Advice for surviving, and even enjoying, your boomerang kid

by Grace

Many millennials are living at home with their parents.

Graduating with major student debt but without plans, as well as dropping out of college, unemployment, underemployment, poorly paid first jobs, sky-high rents and breakups or emotional upheavals can all create a perfect storm and send 20-somethings seeking shelter with mom and dad.

Thanks to closer parent/child relationships, smaller families, a later marriage age and the pressures of hard economic times, that’s a sharp shift since today’s boomer parents were launching their lives. Back then, one of the major milestones en route to adulthood was moving out of your parents’ home after high school.

Forbes offers five tips for surviving your 20-something child’s return to living at home.

  1. Encourage a plan.
  2. Treat grown-up kids as the young adults they’ve become.
  3. Let them know your expectations…before they move in.
  4. Have the money talk.
  5. Consider couple relationships — yours and theirs.

Are most adult kids who live at home paying rent to their parents?

… About half the boomerang kids who move home pay some sort of rent, and almost 90% help with household expenses, according to a 2012 Pew Report. But there are many ways to divvy up what it takes to run a household.

I have a boomerang kid at home, and two things I’ve found very helpful are making sure to treat him like an adult and finding agreement on a plan toward self-sufficiency.  I give some advice, but I also try to understand that he is in charge of his life.

Until a few years ago, I was resistant to the idea of a college graduate returning home to live.  But the high cost of living in my area along with the sorry state of the jobs market have softened my stance.  In fact, living at home is sometimes the better choice since it may be a way of getting a head start on saving for retirement.

Related:  “Parents have lower expectations for kids becoming financially independent” (Cost of College)


Elizabeth Fishel and Jeffrey Arnett, 5 Steps To Survive Your Adult Child’s Return Home, Forbes, 6/26/2014.


2 Comments to “Advice for surviving, and even enjoying, your boomerang kid”

  1. Boomerangs have always happened. I went home for a bit after college, as did virtually everyone I graduated with. My husband was home after college for 4 years – he comes from a culture in which that is the norm. One thing that has changed is that more kids today go AWAY to college. In my day and in my area, most kids lived at home while they went to college, or they went to schools really close by to home and never really moved out. My sister lived at home while she went to college, and stayed there for a while after. That isn’t a boomerang so much as a gluestick kid.


  2. I grew up in an area where housing was very affordable, so it was easy to move out after graduation and it seems as if most people did. But I think living at home a few months after graduation has always been common. Now that time is extended, but some of that may be due to older parents wanting the kids back home.


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