How often are you in touch with your moved-out kid?
A reality check
This week’s public post was an ode to the family text thread. It brought to mind a conversation I had with a friend a few months after her youngest kid left for college out of state.
“How often do you talk to your kid?”
I could hear a tinge of exasperation in my friend’s voice. She was confused by her kid’s spotty communication given the closeness of their relationship, not to mention the physical distance that now separated them.
“I need a reality check. It’s not like I want to talk to them every day or know all the intimate details of their life. But I’d like to at least touch base! I feel like I’m chasing after them. They barely respond to texts, and when we manage to get on the phone, they’re always in a rush to hang up.”
My friend felt hurt and taken for granted, and wasn’t sure how to proceed. Her husband didn’t feel as strongly about the situation, but was on the same page about setting basic communication expectations. Their initial attempt to gently discuss the topic with their kid didn’t get far.
“How do we deal with this?
In my friend’s case, the problem was too little communication. But I also know folks who feel like their young adult is in contact too often. They worry their kid is too dependent on advice and reassurance, and needs a nudge to problem-solve independently.
It helps to hear what’s going on in other peoples’ families. Not because there’s a “right” answer — just to compare notes.
So here’s the question for parents of kids who’ve moved out for school, or who live independently:
What does your family’s communication rhythm look like?