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Weekly Reader 5.17.10

Who Is the Favorite Parent?  

When your adult child wants to share some news—good or bad—which parent is called first: mom or dad?  Does one parent perceive being more favored than the other?  Did that just happen or did the parent actively campaign for that coveted role?  Psychologist Ellen Weber Libby discussed the question “Is There a Favorite Parent?” in a recent posting on the Psychology Today blog.   

The parent who children prefer reflect a moment in time or the time of life, or be fixed to one parent for most of a lifetime. Children may momentarily favor the parent who is more permissive, or during a stage of life, the parent who the child identifies as most supportive of their athletic, artistic, or intellectual interests

When children are younger that attachment revolves around bedtimes, neat bedrooms, homework, allowances, curfews and car keys.The games children play with favorites can continue through emerging adulthood, with more important issues like money, jobs, college.  How many times does an adult child call with news and say “Don’t tell (fill in the blank: mom or dad)?  Sometimes they don’t want to disappoint and consider one parent more empathetic; sometimes they worry about disapproval from one parent.  

While Dr. Libby’s advice is directed at parents of younger children, her suggestions can also be useful  for parents of adult children who might wonder if they are being manipulated.  To counter this Dr. Libby suggests: 

• Parents be honest with themselves, acknowledging their own needs to be the favorite parent.
• Parents grow in understanding that it is not the role of children to affirm the adult.
• Parents need to be receptive to feedback from their partner or best friend, as they observe the misalliance between parent and child. 

How Gen Y Views Employers 

The recession has impacted job prospects for young adults and perhaps their relationship with potential employers as well.  How is their work attitude altered when they’ve seen their own parents laid off or their jobs downsized? 

Writing about GenY, Steven Rothberg, CEO of  CollegeRecruiter.com, cautions potential employers: 

Shake your head if you wish, but this Millennial generation listens to their parents, and so have learned the lessons inflicted upon their parents. Both generations have learned that employers have little to no loyalty to their employees so they respond by showing little to no loyalty back. We may grumble and complain about Millennials being job hoppers, but let’s be honest: most of us would lay them off the first chance we got if our profits took a substantial downturn. They know that and act accordingly. If they are not treated well and offered the opportunities that the employer across the street is willing to offer them, then they will leave you before you have the opportunity to lay them off. 

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