How To!

How To Parent Less

Part one of Arthur Brooks’ advice on getting your adult kids to grow up.


Episode Notes

Every time Karen gets a phone call from her adult children her heart sinks. Even at age 23 and 21, they’re usually calling with a problem. She’s received calls for everything from flat tires to mental health emergencies. While she loves her kids and wants to always be a safe place for them to land, she really wants them to gain more independence. On this episode of How To!, we bring in Arthur Brooks, a Harvard University professor who studies the science of happiness and writes a column for the Atlantic called How to Build a Life. He also is the father to three adult children. He has some surprising tips and tough love for Karen to help her rebalance her relationship with her kids.

If you liked this episode, check out “How To Get Your Kid to Finally Grow Up” and “How To Fill an Empty Nest.”

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Send us a note at or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Subscribe for free on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Podcast production by Derek John and Rosemary Belson with help from Katie Shepherd.


About the Show

What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Amanda Ripley and Carvell Wallace take on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, find the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t. Until now.

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might play it on the air.

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