FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 5, 2009
Parents Offered Coping Techniques as More College Grads Return Home, Stay Longer
Parents who’ve become accustomed to the privacy of an empty nest can struggle to readjust when they find themselves sharing a household again, says Christina Newberry, author of The Hands-on Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home. The return home can be a challenge for the adult children, too.
“It’s common to go through an adjustment period that can be quite hard on everyone,” Newberry says. “Parents and adult children living at home tend to fall back into old roles that just don’t work when the children are grown-ups.”
Some families try the “grin and bear it” approach, thinking the problems will sort themselves out eventually, or that the situation is sure to be short-lived — in fact, 11.5% of respondents to the CollegeGrad.com survey said they planned to stay at home only for the summer. But MonsterTRAK, a division of the Monster.com job-search web site, reported in their 2009 annual survey (released in April 2009) that 40% of 2008 grads were still living at home close to a year after graduation.
Newberry recommends these five key strategies for establishing a healthy relationship with new grads who have moved home:
– Establish ground rules: Some families with adult children living at home find a contract or living agreement can help formalize the rules and keep everyone on the same page.
– Decide how they can contribute: They may not be able to afford market-value rent, but adult children living at home should help make a dent in the extra expenses they create (extra gas, higher phone bill, etc.).
– Don’t help too much: College grads are capable of feeding and clothing themselves, and doing their own laundry and dishes, so don’t take over these responsibilities on their behalf.
– Set a deadline for them to leave: Though it may sound harsh, setting a time limit helps keep everyone focused on the fact that eventually the new grad needs to establish independence.
– Above all: Stay calm! This can be the biggest challenge with adult children living at home, but anger isn’t helpful. Try a time out, or work on developing new communication techniques.
Living with adult children at home can definitely be challenging, but there’s no need to let some early challenges damage the relationship. More helpful tips for dealing with adult children living at home are available at http://www.adultchildrenlivingathome.com.
The Hands-on Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home offers detailed information on how to establish a workable living arrangement with your new grad, including lots of great tips and strategies, plus a customizable “Under One Roof” contract and household budget calculator. Their web site is http://www.adultchildrenlivingathome.com.