Robert Frost wasn’t thinking about boomerang kids when he wrote in his 1915 poem, Death of the Hired Man, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” But he sure might have been.
In this economy, adult children are moving back home in record numbers – for many different reasons. Some are doing frugal planning ahead of the curve. They want to put aside money to buy a house or other large purchase and arrange to put the money they save on rent into a special account. With unemployment hovering around 10% in many areas, others may find that they need to move back home after a job loss. Still other adult children have faced the credit crunch, foreclosure and loss of their own home, causing them to move back to their family home because they have no other place to live. Some young adults are forced to declare bankruptcy and move back home until they can get a handle on their finances and build up credit again.
While the reasons for moving back home may be different, the means of making the situation work for everyone are variations on the same themes – familiar ones to Sandwiched Boomers. And what are those themes? The recognition of change and the need for respect for the rights and autonomy of everyone involved.
After spending years without the day-to-day responsibilities of mothering, you probably don’t want to pick up your old role where you left it. And your adult children likely do not want to be mothered in a childish way – they would be smothered by it. So you can each begin the process of refreshing your relationship with the understanding that things will not be as they were in years past. Everyone is free to change and be creative with fresh eyes and design a new relationship, recognizing you can enjoy the maturity that each of you has gained.
When you make respect your mantra, you all have the opportunity to take each other’s opinions and needs into consideration. It’s not always easy. The social values of young and older adults may be vastly different. In fact, The Pew Research Center recently reported their findings that the generation gap in the United States is the biggest it has been in the past 40 years. To help you get started with your new perspective, tomorrow you’ll find specific techniques to implement with your boomerang offspring as you set the stage for rich and rewarding relationships with them.
And click on the title above for more tips on how to help your boomerang children regain their independence. You’ll find helpful advice on HerMentorCenter.com, in our article, “How to Launch Your Boomerang Kidult.”