The only thing that changes is how much they have to listen.
This is how it tends to go for Mark or I with our adult kids.
Parent: Bar-hopping is a terrible idea, and looking for a good band sounds sketchy. Besides, you hate cover charges. Why not just go to that concert?
25-year-old: Yeah. Thanks. (leaves)And that's what it's like to have absolutely no negotiating power, folks.
Except on the youngest two. They are still within our grasp and the negotiations are more of a volley.
Parent: Where's the bonfire? Who's driving? The roads are icing after midnight, let's make that your curfew.
18-year-old: (rolls eyes but answers questions and agrees to curfew) Can I have money for the diner after?
Parent: How 'bout you clean the fridge. I'll pay you for that.
Kid: The fridge is gross. How 'bout I clean your car instead.
Deal.Which is how we ended up promising our 13-year-old a treadmill this week.
If we got the treadmill. By April. She's a softball player, not a runner, so she needs prep time.
Good negotiations end the moment both sides think they've got a "win" so although I countered with "how 'bout we go to the Y every day instead," she rejected that with "I hate the Y" and we went back to the agreement on the treadmill, Her dad and I shook on it and she recorded the deal with a voice memo on her phone.
Which leaves me wondering for the hundredth or so time about a home gym. I want one, Mark wants one, our kids have always wanted one, and now we almost have room. But no one needs a gym in order to run, or in my case walk, and filling up our house with stuff as our kids move out and on with their lives is not a way to downsize into the smaller house we imagine. There's a blog I read last night that is way smarter than me about this trap by Madeline Somerville here.
But the deal is made, exercise is good and if I can buy a treadmill no one's using rather than a new one, I'm not de-greening the planet, though I'm also not getting a warranty or helping the economy. So maybe I'll settle for de-cluttering the space to fit it.
I still need advice, though, on what makes a home gym (or even just a treadmill) used rather than ignored. Because the deal was not that our daughter actually run on the thing, mind you.
Negotiations. The devil's in the damned details.