Living with Adult Children: Parents & Grown Kids Speak Out
Do you find yourself living with adult children at a time in life when you thought you would be enjoying the peace and quiet of an empty nest? More and more parents of grown children are finding themselves in this situation. It seems that kids are taking even longer to mature these days and of course, this is not helped at all by the current economy which has a staggering 15.9% unemployment rate for young adults.
Financial factors have forced many young adults to return back home, even those with college educations and unfortunately these kids who have worked so hard to get ahead in life and done exactly what their parents told them would help them to succeed, are now out of work and saddled with college loan debt.
Current statistics say that a whopping 60% of young adults age 18-24 live at home with their parents with a higher percentage of this population being male. As adult children age, the numbers go down but continue to be higher for males and are even higher for those who did not attend college.
According to an article posted on ehow.com about living with adult children:
The unemployment rate remains high across the country, but the effect has been greater among young adults than the general population. Couple that with a fierce competition for the available jobs and young adults in their 20s are increasingly faced with no job, or just part-time work.Returning home or staying put has become the best option for many young Americans.
"It is frustrating for us and our son," said Monique Delerme, president of Corporate Design LLC in Connecticut. Her 22-year-old son, Owen, has been looking for work since his return home in December 2010 from serving with the National Guard in Iraq. "It's difficult not only from a financial standpoint, but on an emotional level as well. My son tells me, 'Whatever job opens up, a 30- or 40-year-old gets ahead of me.'
The unemployment rate for July 2011, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was 9.1 percent. But as recently as December 2010, the rate for those under 25 was a staggering 15.9 percent, according to the Network on Transitions to Adulthood --- a research consortium that examines the changing nature of young adulthood.
Among those 25 to 35 years old, prospects aren't quite as bleak but still higher than the average. The consortium put their rate at 10.4 percent.
And it's not just the job market but also debt. According to a report from the Project on Student Debt, college seniors who graduated in 2009 owed an average of $24,000 in student loan debt, up 6 percent from the year before.
So what is the solution? Move back home.
What are the issues for parents who are living with adult children? There are financial issues for parents who may be tapping into their retirement to help their grown children stay current on college debt payments and eating into their paychecks as they support them while they look for jobs. What about the psychological impact of realizing that you may be supporting your kids for another ten years or at least until the economy recovers? Where exactly are those Golden Years that you worked so hard toward?
And what about the kids themselves? Imagine how they feel. Right when they are supposed to be independent, out in the world, finding themselves through their chosen fields and significant relationships, they are stuck at home with mommy and daddy, unable to support themselves because all the jobs that they apply for go to adults who have more experience than them. How does it feel to have worked so hard, followed the path laid out for you—the path that worked for your parents—only to discover that the carrot at the end of the stick was not fat and juicy, but plastic and inedible?
And what are the rules for adult children living at home? Obviously, you don't want to foot the bill for grown kids who don't clean up after themselves, don't contribute by helping out financially and with work around the house or sit on their butts all day long playing video games. Since a good portion of these young adults are likely to be depressed, this is the type of behavior that some parents may be dealing with.
Like you, I don't have all the answers but I do have some ideas about living with adult children and how young people of this generation can get some work and do it without leaving home until they can save enough to move out which could be a great way out of this situation, but before I present those answers, I want to dig into the problem, so we can all understand the issues more fully.
With this mission in mind, I am inviting parents living with children and adult children living at home to share their biggest struggles and feelings about the situation below. Be honest, be open and let's get a conversation going so we can empathize with and understand each other more fully. Let's also talk about the rules for adult children living at home (proposed both by parents and young adults), so we can live together in greater harmony as go through this transition together without causing each other harm.
Please use the form below to post your struggles, comments, tips and suggestions for adult children living home.
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This is meant to be a conversation between parents and grown children about the challenges of living together during a time of economic stress and high unemployment rates for young adults. The only way we can understand the situation more fully is to start a dialogue that brings up all the issues for all parties involved.
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