1/15/2013 6:45 PM ET|
How to deal with 'boomerang' kids
Having an adult child move back in is a big adjustment for everyone. These 14 tips can help make the experience a good one.
It's happening to more and more baby boomers: Adult children are moving back in with their parents. According to the Pew Research Center, more than 20% of young adults aged 25 to 34 are living with their parents -- the highest percentage in 60 years.
We'll leave the discussion on what's causing this trend to economists, psychologists and politicians. But if you're the parent of a "boomerang" kid, there are things can do to make the experience a positive one for both you and your child:
Talk with your child and agree on goals. Don't assume that you want the same things. Clearing the air now can help prevent miscommunication later.
Set time limits. Discuss how long you expect the arrangement to last: Weeks? Months? Years? Certain behaviors may be acceptable for a few days, but not for an extended period.
Encourage your child to develop a plan to meet his goals. If your child say he'll out in six months, he should have a plan to achieve that goal.
Expect him to act like an adult. You may still be the mom or dad, but it's time for him to pick up his own room and do his own laundry.
Don't treat him like a child. Don't make rules that are more appropriate for teens, such as enforcing a curfew. Assuming that he can't make decisions and act like an adult only reinforces childish behavior.
Communication is key. Most of us don't like to have disagreements with our kids. But burying small problems now will likely lead to bigger problems later. Agree on a nonconfrontational way for each of you to address concerns.
Expect him to make a reasonable effort to find a job. Until he finds employment, that should be his full-time job.
Remind him that no job is "beneath" him. Any honest job is better than no job, especially if it's the first one. Unfortunately, a college degree no longer guarantees a great job right out of school.
Expect your child to contribute physically. You shouldn't have to come home from a long day of work, only to cook dinner or run for take-out. There's no reason why your child can't help shop for groceries and cook. The same goes for household chores.
Try to avoid "loaning" your child money. It's not good for you, and it's not good for your child. You may feel foolish for giving the money, since there's a large likelihood he won't repay the loan. In lending the money, you're also encouraging bad behaviors that are more appropriate for a teenager.
Be willing to use "tough love" if necessary. If your child isn't trying to become financially independent, you could be enabling destructive behavior by letting him freeload. Sometimes, the best way to love a child is to see to it that he can make it on his own.
Enjoy the positives. If you're old enough to have an adult child, you're probably slowing down. Extra help around the house could be helpful. Use this opportunity to catch up with activities you've put off.
Use the time together to strengthen the relationship. Many adults wish they could spent more time with their kids, so take advantage of this extra time you have together.
Be in agreement with your spouse. Make big decisions together. Mom and Dad need to be on the same page when it comes to parenting.
Having an adult child move back in with you doesn't have to be a bad experience. Sure, it'll delay the freedoms of an empty nest. But it could be a good way to strengthen your relationship with your child and help keep him from flailing financially.
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How to get rid of them? Don't allow them back home to begin with. If they are 18, they should be either working full time or going to school. If they are going to college, then allow them to live with you as long as they follow your rules and graduate within a decent amount of time. But under no circumstances let them live in your house or basement.
We have become an 'entitlement' nation because baby boomers are wusses.
Oh, I forgot one other aspect that can hinder a young person's job search efforts: VIDEO GAME ADDICTION.
If you have one of those addicts, you need to unplug 'em.
Some people live in places where there are just no career opportunities, and moving can be expensive. I know many who have relocated, and it's not always an easy process. I know many more who can't afford to relocate. I know one young lady who relocated 2 years ago, and she's still living in a friend's basement while diligently searching for work every day. That's a lot of bus mileage. She conserves every penny, but it's not easy.
It's not right to judge or prejudge everybody. Now, if you have some grown "kid" who watches TV or naps all day and doesn't make any effort at all, that's different. I know a few of those and for some reason, they're all...male. Seriously.
IN CONCLUSION: It's not a good idea to judge a person before having all of the facts.
Up until about 100 years ago - there was no such thing as a "boomerang kid". There were multiple generations living in the same house, supporting each other. Parents were both working, leaving their less than school age kids with their own parents. The "boomerang kid" is a unnecessary fiction of the 20th (and now 21st) century.
That said, I agree with most of the articles suggestions as all need to pull their own weight.
How to deal with boomerang kids: Change the locks and turn out the lights so that they will think that you aren't at home.
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