A recent Christian Science Monitor article shares a number of strategies for ensuring a successful experience with adult children living at home. Their tips echo some of my strategies, and like me, they emphasize that communication and shared expectations are the most important factors to ensuring that your relationship with your adult kids doesn’t suffer when they live in your home.
Remember, we are all human, and everyone will make mistakes. But if you talk openly and honestly, you can avoid resentment and a lot of negative feelings. Living with your adult kids can be a positive experience for both you and them, as long as you know how to make it work, and are prepared to put in the effort.
For my tips on avoiding common mistakes when adult children, click here.
If you have a boomerang son living at home, you may find this Newsweek article by George Will worth a read. He talks about some of the factors that have led to so many young men living at home. Do you see you family’s situation in what he describes?
A new survey by UK firm YouGov has provided some scary statistics about the financial impact recent economic challenges have had on families with adult children. Among the findings:
- About 35% of young adults borrow from their parents for daily living expenses
- 38% have borrowed or accepted a gift of money to pay off debts
- 34% have relied on financial help from parents to buy a home
- 47% of parents have given or lent money to their adult children or grandchildren
But here’s the really scary bit:
- 80% of parents who gave or lent their children money withdrew it from their savings
- 54% of these do not think they will be able to top up their savings again
- 22% of parents had to cut back their own spending to support their adult children
- About 30% of parents are saving less because their money is going to their adult children
- 12% of parents have had to stop saving altogether
And worst of all:
- 1 in 10 parents borrowed the money to support their adult children.
TV Tokyo’s Washington, DC bureau is working on a story about boomerang kids and multi-generational households in the United States. Specifically, they are looking for families where adult children aged 18 – 34 have moved back in with their parents after a recent layoff or because they are having trouble finding a job after college. If you are interested in talking about your experience with boomerang kids, you live in the Washington, DC area, and you’d like to appear on a Japanese television program, please send me a quick e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll put you in touch with the producer.
I recently talked about the new term “yuckies,” which stands for Young Unwitting Costly Kids — adult children who still rely on their parents for regular financial support. Bryony Gordon, 29, a writer for the Telegraph, recently shared her thoughts on being a yuckie. Here’s a quote from her piece that neatly captures today’s realities for many young people, and how it’s impacting their parents:
I am still partly reliant on my parents despite being old enough to be one myself, a point that my mother never tires of making. “You know that you are going to be 30 this year,” she says. “When I was your age, I was already paying your school fees.”
Gosh, my school fees. What a waste of money that was. Here I am, no more a home-owner than I am a trapeze artist or for that matter a circus elephant, one toe clinging desperately to the very bottom rung of the property ladder thanks only to my mother who bought most of the flat that I live in. Last month she had to pay my gas bill.
The piece is thoughtful and a good read, and you can find it here.
If your adult child is coming home from college and staying with you over Spring Break, it can be a great opportunity to consciously set some expectations for the week that will also help set the tone for the future.
Or, at the very least, to avoid setting some unrealistic expectations!
It can be tempting for your kid to come home and expect to be treated like returning royalty. They may want to focus on their studies, perhaps, or (more likely) focus on catching up with friends and sleep, while hoping that you’ll catch up on their laundry.
So now is the time–before they arrive–to make sure they understand the ground rules. Let them know that they are welcome to use the washing machine, for example.
If there’s a family car, make up a schedule so you don’t end up stranded.
It may be tempting for you to pamper them, but have no doubt: They will get used to whatever happens during their brief visits home. By communicating with them as one adult to another you can welcome them home, without creating dangerous patterns for the future.