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penny
I'm a writer and editor with two grown children and four grands.
Interests: parenting, yoga, bicycling, novels about India, memoir writing
Recent Activity
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We may not like the way our adult kids dress or tat their arms or use foul language. We may want them to change the way they cut their hair or, for their health's sake, lose weight! But "fixing" adult... Continue reading
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The Holidays are upon us. May there be peace and joy in our lives and in family get-togethers. But just in case, here's a column I wrote a few months ago about the behavioral stresses at play when our adult... Continue reading
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When our kids were young, we were their problem solvers. It came with the parenting territory. We had to keep them safe, help them understand how the world works and show them how to move toward independence. Now that our... Continue reading
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Several years ago when my daughter lived clear across the country, she called late one evening. She was sick and so was her husband and the baby--my year-old granddaughter. "I wish you lived next door," she said in a dispirited,... Continue reading
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Friends of ours just returned from four weeks in Italy. Days of sunshine. Mornings with una tazza di caffè. So delightful. They stayed at a four-story house their son and his family have rented: Their daughter-in-law was appointed to a... Continue reading
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The holidays are coming. Maybe you've been distracted by the disastrous hurricanes or the sudden outbreak of winter weather. But Thanksgiving is not that far away. That dinner often sits on the back burner because, unlike multi-generational family get-togethers around... Continue reading
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Our bags were packed, boarding passes downloaded and shuttle to the airport confirmed. The night before we were to leave to visit our son and his family for the weekend, a text arrived. Our DIL just wanted us to know... Continue reading
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If I were to survey my friends and their friends, I'm pretty sure I would find that almost all of us who could afford it helped our grown kids buy their first home. As a generational trend, it's kind of... Continue reading
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Best if we had started when our kids were teens but it's never too late to remember that we have moved from being the boss of them to being consultants to our grown children--even as it's hard to act on... Continue reading
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We have an elderly cousin. He never married and lives alone in a Park Avenue apartment where the walls are lined with old paintings that may or may not be worth a small fortune. His closest relatives (besides us and... Continue reading
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Are our adult children too tough about what their children can and cannot eat or drink? It's especially annoying when we are guilt-tripped out of offering them our just-baked chocolate chip muffins or handing them a cold, individual box of... Continue reading
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A few weeks ago, I posted an observation from Meghan Leahy on the limits we should impose on ourselves. That is, we should not offer our adult children advice on parenting their children--unless they've asked us for it. In that... Continue reading
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Pity our poor adult children. When they meet the love of their life and decide to commit to each other, they face an ordeal we didn't: Whether to and how to merge digital accounts. If newlyweds decide to save money... Continue reading
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Are we ever 100 percent pleased with the way our kids are bringing up their kids? There's always something we think they're getting wrong. That's what's behind Meghan Leahy's observation on our role as parents of adult children and as... Continue reading
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We're a protective species. When it comes to our kids, we want fair play in all things, even when it's only a matter of gifts from family members. Or maybe I should say, especially when it's gifts from family members... Continue reading
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Some of us whose adult children are now of sandwich-generation age--meaning their teen- and 20-something kids are becoming independent while their parents are evolving toward ancient--have a "take control" attitude toward their parents. It may be a hangover from the... Continue reading
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We more senior parents are somewhat removed from the modern-day stresses our adult children and grandchildren are experiencing. (see my post last week) That list did not include one of the most pernicious stresses: A cancelation and self-censorship culture, particularly... Continue reading
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When I first became a parent, my mother would chime in with kid-raising tips. Some of it was helpful; some annoying but for the most part there was little in her experience of raising my brother and myself to clue... Continue reading
your words bring joy to my heart--that my blog posts are offering you guidance and helping to spread calm even as you fear a storm is about to erupt. The change of scene, the relaxing atmosphere, the joy of hearing the ocean or walking on the beach--all will work out. If it doesn't measure up to your most hopeful dreams, so what? You honored your parents with a lovely gift to your children. They'll find good memories to carry forward. So will you.
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Here's the premise: After we've helped support our adult children through college and early work years, they (and their spouse) owe us grandkids. If they don't deliver, they should pay us back. Moreover, we can sue them if they don't... Continue reading
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Stunning news on the older-parent front: The Washington Post tells us that our grown kids, their kids and the generations in between are embracing the comforts of the grannie style--a trend the Post describes as "billowy linen pants, slipcovered sofas... Continue reading
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We're not always happy with our child's choice of their future spouse or significant other. Our reservations about them may not be centered on the old standby, "No one is good enough." We may have valid concerns about the future... Continue reading
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We don't like to think about what life will be like when we're no longer here and whether our grown children will act like adults when divvying up our worldly goods. We may assume we've taken care of that by... Continue reading
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When my brother was recovering from his first round of chemo for intestinal cancer, he put on a lot of weight. He was 45 years old, six feet tall and he blimped up to almost 300 pounds. My mother was... Continue reading
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A funny thing has happened on our way to becoming older parents: We may find that our grown kids have acquired wisdom and good sense. And now, as we age into our more senior adult years, they share their gravitas... Continue reading