As economic times get more difficult for all Americans, the recession is no doubt leaving its mark on young adults trying to build lives for themselves. A survey conducted in October 2009 by the Pew Research Center found that about one in 10 adults ages 18 to 34 are moving back in with their parents because of the state of the economy.
Because this living situation can get tricky fast, it's important that, as a parent of what social scientists call a boomerang child, you work with your grown child to help get her back on her feet. Susan Morris Shaffer and Linda Perlman Gordon, co-authors of Mom, Can I Move Back in with You?
, offer advice to help make the living situation as pain-free as possible. Plus, they share ways you can help your child grow.
Prior to an adult child's return, it's important to make sure you are communicating your needs with your child. Discuss both your expectations and responsibilities and your child's, Shaffer says. "Really negotiate collaboratively—don't tell your kid the way in which you want him or her to behave," she says. "[The situation] really has to be very purposeful, but also enjoyable for both adult children and their parents."
Also, work out any kinks in your parent-child relationship before you once again share the same address. "If the relationship has some baggage, which, if you're raising teenagers, it's hard not to have baggage, you have to understand that it's not going to be slipped under the rug," Shaffer says. How the living situation affects Mom and Dad