Boomerang. Adult children who have left home, either for college or to start a life on their own, only to return to the nest.
Both of my boys landed back at home on a few occasions. It took me a while to get the hang of what my role was in facilitating their final flight from the nest.
We seriously considered shoving them out and moving without providing a forwarding address!
Parents' Protection Program!
I am currently working with a few young buyers who have returned to the parental nest.
Based on my own personal experience and observation of these buyers, I note the following:
1. Parents of working, adult children living at home are not holding their children responsible for contributing to living expenses.
2. Adult, working children living in the parental home are not adequately saving for establishing or re-establishing themselves in their own home.
3. Neither the parents nor the "children" have established a time line for renewed independence.
4. Once entrenched in the co-habitation, the parent-child relationship quickly establishes itself.
Although this seems like a complicated dynamic, once a few ground rules are laid, the process can take on a valuable and productive tone.
Providing the necessary construct to enable these "children" to gain strength, both emotionally and financially, will head off possible resentments and further strain on the relationship.
We can be finished with all of the psycho-babble now and get down to brass tax.
Step 1: Parents need to charge RENT!
Yes, I know it sounds harsh. But really, it is the best thing for the parent & the adult child. After footing the bill for the first 18 to 25 years, it's time for the little birdies to stand on their own two feet and come to the realization that NOTHING IN LIFE IS FREE.
Housing will always be a major expense in adult life. Sad but true.
I've seen many parents suffer undue financial hardship in their efforts to support adult children.
Helping, supporting, guiding, protecting...all natural parental responses.
There is a point at which, our natural instincts do more harm than good.
TEACHING is also an important aspect of parenting. Giving our children the life skills they need to make it in the world under their own power is our purpose.
Step 2: Living under the parental roof has drawbacks.
Coming in at 4am and sleeping until noon and beyond are a no-go.
But, MOM! Why? I'm a grown up!!!!!
Simple, MY HOUSE, MY RULES.
Hint: the job of the parent is NOT to make this a sublimely comfortable experience.
Comfort is in direct conflict with your goal of helping your birdie fly free!
Step 3: Set an end-date for the co-habitation.
This can be difficult to nail down when you are dealing with an unemployed adult. However, it is important. Setting a goal and working towards it, keeps everyone motivated and on task.
Yes, I have dealt with taking in an unemployed adult child.
Let's just say that we stopped just short of chasing him with a stick until he found a job.
See Step 2 for more information on creating the non-comfort zone.
BACK TO THE RENT!
If having your adult child living at home doesn't put undue financial strain on your budget, you can set aside the rent that you collected in a savings account. These funds can be returned to the little birdie upon their departure.
Perhaps those funds will be used as a down payment on a new home or a security deposit on their bachelor pad.
Don't fret if it's used to purchase a flat screen TV or an i-Phone,
just a long as those things don't end up in YOUR HOUSE!
Image courtesy of antpkr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net