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Getting to 30: A Parent's Guide to the 20-Something Years [Kindle Edition]

Jeffrey Jensen Arnett , Elizabeth Fishel
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

“This is the book parents have been waiting for”—Michael Thompson, coauthor of Raising Cain. The book that is “helpful, hopeful, and engaging”—Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Ph.D., Columbia University. It is the book that addresses the new reality for parents of kids in their 20s and the issues that everyone in the media is talking about: When will this new generation of 20-somethings leave home, find love, start a career, settle down—grow up? And it's the book that will soothe your nerves. It’s loaded with information about what to expect and guidance on what to do when problems arise (as they probably will). In other words, this is the book parents need—Getting to 30, by Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, the world's leading authority on the post-adolescent phase he named emerging adulthood, and Elizabeth Fishel, author of Sisters and other books.

As Getting to 30 shows, the road to adulthood is longer than we think—and, for parents, bumpier. It explains what’s really happening to your 18- to 29-year-old, including the story behind your child’s moods. The phenomenon of the boomerang child—and why it’s actually a good thing, for parents and kids. The new landscape of 20-something romance. And it gives all the tools parents need to deal with the challenges, from six ways to listen more than you talk, to knowing when to open (and close) the Bank of Mom and Dad while saving for retirement, to figuring out the protocol for social media.

Published in hardcover as When Will My Grown-Up Kid Grow Up?, Getting to 30 includes the latest research on the optimistic and supportive attitude most parents have regarding their 20-something children.

Editorial Reviews


"For parents who are caught up in the struggle to stay connected while pulling back during their kid's journey to adulthood, this book provides a frank, factual, and fearless look at the road ahead."
More magazine

"Highly readable and informative . . . A must-read for 50-something parents."
—Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Huffington Post

"Replete with sage advice and thoughtful observations."
Realize magazine

"[A] good-humored parents' guide."
Houston Chronicle


"A Dr. Spock for parents with children in all stages of emerging adulthood."
–Robin Marantz Henig, coauthor, with Samantha Henig, of Twentysomething

"Parenting kids in their twenties takes tact, patience, and wisdom. If you find you are running out of all three, you must read When Will My Grown-Up Kid Grow Up? This is the book parents have been waiting for. It will restore your confidence and lift your spirits."
—Michael Thompson, Ph.D., coauthor of Raising Cain

"Wise, very concrete help for parents trying to find the elusive middle ground between biting their tongues and remaining actively involved with the life dilemmas of their emerging adult children."
—Philip and Carolyn Cowan, professors emeriti, University of California, Berkeley

"A timely guide for parents who are navigating their children’s transition to adulthood—helpful, hopeful, and engaging."
—Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Ph.D., Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Child Development, Teachers College, Columbia University

Product Details

  • File Size: 989 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; Reprint edition (May 14, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,727 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Just when we thought we were done parenting, here come the 20-something and 30-something years with the kid at home or the one who won't even come over for dinner.

Now we have this guide to "loving and understanding your emerging adult." Step aside, Dr. Spock! Here we can find out how to handle the Bank of Mom and Dad; when to bite your tongue and when to speak up (should we say something about that iffy boyfriend? what do you do when the college boy doesn't call for a week or two?)

You get good guidance, clever stories and quotes, and a friend at your side as you navigate good relationships with the grown-ups who are not-quite-grown-up after all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Positive review from an Emerging Adult November 21, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
‘When will my grown-up kid grow up?’ is an excellent book and well worth reading if you are a parent of an emerging adult, or, like me, if you are an emerging adult yourself. Professor Jeffrey Jensen Arnett and Elizabeth Fishel have assembled a broad array of developmental, social and cultural psychological research and packaged it into a very accessible and interesting volume. This book charts the lived experience of a new developmental phase from the perspective of both the emerging adult and their parents. This phase, lasting from age 18 through the twenties, is new to this generation: this time frame was not experienced in the same way by the parents of the emerging adults. Therefore, there is often misunderstanding between both parent and child. The authors provide a wealth of information, based on careful psychological analysis of large numbers of interviews, about this life phase. Emerging adults are exposed to, and engage with, different social, religious, romantic, and ideological experiences, which lead to a delayed pathway to full adulthood. There are consequences, both negative and positive, for these emerging adults, as well as their parents. The authors engage with these topics sensitively, providing clear information, as well as offering advice for parents to navigate their relationships with their children during this new developmental period. As such, this is essential reading for both groups of people, so that they can better understand themselves, and each other.

Séamus A. Power, Department of Comparative Human Development, University of Chicago.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Was looking for more... June 12, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book based on reading articles by Arnett on Emerging Adulthood. Since I teach at the college level and have children in the Emerging Adulthood phase, I wanted to gain a deeper understanding. This book would be helpful if you really have no clue or you need assurances that you are not in this alone, but for me it did not give me the depth of knowledge I was looking for.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for parents of emerging adults July 12, 2013
I happen to notice this book the other day and what caught my eye was the tagline "For parents whose children are 18-29". I immediately decided to pick this up (my children are currently 26 and 23). There are TONS of books out there with advice on how to deal with kids in high school or in college, but very few if any that deal with the post-college years, say kids between 22 and 30.

"When Will My Grown-Up Kid Grow Up? Loving and Understanding Your Emerging Adults" (2013 release; 303 pages) is co-authored by Dr. Jeffrey Arnett and Elizabeth Fishel. In the prologue, the authors explain the reason for writing this book (seeing the lack of books on this topic, to become a Dr. Spock-like guide for parents on how to deal with emerging adults). As a consequence of this ambitious goal, the book tackles a LOT of different topics, in great detail, always with understanding and respect for different viewpoints, yet not being afraid to provide specific guidance. The book is littered with real-life examples from parents asking advice on a specific situation, and the authors oblige.

THE thorniest topic seems to be when a 20-something son or daughter returns to live with mom and dad, either after college (or having dropped out during college), or even further down the road after losing a job or some other mishap. First and foremost, the authors document time and again how common this situation has become in recent years, so right then and there you are put at ease because you are not alone! Then the authors provide helpful hints on how to give-and-take, not only literally (as in: money), but also emotionally (these emerging adults are not just some teenagers you can 'boss around'), while making sure that the parents maintain soms sanity during it all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars helpful! August 31, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
The book is a little repeatitive but it contains good information and really helped me shift my focus. I feel much better about my 20-something daughter's situation after reading this book.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have found this to be such a help! It really does answer many questions and offer practical advice for helping this age group to make their best decisions and for both me and my husband to feel good about what we have said and done. I have especially liked the section about the "Bank of Mom and Dad" and how to help turn this off. I thought I knew how to guide my son- and for the most part I do and I am not that far off track. However,this book is my ready resource whenever I need back-up or additional resources.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Served to calm me down and assure me that my ...
Served to calm me down and assure me that my kid's not that different and we, as parents, aren't alone in our bafflement.
Published 1 month ago by Teresa Burgos
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gift! (Especially when given with a print out ...
I got lots of 'we're so proud of our emerging adult!' from my parents this Christmas. Great gift! (Especially when given with a print out of the original study for my dad, who... Read more
Published 4 months ago by J. Griffin
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and helpful
This book is informative and helpful for those of us with grown children. It helped me to understand that my situation was not unique. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Ellen Orzechowski
3.0 out of 5 stars and decided it was best for parents who've got no clue about modern...
I read about half the book, actually, and decided it was best for parents who've got no clue about modern society. Read more
Published 10 months ago by tea lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
If you like this kind of topics this is the one. Jeffrey Arnett has a lot of experience and this is one of the newer topics about emerging adults.
Published 11 months ago by Zarawitta
4.0 out of 5 stars worthwhile reading
Optimistically written with much detail and examples to read and remember, well worth the effort of reading this lengthy treatise on a more often then not painful subject
Published 18 months ago by Dr Daniel Gottlieb
5.0 out of 5 stars I need help
I am having trouble understanding my adult children; especially since they are acting like adolescents. Hopefully this book will put things in perspective.
Published 20 months ago by Paul
Published 21 months ago by irene sardanis
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