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Who is mom’s favorite?

It seems that familiarity breeds favoritism when it comes to which adult child moms choose as their most beloved.  Similarities in personal values, emotional closeness and beliefs were the reasons that 75 percent of mothers in a long-term study choose one adult child over another as the most favored.  While the subjects of the study were older than most m21 readers, the findings still resonate

The Purdue University study collected data from 406 mothers aged 65 to 75 in two related studies done seven years apart with the same subjects. The research, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, looked at whether financial, employment or marital status mattered in the mothers’ choice of whom they wanted for a caregiver when the time came.  Most mother chose the same child, even with the seven-year gap.

“These mothers are saying that if I can’t make my own decisions involving my life than who can best make these decisions for me? Who thinks like I do?” said Jill Suitor, a Purdue professor of sociology.

 Get paid for “hating” your adult child’s partner

Not a joke!  MTV and Viacom are casting for a new reality show about parents who “hate” their 18-24 adult child’s “mate.” The show will require the hated mate to move in with the in-laws and be filmed, for a $5,000 fee.  Looking for “big characters and a great story” with upscale lifestyles, the producers want to find ingrate adult children who have rejected the “trappings of a privileged life.”  They note in the casting call, “The most desirable angle we are looking to show is how parents that give their children the best in life, yet their children have not chosen someone that is the best for them.”

Fear not disgracing your family though, the series will air only overseas.  Just what we need to bolster the American image abroad?

Mental Health and Young Adults

Among 18-25 year olds, serious mental health conditions are almost double that of the general population.  A federal study found that there were an estimated 21.4 million adults aged 18 or older with serious psychological distress including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

The federal government has started a Mental Health National Anti Stigma Campaign to “encourage, educate and inspire 18-25 year olds to step up and support friends they know are experiencing a mental health problem.”

They hope to dispel common misconceptions including that:

• Only one-quarter of young adults believe that a person with mental illness can eventually recover.

• Only 42 percent of Americans believe that a person with mental illness

can be as successful at work as others.

• Despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe

that people with mental illnesses are not to blame for their conditions

(85 percent), only about one in four (26 percent) agree that people are generally

caring and sympathetic toward individuals with mental illnesses.

 How do young adults spend their money?

Money may be tight but the 80 million millenials still manage to find ways to spend $1 trillion annually, particularly on (no surprises here) technology, clothes and food. More than half of millennials ranked technology as their top passion in a recent Master Card survey.

And they constantly need to feed that passion with new and better tech “stuff.” In a Forbes article, Kit Yarrow, a co-author of “Gen Buy,” noted millennials have a different sense of ownership than other generations; they want flexibility and newness, but they aren’t necessarily looking for “forever” objects.  “I think their use of technology has taught them that new is better,” Yarrow said. “They don’t want to get too committed to something.”

When it comes to clothes, our adult children are hitting the stores: 47 percent of females and 38 percent of males reported shopping for clothes more than twice a month, found a 2012 survey by the Boston Consulting Group.  The survey also reported that millenials are avoiding the traditional department stores and shopping at both off-price retailers like Marshalls as well as high-end stores like Nordstrom.  I need new boots, Mo

A Touching Story

When freelance photographer Nancy Borowick got engaged, she and her fiance initially planned a wedding a year off.  But both her parents are suffering from long bouts with cancer so she decided to ask their oncologist for his advice on the timing of the big day.  He told her, “There’s no reason not to do it as soon as you can.”

Determined that both her parents help her celebrate her marriage, Ms. Borowick launched into wedding plans and pulled off a celebration in early October where her parents joyously walked her down the aisle.

Grab a box of tissues when you read the New York Times piece. The story, told in words by and in photos, is a wonderful testament to the enduring love between parents and an adult child.






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