We may not like the way our adult kids dress or tat their arms or use foul language. We may want them to change the way they cut their hair or, for their health's sake, lose weight! But "fixing" adult kids is a ship that has sailed. They are who and what they are--much as we'd like to tweak a habit or look or two.
Carolyn Hax addresses one aspect of the "appearance" issue in an answer to a mom whose children use profanity on a regular basis. ("It makes my kids seem crass," the mom worries.) She wants to know what to do to correct her children's salty language, language that she fears could harm them professionally.
Here's the wisdom Hax imparts:
This isn’t a what-is-a-mother-to-do question anymore, not with your kids in their 20s.
Instead, it’s about where your authority ends and theirs (or anyone else’s) begins when it comes to decorum. Do you have standing to ask your kids to curb their profanity in your presence? Yes, you do, as anyone does. Do they have the right to ignore your requests? Yes, technically they do, though that’s rude and I hope they don’t exercise it. Do you have to stand for that? No, you don’t. But they’re your kids, so you may understandably have other priorities in your relationships with them.
art: self-portrait by Sara Cain