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Weekly Reader

Toxic Parents

What happens when the parent-adult child relationship becomes poisonous?  

Of course, many times parents don’t approve of  adult children’s choices and decisions.  The question is how long that disapproval lasts and how it impacts the relationship. Some parents apparently can’t or won’t move on

Writing in the Science section of The New York Times, psychiatrist Richard A. Friedman notes:

But just as there are ordinary good-enough parents who mysteriously produce a difficult child, there are some decent people who have the misfortune of having a truly toxic parent.

That disapproval can cause so much emotional stress for an adult child that it impacts behavior.  When counseling and therapy provide no relief sometimes there is only one alternative, concludes Dr. Friedman:

Of course, we cannot undo history with therapy. But we can help mend brains and minds by removing or reducing stress.  Sometimes, as drastic as it sounds, that means letting go of a toxic parent.

 Grandparents and Money Gifts

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of America’s 42.8 million grandparents have provided financial assistance or money gifts to their grandchildren in the last five years. The median amount provided was $3,000 over that period, and the average amount was $8,661, according to a 2009 survey by Met Life Mature Market Institute.  

 Most of the grandparents thought it was more important to dole out gifts as needed rather than leave a larger sum as an inheritance.

 While grandparents seem willing to write a check they are more cautious about dispensing any spending tips other than “start saving early in life,” and “don’t get

into too much debt.” More than two-thirds of the grandparents said that they offered no financial wisdom.

 The top three reasons for giving money were general support, education, and life events.

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