We’re complaining of a problem we made for ourselves! 117



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Last week while I was having coffee with my friend Jan, she began complaining about her 25-year-old son who had just moved back at home. He’s the youngest of three children and after a stint overseas, some couch surfing with claims he would find a rental property soon, he’s back at his parents house. Luke is just one person in the commonly called, “generation boomerang” but as I listened to Jan it became quite apparent that the problem isn’t their generation. It’s ours!

According to McCrindle Research, one in four Australians aged 20 to 24 were living in the parental home in 2009. This is putting increased strain on our generation and people like Jan because they are fronting most of the costs.

If you think about it our generation has a range of household costs, mortgage repayments, maintenance, rates, electricity, water, groceries, telephone, internet and the rest. This generation is often moving in without an adult agreement to contribute properly and is enjoying low rent or rent-free accommodation, no bills and feeding off our groceries.

FinancialAdvisor.com.au has said that the main reason younger generations are doing this is due to financial problems. But the thing is, their financial problems are becoming ours and they aren’t learning in the meantime.

Essentially, our own lenience and pandering to our kids has made them this way. We’ve allowed them to avoid adult responsibilities and have a lower cost of living, yet most of them aren’t actively saving the money they would otherwise be spending. They aren’t learning responsibilities around the home as the nature of parenting sees us do most of the work out of habit and they aren’t contributing to Australia’s economy in any significant manner.

So while we sit around complaining about our boomerang children, we have to realise that it is actually our own fault!

When it comes to boomerang children, I think that it comes down to education. If they are privileged enough to stay in our homes under our roofs while adults, then they should be making a commitment to their future while doing that. They either need to be contributing to the household or investing in their future.

Jan decided to have that chat with Luke when she got home from coffee and I hope that more people do it. Although we love our kids and would do anything for them, giving it all and not teaching them in the process is making everyone’s life harder.


Tell us, do you agree? Have you had boomerang children? Did you have an arrangement while they were living with you?

Guest Contributor

  1. You just printed a comment about negativity and now you espouse a negative view of the so-called ‘boomerang generation’.
    Do you really think they come back to the nest of their own volition?
    They are victims of an oppressive society where money is king.
    As parents we rear our children into a society that is dysfunctional.. where abnormal behaviour is trumpeted as ‘politically correct’, where expectations are displayed through TV advertisements and success is measured in material ‘things’.
    That is not the society in which I was raised.
    I would welcome my children to return to the nest and if again they become a financial burden, well.. so be it; that is a price I am prepared to pay for parenthood.

  2. A lady at work the other day was saying she has her son his girlfriend and children staying,so they can save for a house.thats great but all their money is going into saving and she is broke keeping them.

    3 REPLY
    • Well that doesn’t sound fair and they may need to openly discuss finer details . . . not always an easy situation. I certainly wouldn’t relish the idea of suddenly having 2+ more people longterm but you’d have to arrange ‘ground rules’ – for the sake of all?

    • You see. It’s a problem you created for them. They will have a rude shock when they eventually reach their dream. No concept of the cost of living. Then they’ll be back on your doorstep again, asking for more help.

  3. Maszki took my words! We are a very non-communal culture and this can be a selfish culture. Where does it say that offspring must always depart and become totally independent? Fortunately mine ARE relatively independent but s”*t can happen in life and jobs are no longer certain – or ‘for life’. Buying their own place or affording high rents may not be an option even in their 40s! Yes there could be Govt assistance for them but if I can help first, then I feel that responsibility to offer. At present all 4 are away and settled but I trust they feel they can check back in if need be (they would I know, prefer not to)! So, no complaints from me.

  4. A parent needs to be sensible. Anybody that occupies there home needs to pay. They should be paying for food, electricity, fuel, telephone and rent. This needs to be agreed upon before anyone moves in

  5. Didn’t happen in my home. They always paid their way and are better people for it.

    1 REPLY
    • It didn’t happen in our home either. They got p/t jobs when they were 15 and paid there own way. None of this buying them a car. That’s why they had jobs. One now has his own business and the other is doing okay. They are great sons.

  6. This is true, I know this because of my kids did exactly that. But they think because you are their mother, it’s a right of passage for them. Neither would pay me rent, contribute to food, or utilities. And did not save this money for themselves either. My solution to this problem after many months was to kick them out. One became homeless for some time, the other ended up in a caravan park. It took me months to get back on my feet after each child at different times did this to me. I have learnt my lesson. Never again.

    5 REPLY
    • At least you had the guts to make them find their own way whether they found it. Good on you. We have to survive as well.

    • Good on you.
      You have done your bit and you now deserve a life of your own. We are our children’s parents. We are not their keepers or their doormats.

    • my children have been paying board soon as they earn money. Of this amount I secretly put a small amount in a bank account, these savings are handed over when they leave home.

    • Both kids agreed to pay rent, but once they moved in they decided not too. As for deserving a life of my own, never going to happen. I am raising four of one of my children’s children, he’s the one who is in and out of homelessness, guess you can work out the reason for this. And the other one has learnt a huge lesson on life and though in a caravan park has got their act together and moving upward and onward, thank heavens. My kids had opportunities like you would not believe, but, they knew better and wanted to do it their way. They are and so am I. All is good now! for me and the four little ones!

  7. You get what you accept in life. I haven’t experienced this myself as I wouldn’t accept it but I know of a few people this has happened to and once the youngsters were told that everything had to be shared, costs , jobs etc things changed quickly.

  8. No boomerang children at my house. No charge until they finished school, just chores. All working adults had to contribute financially. They all chose to leave before 21 and are making their own way in the world just fine. Very proud of them all.

  9. I agree and find it very frustrating but I have the added issue that my son suffers serve depression and due to that is unable to work. Neither my husband or I are in good health either due to a major incident several years ago. My son does give us moral support but extremely hard living in a home where all three of us are suffering trauma in varying forms. We are all under the supervision of specialists and finding it hard to get out of the vortex . Financially there is some light on the horizon but that will not change our medical conditions nor will it last forever.

    1 REPLY

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