One has a particularly relevant title: Bernstein offers two suggestions.The first is what could be called a preemptive strike when it comes to adult children showing appreciation to parents: Reinforce thoughtfulness.

Rather than letting resentment simmer, he suggests a discussion, but framing it in a positive manner.

“If you are going to say something negative, it’s more effective if you say something positive first,” he says.

Consider starting by referring to times when the adult child did remember a special occasion but then note this time around the disappointment.

Cathy C.: “Nothing elaborate: lunch or dinner out at our favorite restaurant and perhaps a card.

I like things to be simple because what is truly important is the corniest of all: spending time with your kids.” Mary D.: “Being together is what makes me the happiest and trumps any ‘thing’ they could give me. ”Anonymous: “Don’t want the flowers that they picked up at the bodega on the corner a half-block away — not because I’m a snob or because I measure the worth of a present by how much is spent, but because I know they just grabbed it on the fly.

However, being totally honest, I would be a little disappointed if they didn’t make some minor effort to get a card or flowers for me, and especially their 88-year-old grandmother.”Vivien O-S: “A candid, warmhearted, funny/serious love letter to Mom (email’s fine), gratefully acknowledging my decades of passionate, highly imperfect service … Even if they wind up with something I don’t particularly like, I would like it to exhibit some advance planning and a little thought as to what they think I might like/need.” Although the book is directed toward couples, we thought the author, psychologist Jeffrey Bernstein, might have some advice for Mother’s Day disappointments.Bernstein also writes books about parenting issues.Mother’s Day brings a spending spree as Americans dole out a record billion this year for cards, flowers, jewelry, gift certificates, electronics and gardening tools, as well as creating a crush at restaurants for brunch and dinner on Sunday.While the typical expenditure is 5, our 25- to 34-year-old children will spend the most of any age group, averaging almost 0.Of course, that doesn’t mean they are splurging only on moms; many will buy gifts for their wives in the name of their little children. We asked some moms on Facebook what they wanted, and the responses revealed an array of feelings about the day, and what the kids buy … Get discounts on hotels, airfare, car rentals and more — AARP Member Advantages.» The first two moms expressed a common attitude: time with the children and a card, flowers, maybe dinner.