In the years following 2008′s recession, the number of adult children who chose to move back in with parents skyrocketed. In 2010 alone, nearly 80 percent of new college grads moved back home when faced with a tough job market and high rent prices. While young people make up a large percent of so-called boomerang children who return home to what was formerly an empty nest, the trend of adult children — of any age — to live with their parents rises when times get tough.
If you’re faced with the prospect of moving back home, you might feel guilty, upset, even annoyed. But according to psychologists, you can go back home at any age without feeling like you’re doing something wrong. In this guide to moving back in, we’ll look at the benefits of going home again and share tips for coexisting peacefully with parents.
The case for going back home
Living with your parents while you search for a job can be of great benefit. In a recession, many people are tempted to accept jobs that are below their education level or pay grade. But research shows that taking this route can really hurt your career — and your self-esteem.
Statistics show that job seekers who accept positions below their education level generally take about 15 years to recover. It takes them that long to catch up financially with peers who did manage to snag more appropriate, challenging jobs. That statistic makes a pretty convincing case for using all available resources to help you find the right employment, including moving back in with your parents for a time.
Psychologists indicate that attitude is everything when it comes to living with one’s parents as an adult. If you regard your living situation as miserable, then it will be. But if you’re able to look at the experience as a valuable moment for learning and regrouping, then you’ll walk away from your time with mom and dad with a positive sense — and you may even be less likely to have to return to the nest again!
While most adult children regard moving back in with parents as a real downgrade, it’s important to note that this attitude is a particularly Western sentiment. In many countries, it’s normal for several generations of family members to live together under one roof — and this arrangement works quite well. When you consider cultures where it’s possible for grandparents, parents, children, and sometimes even cousins to all live under one roof without killing each other, it’s a promising reminder that you, too, can return and live in harmony with your family.
Tips for boomerang children
When you move back home with your parents, it’s important to note that there’s been a change in the relationship. The relationship used to be strictly parent-child, but now it’s adult-adult. In order to make this new relationship work, you and your parents have to make adjustments and draw up some ground rules.
The following tips can help make coming back home to live much easier.
1. Show your gratitude. It’s not necessarily your right to move back home whenever you want. Your parents are doing you a favor, after all, so say “thank you” whenever the occasion calls for it.
2. Help out financially. If your parents ask you to pay rent, don’t balk. Discuss rent terms that you can live with.
3. Plan an exit strategy. Make a plan to move back out before you even move in, and gently let your parents know about it. This way, living with parents won’t become a crutch.
4. Communicate like an adult. Your parents might have driven you crazy as a teen, but it doesn’t have to be like that anymore. When issues arise, use phrases like, “when you say that, it makes me feel ____” and talk things out in calm, adult conversation.
5. Be considerate. If you’re going to be late, call. If you leave your shoes on the floor, pick them up. If your laundry’s dirty, do it yourself. Try to behave as a polite guest in your parents’ house.
The key to making a successful move back home is to treat your parents with respect. When you keep the lines of communication open, the arrangement should work fine for the time that you need to spend living there. Your attitude and behavior can make a situation that might seem unpleasant work out all right in the end.
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