Here's food for thought: the confluence and trajectories of "maturing" that we experience (the graying hair, the flabbier muscle tone, the forgetfulness) and the "maturations" our grown children are undergoing. Put in Gail Sheehy terms: The Passages we're experiencing vis a vis the Passages they're experiencing. If we had more understanding of what natural changes or passages they and we are going through, would that give us insights into our approaches to parenting our grown children? Would that help us with the challenges we face in our role as advisory parents in our adult children's lives?
I'm not sure Barbara Strauch has the answers, but her new book,The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain may offer some clues. I say "may" because I haven't read it yet. I've been clued into it by Susan Adcox who blogs about grandparenting . In writing about one of the big points the book makes--the mature mind may be more forgetful but it compensates with other strengths--Adcox notes, "Middle-aged people who find themselves 'on the foggy planet of lost keys and misplaced thoughts' may have to learn new ways of coping, such as list-making and note-taking. But they are rewarded with minds that see the big picture, that are capable of flashes of insight, that can solve problems of enormous complexity."
The book has just arrived on my doorstep. I'll be reporting back on what I learn that has relevancy to our roles as parents of adult children. You may find those reports offer insights into your relationship with your grown children--unless you choose to read the book yourself.