Monday, 04 June 2012
A recent cartoon in The New Yorker shows a dais with a number of people, all in caps and gowns, seated behind the lectern where the similarly clad speaker says: “My fellow graduates, today we leave behind the trappings of youth, step boldly onto the road of life, and move back in with our parents.”
Beyond the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance," through hugs and tears, dinners, gifts, diploma checking, parents of high school and higher education graduates wait for the days their seniors leave home; It’s a rite of passage – that anticipated move toward further independence - proof the years of diligent planning, skill-building, and preparation are successful.
Wait – who’s knocking at the door? Young adults, or "boomerangers," who left home for college, new job, or on a personal search for independence are moving back in with their parents! Why? 1) Economics--the recession has made it financially difficult to live independently, 2) Life challenges--young adults are staying in college longer, marrying later, coming up against an ultra-competitive job market that leaves many jobless.
When adult children move home, this can have a drastic effect on parents. Family dynamics are stirred up. Parents who have looked forward to having an empty nest and more discretionary spending suddenly find their nest full and their extra money going towards supporting their children. This can have a negative effect on the children too, leading to feelings of dependency and failure.
Here are some concrete steps to take to avoid stress and uncomfortable confrontations with your children.
--Charlene Gooch, Ph.D., MFT