Some of our readers noticed that ten days ago we were featured in an article written by Tina Peng for the online edition of Newsweek magazine. If you missed it, you can still read it, “They’re Baack,” at http://www.newsweek.com/id/175908. Or just click on our blog title above and it will take you there. In her Newsweek web exclusive, Tina notes that today many empty-nesters are hit with boomeranging kids moving back home. She asked for our input to help families dealing with this growing phenomenon. Here are some excerpts of what she included in her article from our interviews with her.
“Those numbers—and the number of working young adults who move home—will continue to increase as the economy worsens, says Rosemary Lichtman, coauthor with Goldberg of an upcoming book about baby boomers who have to take care of both their parents and their children.”
“These extended stays can jolt the marital relationships of couples that have settled into happy new kid-free patterns. “It’s hard to put their needs on the back burner and have the kids be the first priority again,” says Phyllis Goldberg, a psychotherapist and counselor in California. But by not losing focus on themselves, parents can ease the transition and keep their re-lit flame burning.”
“How can couples ease the tension? Be a little selfish, advises Lichtman: stay somewhat emotionally detached so it’s easier to reclaim your lifestyle. Letting your kids ease back into their pre-college roles as dependents will make you active parents again, rather than partners.”
“Spouses should set guidelines for their boomerang kids, Lichtman and Goldberg say. Hold family meetings to determine how they’ll share the home’s chores and responsibilities and how they’re planning to eventually be independent again. Otherwise, parents run the risk of feeling betrayed and used, which could further strain their relationship with their kids and each other.”
The Newsweek.com article generated over 200 separate comments from readers weighing in on the issue of boomerang kids. The majority of those commenting were from the younger generation. We will be reprinting some of the comments this week so that you know what your kids have to say about this issue. Feel free to let them – and us – know your own reactions to the story.