It is estimated that one in five adults in their 20s and 30s are living with their parents for one reason or another. If your kids have decided to move home after college or a few years on their own, it can be tough to find common ground and reconnect with them, but it’s not impossible. Use technology to bridge the gap between you and your kids. Here are a few ways to do so:
Use social media.
Perhaps the most obvious way to use technology to reconnect with your boomerang children is through social media. Millennials are well versed in using most social media platforms, so if you don’t already have accounts and aren’t sure how to set them up, use this as an opportunity to bond with your child by asking for help. Have your Millennial children teach you how to set up an account and what you need to know about each platform in order to start using it.
Parents may be hesitant to connect with their kids through social media because they don’t want to overstep their boundaries. It’s important to find a balance between a friendly connection with your kids and coming off as overbearing. Find your balance by knowing which platforms you should be on and which you should stay away from. Millennials tend to think of Facebook as a more casual platform where they can connect with both friends and family, so this is a great place to start.
Every week, it seems as if there is a new TV show or documentary that everyone is buzzing about. If your boomerang kids are interested in seeing it, why not use technology to watch it together through streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu or HBO Go? Doing this together will help both of you connect over your common interests and spend more time together with a little help from technology.
Check in with each other.
If one or both of you have a job, use text messaging to check in with each other throughout the day. If your kid had to move back home because he couldn’t find a job, he may not be feeling too great about himself. Send words of encouragement and wisdom throughout the day to remind him life will get better and this is just a phase that will soon be over.
If unemployment is not the issue, then use texting to make dinner plans with each other, send funny pictures or talk about each other’s days. When kids become adults, they can have more of a friendship than a parent-child relationship with their parents, and building this rapport is a step in the right direction.
Now that both of you are living under the same roof, responsibilities should be shared, and one way to keep track of everything is through technology. There are a number of different apps that allow you to share tasks with other people and assign responsibilities to each person. Use one of these apps to decide who will do the grocery shopping, pick up the dry cleaning, and walk the dog everyday. Kids may not be happy they have to help out around the house, but they will at least appreciate you using technology to tell them to do it!
Above all else, remember to be patient. If your boomerang kid is just moving back in, it may require a little bit of time before both of you adjust to the new living situation. Incorporate these tips slowly and you will find success using technology to bring the two of you back together.
Our thanks to Hilary Smith for this guest post. Freelance writer and tech geek, she specializes in covering the world of digital parenting. She has a degree in journalism from Northwestern. This Texas native braves the winters in Chicago with her slightly spoiled English bulldog, Chauncey.