JULY 11, 2009

Christina Newberry
Phone: 778-232-1584


VANCOUVER, BC – Summer is here, which means a whole new group of graduates should be taking the
first steps towards living independently across Canada.

But this year’s grads are faced with the highest youth unemployment rate since 1998: 33,000 youth jobs
were lost in June alone, according to Statistics Canada, bringing the unemployment rate for people aged 15-
24 to 15.9%. It’s no wonder that the recent Vancouver-based Youth Vital Signs survey showed that more
than half of youth aged 20 to 24 are living at home in the city.

Christina Newberry, founder of the website offers these five
key strategies for establishing a healthy relationship with unemployed new grads who will be staying home
come September:

• Establish ground rules: Some families with adult children living at home find a contract 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.), in cash or in labour.

• Don’t help too much: University 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 milestones to put them on the path to independence: Though it may not be realistic in this
economy to set an exit date in stone, milestones help keep everyone focused on the fact that
eventually the new grad needs to have a home away from Mom and Dad.

• 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


About Christina Newberry: Recently featured on radio in Canada and Australia, and in newspapers
across the US, Newberry is an expert on family dynamics in households with adult children living at home.
After two stints living with her own parents as an adult, she saw the need for a practical guide to help
parents and kids navigate the uncharted waters of living together as grown-ups. Her web site is