A healthy closeness is not measured by the frequency of contacts between the parent and young adult. Rather it has to do with the substance of these contacts. Many parents of millennials have contact with their young adults frequently. Studies have shown that 60 percent of mothers and 50 percent of fathers of millennials have contact with their young adult almost daily. This could be and often is a text and not phone or face-to-face contact. Ask yourself these questions to determine if your contact may represent an unhealthy dependency.
- Do you tell your young adult what to do or try to direct them?
- Are they asking for advice and unwilling to come up with solutions themselves?
- Are they constantly discussing their difficulties and asking for help, financial or other caretaking?
- Does your young adult reciprocate and recognize your needs and interests and buys lunch every now and then, or is it all about them?
- Do you look forward to talking with them or often hope they don’t contact you or seek to avoid these contacts?
- Would you describe the relationship as similar to your close adult friends? After all, you are trying to move the relationship in this direction.