What does it mean to be moms and dads when our children have grown? Is it wrong for adults to live with their parents? Should I expect my daughter to quit her job to take care of me in old age? Am I to blame when my adult children misbehave? Can adults and their parents just “be friends?”
These are just a few of the questions addressed in this new study of parenting (adults). Never before has parenting lasted so long; and never before have so many people faced the opportunities and challenges that stem from this new life stage. Unable to turn to the tried and true, most of us are navigating this stage without guide posts or road maps. In this project, my students and I are using narrative methods to map the territory of parenting in later life.
I would like to invite you to participate in an Internet survey that asks questions about: the meaning of parenthood in later life; your experiences, as either a parent or the child of a parent in later life; and the norms governing late-life parenting in your community.