Don't Bite Your Tongue


Book Review: Don't Bite Your Tongue – How to Foster Rewarding Relationships with Your Adult Children

“A sensitive and insightful guide to understanding and remaining close to your adult child. An enormously practical and helpful book.”

— Joshua Coleman, Ph.D., author of When Parents Hurt : Compassionate Strategies When You and Your Grown Child Don’t Get Along

“Don’t Bite Your Tongue offers parents of adult children a way to take the 'bite' out of what can be complex relationships. Ruth Nemzoff provides the tools for fulfilling and meaningful relationships with adult children and ways to understand and correct the missteps that can easily occur. Her sage advice makes meaningful and fulfilling parent–child relationships possible throughout our lifecycles, a gift to all involved.”

— Jaine Darwin, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

“Parents work hard to raise their children into adulthood and want to find a way to remain connected. Ruth Nemzoff avoids the blame game, and focuses on the positive ways parents and adult children can add meaning to each other’s lives. Don’t Bite Your Tongue is a smart and heartwarming guide to a life stage that’s been largely unrecognized. Every parent should read it!”

— Caryl Rivers, author of Selling Anxiety: How the News Media Scare Women

“A groundbreaking book on how to foster parent-adult child closeness! You will laugh and cry as you recognize yourself in these pages, but most of all, you and your adult children will learn how to have a loving and supportive relationship.”

— Jim Roosevelt, CEO of Tufts Health Plan, and Ann Roosevelt, co-founder, Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters

“A very wise book. It not only takes into account the perspectives of parents and adult children but helps us to understand how changes in society influence these perspectives. Its non-judgmental framework and helpful questions should foster important cross-generational dialogue.”

— Rhoda Unger, author of Women and Gender: A Feminist Psychology

“Although tons of parenting books line the shelves of bookstores, very little exists to help parents of 20-, 30- and 40-somethings. Ruth Nemzoff has written an informed and readable book that covers most of the universal developmental issues faced by today’s parents of adult children. She encourages both generations to reflect on our inevitable differences, and advises us on how to speak respectfully about them. If her advice is followed, family relationships will be strengthened, improving life for all involved, including the following generations of children.”

— Linda A. Braun, former director of Families First Parenting Programs

Practical and insightful, Don’t Bite Your Tongue will help your family dynamics. Be brave enough to answer the questions at the end of each chapter…they’ll give you great insight into your own life and needs.  Then with Dr. Nemzoff’s encouragement, you can change old habits and improve your relationships with your adult children.

— Sue Johnson, author of Grandloving: Making Memories with Your Grandchildren, 4th edition

“After reading the chapter on Communication Tips, I have an even greater appreciation for how busy my son’s schedule is, and understand that he may not have time to return calls the same day.

— Mollie

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The Patriot Ledger, April 18th, 2012, "Duxbury offers series on changing family dynamics" By Sue Scheible

AARP, Prime Time Radio, December 20, 2011. "Don't Bite Your Tongue Off, Cultivating close bonds with your adult children," by Mike Cuthbert

AARP Magazine March/April 2011, p.67. "Nana Power: How grandparents can help kids stay out of trouble" by Tina Adler

Grandparents can help by supporting harried parents. "Ask your child how you can pitch in this week � a parent's needs change day-to-day," says Ruth Nemzoff, Ed.D. author of Don't Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships with Your Adult Children. One grandfather she writes about sang to his grandchildren on Skype in the mornings while his son sipped his coffee."

Business, Feb 8, 2012. "Lay Down the Ground Rules Before Your Millennial Moves Home" by Rachel Hartman

Going to a financial planner for professional help is another option. If your child doesn't have a job, consider outlining your expectations for job hunting, says Ruth Nemzoff, author of "Don't Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships with Your Adult Children.", September 2011. "Give adult daughter clear expectations," by Barbara F. Meltz

There's a book you might find helpful called, 'Don't Bite Your Tongue, How to Foster Rewarding Relationships With Your Adult Children.'

September 2011, "Talking to Our Adult Children"

Nemzoff, a leading expert in family dynamics, helps parents understand how to create close relationships with their adult children, while respecting their independence.

USA Weekend, December 2011, "Great reasons to love your in-laws" by Nicci Micco

"Each family is its own culture, one others don't fully understand," says Ruth Nemzoff, a resident scholar at Brandeis University's Women's Studies Research ...

USA Today, January 5, 2011, "Parenting, Part II: Weight is heavy topic to discuss with grown children," by Kim Painter

"'It's a very big deal to a lot of parents,' says Ruth Nemzoff, a resident scholar at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., and author of Don't Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships With Your Adult Children. 'It can be like a hit to the solar plexus.'"

The Boston Globe, June 29, 2010, p G2. "Things to Do: Another Dr. Ruth," by June Wulff.

"Dr. Ruth Nemzoff's book, Don't Bite Your Tongue: How To Foster Rewarding Relationships With Your Adult Children, helps create close and candid relationships with their grown-up kids while supporting their independence."

The Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2009. "Still the parent but�: The moment when an adult child approaches you as an equal can be unnerving�and immensely rewarding," by Andree Aelion Brooks

"Ruth Nemzoff, a resident scholar at Brandeis University, understands the feeling perfectly. She has studied this period of parental life for a book, published last year, titled "Don't Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships With Your Adult Children." "I hear parents say things like, 'What do they think�that I'm an idiot?' " she told me. "Parents don't want to be infantilized any more than their children." Or demeaned. She tells the story of a young investment banker. Every time he went back to his parents' home, he grumbled about the old bathroom in their house. He was eager and able to pay for a new one�and wanted to do so as a way to thank them for all that they had done for him. The parents, though, rebuffed his repeated efforts. "They thought the bathroom was good enough as it was," Dr. Nemzoff says. And that was a loss for both sides: The bathroom was never modernized, and the son never enjoyed the pleasure of giving the gift."

Women's Health Magazine, October 2009. "Opposites Attract--And Fight!" by Elise Nersesian.

"Women who want several children may feel unfulfilled without the experience, which can lead to long-term resentment. To prevent this, discuss your disparate family plans. (Is he worried he won't be able to support a large family? Does he think more than one kid is too much work?). 'Then try to allay his fears�for example, offer to start a "future family" bank account, or suggest moving closer to in-laws who can pitch in,' says Ruth Nemzoff, Ed. D., a resident scholar at Brandeis University's Women's Studies Research Center and the author of Don't Bite Your Tongue. If he won't budge, volunteering with kids or becoming a teacher can help quench your desire to have an impact on the lives of many children.", December 2010. "Social Minefield: How to get what you want from your parent," by Anna North

"Luckily, Dr. Ruth Nemzoff, author of Don't Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships With Your Adult Children, has some more targeted advice: ask your parents about their lives."

Palm Beach Post, July 23 2009, "Is anyone listening? When communication on the family tree gets tangled, don't hang up" by Bea Lewis.

"As a resident scholar at Brandeis University Women's Studies Research Center in Massachusetts, Nemzoff became intrigued with the confusing relationships between parents and their adult children. In her research, she found that parents of grown kids were all saying the same thing: "I have so much to say, but I just bite my tongue.'' Her research became a book, Don't Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships with Your Adult Children (Macmillan; $14.95), which reads like a smart friend is offering you empathetic, down-to-earth advice on how to have the best relationship with your adult children. For my money, Nemzoff has the most insightful book on the market today about parent/adult child relationships. (And believe me, I've read a lot!) Her compassion surrounding intergenerational issues is comforting; she lets you know you're not alone in your struggles.", Author Interview by Cathy B. Stucker, January 2009

"Don't Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships With Your Adult Children is my most recent book. It is a tale of two perspectives; that of the parents, and that of the adult child. It aims to mitigate the normal storms and dramas of life."

St. Petersburg (Florida) Times, Oct. 28, 2008, "Don't Bite Your Tongue teaches healthy communication between adult children," by Judy Hill.

"Nemzoff, an expert in family dynamics, offers a more enlightened path � one that allows you to offer your opinion without wreaking havoc on your relationship with your children. A clinical psychologist and researcher whose academic credentials include degrees from Barnard, Columbia and Harvard, Nemzoff is also a resident scholar at Brandeis University and an adjunct assistant professor at Bentley College.", 2012, "Family Finance: An Interview with Professor Nemzoff."

According to Professor Nemzoff, a leading expert in family dynamics and scholar at Brandeis University, family relationships can be problematic if financial transparency does not exist. Emotions flare when money enters the conversation, but talking about funding strategies will ensure that family members are on the same page and understand the reasoning behind financial decisions.


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