Over the years friends have shared both elation and dissatisfaction over their relationship with their adult children. The elation usually comes from pride in their offspring’s accomplishments, their good character, and their own parenting ethos. The older generation can pat themselves on the back: They did a good job.
The dissatisfaction often arises from the gulf between the parents’ expectations and their offspring’s sense of obligation. As a result feelings are hurt, noses are out of joint, and even minor interactions become emotionally fraught. The parents search their souls to discover what they did wrong.
Many people yearn for a more fulfilling relationship with their adult children. I started Parents of Grown Offspring to help them realize it.
Upon graduation from Vassar College, Barbara Greenleaf wrote first for the Book of Knowledge, a children’s encyclopedia, and then for The New York Times in their book and education department. She is the author of six books, including Children Through the Ages: A History of Childhood and Help: A Handbook for Working Mothers. After volunteering in an entrepreneurship class at a local high school for several years, she wrote two books for teens who might not be great students but who could be successful in the real world with a little encouragement.
Over the years Barbara has written for a wide range of publications including Bride and Home, Westchester, Newsday, the Journal of the American Management Association, and Working Mother, where she was a contributing editor. Two of her award-winning speeches were published in Vital Speeches of the Day. In the course of her varied career, she was head of consumer affairs for a major energy company, PR director for a satellite communications firm, president of a catalogue purveyor of nonfiction videos and owner of a marketing and community outreach firm. Most recently she served as Associate Vice Chancellor of Advancement & External Affairs at Antioch University Santa Barbara.
A mother and grandmother, Barbara Greenleaf has always been interested in the evolution of human interactions.