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Aug 5, 2013

When Parents Throw a Boomerang!

When the subject turns to boomerang-kids, people come crawling out of the woodwork with opinions. It seems many have quite a bit to say about something they have never experienced. I am here to have my say because I have...had a boomerang-kid that is. 

Out on the web...
I have been reading the posts and articles about the subject recently and I have found that the thinking of many is that the children are malingerer and just need to get out there and do something. A blog called Gypsy Nester calls these young people Boomerang Brats. After I read the post and all it's research, I had to agree. A lot of these children are taking advantage of their parents. 

Parents threw the boomerang...
But I have to take a less harsh approach. I think in a great many cases neither the parent or the child see the move as being a bad thing. And it is not just the children that promote moving back in with mom and dad. Parents could be held partly responsible for the trend. If it does turn out to be bad, there is plenty of blame to go around.

I think we need to talk about our performance as parents. We all know that each child is different and some are more mature or even capable than others. As a result our jobs as parents is a very complicated one and no parent does it in exactly the same way. It is very easy to judge parents and children based on what we see from the outside. But, as we all know, there is probably a different story  would be told if we could be a fly on the wall. For example, we do not know how the recent recession and it's fall out came into play in other people's lives.

The thing is I think most of us that have boomerang-kids are probably reaping what we sow. Those that "sponge" off mom and dad while they save money for trips or fancy houses need to take a good hard look at how that is going to affect their parents down the line. So the children need to take responsibility for their actions in that situation. 

But the parents also need to admit  they have planted seeds that grow readily when the child wants more or is in a little trouble. The child has been told  they will always be welcome to move back in if they want. In fact, when parents say this will always be your home too, they need to be very aware of how that might play out in their child's future. If the child is the type that will take advantage and not give back in anyway, that parent is in for a very hard time.

Out in the world... 
In an article written for Forbes called Get Off My Lawn: Living With Kids Makes Seniors Less Happy, they talked about how the experience of having a boomerang-kid in the house takes its toll on the parents.

They noted that parents between the age of 34 to 46 like to have their children at home even though they do find it more stressful. Senior people in United States are not seeing any positives in children living with them at all. Happiness falls while stress and resentment increases. 

But in my world....
Our son moved back home after being gone for almost 10 years. College, jobs kept him busy for all those years. I was glad to have him with us again. His father loved it. They watched ballgames together, went fishing and just visited for hours. The relationship they established during that time was invaluable to both of them. But we all knew it should not go on forever. I will admit I wondered how it would end and was grateful it worked out in a positive way. We all realized the time had come and passed for him to move on so that is what he did.

My husband and I had been retired for several years when we began the journey. We had a good income so when our son decided to make a career change, we were happy we could help him. He was going to school to get the training he needed for a well paying job. We actually invited him to move in at that time. He did not ask for our help.

I learned a lot from the experience and do not regret that time in our lives. The truth is my husband and I could not live happily in comfort  when we could help our son by sharing. We all worked together to make things better for him.

Bill Cosby even has some advice...
I remember a quote from Bill Cosby. It went something like this: "I keep reminding my children that I am the one that is rich. They aren't. It is my money. I give them an allowance. They have to live on that."

One of my adult children helped their daughters move out when they left for college and immediately used the bedroom space for a new purpose. If the child comes back for a visit, the space they use is not their childhood room. In their case there is never a feeling that the visit is an invitation to move back home.  

In fact, I think those children have always been told that would be the case when they were adults. It is probably the way we should all do it if we don't want to have our children boomerang on us.

It seems to me when there is a real problem and we are called to help, the children should know they are living at home again to solve that issue not because it is their right to do so. AND they cannot stay forever and ever.

That is what I think.  How about you? 

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