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Weekly Reader 9.26.11

An Upside to Moving Home

Maybe moving home after college is not a step in the wrong direction but actually a smart move, financially and career wise.   So argues a New York Times opinion piece, “Why Rent When You Can Nest?”
Reporter Gregory Warner notes that 20-somethings and their parents in some non-American cultures see boomeranging home as a way to achieve financial goals more quickly, rather than as a sign of failure.
Mr. Warner questions that reasoning behind the rush to move out that often means living in debt, with no chance of putting aside any savings.

Are Americans really all that desperate to break free of their parents? Or does the push toward independence originate from the top? Are baby boomers sending the not-so-subtle message to their children that they prefer an empty nest?

Something to consider!

Sue Mom?

Suppose you didn’t put a check in your child’s birthday card  or send a care package to your college student?  You might expect the kids to be disappointed but not to file a lawsuit?  That’s exactly what a pair of siblings did.   They believed that their mother’s alleged shortcomings over the years—including curfews, not sending care packages, and skimping on birthday presents–added up to so much “bad mothering” that they sued her for more than $50,000 for “emotional distress.”

The brother-and-sister pair, now both in their early 20s, were raised in a posh Chicago suburb by their father, a lawyer who filed the suit on their behalf two years ago against his former wife, Kimberly Garrity.

The case dragged through the courts until it was dismissed in late August.  An Illinois appeals court dismissed the case, finding that none of the mother’s conduct was “extreme or outrageous.”

Ruling in favor of the adult children, the court found, “could potentially open the floodgates to subject family child rearing to … excessive judicial scrutiny and interference,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

Hands-on Grandparenting

Let’s hope that some new census data will diminish that dated stereotype of gray-haired grandparents whose main form of exercise is lounging in a rocking chair.

The new generation of grandparents is mainly baby boomers who are still working, with greater disposable income. Not only are grandparents helping out  with babysitting, picking kids up after school and running errands—while they continue to work—many are also paying for “extras” like camps, tutoring and lessons, according to an “Grandparents Play a Bigger Role in Child-rearing.”

The recession has forced many adult children to turn to their parents for help with their financial needs.  “Grandparents have become the family safety net, and I don’t see that changing any time soon,” said Amy Goyer, a family expert at AARP, told the Associated Press.

What’s a Stayover?

Here’s  a new word to add to your Gen Y vocabulary list: stayovers, a type of relationship midway between hooking up and living together. A New York Times article defined stayovers  as “a new, low-commitment form of cohabitation among young adults.”

The term comes from a new book We’re Not Living Together’: Stayover Relationships Among College-Educated Emerging Adults,”  in which the authors found the young  adults often spend three or four nights with their  partners but don’t want  to commit to a more serious relationship by moving in together.

Stayover couples keep their own places, and don’t shared belonging or finances, according to the researchers.

Tyler B. Jamison, a co-author of the book, told the Times

“Stayover couples tend to like the physical and emotional closeness of staying in with a partner rather than going out on a date. But after a night in together, they could then go their separate ways.”

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