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Weekly Reader 12.13.10

Do-it-Yourself Jobs

If your recent college grad can’t get a job maybe she should create one by starting her own business.  The buzz word is entrepreneurship, and thanks to the Internet and virtual reality, it no longer costs a fortune to set up a company.

In “No Jobs? Young Graduates Make Their Own,” New York Times writer Hannah Seligson interviews young adults who have started a successful online magazine, a promotional video firm and a digital marketing company, among other ventures.  She notes:

The lesson may be that entrepreneurship can be a viable career path, not a renegade choice — especially since the promise of “Go to college, get good grades and then get a job,” isn’t working the way it once did. The new reality has forced a whole generation to redefine what a stable job is.

Move into That Empty Room?

One way to deal with an empty nest is to re-feather it, taking over the space previously occupied by children for a home office, a workout room, a study, or just storage space so you don’t have to trek all those out-of-season clothes to the attic. 

But Chicago Tribune columnist Barbara Brotman warns in “Expanding into the Empty Nest” that even if the room is occupied only a few months a year, the offspring might take the rearrangement as a not-so-subtle sign of unwelcome. Ms. Brofman asked her daughter before she re-did her old bedroom. 

 My 22-year-old told me that she would be hurt and offended if I took over her room. “I would feel like I was being replaced,” she said. “I like coming back home and having that sense of home.”

So the Ms. Brofman has settled for taking over the daughter’s bathroom but moves out before she returns home for holidays and summer.

 Kids Gone Wild

 What happens when the grandkids and their parents come for the holidays, and the ensuing chaos is like a scene from “Girls (and boys) Gone Wild,” junior version?  Are the grandparents supposed to enforce the rules–no running, no jumping on the couch, no food in the living room–as parents sit by idly?

 In “Living With Children,” family psychologist John Rosemond suggests that grandparents should convey the following message to their adult children:

It is our job to spoil, your job to discipline; do not do our job and we won’t have to do yours. That pretty much sums up the grandparent/parent relationship.

Granny’s Nanny? Her grandchild

 In “Should You Pay a Relative to Take Care of Mom?” The Wall Street Journal notes that some unemployed adult children are being paid, at least temporarily, to be caregivers for elderly grandparents. The rationale: Why pay a stranger when a family member can do the job.  The piece covers the various ways the family giver can be paid:

Attorneys say many families pay an hourly wage. As an estate-planning tactic, others opt for annual gifts or a lump-sum payment designed to cover services over an extended period. Some arrange for the caregiver to receive a larger inheritance.

Record Low on Home Ownership for GenY

 A chart on the Calculated Risk blog show a telling flip flop in the number of homeowners under age 35 vs. the number of young adults living at home.  In 2003 36 percent of young adults lived at home and 43 percent owned their homes. In 2010, those numbers have flipped.  The upside? When the recession ends and gen y gets jobs, there will be a pent-up demand for their own housing.

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