Kira Birditt

Kira BirdittBaby boomer parents tend to believe that their relationships with their adult children are much closer than their own relationships with their parents were at the same age. But research is showing this usually isn’t the case. According to a Jan. 20 article in Psychology Today, parents in their 50s have a developmental stake in seeing relationships with their kids as close and nurturing. But their children are likely to report the same kinds of parental aggravations that the baby boomers once griped about with their own parents. The article cited recent work by ISR researcher Kira Birditt, who, along with colleagues, interviewed 158 Philadelphia families. The adult children most often complained about relationship tensions that arose from parents seeking too much control or contact in their lives. Parents, by contrast, tended to point to the individual failings of their kids, such as bad job and financial choices. Mothers, the study found, were most annoying to their children. “Children feel their mothers make more demands for closeness, and they are generally more intrusive than fathers,” the report noted.