Just about a month ago, a 30-year-old man named Michael was court-ordered to move out of his parents’ home after they sued to have him ejected. Despite previous attempts by his parents to help him find a place of his own and support himself, he refused to move out or seek a job.
He wasn’t ready, he said.
Wait – I’m confused. Baby boomers left home at 18 and married at 21, and now kids today are staying at home until they’re 30, being sued by their parents to move out. What gives?
While not all members of the Millennial generation or iGeneration find themselves in scenarios quite as severe as the one mentioned above, our society has definitely undergone a shift in how/where people live during their early adult years.
Oh, How Times Have Changed
According to Pew Research Center, “Today’s young adults are also more likely to be at home for an extended stay compared with previous generations of young adults who resided with their parents.” Compared to Boomers, Millennials almost double the percentage of 25- to 35-year olds living in a parent(s)’ home, 15 percent versus 8 percent.
Living at home with your parents doesn’t make you a burnout, though, despite Michael’s story. While this new trend may seem to expose a lazy and unambitious generation, it actually speaks to a generational shift in values.
For the Boomer generation and others of the time, getting married and having children defined adulthood. But today, most young adults rank education level and economic status at the top of their priority list.
The vast majority of Millennials still living at home are employed or in school and are actively saving their earnings in order to carve themselves a secure future. For them, it’s a smart, strategic life choice.
Getting on the Same Page
Of course, this only applies if parents and families are openly welcoming of their young adult children living at home. This option isn’t available to all young adults, and perhaps it stems from a misunderstanding on parents’ behalf.
If your children are in school or recently graduated and are wanting to live at home before they feel ready to support themselves in the real world, consider the benefits this arrangement can bring to everyone. Not only would you score some extra time with your children, but you could also play a key role in them establishing independence and stability down the road.
It’s okay to be skeptical and hesitant to let your children move back home temporarily. The important thing is to figure out what their plan to make sure they’re on the right track before you open back up your home.
Time for a Conversation
For people in Michael’s situation, with no job or intention to get one, you may not be working in both you and your child’s best interest by allowing them to come home without having responsibilities or long-term vision.
However, if your child is employed, working toward a degree, or planning for the future in another serious way, consider this living arrangement an option. This way of living may be very different than the way you were raised or the ideals you’re used to. But, if implemented in a mutually beneficial way, you could be key element to helping you children spread their wings in the near future. They can still be a successful and independent adult while also living under your roof temporarily.
If you have adult children living at home, please Share Your Story with us! We want to hear about your experiences and impressions!
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