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Giving unsolicited advice to your adult children (specifc question - but curious about in general)


Replies to: Giving unsolicited advice to your adult children (specifc question - but curious about in general)

  • yourmommayourmomma Registered User Posts: 1,194 Senior Member
    I don't think you have to give him "advice." If such advice was given to me, at least now in my older years, I would double down -- break out the sandals and black socks.

    I think you can do a couple of things. Make it more of a joke -- "you have no fashion game." Or just buy him stuff for holidays, birthdays and such.
  • Leigh22Leigh22 Registered User Posts: 379 Member
    Doubling down is what my H does. His mother nags him about getting a hair cut - started about 6 months ago. He hasn’t had one since. Seriously, why would she care?
  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay Registered User Posts: 19,452 Senior Member
    I give my kids advice, but, thankfully, they are OK with it. They know that I pick my opportunities sparingly and wisely. My older son is a late bloomer and is just now starting to really "get" appearance things. He's 26.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 7,476 Senior Member
    LOL. I'm pretty good giving unsolicited advice now that I've had so much practice.
    . Some of it they even take. Some goes by the wayside until a later date when either they've grown up a bit or realized I was right. Or maybe I gave bad advice which was rightfully ignored. I'm very quick to admit my mistakes.

    The trick I found is to mention it exactly once (hopefully without it appearing to be blatant criticism) and let it go. It will sink in if it applies. Or end my advice with "do what you want, just an option!"
    I'm convinced parental advice is kept in a separate memory file in the brains of offspring to be used or discarded at a later date.

    Clothing makes an impression and if your son appeared "out of place" somehow in the picture with co-workers I'd mention it. My D used to dress like her co-workers (way laid back but she blended in fine) until I casually pointed out that was not how her bosses dressed--she stepped up her game without a further word said. A matter of "dress for the next job, not the one you have".
  • MusakParentMusakParent Registered User Posts: 837 Member
    No way would I give a self supporting young adult unsolicited advice. I might gift him some clothes though that I thought were his style that would be work appropriate if I thought that wouldn't cause a problem for him. I have a younger teenage daughter who at 14 will barely except clothing from me though so I know dynamics can vary. My son would love a personal shopper and would probably happily prescribe to the Mark Zuckerberg wardrobe.

    Is he working in tech? If so, I'd not worry about it at all. LOL
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 7,476 Senior Member
    @ams5796 -- " He's always in search of a girlfriend and I often wonder if a makeover or some good grooming would help his cause."

    Another thread certainly but the quick vote from me is yes.
  • TdoesCollegeTdoesCollege Registered User Posts: 87 Junior Member
    @Leigh22 Funny story regarding basically the same situation: DH’s mom told him he had too much hair in his head (he was wearing it longer in the back and sides at the time). Before we saw her next, he shaved his mustache and told her that he had less hair on his head now. Everyone laughed. Just a different response...
  • scmom12scmom12 Registered User Posts: 3,025 Senior Member
    I would let current clothes ride and give him a new shirt for birthday or Christmas. But I would advise him on building a wardrobe if he hasn’t already. For instance if he doesn’t have a nice blazer and nice khaki or dress pants and maybe a dark suit and one stylish tie. To me those are things that can be needed on short notice and if you are frugal it is cheaper to shop at your leisure than to have to buy something last minute.

    With D she started teaching with regular cotton tees, etc. gradually she (and sometimes I) have record these with slightly nicer clothes. Of course many girls are more open to shopping but maybe if you give him something new and tell him it’s to help him start a more professional wardrobe he might go for it.

    In general I am trying to be better about unsolicited advice but both girls do ask. Exception is money planning. Tried to educate on putting money in Roth, building savings and using budget.
  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl Registered User Posts: 2,877 Senior Member
    Re: the advice, not very often with S. With D more often but she'll just tell me to MYOB if she doesn't agree lol. But, my issue with S wardrobe is that he dresses too well. IMHO it isn't necessary to dress in $200 jeans and sweaters and I think, given how quickly styles change, that its a waste of money better put in a 401K or into experiences. I'm with the "if it is neat, clean, no holes, and up to date style-wise" you are good to go. You don't have to spend a bundle to make an impression, especially if your work is good enough to impress.

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,581 Senior Member
    I don't think you are out of place to tell your son he needs to pick it up. No one from his office is going to tell him. If he doesn't care what he wears, that's easier as he can develop a 'uniform' for himself and just wear those things all the time - khakis and a polo, button down shirts with slacks. Don't forget the shoes.

    My kids wore school uniforms for some schools they attended, and when they didn't have them both wish they did. Now that one daughter is at an engineering firm, I think her outfits are pretty 'uniform' like. Black pants and a blouse most days. She has a black blazer, a few pairs of shoes and that's it.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,178 Senior Member
    I used to joke DH wouldn't even mention if I had toilet paper stuck to my shoe or literally egg on my face. If I questioned this, he'd say, "I thought you knew." Say what?

    In OP's son's case, I might have said. "Wow. your coworkers are dressed up, is this how they usually come to work?" If he says yes, I might ask if he feels he needs to, also. He might say, No, they're managers or whatever. Indirectly sliding into a possible convo.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,656 Forum Champion
    edited February 19
    Had a similar thing with my S -- many of his starting work clothes we bought when he was in college and had his first internship. He had filled out since then (in a good way LOL) so while the clothing still technically fit he didn't look great. Last Christmas I suggested we do a shopping spree to update his work clothes as his gift. I do think he was happy to get new and more comfortable fitting clothing. He even ended up getting into the shopping spirit and bought some extra things himself. If left to his own devices I'm not sure he would have thought to do it.

    For better or worse, my D is always happy to go shopping!
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,178 Senior Member
    That works, it's a direct offer. Not attached to anything that could be perceived as critique.
  • atomomatomom Registered User Posts: 4,607 Senior Member
    Yes, I will give unsolicited advice to my adult kids. Not going to stop or worry about it. Our family is rather blunt and insensitive. Always full of jokes and playful insults. I can't imagine anyone being offended by polite, helpful, well-meaning advice from mom. They are free to ignore it, of course. But when I bother to speak up (which is infrequently), I am always right. Kids sometimes help me out, too.
    I am much more selective about saying anything to my oldest/married S. He is his wife's problem now! And I would never give advice to D-i-l unless it was a serious matter of safety/health. Many (most?) men depend on their moms, girlfriends, or wives for advice on clothes, grooming, etc., so I see nothing out-of-line about it.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,147 Senior Member
    What is his industry? For example, if he is IT or tech, leave him alone.

    I usually ask if they want it before giving advice. The one area recently where I couldn’t resist was with D1 recently regarding their current house hunting strategy, I think they are making a financial mistake, looking for too much house for their age & income. Unwilling to compromise a bit in location to reduce the price, and I’m worried it will box them into a work treadmill to keep up the payments. D is polite, she heard me out. I’m biting my tongue going forward. I’ve given my opinion.
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