Communication with Adult Children

Once a child is considered an adult (usually eighteen and over) many of the communication processes change. The parent has a more difficult time enforcing rules and regulations and they tend to rely on the moral values that they instilled earlier in their child's life. In the context of love, the young adult continues to receive affection and loving comments from their parents, but usually not as often. However, the parents' expectations of the adult child still remain in effect. The parents continue to communicate their expectations of the child from making good grades in college, to raising a family.

There are many contrasts in parent-child communication of children over 18 years of age in Russia and the United States. There is a universal practice of decreasing active parenting as a child grows older, it appears that this decline in communication dwindles quicker in Russia than in the United States. Parent-child communications in Russia differ from that in the United States by the period of time children live with their parents in the same household. Russian children are usually expected to raise a family, and/or get a job. In either situation living at home is probable. Very often young Russian married couples live with their parents. This frequently produces problems in communication; the issues between parent and child change to household issues, problems of territorial division and problems of ownership. This results in increased tension in interaction between members of the multigenerational family.

In contrast, American families differ in that the American child is typically expected to either continue his/her education, or get a job and move out of the home. In the United States when a child becomes 18 years old he/she may go to college, enter into military service, or even go straight to work. When moving out of the home, the parent loses day to day communication with the child. For those children who do not leave home, strong parent-child communication remains. In terms of discipline they are given more freedom than they had in high school, but often still have to live by the rules of their parents. Many times a curfew is still inflicted or other types of rules remain. The young adult may still receive affection and loving comments from their parents, but in moderation. Also, parents have many expectations for their children while they remain living at home even after the child is 18 years of age. Examples expectations are making good grades (if still in school), dating a nice person, and taking care of adult responsibilities. Ultimately, they want their children to become independent, have a job and family of their own.

In terms of love, parents in Russia and the United States both communicate affection verbally and physically to their adult children. It appears though in Russia, men are less willing to show their love for their children, because it is more a traditional role for the women. However, expectations for their children appear to be equal in Russia and the United States. Often, Russian parents put more pressure on their children to succeed in order that the family will portray a good image to their Russian friends and family.