finicity

The “Boomerang” Generation

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD…” Psalm 127:3-5

According to the Pew Research Center, three out of 10 parents are reporting that their grown children ages 25-34 are coming home. They are called the “boomerang generation” or “generation stuck.”

Due to a lagging economy and stale job market, many young adults have found themselves with a good education, accompanied by large student loans, low to no job prospects and the need to count on their parents for help.  

This is definitely a less than ideal scenario, but if that’s your reality, how can you help your grown children get through this difficult period without creating a financial drain on your household and without fostering a dependent attitude (i.e., “enabling” them)?

1. Have a written agreement between you/your spouse and your adult child. This may seem over the top, but depending on the maturity of your child, it may be necessary. The written agreement should include any financial obligations as well as housekeeping duties that your son or daughter should satisfy while in your home.

2. Ask them to contribute financially. If your son or daughter is working a low-paying job, ask them to pay rent and expenses that are appropriate for the income they are earning. Don’t allow freeloading on food—they should contribute to the “household pantry.”

3. Set deadlines. It’s important both for you and your child to have a clear progress strategy. If they know they have to move out after a certain amount of time, they’ll be that much more proactive in their job hunt. If no deadlines are set and there is little accountability, you may find yourself with Junior on your couch, eating your potato chips and watching your cable TV… indefinitely!

4. Relationship FIRST. According to Pew research, 25 percent of the returning young adults reported that the change has had a negative impact on the relationship between them and their parents. So, even though this may not be the ideal solution, having your children back at home may give you the opportunity to reengage with them. Cook together, talk over coffee, play board games as a family—treat this season as another opportunity to strengthen the relationship.

5. Be their best cheerleader. Having to come home and struggle to land a solid job can be very tough and, at times, even embarrassing. Encourage and pray for your child daily. It’s not your job to “fix” everything for them, but having your moral, emotional and spiritual support will mean the world to them.

And lastly, remember Psalm 127:3-5, “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD…”

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