“Sometimes it feels like our door has a magic panel in it that revolves …our son keeps coming back and then leaving again. My first born son is 27 but he knocks on our door more than the postman.
Dean has a job, friends and a girlfriend, but he always seems to lean on us for support when things aren’t going great, even if it’s just for a meal a few nights a week. He’s moved in with us more than a handful of times and perhaps I should be a bit more strict but I really enjoy the company…”
One of our readers told us this story about her son and judging from our response when we have discussed the topic before, a lot of you are also in the same boat. We have kids who come in and out of our homes as they please. Some live with us to get on their feet again, while others never leave despite being in their 20s, 30s and sometimes even 40s. The generation that do this are called “boomerangs” – once they’re thrown out in the real world, they come right back! If you’re feeling stressed out by the added expenses when your children move home, you’re not alone. And if you’re loving every minute, you’re also not alone either!
In some staggering statistics, nearly 1/4 of Australians aged 20-34 still live with their parents and more than half have moved out only to return again, mainly for financial reasons.
With children who have loans and bills to pay, we just want to help out when they need a break from rent for a while, especially when renting is so expensive these days. But are we being too lenient? Is this ‘open arms’ policy making them less independent?
Apparently not, according to research that suggests that if you have adult children at home, there is more tolerance and understanding between generations. In the US study of more than 500 18-34 year olds, it was found that kids who stayed at home longer were helping the economy as 43 per cent of 25-34 year olds would be in poverty otherwise.
Another reader told us that he was more worried about his 25-year-old daughter moving out of home before she was ready to so she didn’t rush into a mortgage or having a baby. Another father said, “My children are part of me, wherever I live is always their home too. Do they have a used-by date that says that after a certain time you throw them out? And yes, they are self supporting but they are welcome any time”.
But what about the impact it can have on your quality of life? For some it might seem like you have been there and done that when it comes to parenting. You just want to relax in your retirement but instead you’re lending money and cooking meals for your 30-year-old son or daughter. It’s important to set boundaries and rules in the house, as well as discussing money and perhaps even splitting the bills, like Gaynor told us: “We live like flat mates; share bills and give each other space. The only thing I ask is they let me know where they are going incase of any mishap and we do them the same courtesy”.
What do you think? Do you have children who come back and forth? Do you love it or loathe it? How does it affect you both positively and negatively? Tell us below.