Again, I’ve got some more stories of adult children living at home for you, this time from the Santa Monica College Corsair newspaper. Here’s how one of the stories begins:
Cathy can’t find her shorts. She’s looked in her hamper and closet; she’s searched under her bed and carefully shifted through the stacks of clothes littering her bedroom.
“Mom!” she yells, “Have you seen my denim cutoffs?” Her mother replies aggressively, “Those old shorts? I sent them to Poland. Your relatives need them more than you do.”
And so it goes for another twenty-something who has been forced to move back with parents because of rising housing costs and plummeting employment opportunities.
You can read the rest of the article here.
Justin Halpern has a twitter feed that’s pretty much all about sharing profane things his father says. What makes it interesting is that Justin is 29, and he’s living at home with his 73-year-old dad. He recently wrote a piece for CBS Moneywatch, sharing some of his dad’s insights into their relationship. Among them is:
‘I don’t give a [expletive] when you leave, I just need to know you’re [expletive] leaving someday.’
That’s a rough way of putting it, but it’s important nonetheless. Setting a timeline for your adult child’s departure is one of the most important ways you can help them maintain their self-respect — and help you maintain your sanity.
You can read the rest of Justin’s piece here.
I share a lot of posts with stories about families with adult children living at home, because I know it’s important for those who are living in this challenging situation to understand that they are not alone. Today’s stories come from the TheSunNews.com in Myrtle Beach. You can read about adults from 30 to 56 who are living with their parents again, since unemployment in their area is at 10.5%. Here’s the link to the article:
At 26 and with 2 masters degrees, Nicky Loomis has found herself rooming with her parents in Pasadena, while trying to maintain a social life with her friends in L.A. In the first post on her new blog, she shares some of the trials and tribulatons of living with her parents in her mid-twenties. Here’s a highlight:
Though the high-school curfew is gone, if I don’t call to check in, it’s the barrage of the voicemails again. My parents even learned how to text.
My friends have been looking at me kind of funny lately, though, and I can’t blame them: I’ve started repeating dorky 60-year-old jokes my father performs at dinner; I now drink half-decaf, half-regular coffee; and I think watching Sunday golf on TV is relaxing.
What kind of a boomerang have I become?
For more of Nicky’s story, check out her blog at http://www.sgvtribune.com/opinions/ci_13481454. You might get some insight into how your own boomerangs are feeling. If not, Nicky’s witty writing should at least be enough to make you smile.
This recent article from the Sun Sentinel describes parents who are having trouble letting go of their parenting duties, even when their children are in college. The parents in this story still write thank you notes for their 20-something kids, and even want to help with college homework:
There are the parents who call the admissions office pretending to be their child in order to get information… There are parents who call professors to complain about a bad grade, perhaps because bullying the teacher worked in elementary or high school.
If you’re still acting like a “helicopter parent” when your kids are adults, you’re not doing them any favors. Over-parenting is Dangerous Mistake #1 covered in our free report, “Avoid the 8 Most Dangerous Mistakes Parents Make When Their Adult Child Lives at Home” (which you can access by filling in your name and e-mail address on the right side of this page).
For some parents with adult children living at home, “empty-nest syndrome” is a delayed phenomenon, happening when children are in their late 20s or even 30s rather than when they are heading off to college as very young adults. Recent research has shown that empty nest syndrome may be a myth — that parents whose adult children live at home are actually more depresses that those whose kids live away — but for the writer of this article from the Telegraph, looming empty nest syndrome is a reality.
Two things about this article — the writer is doing a couple of things that conflict with the advice we offer, so we want to make sure you spot them. She’s not charging her adult daughter rent, hoping that the adult daughter is saving for a down payment on her own home. We suggest that parents always charge at least some form of rent (even if it’s paid in labor by doing chores around the house) to get the adult kids in the mentality of having that monthly expense. If you want to help them save for their own place, give that money back to them when they leave — you don’t even have to tell them that’s your plan as you’re collecting the money.
She’s also wondering about putting herself in debt to help her daughter by a home. We strongly advise against putting your own financial situation in jeopardy to help out your kids. If the money’s not there, it’s not there. Look for other ways to support them.
MSNBC recently featured a story about adult children moving home because of the recession. It talks about how relationships change between adult kids and their parents when the adult kids return home. We particularly like this quote from Dr. Marion Lindblad-Goldberg, clinical professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Theoretically, by the time you reach adulthood, you’re supposed to be at the same power level as your parents. But it’s never like that. Parents can relate to their adult children when they’re away from home. But in the home, particularly if it’s the same home, the kid goes from being 28 down to 25 to 20 and ends up at 7.”
You can read the rest of the article here.
When adult children live very near their parents, families can experience some of the same issues as they do when adult children live at home. Adult kids may still stop by to do laundry or to be fed by Mom and Dad — and there can be privacy issues, even when the residence isn’t shared. Take this example from St. Petersburg Times Staff Writer Michelle Miller, writing about her adult son who lives down the street:
His dad and I were startled to hear a key in the front door just as we were settling down to watch the Red Sox on the tube.
“So, I guess you don’t have to knock or ring the doorbell?” my husband asked the boomerang boy.
“Nope, I have my own key,” the boy answered.
He was just passing by on his way home from work, he told us. “I just thought I’d stop in.”
As you can see, it’s important to set boundaries with your adult kids, even if there’s more than just a wall separating you. You can read the whole article here.
Here’s a link to a lovely article written by a mother whose adult daughter is moving home after 5 years away. Like so many other young people, she is moving home because there are no good job prospects for her in the area where she’s been living, so she’s moving back to Mom’s home to find entry-level work and save some cash.
Kathy Scott, the mother and writer of the article, sums up many parents’ feeling about adult children moving home beautifully:
I am anxious to see her, and at the same time anxious about what this change will mean to both of us. I have had five years with her being only an occasional visitor… What will happen once she is back in our home, and I inevitably fall back into the role of watchful mother?
You can read the whole article here.
This great article from the TimesOnline shares stories from families with adult children living at home — including one mother who’s thrilled to have her adult kids returning to the nest, and another who’s a bit annoyed that her lawyer son is still at home at age 26. There are some interesting notes about how the stages at which young adults have left the nest have changed over the years.