ADJUSTING TO LIFE WITH BOOMERANG CHILDREN
And you thought you moved them out of the house for the last time, right? You sent them off to college, they graduated and they got a job and got their own place. And they did. But now they’re back. They’re boomerang children and it’s a relatively new phenomena as adult children seek the shelter, safety and most important, the financial advantages of moving back into their old bedroom. If this is you, here are some tips to avoid conflict.
First, remember that even though they’re still your “kids” they think and act like adults. Because they are adults. At least chronologically speaking. When your child wants to move back home temporarily, set some ground rules first that both of you can agree on. But the most important is to remind them its’ your home, not theirs. Late night parties and friends over all the time need to be limited. It’s not college any longer.
Next, understand they’re probably not all that thrilled about moving back home. This can be a very emotional time as the prospect of moving back home probably means the loss of a job or difficulty finding employment. This situation can hurt emotionally and self-esteem is damaged. This is an adjustment period and there’s no need to start providing advice or worse, asking what your kid did in the first place to get fired.
Set a definite time limit on when your child can stay. For example, a six month period. Set a specific date and don’t let it drag on. There’s no need to remind your kid about the looming deadline, but make sure the date is set in stone. That keeps them on the clock and looking for ways to get back on their feet. It’s also a good time to offer any financial advice but make sure any advice is solicited. Sometimes “advice” sounds like “nagging.”
Finally, keep them encouraged about their prospects. Help them search for new work by networking with your friends, family and co-workers. They need to know you’re in their court and are still watching out for them. But at the same time, they need to know this is a transitional period with a definite time line.
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