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CoffeeroomsA Certain Age

BOOK SHELF ~ Adult Children

Friends for Life
Enriching the Bond Between Mothers and Their Adult Daughters
Susan Jonas

There is an abundance of books designed to aid parents in guiding their children through adolescence, but few are aimed at those whose kids are no longer kids. Since the role of parent is never outgrown (as desirable as the idea may sound at times), a new communication approach is necessary for parents to foster a close bond with their adult children. With daughters in their 20s, Susan Jonas and Marilyn Nissenson are familiar with the unique mother-daughter dynamic and the inherent paradox in bridging the gap between friendship and mothering. Friends for Life is their attempt to assuage the confusion by sharing the wisdom gathered by various women. To help answer their questions, the authors enlisted some experts in the field, interviewing more than 100 mothers from across the U.S. about the joys, frustrations, and complexities of simultaneously reaching out and letting go. The compilation of experience, warnings, and words of wisdom is both instructive and endearing, and the anecdotes are sure to elicit nods of recognition. Touchy subjects such as selecting a partner, choosing a career, and lifestyle choices are discussed honestly and fairly, accounting for generational differences and malleable societal norms. There is a razor-fine line between dispensing advice and nagging, between expectations and unconditional support, and the authors argue that recognizing these boundaries is essential to a healthy and loving relationship with a daughter. As with most good advice, the real value is in spreading it around.

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