Wedding Woes

Let them lead the conversation.

Dear Prudence,

Our 18-year-old twins are coming home for their first Thanksgiving break from their out-of-state college. We visited them a few weekends ago, but it was a quick trip and their friends and friends’ parents were often with us. We really want this visit home to be restful and relaxing before they go back for finals. Additionally, I have a million questions about things that have happened (roommate drama, first romance, etc.) that we’ve barely scratched the surface of in FaceTime calls. We are a close family, but I want to respect their new status as young adults living independently and my tendency to get intense and nosy. For what it’s worth, I started therapy before their senior year in high school because I saw that I was becoming more intense as their leaving the nest loomed nearer and they were withdrawing. Do you have any suggestions for encouraging connection and conversation while still respecting their autonomy?

—Nosy Mom By Nature

Re: Let them lead the conversation.

  • As someone who feels automatically defensive whenever my mom asks a question, let the conversation happen naturally. Don't let your curiosity come across as pushy.
  • Keep it light and let them lead. Did you meet their friends? Ask, “hey how’s Bert doing?” Know what classes they’re taking? Ask “how’s that class on astronomy”. Then let them fill in the details. Don’t press for more if they’re not receptive but I don’t think it means you can’t ask them *anything*. 
  • banana468banana468 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Let them start the conversation.  This is a time where they are trying to feel independent, and now their college dorm may feel more like home than your house.  don't push it! 
  • Letting them take the lead is absolutely the way to go. Ask them a general question or two about how things are going and let them decide what they feel comfortable telling you. They are at an age and point in life where, more than ever, they don't necessarily need or want to tell their mother everything. Allowing them to decide the direction of the conversation(s) shows interest while still respecting their privacy.
  • Let them come to you. Make home welcoming and comfortable and easy. It may take a while for them to settle in. 
  • This is how my mother is. And this is the reason I don't tell her anything.

    Accept that dating and roommate drama really isn't your business and that they'll share if they want to. 
  • levioosalevioosa member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Agree with PPs. Also it’s possible the kids come home and spend the majority of their vacation taking off to go hang out with their friends. And that, LW, is also not about you and not a sign you’ve done anything wrong. 

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