4 tips to welcoming your adult child back home

4 tips to welcoming your adult child back home

In 2015, even as the job market picked up speed, the percentage of 25-to-34-year-old Americans living with their parents was still nearing 15 percent, a record high, according to the Census Bureau.

Graduating with major student debt, along with dropping out of college, unemployment, low paying jobs, high rent costs and breakups or emotional upheavals are many of the reasons why adult children are coming back home.

Dr. Chandragupta Vedak, a psychiatrist at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill., says that past events in a parent-child relationship will impact the current living situation.

“The success of the relationship with your boomerang child will depend upon the historical quality of that relationship,” explains Dr. Vedak. “Finding that line between supporting and enabling your adult child is difficult.”

James Messerschmidt, a medical social worker at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, recently became a boomerang parent.

“We are happy to support our son with his plans as he saves up money to get an apartment and to ensure his future success,” he says.

Messerschmidt offers the following advice to other boomerang parents:

  1. Treat this as another season to enjoy in your family’s life.
  1. Remember that the return may be short-lived to allow your child to accumulate financial savings, which will help offer greater flexibility in near-term decision-making and ideally, better position them for future success.
  1. Treat your child as an adult and talk about the importance of mutual respect, ground rules, boundaries and breathing room.
  1. Texting is a good way to get their attention, even if you live under the same roof.

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  1. Been there… Done that.

  2. Our daughter will be returning to our home, after being in college for 5 years. We are setting up a separate “studio apartment” for her in our small finished basement, where she will have her own bathroom, a fridge and microwave. Some people tell me not to make it too good or she’ll never leave, lol. She has some health issues (fibromyalgia) and I’m concerned that we will be enabling her, but at the same time, she will not be able to pay off her student loans, with having to pay the expense of an apt, etc. Any suggestions would be appreciated, in how not to enable her. Thank you, Kathy

    • Kathy, this is great what you are doing! Don’t let others make you feel that way. Make a plan with her that includes her paying you “rent”. Just a small amount that you save for her, for when she is ready to move into her own apartment or house. You can determine if you want to let her know you will save it for her, or let it be a surprise. Things don’t always go the way we plan, so she may be there a little longer than you both expect, but as long as respect is mutual and there are not major problems. Let her enjoy the joys of having great parents, while paying off debt and building credit. I also, suggest affirming her often to build confidence to reach all of her goals. When she is ready, that lump sum and feeling financially ready will inspire her! Blessings to you and your family!

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.