Category Archives: From the adult child’s perspective

Address entitlement issues right up front

I’ve just read an article that has got me absolutely fuming. It’s not new — in fact, it’s from 2007 (which means it was written *before* the current economic crisis).

The article is entitled “Twentysomething: Be responsible, go back home after college,” and its entire point is that college grads should move home after college to save money, give themselves time to adjust to the real world and avoid having to take a job that doesn’t jive with their life goals.


Sure, moving home with parents after college can be a great help, and can provide much needed support for emerging adults — both emotional and financial. I moved back home myself after graduating, and stayed for 8 months. At the time, I never thought about what my stay was costing my parents, though I did contribute to the household as much as I could by doing chores, cooking, and so on. Ryan, likewise, seems to miss entirely that the decision to move home impacts anyone other than the adult child. Here are a couple of choice quotes:

By moving home after graduation, you have little or no rent which allows for more freedom when searching for a job. There is no need to sell out to an investment bank if your real goal is to work with underprivileged children. Depending on where your parents are located, you are probably missing out on the big city night life and social scene, but you have lots of opportunities to find the perfect job, regardless of pay. If ditching the social scene for career sake doesn’t demonstrate responsibility and independence, I don’t know what does.

… moving home with mom and dad will immediately save you about $700 a month in housing costs. At least there is some extra cash flow. In two years, you can save up enough to move out on your own without worrying about going into credit card debt for basic necessities like fixing your car or buying groceries.

… Rather than focus on rent, bills and kids, emerging adults living at home with their parents have the ability to focus on the most important aspects of emerging adult life: figuring out who they are and what career is right for them.

The basic facts here are all true. But if this is how your adult child living at home sees the arrangement of living in your home, you’re in trouble. If there is no understanding that it is costing you real dollars to house an extra person in your home (for things like food, gas, heat, electricity, and so on), and that it may actually impact your lifestyle as well as your adult child’s, the ground is set for misunderstandings that will lead to resentment and damaged relationships. This is one of many reasons why it’s vitally important to work out both a living agreement (or contract) and a family budget before your adult child moves home.

To read Ryan’s entire article, click here. I’d be interested to know if it gets you as riled up as it did me. If you have an adult kid who views living with you as Ryan does, check out my article on how to avoid the top 5 mistakes made by parents with adult children living at home.

Almost 30 and still relying on Mom and Dad

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.

Boomeranging: A wise financial decision?

I’m interested to see what readers of this blog think of a recent editorial written by the editor in chief of the college paper at Ferris State University in Michigan.  The editor says that moving back in with one’s parents is a “rather adult decision.” Her logic?

Recognizing the likely poor liv­ing con­di­tions they would be able to afford indi­vid­u­ally and decid­ing that rather than set­tling for a job just to pay the bills, this demo­graphic has opted to stay in school, con­tin­u­ing their edu­ca­tion to bet­ter weather the eco­nomic storms in the future.

With the headline “Boomerang Kids Aren’t Bad,” this piece may stir up some negative feelings from parents struggling with adult kids who are close to overstaying their welcome. You can read the full piece here.

From the adult child's point of view: How to maintain a relationship?

Lucy Tobin, a boomerang kid in the UK, recently write an excellent piece for The Guardian that can provide some insight for parents with adult children living at home — especially if they have recently returned from university — about how challenging it is for adult children living at home to maintain a normal young adult’s life, having had to give up the typical young adult lifestyle. The article shows how both parents and kids can feel stressed by the situation, and may echo some of your own thoughts about how challenging it is to see your adult child making mistakes or decisions you don’t agree with right in front of you, even if you know they were likely doing those same things while they were away (and you were blissfully ignorant).

Here are quotes from two Moms in the article:

“In a way, it was easier when you were at university. I could listen from afar whenever you felt like talking to me about your love life, and try to help. But now I see it developing in front of my eyes, and when I give you advice, you ignore it.”

“I get on well with my kids, and their boyfriends are nice, polite people to have around. But it can be frustrating – they revert to how they were as children. It would be nice to see them and their partners make a meal for us once in a while, rather than us cooking for all the extra people all the time.”

Do these sentiments sound familiar? If so, you can read the rest of the article here. And then, you might want to check out the tips you can find in The Hands-On Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home.

Are your adult child's finances your business?

One of the biggest sources of conflict between parents and adult children living at home — in fact, between just about any adults who share a household — is money. In a recent column for the Washington Post, Michelle Singletary explained when — and why — and adult child’s finances are, in fact, their parents’ business. The column was written in response to a letter from an adult child living at home that began like this:

“My parents and I are at an impasse,” she said. “After graduating college, I had minor credit card debt. I asked to move into my parents’ home after living on my own for a while to get rid of the debt, and to get other finances in order. I wanted to do a reset and start off right before it got out of hand.”

To see what Singletary had to say about this hot topic, you can read her column online here.

Stories of "boomerangst"

Today we’re sharing some thoughts on “boomerangst” — the feelings of angst related to moving back home with Mom and Dad — from T.J. Wihera, himself a boomerang kid.He shares a few stories of fellow boomerangers living at home, their feelings about the lack of independence (and the benefits), and how the situation is working out.

You can check out his piece, which appeared in the Denver Post, here.

Clever insight from a boomerang kid

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 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.

Different perspectives on adult children living at home

A recent article from the New York Times provides some different perspective from adult children who are living at home. Some feel the bedroom they have at their parents’ house is their last bit of private space and figure they should be able to treat it how they want (as long as they don’t damage the house). Others strongly feel that they are guests in their parents homes and strive to minimize the impact of the presence, even in their own bedroom. Which perspective is playing out in your house?

You can read the whole article here.

If you’re struggling to find a balance between your adult child’s need for space and privacy and your own needs for your home, check out the tips offered in our book.

Is living at home a good financial strategy?

Here’s an interesting blog post from a twentysomething who argues that living at home is not a way to mooch off of mom and dad, but a sound financial strategy. Here’s a short quote:

More and more adult children are moving back home, and not so they can spend all day watching porn in their basement-cum-living-quarters while Mom does their laundry and brings them PBJ sandwiches all day long. Most these days have jobs, have financial obligations they are meeting, and are contributing financially and/or in terms of responsibilities in their parents’ home. Some parents even say it’s given them a financial break. Also, many families cite that it has fostered closer inter-generational relationships and that they feel like they appreciate and respect one another more for the experience.

Does this match up to the experience you’re having with your adult children living at home? you may need some tips to help get things back on track. You can learn some useful planning and communications strategies in my eBook: The Hands-On Guide to Surviving Adult Chldren Living at Home.