Failure to launch: When the kids move back home 35



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Watching your children grow up and move out of the house and on with their lives can bring mixed emotions.

You’ll no doubt be filled with pride that they are independent enough to look after themselves and have the sense to pay the bills on time – bonus parenting points for that one.  Then of course there’s the flip side: your once bustling home quite suddenly becomes quiet, still, and can feel vastly empty.  While the transition can be difficult, having your own space and time to do whatever you like, whenever you like, brings a myriad of opportunities to explore.

What do you do though, when after a few years of peace, privacy, and tranquility your kids decide to move home again and back into your newfound space?

A new study shows more adults are moving back home than ever before, with 31% of adults between the ages of 20-34 coming home to Mum and Dad.  These so-called ‘boomerang’ kids are heading back to the nest due to failed marriages, financial difficulties, and unemployment to name a few hardships.  And it’s not just happening in Australia. Homes across the Western world are being flooded with returning offspring.

While some parents greet their children back to the nest through gritted teeth – goodbye fridge arranged just the way you like, hello bread crumbs on the counter and dirty clothes strewn throughout the house – others are more than happy to see their brood return home.  And while yes, it’s great to be able to help your kids get back on their feet some people worry their offspring lack the life skills to make it on their own.

Liz Brentnall says she worries her daughter Caitlin is missing out on valuable life lessons.

“I think that it is really difficult for people to really grow up while they are living at home,” Ms Brentnall said.

“There’s a different kind dynamic that makes you actually grow up when you don’t have a family home to fall back on.”

Let’s talk: tell us what you think in the comments below.

Would you be happy if your child moved back home? Have you had this happen to you? Tell us about it today.



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  1. It was a point of looking after myself and my son of 33 years.
    He said he would be here for 2 months but over 2 years have past and he is still here.
    Very depressing for me as I cant stand how he lives his lifestyle and hygiene habits.
    Its very hard to ask him to leave and find his own way outside.
    But after an argument and damage to the house contents he now is out

  2. My kids got told in the bassinet (I’m serious here) that they will be leaving home at 18 and learn to be women in their own right before they hook up with any lifetime partner…they grew up thinking this was normal…. My thinking was the fact that I had gone from home to marriage, and while I love my husband dearly, there were certainly times when I would have loved to know what it was like to do my own thing. 18 and they were so excited to be moving to the city to start the next part of their lives – one only blew through while looking for a place to live back home. The other has never returned to her family home (to live). It’s so different for everyone, that’s just my personal experience.

  3. We have had a couple of hiccup boomerangs come flying through but thank goodness just passing while in crisis. We let it be known anyone,either family or friends are able to use our little flat as refuge, no matter what time of day or night and that invitation has been used, but never been abused.

  4. My daughter came home, after living overseas for many years. Just as she was about to move out, she broke her leg. A year on and months of physio later, she was again moving out, broke the other leg. Horses. Need I say more? This time she stayed, and stayed. I like being on my own, doing my own thing, not having to think of others, unless I want to, so I waited until after Christmas and then gave her notice. Suggested setting a date for her to move out. 1st February. A week before moving day she was offered a house in the country and she has lived there for many years now. About 30 horses now and has had broken bones in both feet, thankfully, not recently. So set a date with squatters, and get on with life!

  5. I’ve seen others do it and it’s spoilt their relationship with either their own child or their child’s partner. They can become very big kids and put a lot of extra work on already weary parents.

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