haims offers practical alternative strategies that underline the importance of allowing children to make their own mistakes and develop the resilience, resourcefulness, and inner determination necessary for success. Relevant to parents of toddlers as well as of twenty-somethings, and of special value to parents of teens, this book is a rallying cry for those who wish to ensure that the next generation can take charge of their own lives with competence and confidence.


The iConnected Parent: Staying Close to Your Kids in College (and Beyond) While Letting Them Grow Up. Barbara Hofer & Abigail Sullivan Moore, $18.99

In our speed-dial culture, parents and kids are now more than ever in constant contact. Communicating an average of thirteen times a week, parents and their college-age kids are having a hard time letting go.

Until recently, students handled college on their own, learning life's lessons and growing up in the process. Now, many students turn to their parents for instant answers to everyday questions. And Mom and Dad are not just the Google and Wikipedia for overcoming daily pitfalls; Hofer and Moore have discovered that some parents get involved in unprecedented ways, phoning professors and classmates, choosing their child's courses, and even crossing the lines set by university honor codes with the academic help they provide. Hofer and Moore offer practical advice, from the years before college through the years after graduation, on how parents can stay connected to their kids while giving them the space they need to become independent adults.

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Not Quite Adults: Why 20-Somethings are Choosing a Slower Path to Adulthood, and Why It’s Good for Everyone. Richard Settersten & Barbara Ray, $23.00

The media has been flooded with negative headlines about 20-somethings, from their sense of entitlement to their immaturity to their dependence on their parents’ purse strings. The message is that these young people need to shape up and grow up — that they should take a fast track to adulthood just like their parents did. Now, drawing on almost a decade of cutting-edge scientific research, including analyses of over two dozen national data sets and 500 interviews with young people, Richard Settersten, Ph.D., and Barbara Ray shatter these widespread stereotypes. Settersten and Ray bring us a more nuanced understanding of this generation, and of the unique challenges they are facing as they come of age.

Not Quite Adults gets to the heart of how and why the course to adulthood has become so complicated, what these changes mean for families, and what we should do about it. The authors show how cultural and economic forces have radically transformed the “traditional” path to adulthood, creating a very different set of challenges as well as opportunities for today’s young adults. Filled with timely information and illuminating case histories, Not Quite Adults is a fascinating and enlightening look at an often misunderstood generation.


Parenting Your Emerging Adult: Launching Kids from 18 to 29. Varda Konstam, $22.50

Faced with a higher cost of living, higher college debt loads and a sense of material entitlement, many young adults are clinging to the parental nest. Some 56 percent of men and 48 percent of women 18 to 24 years old are living with their already strapped parents. Needless to say, parents of emerging adults are clearly “stressed out” and in need of practical, credible advice. PARENTING YOUR EMERGING ADULT is designed to be empowering and uplifting by offering the tools parents need to get their emerging adults living successfully out on their own.


The Path to Purpose: How Young People Find Their Calling in Life. William Damon, $21.00

The Path to Purpose looks at youth who are thriving — highly engaged in activities they love and developing a clear sense of what they want to do with their lives — and youth who are still rudderless, at serious risk of never fulfilling their potential. What makes the difference? Based on in-depth interviews, Damon offers compelling portraits of the young people who are thriving.  He identifies the nine key factors that have made the difference for them, presenting simple but powerful methods that parents can employ in order to cultivate that energized sense of purpose in young people that will launch them on the path to a deeply satisfying and productive life.

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Smart But Scattered and Stalled: 10 Steps to Help Young Adults Use Their Executive Skills to Set Goals, Make a Plan, and Successfully Leave the Nest. Richard Guare, Colin Guare & Peg Dawson, $24.50

Whether you're a young adult who is stalled on the journey to independence — or a concerned parent still sharing the family nest — this compassionate book is for you. Providing a fresh perspective on the causes of failure to launch, the expert authors present a 10-step plan that helps grown kids and parents work together to achieve liftoff. Learn why brain-based executive skills such as planning, organization, and time management are so important to success, and what you can do to strengthen them. You get downloadable practical tools for figuring out what areas to target, building skills, identifying a desired career path, and making a customized action plan. Vivid stories of other families navigating the same challenges (including father and son Richard and Colin Guare) reveal what kind of parental support is productive — and when to let go.


The Teenage Brain: a Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults. Frances Jensen, with Amy Ellis Nutt, $18.99

Driven by the assumption that brain growth was pretty much complete by the time a child began kindergarten, scientists believed for years that the adolescent brain was essentially an adult one — only with fewer miles on it. Over the last decade, however, the scientific community has learned that the teen years encompass vitally important stages of brain development.

Motivated by her personal experience of parenting two teenage boys, renowned neurologist Dr. Frances  Jensen gathers what we’ve discovered about adolescent brain functioning, wiring, and capacity and, in this groundbreaking, accessible book, explains how these eye-opening findings not only dispel commonly held myths about the teenage years, but also yield practical suggestions that will help adults and teenagers negotiate the mysterious world of adolescent neurobiology. Interweaving clear summary and analysis of research data with anecdotes, Dr. Jensen explores adolescent brain functioning and development in the contexts of learning and multitasking, stress and memory, sleep, addiction, and decision-making.

Rigorous yet accessible, warm yet direct, The Teenage Brain sheds new light on the brains — and behaviors — of adolescents and young adults, and analyzes this knowledge to share specific ways in which parents, educators, and even the legal system can help them navigate their way more smoothly into adulthood.

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We Don't Talk Anymore: Healing after Parents and Their Adult Children Become Estranged. Kathy McCoy, $24.99

Estrangement or partial estrangement from an adult son or daughter is one of a parent's worst nightmares. It can mean angry silences and anguished days and nights wondering what went wrong. Becoming estranged from a parent can be equally painful for an adult child, who may miss the relationship they once shared. We Don't Talk Anymore is a tender and practical new exploration of estrangement for both parents and adult children. Each chapter also provides compassionate, practical insights focused on what both parents and adult children can do, including:

  • Finding courage to reach out to your loved one
  • Understanding the conflict and discovering a new and fulfilling connection
  • Letting go and rebuilding your life

Families deserve clarity and understanding. We Don't Talk Anymore will show you those first steps toward healing.


When Our Grown Kids Disappoint Us: Letting Go of Their Problems, Loving Them Anyway and Getting On With Our Lives. Jane Adams, $22.00

How do today’s parents cope when the dreams we had for our children clash with reality? What can we do for our twenty- and even thirty-somethings who can’t seem to grow up? How can we help our depressed, dependent, or addicted adult children, the ones who can’t get their lives started, who are just marking time or even doing it? What’s the right strategy when our smart, capable grown kids won’t leave home or come boomeranging back? Who can we turn to when the kids aren’t all right and we, their parents, are frightened, frustrated, resentful, embarrassed, and especially, disappointed?

In this groundbreaking book, a social psychologist who’s been chronicling the lives of American families for over two decades confronts our deepest concerns, including our silence and self-imposed sense of isolation, when our grown kids have failed to thrive. She listens to a generation that “did everything right” and expected its children to grow into happy, healthy, successful adults. But they haven’t, at least, not yet — and meanwhile, we’re letting their problems threaten our health, marriages, security, freedom, careers or retirement, and other family relationships.

With warmth, empathy, and perspective, Dr. Adams offers a positive, life-affirming message to parents who are still trying to “fix” their adult children — Stop! She shows us how to separate from their problems without separating from them, and how to be a positive force in their lives while getting on with our own. As we navigate this critical passage in our second adulthood and their first, When Our Grown Kids Disappoint Us reminds us that the pleasures and possibilities of post-parenthood should not depend on how our kids turn out, but on how we do!

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Complete Booklist

Beautiful Boy: a Father’s Journey through His Son’s Addiction. David Sheff, $22.99

Beyond the Mommy Years: How to Live Happily Ever After...After the Kids Leave Home. Carin Rubenstein, $39.00

The Empty Nest: 31 Parents Tell the Truth about Relationships, Love and Freedom after the Kids Fly the Coop. Karen Stabiner, editor, $25.95

Emptying the Nest: Launching Your Young Adult Toward Success and Self-Reliance. Brad Sachs, $27.25

Home Free: the Myth of the Empty Nest. Marni Jackson, $22.95

How Not to Move Back in With Your Parents: the Young Person's Guide to Financial Empowerment.  Rob Carrick, $22.95

How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success. Julie Lythcott-Haims, $23.50

The iConnected Parent: Staying Close to Your Kids in College (and Beyond) While Letting Them Grow Up. Barbara Hofer & Abigail Sullivan Moore, $18.99

Not Quite Adults: Why 20-Somethings are Choosing a Slower Path to Adulthood, and Why It’s Good for Everyone. Richard Settersten & Barbara Ray, $23.00

Parenting Your Emerging Adult: Launching Kids from 18 to 29. Varda Konstam, $22.50

The Path to Purpose: How Young People Find Their Calling in Life. William Damon, $21.00

Smart But Scattered — and Stalled: 10 Steps to Help Young Adults Use Their Executive Skills to Set Goals, Make a Plan, and Successfully Leave the Nest. Richard Guare, Colin Guare & Peg Dawson, $24.50

The Teenage Brain: a Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults. Frances Jensen, with Amy Ellis Nutt, $18.99

We Don't Talk Anymore: Healing after Parents and Their Adult Children Become Estranged. Kathy McCoy, $24.99

When Our Grown Kids Disappoint Us: Letting Go of Their Problems, Loving Them Anyway and Getting On With Our Lives. Jane Adams, $22.00

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