Slippery Grip: Stay-at-home 30 somethings

So someone did a study and told the baby boomers what they already know. Their progeny won’t leave home. Never mind getting out of Dodge. They won’t even get out of the kitchen.

The Italians call them “mammon”, or “mama’s boys”. The Japanese call them (my personal favourite) “parasaito shinguru”, or “parasite singles”. In the United States they are known as “boomerangs and in the UK they are called “KIPPERS”, which is short for “kids in parents’ pockets eroding retirement savings”.

I guess those stay at home 30 somethings have, as their life motto, “If you’re on a good thing stick to it” and stick they do! What you thought of their IQ has just jumped a few points. They’re not stupid after all if they can pull off a plan like staying in the family home until it comes down to the wire. You never realised your child had so much stick-ability. They are like bloody superglue when it comes to leaving home.

So what are those longing for a bit of empty nesting, not to mention privacy supposed to do? If the mountain won’t come to Mohammed – well…they take a package tour to the mountain, or become grey nomads. A caravan without a welcome mat is the order of the day. An extended holiday with a ‘to do’ list left on the fridge door for the velcro kid. Or sell the family home and downsize to one bedroom. As in mine not yours.

The other statistic that fits neatly with trying to get the bathroom back to two toothbrushes is that 31 per cent of baby boomers prefer communication to Govt largess or moving to a retirement community. That’s a given. As in give the kid a mobile phone and tell them to ring, preferably from their own home where they cannot reach your fridge/tool shed/washing machine without filling up the car at the petrol station.

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Most parents value a phone call. It’s relatively painless, the kid can’t put you on the spot and ask for a tenner, and caller ID gives you options. Facebook is even better. Posting pictures of your mansion with a FOR SALE sign out the front on his timeline has a sobering effect.

Communication is vital when you inform your offspring you have changed the locks. Their response just reinforces the necessity for conversation. As we get older we need to know someone is still thinking of us, and still talking to us after we converted their bedroom to a den or sewing room.

Statistically speaking, baby boomers have a 1 in 4 chance of being empty nesters. The other three are still working on it…turn left when you get to the mountain.


When did you kids leave home? Or are they still there? How does it affect your life?