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Weekly Reader 11.21.11

Adult children: international edition

In Canada, the figures for live-at-home adult children are just as high as in the U.S. The Financial Post reports that 51 percent of young Canadians in their 20s still live with their parents and that the percentage jumps to 60 percent when narrowed to those aged 20 to 24.

The article notes that internationally:

The phenomenon is even more pronounced in Europe. In Italy, 70 percent of young adults live at “casa mama.” The Italian term “Bamboccioni” means big babies. And in the United Kingdom, one in three parents are remortgaging their homes to support “Yuckies” – Young, Unwitting, Costly Kids.

Holiday Happy Talk

The holidays mean more family gatherings, often with adult children who are married and/or living on their own, thankfully NOT in the nest.

To keep the festivities festive,  it’s worth noting some advice from Dr. Ruth Nemzoff’s book, “Don’t Bite Your Tongue—How to Foster Rewarding Relationships with Your Adult Children,” as related to the GaGa Sisterhood blog.  Among the tips:

  • Listen to yourself. Stop, look, and listen: stop criticizing, look at your adult child’s reactions to your comments, and listen to yourself and to your child.
  • Be positive. Focus on what you love about your child and his or her life. No one likes to be criticized
  • Invite communication.  Strive to discover what your child is thinking and by what route he or she arrived there.
  • Acknowledge that you could be wrong. Admitting our mistakes or lack of insight emphasizes that it is OK to make mistakes and that apologizing for them is just ordinary politeness.
  • Allow your children to demonstrate their expertise. Among the great joys of parenting adult children is learning from our children.

New Census Figures

A new Census Bureau study, “America’s Families and Living Arrangements: 2011,” found a marked increase over the last six years in the number of millennials living at home. Among males, aged 18 to 24, the number increased to 59 percent from 53 percent, and among young women to 50 percent from 46 percent. While the recession is blamed for the increase in boomerang kids, the Census finds that the trend of moving home started prior to the economic downturn.
So what’s the reason?  In “Boomerang Kids: How Long Should They Stay?” Dr. Travis Heath, a psychologist at the Metropolitan State College of Denver, says that economic worries rather than joblessness plays a role:

“Where do we feel safe psychologically? For most young adults all they have ever known is their parents’ home, and returning to the nest makes the future seem a little brighter.  And for many families it can be a positive thing, but the onus is on the parents to make sure the child is progressing, and not just stagnating in their childhood home.”

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