Social Question

SvetlanatheGreat's avatar

How can I get my older children to visit me more often?

Asked by SvetlanatheGreat (213points) April 3rd, 2011

I have 6 kids and 2 of them have already gone off to college. My oldest daughter moved all the way to California and my other moved all the way to a college in South Carolina at the age of 16. Even when they have breaks, they go off to other places and seem to forget about me. There are no financial issues at all. It just seems they have no will to visit me. How can I get them to come back and see me once in a while?

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14 Answers

Quinnk123's avatar

arrange a family function like a party. If its like a reunion, they might want to come and see all their family members again. Alo you could suggest that they just stay at your house while they are in twon to save money

augustlan's avatar

Be the kind of mother they want to hang out with. Treat them as adults, not children; be pleasant to hang around; don’t nag, etc. And of course, ask them to visit.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Welcome to Fluther. If KatetheGreat is your daughter, then you have done an excellent job as a mother. Ask them specifically to come for a visit. Tell them they miss you.

I went through a long period when I was first married where I didn’t talk to my mother very often. Mostly it was because all she did was complain about me being too busy to see her, how boring her life was, and how much more successful the neighbor’s children and my cousins were than me. She never asked how I was, what I was doing, or asked about my friends. And we lived in the same city. I’ve made it a point that when I talk to my children, to treat them with the same courtesy that I give the young people I work with.

KateTheGreat's avatar

You should actually tell your children that you miss them! ;)

Neizvestnaya's avatar

When I was a teen then I thought all the things I wanted to do would disappear if I didn’t get to them fast enough yet I assumed my parents would always be as they are. Maybe a few letters from you not reminiscing their childhoods but their changing lives and you wanting to be in on it will do the trick?

creative1's avatar

Start by visiting them and making time to talk to them on the phone, become friends with your kids now that they are adults. Treat them as you would one of your friends and don’t expect they should always have to come to you to visit, this is a two way street for a relationship and it should be a give and take type of thing.

tranquilsea's avatar

I think it is pretty normal for kids who just flown the nest to be forgetful about visiting their parents or, sometimes, calling them.

The best thing you can do is pick up the phone and tell them you miss them and would love if they visited you. Then make sure the visit is fun.

I routinely drove 8 to 12 hours to visit with my mother.

now @KatetheGreat go visit your mom! ;-P

KateTheGreat's avatar

@tranquilsea I will….someday! :)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Mom has always requested that we children contact her once a week, be it phone or e-mail. She is now set up with a web-cam, which is a great way to stay in touch for free.

wundayatta's avatar

Be patient. Enjoy the children who are still home. Call your daughters or internet chat with them. They are exploring their incipient adulthood. They are trying to arrange things for themselves for the first time. They are hanging out with new friends who may be much more exciting than the ones they have at home. Resist the urge to put your helicopter in a holding pattern over their heads.

Once they get things figured out more, and have exercised their new freedom, they will be more inclined to visit you. Complaining, though, makes it more likely they will stay away.

AmWiser's avatar

Thanks @wundayatta you took the words right outta my mouth.

Kardamom's avatar

Only give advice when asked for it. Don’t try to condemn them for making new choices that might be different from the choices you make.

Hint: If your daughter wants to try a Vegan diet, ask her about it, but don’t suggest that she just keep eating eggs and milk. That is a sure fire turn off to tell a young adult to stop doing something that is important to them (unless they are a druggie or a drunk or are harming animals or other people or thieving). In this particular case, if you suggest that you would actually enjoy learning to cook a few vegan meals together and then invite her to come and do that, she would probably be thrilled.

Leave all of the nagging, meaningful suggestions on how they should be living their lives differently than the way they have chosen (or are experimenting with) and un-solicited advice out of any conversation that you have with your adult kids on the phone, by e-mail or in person. And don’t try to guilt them into doing anything, including coming to visit you.

Just say, “Hey Bill, I’d love you and your new girlfriend Margaret to come and visit. When’s a good time for you guys.”

Or say, “Hey Angela, I know you’re busy and you probably want to spend some time with your new friends. I’d love to see you too. Let’s see if we can figure out some dates that will work for both of us.”

If adult kids find that coming home means lots of embarrassing questions, being treated like children, or being subjected to ways of doing things that are incompatible with their way of life (I’m thinking of things like choosing not to have children, being gay, and choosing not to have a religion, or changing religious affiliations, or choosing not to get married, or being a vegetarian or choosing an unconventional career etc.) those are situations that would make them not want to come home.

Make your home welcoming, non threatening and non judgemental (even if you have to bite your tongue and keep your mouth closed for some situations and subjects that might arise).

Welcome to Fluther : )

Cruiser's avatar

Traveling is expensive! If you don’t have one already get something like Skype and you can at least talk to and see your kids 24/7 virtually for free!.

dabbler's avatar

some real loving answers already ! my two cents is to emphasize how much you enjoyed what you have shared and let the implication that you’d love to do it again do its work. I distinctly remember how powerfully discouraging it was to call home and have the first and last parts of the conversation be about why I never call, Visits too…. arriving after a plane flight to the welcome of ‘you never visit’ even if expressed happily just made me feel stupid for coming and when packing up to return home a litany about why I don’t I come more often really made me think hard about why I bothered. I wanted to scream (I’m sure I did on occasion) I’m here right now and you don’t seem to be appreciating that one iota!!
I miss my parents deeply now they are both gone for some time and actually wish I had spent more time with them but at the time it was like submitting to some kin of ritual abuse. I realize now as an adult that my parents always did the best they could to express their love for me and siblings and love them even more for that. It was too bad I didn’t understand that at the time &/or they didn’t understand what they were saying at the time vis-a-vis what they meant.
I love you here now in the moment I am so happy you are here with me you are always perfect in my eyes and welcome here. ‘nuff said

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