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Boomerang Kids

boomerang-kidultThey leave home for college and come flying back after graduation

The term “boomerang kids” has been around for at least a decade, and has even been the  topic of study by sociologists.  The number of  boomerang kids  has increased  over the last year because of record unemployment both for new grads and for the twenty- and thirtysomethings who have been laid off.  More than one third of workers under age 34 are living with their parents, according to a 2009 survey by Peter D. Hart Research Associates.

Living with adult children has generated studies, articles, even several books including “The Crowded Nest Syndrome” and “Helping Your Twentysomething Get a Life.”

The idea of having the “kids” around might appeal to some parents, while others start plotting immediately how to get them to move out again.

If you fall into that latter group, a recent CBS News piece on “How to Kick Your Kid Out of the Nest” offers some helpful advice.   Some key tips:

Set ground rules:

  • most important set a move-out deadline before they move in
  • decide what expenses parents will cover (food, laundry) and what expenses parents won’t cover (take-out food, beer, iPhone, gas)
  • if  the child works consider asking for rent;  if the child is jobless, ask for errands and chores in lieu of rent

Insist on plans for a job search:

  • establish a weekly minimum number for emails, phone calls, resumes etc
  • consider how much, or how little, parents will help with contacts, coaching

Practice tough  love:

  • establish a time limit on searching for the ideal job
  • make life a little less cushy with stricter house rules

If these ideas don’t work, watch the movie “Failure to Launch” about parents who hire a woman to seduce their son and get him to move out. Parents have been driven to desperation!

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